Nordic applicants: 15 april, EU/EEA and Swiss applicants: 1 March, Non-EU/EEA applicants: 15 November
How to apply?
The Marine Biotechnology program at UiT’s Norwegian College of Fishery Science aims to educate candidates in the broad field of biotechnology with emphasis on application to marine systems or “Blue Biotechnology”. Students become well prepared for careers in industry and/or research because of our joint focus on innovation and fundamental scientific principles placed between biology and engineering. Students receive one-on-one mentorship and supervision from a professional UiT researcher and typically join an established research group to complete their final project.
The life in our oceans is diverse and new scientific discovery is possible at all levels. This leads to innovation, new value chains and the development of new processes that support sustainable development goals. Hence, we teach and support student research across a wide range of topics that include bioprospecting for different applications including marine drugs, development of sustainable sea food products and biotechnology for carbon capture and utilization. This is supported by constantly adapting the curriculum to teach modern skills in analytical chemistry, marine microbiology, bioprocess engineering and synthetic biology.
In addition to our focus on top-quality instruction, this program also emphasizes relationships with the local and international industry. We help students and their future employers understand exactly where the advancement of technical knowledge will apply to innovation within both private and public sectors. Tromsø has become the home to many new start-up companies in the blue biotech space with help from this program and the surrounding research culture fostered by UiT.
Objectives, content and organization
The purpose is to educate candidates in modern biotechnological expertise, with particular empasis on use of marine resources, bioactive compounds, gene products and marine rest raw materials. You will qualify for careers in fields such as marine value creation, innovation and research.
A good marine biotechnologist must have a broad base of knowledge and skills in basic molecular biology, chemistry and techniques and processes that use marine micro-organisms, plant and animal cells, or parts of these, to manufacture, develop or modify commercially useful products. On successful completion of the programme, the degree of MSc in Marine Biotechnology is awarded.
In preparation for your study we encourage you to do the following:
iKomp - information literacy: The course is an online course that aims to make you better equipped to deal with the demands and expectations you are met with at universities and colleges when it comes to learning and academic integrity. Check the website: iKomp.
There will be a mandatory introductory part with themes like:
- How to do science
- How to be a master student in biotechnology
- Writing a master theses/what we excpect from a master's thesis
- Plagiarism / iKomp
- Searching for literature / Munin
- EndNote/Using references databases and how to use them in Word
- Preparation for laboratory work
- Web page in Canvas for Master students at NCFS
The program contains two parts: The first part is obligatory courses during the first semester and an approved selection of courses of at least 60 credits (ECTS) in total. The second part is a written thesis of a project (Master thesis). The extent of the assignment should correspond to a workload of 60 ECTS.
HMS-0501 (web-module), HMS-0502 (first aid, practical course), HMS-0504 (web-module), the compulsory safety course for laboratory work, must be taken by all students who carry out lab work. The compulsory parts of this multi-module course are taken online. The first aid part requires physical attendance. Students must fulfill the compulsory online modules as soon as the semester starts to have access to the laboratory wings. There are no credits for these courses.
On completion of the program, a successful candidate is expected to have achieved the following learning outcomes:
- Advanced knowledge about scientific theory and practice related to modern molecular biology, biochemistry, and analytical chemistry in the context of marine biology and/or microbiology
- A general overview of current applications in marine and traditional biotechnology carried out within industry, academia, and public sectors
- An understanding of ethics and the responsibility for sustainable resource utilization as they are applied to industry and academic research and innovation
- The basic knowledge over quantitative aspects of natural biological operations, bioprocess engineering and the design-build-test cycle of bioengineering
- A basic understanding of natural marine resources as the basis for developing food, biochemicals, bioactive compounds and medicines
- Quantitative problem-solving skills in the context of biochemistry, bioprocess design/operation, analytical chemistry, and synthetic biology
- Basic theoretical and hands-on laboratory skills in marine biology, molecular biology, bioprocess operation and analytical chemistry
- Interdisciplinary communication skills that enable students to combine different disciplines so that they can effectively collaborate in teams to solve a wide range of technical problems
- Basic project management skills gained through the process of completing individual and team-oriented research tasks within industrial and/or academic research environments
- The ability to apply contemporary and interdisciplinary knowledge towards biotechnological research, innovation and/or industrial actions, particularly within the marine sector
- A general ability to contribute towards natural resource-based industry, research or policy making
- The qualifications for admission to PhD programmes in biotechnology and related specialist fields that could include molecular biology, synthetic biology, biochemistry, bioengineering, industrial engineering, or analytical chemistry
The job opportunities are many and varied for graduates in Marine Biotechnology. With skills and qualifications in marine biotechnology, you may work locally, nationally and internationally. The Norwegian Government's High North strategy highlights marine biotechnology as one of the most important disciplines for the future of the economy. The field is growing rapidly and highly qualified candidates are in demand.
