autumn 2020
BIO-8023 Arctic Biodiversity and Systematics - 10 ECTS

Last changed 07.12.2020

Application deadline


Registration deadline for PhD students at UiT - The Arctic University of Norway who has got the course approved in their instruction component: September 1st (for autumn semester) / February 1st (for spring semester).

Application deadline for other applicants: June 1st (for autumn semester/December 1st (for spring)

Type of course

Theoretical and practical. The course can be taken as a singular course.

Admission requirements

Who can appy:

  • UiT PhD students who wants to take a course that is not approved in their instruction component
  • PhD student enrolled at another institution than UiT
  • Applicants who have completed a Master degree

PhD students or holders of a Norwegian master´s degree of five years or 3+2 years (or equivalent) may be admitted. PhD students must upload a document from their university stating that there are registered PhD students. This group of applicants does not have to prove English proficiency and are exempt from semester fee.

PhD students at UiT register for the course through StudentWeb. The registration for spring semester starts in the middle of December, and for autumn semester in the middle of June.

Other applicants apply for admission through SøknadsWeb. Application code 9301.

Holders of a Master´s degree must upload a Master´s Diploma with Diploma Supplement / English translation of the diploma. Applicants from listed countries must document proficiency in English. To find out if this applies to you, see the following list: Proficiency in English must be documented - list of countries.
For more information on accepted English proficiency tests and scores, as well as exemptions from the English proficiency tests, please see the following document:  Proficiency in english - PhD level studies

Maximum 20 participants.

If more than 20 applicants, priority will be given as follows:

  • Participants admitted to the PhD programme at UiT
  • Participants in the Associate Professor programme (Førstelektorprogrammet)
  • PhD candidates from other universities
  • People with a minimum of a Masters degree (or equivalent), who have not been admitted to a PhD programme

PhD students enrolled at PhD programmes a UiT can contact Ingjerd Gauslaa Nilsen at the BFE-faculty  for questions regarding registration to the course.

Singular course applicants must contact regarding questions to their application.




Course overlap

BIO-3019 Arctic Biodiversity and Systematics 10 stp

Course content

Biodiversity research addresses how new species are formed, the genetic, ecological and evolutionary processes that maintain such a wide variety of organisms, and why organisms become extinct. Our knowledge of diversity is structured through the study of systematics, which seeks to understand the history of life through the phylogenetic and genetic relationships of organisms. With a focus on arctic biodiversity, we are taking a historical perspective, which helps to interpret current patterns and project into the future. At the core of this approach are phylogenetic trees and ‘tree thinking’ for the synthesis of genetic data and other biological and comparative observations. An appreciation of diversity and knowledge of the principles and procedures of systematics are essential in ecology, and underlie all work in resource utilization and conservation biology. The course is taught jointly by researchers from Tromsø Museum, University of Tromsø and leading experts in arctic biodiversity from other research institutions. The course comprises lectures and seminars, laboratory DNA analysis and phylogenetic data analysis practicals. The course builds solid foundation relevant to various biological research tasks, which can be further advanced via other courses in Biosystematics run at UiT, eg BIO-8024 and BIO-8025, as well as those run by the Research School in Biosystematics (FORBIO)

Objectives of the course

After the course, the students should have knowledge about:

  • You learn fundamental principles and theories about biodiversity patterns and genetic, ecological and evolutionary processes behind them, with a focus on Arctic region.
  • You also learn about key components of systematics: taxonomy (identification and nomenclature) and principles of biological classification.


  • You will acquire laboratory (DNA extraction, PCR and sequencing) skills for implementing DNA barcoding and quantitative analytical skills for tree building and multivariate ordination for morphometric and species community comparisons.

General competence:

  • You will be able to evaluate a scientific problem and to set up and implement problem-solving strategy of experiments or observations.
  • Interpret available data and effectively communicate relevant answer to the question and suggest solutions, in an academic context as well as in practical applications.

Language of instruction


Teaching methods

Teaching will include lectures, seminars for the theory part, laboratory group teaching and data analysis practicals.


One written research project with presentation and one written exam. A graded scale of five marks from A to E for pass and F for fail. Grade: Pass/Fail.

Re-sit exam: 
There will be a re-sit examination for students that did not pass the previous ordinary examination.

  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 10
  • Course code: BIO-8023