Freshwater Ecology

Tilhører studiet:
Biology - master
Foto: Gabrielle Grenier
Foto: Gabrielle Grenier

Freshwater Ecology

Tilhører studiet:
Biology - master
Application deadline

Nordic applicants: 15 April

EU/EEA + Swiss applicants: 1 March

Non-EU/EEA applicants: 15 November

How to apply?

In a world perspective, Norway is unique with its immense number of lakes and rivers of great economic and recreational values. These abundant freshwater habitats also constitute excellent model systems both for exploring basic ecological research topics as well as for developing good management strategies. The research profile of the Freshwater Ecology Group (FEG) has always been in the intersection between these two important areas, and as such is well renowned with many collaborators both nationally and internationally. With a master’s degree from FEG, 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.

This study programme requires compulsory attendance to the introductory meeting. See this web page for more information.
Spørsmål om studiet

Saga Svavarsdottir


  • Telefon: +4777660525
  • Campus: Tromsø

Master’s projects are usually related to topical activities within freshwater ecology, which include research in lakes, rivers and coastal 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.

For more information about the research group see: Freshwater ecology research group.

Recommended elective courses autumn

  • BIO-3519 Parasites and epidemiology - 10 ECTS
  • BIO-3013 Northern food web ecology - 10 ECTS

Recommended elective courses spring

  • BIO-3003 Fish migration: science, management and politics - 10 ECTS (every other year)
  • BIO-3004 Ecosystem-based management - 10 ECTS
  • BIO-3805/3810 Individual Special Curriculum - 5/10 ECTS

Candidates that have completed a master’s degree in biology in the discipline Freshwater ecology will have advanced knowledge in ecological and evolutionary theory, management-related knowledge and key methodologies for research in freshwater habitats and fish ecology. Furthermore, the students will have an overview over physical and chemical factors and processes in freshwater environments as an important foundation for understanding the significant seasonal changes in ecological patterns.

Students will be able to critically evaluate information from a variety of sources and to transpose acquired knowledge and competency to issues relevant for society, like e.g., freshwater and fish resource management and conservation.

The Master’s degree in Biology will allow you to qualify for different career paths and prepare you to step into a professional role or to apply for a PhD.

A Master of Science degree in Biology will prepare you for a wide range of jobs, in both public and private sectors, including research, resource and nature management, administration, consulting and the teaching profession.

The master thesis can play an important role to establish your domain of expertise and to showcase acquired technical and soft skills. Also, it can be very important in building scientific and professional network, that will be a support in your future job search.

Term 10 ects 10 ects 10 ects
Compulsory safety courses at semester start (no ECTS)
First semester (autumn)
Elective course (10 ECTS)
Second semester (spring)
Animal exp. (5/6 ECTS)**
Elective course (10 ECTS)
Intensive teaching in class (January – March)
Third semester (autumn)***
Fourth semester (spring)
* BIO-3529 is 5 ECTS spread over the two first semesters and conducted partly digitally to accommodate students going to UNIS.
** BIO-3503 Aquatic Animal Welfare (only for projects that require use of live aquatic organisms) or HEL-6320 Animal Experimentation for Researchers (only for projects that require use of live birds or mammals). Please note that there is an own application deadline for HEL-6320.
*** Possibilities to take single (intensive) courses at UNIS.

See the study plan below for more info about the program structure.

Admission to the master’s program in Biology requires a bachelor’s degree (180 ECTS) or equivalent qualification, including a specialization in biological topics [i.e., biodiversity (zoology/botany), ecology, cell- and molecular biology, microbiology, physiology (animal/plant), biochemistry and bioinformatics] corresponding to a minimum of 80 ECTS.

Applicants must have a minimum grade average comparable to a Norwegian C (3,0) in the ECTS scale. The average grade is calcualted from the entire bachelore´s degree.

Applicants with education from non-Nordic countries must document English language proficiency. You will find more information of English language requirements here:

Applicants with a degree in Agricultural, Fisheries and Aquaculture studies, Biomedical laboratory sciences ("Bioingeniør"), or Bachelor of Pharmacy, Medicine or Dentistry do not fulfil the admission requirements.

More information on admission requirements:

General admission requirements-Master

Nordic applicants:

Online application is via Søknadsweb, application code 6021

EU/EEA + Swiss applicants:

Online application, application code: 7111

Non-EU/EEA applicants:

Online application, application code: 2077

How to apply for admission to UiT? Read more here

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.

On successful completion of the degree programme, students may be qualified for admission to to a PhD-programme in Biology at the UiT or elsewhere.

Students can undertake periods of studying at The University Centre at Svalbard (UNIS). Each discipline highlights relevant courses at UNIS under program description.

International exchange during an entire semester is not possible in the first year of studies due to obligatory courses in all discipline.

Stays abroad can take place as part of a master project in the third and fourth semester. Please consult the program study advisor for more information.

Bilde av Selbach, Christian
Selbach, Christian
Associate Professor
Johannessen, Karin Strand
Bilde av Frainer, André
Frainer, André
Førsteamuensis - Ferskvann og terrestrisk økologi
Bilde av Primicerio, Raul
Primicerio, Raul
Hemmingsen, Willy