autumn 2022
BIO-3529 Academic skills - 5 ECTS

Type of course

The course is reserved for students enrolled in the program Master of Science in Biology.

The course is given partly during the Autumn and partly during the Spring semesters 

Course content

The course will give students academic skills in the form of scientific writing and giving scientific presentations within the natural sciences. 

The focus will be on acquiring skills to write a scientific text, structuring a scientific document (Master thesis, publication, including a concise abstract), incorporating scholarly resources, addressing methodological issues (including data management), performing literature searches and reviews. We will also devote time in refining academic English skills, and how to present research data, including graphic and oral presentations.

Moreover, we will discuss important issues such as use of sources and how to demonstrate academic integrity by showing which sources were used so that the prospective reader will be able to locate and verify the same sources. We will also discuss what is considered plagiarizing and scientific fraud (falsification/fabrication of data), and how a good scholarly reputation is evolving.

This course will prepare students for working with their master project and contribute to building a creative and constructive social network of master students at the faculty.

Objectives of the course


  • know about responsible conduct in science
  • know the structure of a scientific text and the writing process
  • understand how to critically and ethically use references and other research material
  • explain the basic principles for good research data management


  • can prepare and present research results both in written and oral formats in an engaging and understandable way
  • can give constructive feedback to peers on their writing and presentations
  • has developed scientific English skills
  • can use scientific databases for advanced literature searches
  • can apply a reference tool (e.g. EndNote) when writing
  • masters techniques for citation of scholarly sources

General competence

  • can plan, evaluate, draft and edit scientific documents such as theses, scientific reports and publications
  • can summarize and synthesize the key points of a study in an abstract format
  • can prepare and present communications at scientific conferences and to a general audience (outreach programs for schools and local communities)
  • understands the relationship between knowledge and communicating knowledge

Language of instruction and examination


Teaching methods

The course is organized as interactive sessions combining theory, plenary discussions, group activities, and individual practice. Participants are expected to be active prior to and during the sessions. Reading material and other preparatory tasks will be provided in advance:

  • Powerpoint presentations of the lectures
  • Selected publications relevant to ongoing research in the six disciplines of the Master program

The course spans over two semesters. Ten lectures will be given during the first semester. Ten lectures and the group-work seminars will take place during the second semester.

Work load: 125 hours (20 h lectures; 20 hours group-work; 85 hours personal work), 15 hours examination preparation and exam.


Examination: Duration: Grade scale:
Oral exam 15 Minutes Passed / Not Passed

Coursework requirements:

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

ObligObligatory attendance at lectures Approved – not approved
Obligatory attendance to group-work seminars Approved – not approved
Obligatory group-work assignments Approved – not approved
UiT Exams homepage

More info about the coursework requirements

  • Obligatory attendance on 80% of lectures
  • Obligatory attendance in group-work seminars
  • Obligatory group-work assignments:

Five 4-hour seminars will be organized. Based on scientific publications given beforehand and relevant to the different research groups at AMB, students will:

  •  evaluate these publications during a written peer review process (500 words max.)
  •  write an abstract (500 words max.)
  •  present a publication orally (10 min.) using PowerPoint (2 slides max.)
  •  present a scientific publication orally to a non-specialist audience
  •  present the advancement of their Master thesis

More info about the oral exam

Students will receive a scientific publication to review 10 days beforehand and the exam will consist in giving a 15-minute oral presentation of their review.

Re-sit examination

There will be a re-sit examination for students that did not pass the previous ordinary examination.
  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 5
  • Course code: BIO-3529
  • Tidligere år og semester for dette emnet