Your Master's degree has equipped you with sound expertise in biotechnology, which will provide you with opportunities in biotechnological industries, in fields such as production of seafood and other foodstuffs, and laboratory-based specialisations.
With an MSc in Marine Biotechnology you can also become a product developer, principal engineer, researcher, company manager, entrepreneur or public administrator. The course qualifies students for management-level jobs in the expanding and innovative commercial biotechnology sector.
Our graduated students work as PhD's at the University, teachers, in hospital laboratories, and in different companies like: Colifast, Pharmaq, Mowi, Nofima, Ayanda, GenØk, Nordic Pharma Inc, Akvaplan-Niva, TosLab and ArcticZymes.
BIO-3610 Industrial Biotechnology (10 ECTS)
BIO-3612 Marine bioprospecting and bioactive compounds (10 ECTS)
BIO-3615 Quantitative Microbial Biotechnology I (10 ECTS)
HMS-0501 Safety in the laboratory, workshop and on sea and land expeditions
HMS-0502 First aid in the laboratory, workshop and on sea and land expeditions
HMS-0504 Biological material
Selection of some available elective courses. You can only have one course with 2000-code in the master's program.
Late summer course in Svalbard at UNIS (June-July) (application deadline February 15)
KJE-3201 Bioorganic Chemistry (10 ECTS)
BIO-2602 Fiskeernæring (10 ECTS)
BIO-2610 Bachelor Thesis in Marine Biotechnology (10 ECTS)
BIO-3118 Microscopical imaging Techniques (10 ECTS)
BIO-3529 Academic skills (5 ECTS)
FSK-3009 Strategisk næringsøkonomisk analyse av sjømatnæringen (10 ECTS)
KJE-2001 Molecular physical chemistry and foundations of spectroscopy (10 ECTS)
MBI-3004 The biology of cancer (10 ECTS)
BIO-3005 Seminar: Molecular Environmental Biology in Microbes and Plants (5 ECTS)
KJE-3603 Protein Production Technology (10 ECTS)
MBI-3016 Human physiology (10 ECTS)
MBI-3015 Human pharmacology and toxicology (10 ECTS)
MBI-3014 Infection, inflammation and immunity (10 ECTS)
MBI-3013 Human molecular genetics: medical and forensic genetics (10 ECTS)
Selection of some available elective courses:
BIO-3901 Master's Thesis in Marine Biotechnology (60 ECTS)
Late summer course in Svalbard at UNIS (Application deadline February 15)
BIO-3018 Environmental Molecular Genetics (20 ECTS)
BIO-3607 Matvaretrygghet (10 ECTS)
BIO-3609 Basal and Comparative Immunology (10 ECTS)
KJE-3402 Protein Structure (10 ECTS)
MBI-2004 Immunology (10 ECTS)
FSK-3004 Næringsmiddelkjemi (10 ECTS)
BIO-3901 Master's Thesis in Marine Biotechnology (60 ECTS)
Admission to the MSc in Marine Biotechnology requires a bachelor's degree in biotechnology, marine biotechnology or equivalent education.
The program requires an average grade of C (2,5) in the ECTS scale from the bachelor's degree.
Required background in biotechnology:
- In-depth specialization at the 2000 level (2nd-3rd year) in the following subjects;
chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, molecular biology, methods in molecular biology and biotechnology (min. 10 credits in each subject).
- The in-depth specialisation must amount to 80 credits in total.
- Lack of in-depth specialisation in one of these non-introductory-level topics can be compensated by a strong background in one or more of the other topics.
We have 15 places available each year. Upon admission, applicants are ranked by average grade on subjects included in the in-depth specialisation from the bachelor degree.
Non-EU students must be prepared to pay tuition fees, more information here
The study programme uses a variety of teaching methods, depending on the courses/subjects and may include: lectures, seminars, laboratory work, working in teams, fieldwork and industrial visits - or preferably a combination.
For some of the subjects, specific work requirements may have to be met prior to exam entry. There may be compulsory requirements to submit reports and assignments and attend teaching seminars.
Some courses in the study programme are marked on a pass/fail basis, while for others the graded scale of marks from A to E (passed) and F (failed) may be used. The individual course description specifies the marking system used. Individual tutoring is provided for the master's thesis by the department's scientific staff.
The language of instruction is in English and all of the syllabus material is in English. Examination questions will be given in English, but may be answered either in English or a Scandinavian language.
Given satisfactory grades at bachelor and master's level, the MSc degree will qualify students for admission to PhD studies. With a master’s degree in Marine biotechnology you will qualify to apply for vacant PhD-positions if you finish your masters with an average grade of C or better in the Norwegian grading system.
