spring 2021
HEL-6320 Animal Experimentation for Researchers - 6 ECTS

Last changed 12.03.2021

Application deadline

Deadline for application: February 1st 2021

Type of course

This course is available as a single course.

Admission requirements

Requirement for admission is minimum 3 years education on university or college level (bachelor degree or corresponding) within biomedicine or biology.

Recommended prerequisites are course in statistics and knowledge of literature search using internet and library.

PhD students and "forskerlinjestudenter i medisin" are referred to the PhD course HEL-8014.

Those who will work exclusively with fish or decapods are referred to the UiT course in Aquatic Animal Welfare (BIO-3503).

Course fee and tuition fee:

The course fee is NOK 6500, which includes tutorial material, lunch and coffee/refreshments during breaks.

NOTE: Persons that are not registered as students at UiT, need to pay the student tuition fee (semester fee) separately in order to have the ECTS registered.

Application web site: EVUweb 

Course content

The course in experimental animal science for researchers is required according to regulatory demands for personnel that will plan and/or conduct animal experiments. The course follows the requirements in the Norwegian Regulation on Animal Experiment, § 24 and Annex E, Points 1-11. The course also fulfil the requirements for Core Modules and Function Specific Modules for function A and B in the Education and Training Framework published by the European Commission. 

The course consists of theoretical and practical training. The theoretical course will contain of a 2-day general part (core modules) and special part (3 days species/function specific modules). In the special part, the student can choose either between traditional laboratory animals or fieldwork/wildlife.

The course deals with the use of mammals and birds (lab and field). Those who will work exclusively with fish or decapoda are referred to the UiT course in Aquatic Animal Welfare (BIO-3503).

Academic content theoretical training:

General part (Core Module)

  • Legislation
  • Alternatives to the use of animals in research and training
  • Planning and quality control of animal experiments
  • Pain and stress physiology in animals
  • Severity classification and effect of different procedures in animals
  • Administrative procedures: Application process, reporting and evaluation
  • Ethics, public attitudes
  • Predictive value of animal studies

Laboratory animal module (rodents, rabbits, pigs s)

  • Experimental design and statistics
  • Laboratory animal biology (anatomy, physiology, genetics)
  • Housing and care of laboratory animals
  • Effect of environmental factors
  • Choice of animal model
  • Health monitoring, infections and laboratory animal quality
  • Health hazards in laboratory animal facilities
  • Anaesthesia and analgesia
  • General experimental techniques and surgery
  • In vivo imaging techniques
  • Guidelines for reporting animal experiments in scientific literature
  • Humane endpoints and euthanasia

Fieldwork/wildlife module (terrestrial and marine wild mammals and birds)

  • Challenges of field experiments
  • Fieldwork specific legislation and regulations
  • Implementation of the 3Rs in wildlife studies
  • Guidelines and internet resources for field experiments
  • Statistical design of field experiments
  • Application process and reporting
  • Pain and stress physiology of wildlife
  • Diseases and zoonoses of wildlife
  • Sedation, immobilization and anaesthesia
  • Species-specific capture, tagging and sampling techniques
  • Reporting field studies in the scientific literature
  • Communication to society and press media

Academic content practical training

Handling, care, supervision and relevant experimental techniques in relevant species tailored to the students skills and needs.

Objectives of the course

The main aim of the course is to ensure ethical and humane use of experimental animals and collection of informative, objective and reproducible research data from animal experiments.

After having completed the course, the candidate should:

  • have detailed knowledge of the legislation regulating the use of experimental animals in Norway
  • have detailed knowledge of the official authorities and management of research animals, including application process, reporting and inspections
  • know the potential alternatives and supplements to animal experiments which exist
  • have an attitude towards the use of animals in research that reflects The 3 Rs: Replace, Reduce and Refine, with focus on animal welfare and scientific quality for animal experiments
  • understand the general principles for planning animal experiments, including quality control, choice of animal model, experimental design and statistics
  • understand the significance of the intrinsic and external factors influencing an experimental animal and how these may influence the outcome of the experiment, an know to plan and execute an animal experiment in order control and standardize these factors as much as possible
  • understand the most important principles for choosing methods of handling and treating experimental animals
  • understand the principles behind anaesthesia, analgesia, humane endpoints and euthanasia
  • know the potential health hazards related to animal experiments, and how to minimize these hazards
  • be able to evaluate a scientific article on animal experiments with emphasis on how the animals are described and used and be able to use guidelines for good reporting of animal experiments
  • be able to perform humane handling, caring and supervision of research animals and master relevant experimental techniques in relevant species

Language of instruction


Teaching methods

Learning methods include lectures (in class and e-lectures), group work, guided tours, and individual written assignments. The course consists of totally 80 hours, including 35 hours of lectures/tours/group work, 24 hours of self-tuition (individual assignment and exam) and 21 hours of practical training under supervision of a qualified person.

The theoretical training is given intensively during one week, followed by practical training. The theoretical training consists of a general part (2 days) and special part (3 days). The special part is either on traditional laboratory animals or on fieldwork/wildlife where the course participant can choose the module most relevant for his/hers work. The theoretical part is concluded with a written exam on the last day of the course week. After completing the theoretical training, the student must submit a written assignment (home exam) and complete a minimum of 3 days (21 hours) practical training under the guidance of a competent person.


Work requirements

Attendance at the theoretical course (lectures, guided tours, and group work) and completion of practical training is mandatory. The student must allocate time for self-tuition during and after the theoretical course week.

The home exam must be submitted no later than 3 weeks after the theoretical course section has ended.

Documentation of the 21 hours practical training should be delivered as soon as possible and no later than 1st October the same year as the course was held. If the documentation is delivered later than this date, the examination results will not be registered and the course diploma will not be issued before the following spring semester.

Practical training

For laboratory animals, the Unit of Comparative Medicine offers organised and adjusted practical training a few weeks after the theoretical training has been completed. Fieldwork scientist and others that do not participate in the organized practical training need to document that relevant 21-hours practical training with relevant species and techniques have been completed under the supervision of a competent person. Documentation of the practical training should be delivered as soon as possible and no later than 1st October the same year as the course was held.

Examination and assessment

Assessment rating of the exam: Passed/not passed.

Home exam (individual assignment), 3 assignments/tasks (divided into 2-4 sub-tasks), written answer, all aids allowed. Assessment rating of home exam: Passed/not passed.

Completion of practical training with experimental animals of at least 21 hours under the supervision of a competent person must be documented. Assessment criteria: Approved/Not approved

All parts are weighted equally. An overall assessment passed/not passed is given when both the exams have been passed and the practical training has been completed and documented.


Re-examination for students that do not pass either the 2-hour written exam or the home exam are given early in the following semester.

Assessments with multiple exams

In order to pass the course and be allocated the 6 ECTS, it is required for the student to pass the exam in the theoretical part, to pass the home exam as well as document practical training.

If the student fails one of the exams (i.e. the 2-hours exam or the home exam), he/she needs only re-examination of the failed item.


  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 6
  • Course code: HEL-6320
  • Course dates
  • Course information 2021:

    • Online classes: Week 10 and 11 (March 8 – March 19)
    • Home exam: April 19