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Postgraduate course

Course in Animal Research in Norway, Laboratory animals, theoretical, Function A,B, and D

  • ECTS credits8
  • Teaching semesterSpring, Autumn
  • Course codeCAREIN601-A
  • Number of semesters1
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Resources

Main content

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Teaching semester

Spring and autumn (two course-runs pr. semester)

Place of Instruction

The course is web-based (on Canvas/Mitt UiB), and will run 4 times per year.

Objectives and Content

The main aim of the course is to ensure ethical and humane handling of experimental animals, training in experimental design of experiments involving animals, and collection of informative, objective and reproducible research data from conducted animal experiments.

The theoretical course covers the following species- groups of research animals when used as model organisms in biomedical research: laboratory rodents, swine, and model fish (e.g. zebrafish, medaka).

The course is required, according to regulatory demands, for personnel that will plan and/or perform animal experiments in Norway and is in accordance with the requirements for education and training stated in the Norwegian Regulation on Animal Research § 24 and Annex E (equivalent to Article 23 and Annex 5 in Directive 2010/63/EU). The course fulfils the requirements for theoretical training for function A, B, and D in accordance with the EU Commission´s "Education and training framework document"(http://ec.europa.eu/environment/chemicals/lab_animals/pdf/guidance/education_training/en.pdf)

NOTE: In order to perform procedures on animals (Function A and D) the student must in addition complete practical training for function A and D according to requirements given by the course committee. Practical training modules, in accordance with said requirements is offered as separate courses at the cooperating universities in CAREiN.

The course covers the theoretical modules necessary for function A, B and D for the above-mentioned species groups. Specifically, all the following theoretical EU modules are covered by the course: 

Core modules (Function A, B, D):

1. National legislation

2. Ethics, animal welfare and the Three Rs (replacement, reduction and refinement), level 1

3.1 Basic and appropriate biology

4. Species specific animal care, health and management

5. Recognition of pain, suffering, and distress (including severity assessment and humane endpoints)

6.1 Humane methods of killing

Function specific modules for function A and B:

7. Minimally invasive procedures without anaesthesia

10. Design of procedures and projects (level 1)

11. Design of procedures and projects (level 2)

Task specific modules:

20. Anaesthesia for minor procedures

21. Advanced anaesthesia for surgical or prolonged procedures

22. Principles of surgery

Learning Outcomes

The detailed learning outcomes for each module of the course is in coherence with the defined learning outcomes the EU Commission´s Education and Training Framework Document (http://ec.europa.eu/environment/chemicals/lab_animals/pdf/guidance/education_training/en.pdf). 

After completing the course, the student should have the following overall learning outcomes (defined in knowledge, skills, and general competence):


The student can:

  • Account for the national and international legislation regulating animal research
  • Understand the key roles and responsibilities of personnel involved in animal research
  • Identify and understand ethical and welfare issues raised by the use of animals in research
  • Describe and discuss the principles of the 3Rs and suggest how to implement the 3Rs in a specific study proposal
  • Detail biology (anatomy, physiology, genetics, behaviour) of relevant model animals
  • Account for appropriate handling and husbandry practices of relevant model animals
  • Recognise and describe the principles of pain,  pain management, humane endpoints and humane killing of relevant model animals
  • Identify potential human health hazards for animal study work and describe appropriate protective measures
  • Account for commonly applied species-specific experimental techniques
  • Identify and explain the key factors for planning and designing animal experiment appropriately
  • Describe and understand the principles of anaesthesia and analgesia
  • Describe and understand the basic surgical principles


The student can...

  • consider the use of and apply alternatives and supplements to animal experiments
  • make qualified assessments of and respond appropriately to ethical and animal welfare issues
  • have a proactive and conscious attitude to factors that may affect the outcome of an animal experiment
  • make qualified decisions on the use of analgesia, anaesthesia, humane endpoints and euthanasia
  • have a conscious attitude towards preventing human health hazards

General competence

The student is...

  • able to plan and direct animal studies
  • able to perform procedures on animals under supervision

Required Previous Knowledge

Bachelor¿s degree or equivalent in the field of biology, physiology, life sciences, biomedicine or another relevant academic field.

Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap

LAS301 - 6 credits

LAS302 - 2 credits

CAREIN-A - 8 credits

CAREIN601-A - 8 credits

CAREIN601-B - 8 credits

Access to the Course

Admission to the course is granted upon approved application in EVU-web

Teaching and learning methods

The course is web-based using Canvas/Mitt UiB as learning platform.  The course consists of self-studies (pre-recorded, e-lectures, videos, written material, and self-testing), followed by digital live online teaching activities (lectures, Q&A sessions, and group work).

Estimated necessary time for self-studies are 3-4 weeks. The online live teaching activity is given concentrated during approx. one week. The proposed time for self-studies is an estimate that will vary with personal prior knowledge, particularly in biology.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

  • Completion of individual self-study tasks and tests within defined deadlines
  • Participation in live teaching activities (min. 80% attendance)
  • 45 min. teacher-monitored Pre-exam test (MCQ) online in Canvas/Mitt UiB

Students that do not progress and timely complete mandatory activities (e.g., self-study tasks and tests, live teaching activity, etc.) - will not be allowed to continue the course and take the exam.

The teaching of CAREIN is conducted integrated and sequentially, and holistically provides the students with mandatory training in animal research. For this reason, it is required that all compulsory assignments is completed as a whole within the boundaries of each course. Each compulsory activity is not valid on its own, but total completion of teaching (all compulsory activities) is valid in the teaching semester and the next semester.

Forms of Assessment

Written home exam consisting of 6-8 Assignments (with sub-tasks).

Three weeks submission deadline.

The exam covers all modules and teaching activities in the course. The purpose of the exam is to test the students´ ability to reflect, combine and apply their knowledge with respect to planning and performing animal experiments in accordance with legal requirements and best ethical standards.

Examination Support Material

All aids allowed on home exam.

Grading Scale


Assessment Semester

Autumn and spring (two course-runs per semester)

Reading List

The reading list will be available by August 1st (autumn semester) and January 1st (spring semester) for both course-runs in the given semester.

Course Evaluation

The course will be evaluated every three years according to the system for quality assurance in education at the University of Bergen.

Programme Committee

Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Medicine

Course Coordinator

Siri Knudsen (UiT), Siv Eggen (NTNU), Aurora Brøndstad (UiB), og Henrik Rasmussen/Knut Tomas Dalen/Cathrine Elisabeth Fagernes/Gro Flatekval (UiO)

Course Committee for CAREIN consists of academic representatives from institutions that partake in the consortium - UiT, NTNU, UiB and UiO.

Course Administrator

Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine is responsible for the course.



Tlf +47 55 97 37 82

Exam information