Molecular Environmental Biology

Tilhører studiet:
Photo: Selene Sollie
Photo: Selene Sollie

Molecular Environmental Biology

Tilhører studiet:
Application deadline
Nordic applicants: 15 April/1 November
International applicants: 1 December
How to apply?

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.

Questions about the study

Camilla Andreassen

Student advisor

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), 20 ECTS
  • BIO-3010 Modelling in Systems Biology I -Metabolic pathway modelling (autumn), 5 ECTS
  • BIO-3118 Microscopical imaging Techniques (Spring) 10 ECTS
  • BIO-3022 Biological membranes and their proteins (Spring every 2nd year), 5 ECTS
  • BIO-2009 Green Biotechnology and Bioenergy (Autumn) 10 ECTS
  • AB-327 Arctic Microbiology, 10 ECTS (The University Center in Svalbard)
  • 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.

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 programme are expected to have achieved the following learning outcomes, defined by general proficincy, knowledge and skills:

Students will have advanced knowledge in biology and in the following discipline:

  • Molecular environmental biology

Students will have the ability to:

  • Formulate relevant research questions in an independent manner, and apply theories, concepts and methods pursuant to the scientific and ethical standards in the field.
  • To search for and evaluate recent biological research in a critical manner, and to make assessments using scientific knowledge in the field.
  • To present biological knowledge and ideas in an instructive manner to researchers, policy makers and the general public.

General proficiency

  • Have acquired specialized expertise in one of the disciplines offered
  • Have the competence to analyze biological problems that require skills at a high level.
  • Apply their knowledge and skills in biological theory and methods in new areas relevant to society
  • Have sufficient competence to participate in and to evaluate research projects or to advance to doctoral studies

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.

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

Bachelor`s degree (180 ECTS) or equivalent qualification.  An additional requirement is specialization in biological topics (i.e. biodiversity (zoology/botany), ecology, cell-and molecular biology, microbiology, physiology (animal/plant), biochemistry and bioinformatics) worth a minimum of 80 ECTS.

Applicants with a degree in Agricultural studies, Biomedical laboratory sciences ("Bioingeniør"), Bachelor of Pharmacy, Medicine or Dentistry does not fulfil the admission requirements.

Applicants who hold a bachelor's degree or equivalent issued in Europe, Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand: An average grade C (3.0) as a minimum requirement.

Applicants who hold a bachelor's degree or equivalent issued in countries other than the above mentioned region/countries: An average grade B as a minimum requirement. 

The average grade is calculated from the entire bachelor's degree.

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.

How to apply for admission to UiT? Read more here

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.


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

Currently not available
Application deadline
Nordic applicants: 15 April/1 November
International applicants: 1 December
How to apply?