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Høst 2021

BIO-3020 Fundamentals of Ecotoxicology - 10 stp

The course is administrated by

Institutt for arktisk og marin biologi

Type of course

The course is relevant for students belonging to the Master in Biology programme and especially for students taking the Arctic Animal Physiology or Arctic Marine Ecology specialisations. 

The course is available as a singular course.

Maximum number of participants: 30.

Course overlap

BIO-2012 Fundamentals of Ecotoxicolgy I 10 stp

Course contents

The course covers general principles of ecotoxicology through lectures, seminars, and a practical component. The course is essentially dealing with aquatic ecotoxicology, but terrestrial case studies are also used. 

More specifically, the course deals with environmental contaminants and their fate in the environment, including emissions, transport of contaminants and effects in biota from cellular to community/ecosystem levels. Lectures provide an introduction to ecotoxicological approaches, toxicity testing, general concepts and theories (e.g. mode of actions, ecotoxicological modelling), and a part on risk assessment. Seminars focus on studying more in detail specific contaminants or approaches. The seminars are organized as case studies with scientific papers or datasets to read in advance and directed group discussions in class.  

The practical component of the course allows to acquire practical skills within the field of ecotoxicology and apply the theoretical knowledge by performing an ecotoxicological experiment, learning to analyse, discuss and present produced data. Every student is writing a report over the course of the semester with weekly deadlines to hand-in drafts of specific report section. The submitted section will be read and comments to allow every student to progress and improve their writing skills and the quality of their report. This work provides significant training in scientific writing.  

Application deadline

Applicants from Nordic countries: 1st of June for the autumn semester and 1 December for the spring semester.

Exchange students and Fulbright students: 1st of October for the the spring semester and 15 April for the autumn semester.

Admission requirements

Admission requires a Bachelor`s degree (180 ECTS) or equivalent qualification, with a major in biology of minimum 80 ECTS.

Local admission, application code 9371 -  Master`s level singular course.

Objective of the course

The student shall: 



General competence 

Language of instruction

Language of instruction is English. It is allowed for Scandinavian students to write their reports and written exam in a Scandinavian language.

Teaching methods

Lectures (13 x 90 min), seminars (6 x 90 min) including seminar preparation (1 hours per seminar), experimental work (2 days per student), laboratory work (3 days per student), 1 x pc-lab (6h) and home assignments (weekly submission of report sections). 

The course schedule will be coordinated with BIO-3009 and BIO-3015.


The exam consists of a Laboratory Report which counts 50% of the grade and a 4 hour written exam which counts 50% of the grade. Grade: A-F, F is failed. In order to sit an examination students must complete and pass any obligatory coursework requirements.

Each assessment will be given a grade in percentage (%) according to defined criteria and transformed into a letter (A-F) according to 

The final grade will be based on the numerical average of the report and written exam and expressed as letter (A-F) according to 

The students will be informed on the grades received on each sub-exam and the final grade. 

Obligatory coursework requirements: 

Re-sit exam:

A re-sit examination will be arranged for students that did not pass the written examination. However no re-sit will be organised for the report.  

Date for examination

Off campus exam hand in date 22.11.2021

The date for the exam can be changed. The final date will be announced at your faculty early in May and early in November.