Marine Ecology and Resource Biology - Biology - master


Take advantage of the opportunity to explore the organisms in the ocean. Immerse yourself in exciting topics as marine resources, plankton or marine ecology and marine biodiversity.


Varighet:2 Years
Location: Tromsø
Credits (ECTS):120
Qualification:Master`s of Science in Biology.
Admission requirements:Bachelor`s degree with a major in biology (min 80 ECTS)
Application deadline:Nordic applicants: 15 April/1 November
International applicants: 1 December
Application code:Nordic applicants: 6001
International applicants: 2004
How to Apply

The Master`s disciline in Marine ecology and resource biology is a diverse field of study, covering marine ecology, biodiversity, fisheries ecology, fish biology and aquaculture. Master`s projects may be chosen within the following main areas of research:

  • Marine Ecology and Biodiversity
  • Fisheries Ecology
  • Fish Biology and Aquaculture

The Master`s projects are usually related to field and experimental activities within the different marine and fisheries related research groups. For more information about the research groups see:

Arctic marine system ecology

Fish biology and population genetics

Marine Plankton Group

Recommended elective courses for the Master's discipline, within the main topics include:

Marine ecology and biodiversity:

  • BIO-3015 Arctic Marine System Ecology and Climate Change (autumn) - 10 ECTS
  • Bio-3504 Production and Growth in Polar Areas (spring) - 10 ECTS
  • Bio-3009 Arctic Marine Pollution (autumn) - 10 ECTS
  • Bio-3524 Applied ecological statistics (autumn/spring) - 10 ECTS
  • Bio-3506 Top predators (autumn every 2. year) - 10 ECTS

Fisheries ecology:

  • Bio-3506 Top predators (autumn every 2. year) - 10 ECTS
  • Bio-3512 Early life history of marine fishes (spring) - 10 ECTS
  • Bio-3516 The biological basis of fisheries science (autumn) - 10 ECTS
  • Bio-3524 Applied ecological statistics (spring) - 10 ECTS

Fish biology and aquaculture:

  • Bio-2504 Fish physiology (autumn) - 10 ECTS
  • Bio-2506 Introduction to Fish biology (autumn) - 10 ECTS
  • Bio-2508 Aquaculture (autumn) - 10 ECTS
  • BIO-3011 Advances in Aquaculture (spring) - 15 ECTS
  • Bio-3512 Early life history of marine fish (spring) - 10 ECTS
  • Bio-3516 The biological basis of fisheries science (autumn) - 10 ECTS


All topics:

  • BIO-3805/3810/3815/3820 Individual Special Curriculum (autumn/spring) - 5/10/15/20 ECTS

Compulsory courses are dependet on the Master`s topic, and students are encouraged to discuss with supervisors what would be their optimal set of courses.

Term 10 ects 10 ects 10 ects
First semester (autumn)
Elective course
Elective course
Elective course
Second semester (spring)
Compulsory for students with Master`s topic on fish
Elective course
Compulsory for all Master`s students in biology
Elective course
Third semester (autumn)
Fourth semester (spring)
Compulsory courses are depended on the master topic, and the students are encouraged to discuss with supervisors what would be the optimal set of courses.

After graduation, it is expected that candidates will have achieved the following learning outcomes:

General skills:

  • Display good capability of critical analysis of scientific literature and research
  • Display good communication skills, oral and written, in the presentation of scientific work
  • Have a solid and broad knowledge of living organisms


  • Have a solid knowledge of biological processes from the molecular level to the ecological level
  • Have an advanced level of knowledge in one of the disciplines offered


  • Be able to plan, carry out and report on a specific research project
  • Be able to work independently in the field and/or in the laboratory
  • Be able to analyze and evaluate scientific data and literature
  • Be able to work independently with problem solving

Admission to the Master`s programme in Biology requires a Bachelor`s degree (180 ECTS) or equivalent qualification, with a major in biology of minimum 80 ECTS.An average grade of equivalent to C or better in the Norwegian grading system is required.

More information on admission requirements:

General admission requirements- Master

Applicants from Norway or Nordic countries:

  • Application deadline: April 15th for admission to the autumn semester and November 1st for admission to the spring semester.
  • Online application is via Søknadsweb, study code 6001.

International appplicants/Applicants from outside the Nordic countries:

  • Application deadline: December 1st for admission to the autumn semester. 
  • Online application, study code 2004.

Are you an international applicant?
Read more here.a>
Several teaching and assessment methods are employed, including lectures, seminars, laboratory work, computer lab and field courses. These will vary from course to course.

Course examinations may be oral or written examinations, assessments of project work/ lab reports/field reports, often in combination.

Supervision of the project work that leads to the writing of the Master`s thesis will be given by faculty staff, sometimes in co-operation with an external supervisor.

The language of instruction and all syllabus material is English.

A Master`s of Science degree in Biology will prepare students for a wide range of jobs, in both public and private sectors, including; research, administration, consulting and the teaching profession.

Many Master`s students in Biology are connected to common projects involving Department of Arctic and Marine Biology (AMB) and other institutes in Tromsø that carry out biological research and consultation work, e.g. Norwegian Polar Institute, Institute of Marine Research, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA), Bioforsk, Akvaplan-niva and Nofima.
On successful completion of the degree programme, students may be qualified for admission to to a PhD-programme in Biology at the University of Tromsø or elsewhere.

Students can apply for exchange studies or field work abroad according to the available cooperation agreements within scholarship programmes such as Erasmus, Nordplus, Barentsplus or North2North. Please consult the programme study adviser for more information. Students can also undertake periods of studying at The University Centre at Svalbard, UNIS

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Available master projects

Available master projects 

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