Molecular Environmental Biology - Biology - master


If you search for the understanding of biology of different systems. From molecular and cellular level of individual organisms to community level, then seek into molecular environmental biology.


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 discipline in Molecular environmental biology focuses on the molecular analysis of plants and microorganisms. Research areas cover a broad range of modern research topics ranging from molecular communication within plant cells to functional microbiology and plant/microbe interactions. Students may choose from a variety of different courses applying modern methods of experimental molecular biology and bioinformatics for the study of plant and microbe systems. All courses are designed specifically to prepare the candidates for their Master`s thesis. Also, the active participation in common seminars and courses are expected as an important part of scientific training.

The Master`s Thesis offers an opportunity for a thorough study within one selected field of research and the participation in an ongoing research project among the following:

  • Analysis of molecular signaling and transport processes within and between individual plant and bacterial cells 
  • Biochemistry and cell biology of parasitic plants and the interaction with their hosts
  • Communication and interaction of plants and microorganisms with each other and with the environment.
  • Diversity and function of microbial communities in environments such as Arctic soil and the rumen of Arctic animals.

For more information about the research group see:

Molecular environments

Recommended elective courses for the master's discipline:

  • BIO-3018 Environmental Molecular Genetics (autumn every 2. year), 20 ECTS
  • BIO-3010 Modelling in Systems Biology I -Metabolic pathway modelling (autumn), 5 ECTS
  • BIO-2106 Microscopical imaging Techniques/BIO-2008 Green Biotechnology and Bioenergy ( autumn every 2. year), 10 ECTS
  • AB-327 Arctic Microbiology, 10 ECTS (The University Center in Svalbard)
  • MBI-3006 Biotechnology (autumn), 10 ECTS
  • MBI-3007 Eukaryotic Genes and Genomics (spring), 10 ECTS
  • KJE-3402 Protein Structure (autumn), 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
Elective course
Second semester (spring)
Compulsory for all Master`s students in biology
Elective course
Elective course
Third semester (autumn)
Fourth semester (spring)
BIO-3005 Seminar: 30 hours; 1 hour weekly spread over 3 semesters

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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Telefon: +4777646381

Available master projects

Available master projects 

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