For the students on the program, there will be opportunities for foreign stays in the second semester. A stay abroad can give you professional, linguistic and cultural experiences that give you valuable additional skills - and memories for life!
In recent years, students on the Master's program in biotechnology have been exchanging to Copenhagen (Denmark), Uppsala (Sweden) and Aberdeen (Scotland). There are many types of exchange agreements at UiT, some apply to specific programs, while others are general agreements that apply to the entire UiT. Contact the study counselor on the program for status of active and operational exchange agreements before applying for an exchange. Most agreements will require some dedication from the student before everything is in place. The students who have been abroad come back with experiences and experiences they would not have been without.
|Technical University of Denmark
|University of Innsbruck
|University of Algarve
|University of Chemistry and Technology Prague
|University of Copenhagen
|University of Aberdeen
|Storbritannia og Nord-Irland
|University of Tasmania
Dr. Bernstein is a Professor in UiT's Arctic Centre for Sustainable Energy (ARC). He specializes in genome-enabled bioengineering with microbes and microbial communities. His research is at the intersection of biotechnology and microbial ecology as applied to the fields of marine microbiomes, synthetic biology, and algal biotechnology for capture and utilization.
Klara Stensvåg (dr. scient) is professor in Marin Biotechnology at The Norwegian College of Fishery Science at the Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics. She is the head of the research group in Marine Bioprospecting. Her research concerns antimicrobial compounds and genes of marine origin as source of developing novel antibacterial compounds with new mechanisms of actions against antimicrobial resistant bacteria. Stensvåg is also the leader of an interfaculty collaborations aiming to develop biofilm inhibiting compounds that in the future can be used in within medicine or industrial context. The research group is member of CANS, Centre for new antibacterial strategies.
She is also programe coordinator for the programs in Biotechnology (Bachelor) and Marine Biotechnology (master).
I started my position at the Marine Bioprospecting group of the CANS-UiT last October to study Arctic viruses and how to use them against bacterial infections.
There are two main research lines to be followed, one focused on phages and the other on giant viruses. Both start with viral isolation and characterization, to be followed by host-pathogen interaction studies and investigation of how to use them against bacteria.
From the phage side the final goal is phage therapy, aiming at the study of phage-bacteria interactions in mucosal conditions for the development of prophylactic phage therapy approaches. From the giant virus side we are interested in understanding the Arctic virome, ideally using local protist hosts to find novel viral groups. Exploring their large and mysterious genomes for finding new biological products is the desired outcome.
ORCID 0000-0003-2317-5092 ; Research ID I-8910-2012
Hongo JA, Castro GM, Menezes APA, Picorelli ACR, Silva TTM, Imada EL, Marchionni L, Del-Bem LE, Chaves AV, Almeida GMF, Campelo F, Lobo FP. CALANGO: A phylogeny-aware comparative genomics tool for discovering quantitative genotype-phenotype associations across species. Patterns Pub Date: 2023-04-14 , DOI:10.1016/j.patter.2023.100728
Sundberg LR, Rantanen N, Almeida GMF. Mucosal Environment Induces Phage Susceptibility in Streptococcus mutans. PHAGE. Sep 2022.128-135. http://doi.org/10.1089/phage.2022.0021 . https://doi.org/10.1089/phage.2022.0021
Almeida GM, Hoikkala V, Ravantti J, Rantanen N, Sundberg LR. Mucin induces CRISPR-Cas defense in an opportunistic pathogen. Nat Commun. 2022 Jun 25;13(1):3653. doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-31330-3
Runtuvuori-Salmela A, Kunttu HMT, Laanto E, Almeida GMF, Mäkelä K, Middelboe M, Sundberg LR. Prevalence of genetically similar Flavobacterium columnare phages across aquaculture environments reveals a strong potential for pathogen control. Environ Microbiol. 2022 May;24(5):2404-2420. doi: 10.1111/1462-2920.15901
Almeida GMF, Sundberg LR. The forgotten tale of Brazilian phage therapy. Lancet Infect Dis. 2020 May;20(5):e90-e101. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(20)30060-8
Almeida GMF, Laanto E, Ashrafi R, Sundberg LR. Bacteriophage Adherence to Mucus Mediates Preventive Protection against Pathogenic Bacteria. mBio. 2019 Nov 19;10(6):e01984-19. doi: 10.1128/mBio.01984-19
Borges I, Rodrigues RAL, Dornas FP, Almeida G, Aquino I, Bonjardim CA, Kroon EG, La Scola B, Abrahão JS. Trapping the Enemy: Vermamoeba vermiformis Circumvents Faustovirus Mariensis Dissemination by Enclosing Viral Progeny inside Cysts. J Virol. 2019 Jun 28;93(14):e00312-19. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00312-19