autumn 2022
BIO-3950 Master's Thesis Biology - 60 ECTS

Type of course

Only students on the Master's degree programme in biology are eligible for this course.

It is not available to any other category of students as a singular or elective course.

Course content

The master thesis is an independent scientific work, under the guidance by one or several supervisors. The thesis is written within one of the following disciplines:

  • Arctic animal physiology
  • Freshwater ecology
  • Arctic marine ecology
  • Molecular environmental biology
  • Northern populations and ecosystem
  • Arctic marine ecotoxicology
  • Ecology and sustainability


Students who are admitted to the master's in biology normally select a project during the first semester, and no later than one month before the end of the second semester.  All students will fill out a supervision contract in consultations with their supervisor. The contract along with a project description, has to be approved by the Department.

Deadline for handing in the contract is the third semester for all students;

1. September for students admitted in autumn.

1. February for students admitted in spring.

Objectives of the course


Students will have advanced knowledge in biology and in one of the following disciplines offered:

  • Arctic animal physiology
  • Freshwater ecology
  • Arctic marine ecology
  • Molecular environmental biology
  • Northern populations and ecosystem
  • Arctic marine ecotoxicology
  • Ecology and sustainability



  • Formulate relevant research questions in an independent manner, and apply theories, concepts and methods pursuant to the scientific and ethical standards in the field.
  • To search for and evaluate recent biological research in a critical manner, and to make assessments using scientific knowledge in the field.
  • To present biological knowledge and ideas in an instructive manner to researchers, policy makers and the general public.


General proficiency:

  • Have acquired specialized expertise in one of the disciplines offered
  • Have the competence to analyze biological problems that require skills at a high level.
  • Apply their knowledge and skills in biological theory and methods in new areas relevant to society
  • Have sufficient competence to participate in and to evaluate research projects or to advance to doctoral studies

Language of instruction and examination


Teaching methods

Individual guidance and supervision according to agreement and of two semesters duration. Maximum workload for the supervisor is 80 hours, you will receive supervision within these limits. The general work effort in a master`s project (60 ECTS) is 1500-1800 hours (including field and lab work).

The Master`s thesis must be written in English.


Examination: Date: Weighting: Grade scale:
Assignment 15.11.2022 23:59 (Hand in) 0/1 A–E, fail F
Oral exam 1/1 A–E, fail F

Coursework requirements:

To take an examination, the student must have passed the following coursework requirements:

Participation to Master student seminars Approved – not approved
UiT Exams homepage

More info about the coursework requirements

Participation to Master student seminars. The seminars consist of master thesis related presentations in a conference format (e.g., 15 to 20 minutes plus 10 min questions) for a general biology audience (BSc, Master and PhD student community and the scientific staff). The seminars are organized weekly. Every student is required to give 1 talk during his/her master (e.g., state of the art review or project presentation) and be part (in groups of 3) of the organizing committee (arrange the seminar, prepare questions and provide feedback to the speaker). In addition, every student has to participate to a minimum of 6 seminars per year. 

The organization of the seminars will be presented to all new Master students at the beginning of each semester. 

More info about the assignment

The deadline for submission is 15 May in the spring semester and 15 November in the autumn semester.

The master's thesis must be submitted in PDF format, the submission is done electronically in Munin. 

More info about the oral exam

The master's thesis and all courses included in the master's degree must be passed before the oral presentation and examination can take place.

After the master's thesis is submitted and approved, there will be an oral master's examination. This examination consists of a public presentation at minimum 30 minutes where the student provides an overview of the project. Examination Commission consists of at least one external examiner and an internal examiner. Sensors should be present at the public presentation. Then follows an oral examination with the examination commission.

Re-sit examination

Only if a master's thesis project is graded "F" (fail), may the thesis be resubmitted in revised form. A new deadline for submission will be given. The deadline for resubmitting the thesis is normally 3 months from the point in time when the candidate was informed about the exam result. If the thesis receives a grade of "F" a second time, the student can apply to the Program Board for a new master's thesis project. 


Postponed submission:

If a medical certificate is provided, the student may be given a postponed deadline for submitting the Master's thesis according to regulations in section 21 of Regulations for examinations at UiT The Arctic University of Norway.   

  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 60
  • Course code: BIO-3950
  • Tidligere år og semester for dette emnet