Postgraduate course

Ocean Science

Teaching semester


This course has a limited capacity, enrolment is based on application. Application deadline is Thursday in week 33 for the autumn semester. Please see this page for more information: https://www.uib.no/en/matnat/53431/admission-courses-limited-capacity

You will receive confirmation of whether you received a spot in Studentweb no later than Tuesday the week after the deadline.

The time of the first lecture/orientation meeting can be found in the schedule on the course website or on the Mitt UiB learning platform.

Place of Instruction

Bergen and field course on a research vessel.

Objectives and Content

This is a broad course in modern marine research, with emphasis on fisheries and marine biological methods. The course is comprised of theoretical and practical modules covering habitats and organisms, nearshore ecology, research vessel experience, field observations methods, and training in modelling and analysis of field data. The theoretical components offer an introduction to biological oceanography, the basis for marine productivity, and presentation of selected marine ecosystems and models. The practical course components, consisting of coastal field studies and a research vessel cruise in the North Sea or the west coast fjords will give an introduction to planning and design of research projects, and offer insight into life history and ecology of the most important species in these habitats. Sampling and recording and handling marine field data, as well as data analysis and modelling, will give training in the central research methods for observation and assessing abundance of marine species. Field work/experiments will cover various techniques, using practical examples to evaluate the purpose, strengths and weaknesses of each approach. This will include common approaches for collecting data for marine research, such as surveys, acoustics, times series, ROVs, and their applications in process studies and resource mapping. The links between these and assessment and advice for exploitation of marine resources will be introduced in this course.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of BIO325 students shall have achieved the following learning outcomes:

- Understand and be able to use modelling tools to study the driving forces of marine productivity

- Understand how physical processes and structure influence the biological interactions and distribution of marine organisms

- Have knowledge of selected habitats and nursery areas/recrutimen areas of marine organisms and have an overview of the major inshore and open ocean organisms and their ecology

- Be able to use appropriate tools, including taxonomic keys, to identify common marine animals in Norwegian waters

- Be able to plan and execute field work to answer research questions

- Have basic knowledge of the most common methods for collection of field data for modern marine research

- Be able to explain and evaluate the principles of different sampling approaches, and their strengths and weaknesses

- Be able to process, catalog, and interpret collected field samples and experimental data

- Be able to communicate scientific results from field studies

- Have knowledge of the basic effects of fisheries and harvesting/exploitation of marine biological resources

- Understand and consider the uncertainties in marine data collection and modelling and what that means for management advice

- Have learned to work as part of a team onboard a resarch ship, following safe practices in field work

Required Previous Knowledge

Bachelor's degree in Biology

Recommended Previous Knowledge

Bachelor's in Biology with basic courses in mathematics and statistics and use of spreadsheets (e.g. Excel) and statistics programs (e.g. R). Students are recommended to take BIO300A and BIO300B in parallel with BIO325.

Access to the Course

The course is open for master's students in marine subjects/studies and is obligatory in the Marine Biology and in the Fisheries Biology and Managements specializations. To participate in this course you must be registered as a MSc or PhD student in the Factulty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and fulfill the admission requirements.

Teaching Methods and Extent of Organized Teaching

The scope of the work is equivalent to 540 h of student work.

Theoretical modules: Lectures and group activities occur from week 33 through week 47.

Practical modules that are included in evaluation/assessment:

1. Marine fauna: 2-week field course at a marine biological station in August, with some research vessel time

2. Introduction to marine field methods: field course on a research vessel in September/October - 1 week on process-studies in a fjord AND 1 week on an offshore research survey (Cruises are scheduled for 2 weeks in the beginning of October with teaching and assigned/assessed coursework before and after).

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Submission of coursework assignments, and participation on cruise and field work are obligatory.

Participation (on lectures, field/lab course) is compulsory.

Students' payment: Participation in field and cruise activities

Participation in field and cruise activities

Students enrolled in courses that include field and cruise activities necessitating overnight accommodation, are required to cover their own expenses for food and drinks during the stay. Due to rules and requirements related to food handling and hygiene, the University of Bergen is required to purchase food from/at the various accommodation locations, and we can therefore not allow students to bring their own food. The Department of Biology is therefore responsible for ordering food for all students. Students are required to pay a deductible of NOK 100,-/day for these food expenses.

The Department of Biology covers expenses related to transportation and accommodation, and any food expenses surpassing the student deductible of NOK 100,-/day. Students using their own car must inform the Department of Biological Sciences studie@bio.uib.no no later than 10 days before departure, who is driving and the name of any possible passengers. BIO does not cover expenses related to private transport.

Forms of Assessment

Continuous assessment/Portfolio assessment and approval of obligatory reports/journals

Grading Scale

The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade in the grading scale, grade F is a fail.

Subject Overlap

Full overlap with BIO309B (5 sp), BIO310 (5 sp), BIO240 (10 sp).

Assessment Semester


Course Evaluation

Students will evaluate the course in accordance with the quality assurance system at UiB and the Department. You can find courseevaluations in the Quality Assurance Reports.


Contact Information

Contact the Study Section at the Department of Biological Sciences: studie@bio.uib.no

Exam information