Freshwater Ecology - Biology - master


Explore the exiting life in freshwater! Immerse yourself in topics such as competition, predation, parasitism, ecological speciation, migration, population and community ecology in waters, lakes or costal areas. "Carpe diem"



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

Master`s projects are usually related to topical activities within freshwater ecology, which include research in lakes, rivers and costal areas related to landlocked and anadromous populations of fish (in particular salmonids) as well as invertebrates. Research activities comprise basic aspects of ecology and more applied topics related to nature and resource management. Important keywords are population and community ecology, predation, competition, parasitism, trophic ecology, ecological speciation, invasion biology, anadromy, life history and migration.

Students enrolled in the Master`s discipline in Freshwater ecology will acquire broad skills in ecological and evolutionary theory, management-related knowledge and key methodologies for research in freshwater and fish ecology. With a degree within this area the students will be ready to take on jobs within nature management, higher education and consultancy, or continue with research within freshwater ecology and related subjects.

For more information about the research group see:

Freshwater ecology

Recommended elective courses for the master's discipline:

  • Bio-3525 Evolution and Ecologically driven speciation (spring, every 2 year) - 10 ECTS
  • BIO-3519 Parasittologi og epidemiologi (norwegian course, autumn) - 10 ECTS
  • BIO-3111 GIS and remote sensing (autumn) - 10 ECTS
  • BIO-3013 Northern food web ecology (autumn) - 10 ECTS
  • BIO-3004 Ecosystem-based management (spring) - 10 ECTS
  • BIO-3805/3810/3815/3820 Individual Special Curriculum (autumn/spring) - 5/10/15/20 ECTS

Students are encouraged to discuss with supervisors what will be the optimal set of courses

Term 10 ects 10 ects 10 ects
First semester (autumn)
Elective course (5 ECTS)
Elective course
Second semester (spring)
Compulsory for all Master`s students in biology
Elective course
Third semester (autumn)
Fourth semester (spring)

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?
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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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