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Høst 2021

BIO-3950 Master's Thesis Biology - 60 stp

The course is administrated by

Institutt for arktisk og marin biologi

Type of course

Only students on the Master's degree programme in biology are eligible for this course. It is not available to any other category of students as a singular or elective course.

Course contents

The master thesis is an independent scientific work, under the guidance by one or several supervisors. The thesis is written within one of the following disciplines:


Students who are admitted to the master's in biology normally select a project during the first semester, and no later than one month before the end of the second semester.  All students will fill out a supervision contract in consultations with their supervisor. The contract along with a project description, has to be approved by the Department.

Deadline for handing in the contract is the third semester for all students;

1. September for students admitted in autumn.

1. February for students admitted in spring.

Objective of the course

A Master's candidate is expected to have advanced and comprehensive knowledge of biological methodology, theories, concepts and scientific approaches. The candidates who complete the program are expected to have achieved the following learning outcomes, defined by general proficiency, knowledge and skills.


Students will have advanced knowledge in biology and in one of the following disciplines offered:


Students will have the ability to:

General proficiency

Language of instruction


Teaching methods

Individual guidance and supervision according to agreement and of two semesters duration. Maximum workload for the supervisor is 80 hours, you will receive supervision within these limits. The general work effort in a master`s project (60 ECTS) is 1500-1800 hours (including field and lab work). The Master`s thesis must be written in English.


The exam is comprised of a submission of the master's thesis within a given deadline, a public presentation of the scientific work and an oral exam. The master's thesis and all courses included in the master's degree must be passed before the oral presentation and examination can take place. The deadline for submission is 15 May in the spring semester and 15 November in the autumn semester.   Grading scale: Letter grades A-F.

After the master's thesis is submitted and approved, there will be an oral master's examination. This examination consists of a public presentation at minimum 30 minutes where the student provides an overview of the project. Examination Commission consists of at least one external examiner and an internal examiner. Sensors should be present at the public presentation. Then follows an oral examination with the examination commission.

The master's thesis must be submitted in PDF format, the submission is done electronically in Munin. 

Re-submission of the thesis:

Only if a master's thesis project is graded "F" (fail), may the thesis be resubmitted in revised form. A new deadline for submission will be given. The deadline for resubmitting the thesis is normally 3 months from the point in time when the candidate was informed about the exam result. If the thesis receives a grade of "F" a second time, the student can apply to the Program Board for a new master's thesis project.  

Postponed submission:

If a medical certificate is provided, the student may be given a postponed deadline for submitting the Master's thesis according to regulations in section 21 of Regulations for examinations at UiT The Arctic University of Norway.   

For further details see:

Regulations for examinations at UiT: Studie-+og+eksamensforskrift+engelsk+23.11.2020.pdf (

and Guidelines for grading Master's Theses: Filer (

Coursework requirements: 

In order to sit an examination, the student must complete and gain approval for the following coursework requirements.  

Participation to Master student seminars. The seminars consist of master thesis related presentations in a conference format (e.g., 15 to 20 minutes plus 10 min questions) for a general biology audience (BSc, Master and PhD student community and the scientific staff). The seminars are organized weekly. Every student is required to give 1 talk during his/her master (e.g., state of the art review or project presentation) and be part (in groups of 3) of the organizing committee (arrange the seminar, prepare questions and provide feedback to the speaker). In addition, every student has to participate to a minimum of 6 seminars per year. 

The organization of the seminars will be presented to all new Master students at the beginning of each semester.