Name of qualification

Master of Science in Biology ¿ Marine Biology, Fisheries Biology and Management

ECTS Credits

Two years of full-time study, where the normal workload for a full-time student is 60 credits for one academic year.



Language of Instruction


Objectives and content

Marine Biology, Fisheries Biology and Management is a specialization in the Master's Programme in Biology.

The specialization aims to educate biologists with a general overview and knowledge about: key processes and typical patterns in the marine ecosystem, flora and fauna characteristics to marine habitats, life history and ecology of fishes and other marine species, in addition to oceanography and marine ecosystems, how exploitation and other internal and external factors impact marine living resources, and the most common research methods within field based, experimental and theoretically oriented research of marine ecosystems.

The independent research project (master's project) combined with specialization courses and special curricula will give a specialized and deep knowledge of selected research topics and methods. Relevant topics for research projects are: marine ecology, sustainable use of marine living resources, marine organismal biology, biogeography, invasion biology, population genetics, biosystematics, fisheries biology, stock assessment, fisheries management, and general evolutionary themes based on the study of marine organisms.

Master students also develop general skills in defining, planning and conducting an independent research project, and to learn to document and discuss scientific results through a written dissertation.

Required Learning Outcomes


The student can

  • Explain key concepts and terminology in Biology/Marine Biology
  • Describe typical marine habitats and associated flora and fauna
  • Familiarity with oceanographic forcing of marine systems
  • Understand interactions between marine organisms and the environment, and adaptations of marine organisms
  • Understand the dynamics and structural processes in marine populations and communities
  • Knowledge of how ecological factors in combination with fisheries affect development of fish populations
  • Apply marine research methods and understanding their limitations and sources of error
  • Apply knowledge to illuminate and/ or solve management problems


After completing the programme the student has acquired:

  • Use basic methods in marine biology
  • Practical experience from laboratory work within marine and fisheries biology, in the field and on research vessels.
  • Perform an independent, limited research project under supervision, but with a high degree of independence and own initiative, and in line with research ethics standards
  • Ability to measure size of fish and determine age and maturity status.
  • Handle and present quantitative data, discuss precision and accuracy, and use the most fundamental statistical principles.
  • Analyze marine biological topics and discuss ways to explore these applying relevant theory and method
  • Retrieve, analyze and apply new knowledge within the special topic.
  • Analyze, interpret and discuss their own data in a scientific and critical manner, in light of data and theories within their field of study.

General competences

the student should be able to:

  • Be able to follow scientific discourse in general and evaluate approaches and techniques for solving problems
  • Give good written and oral presentations of scientific topics and research results
  • Be able to communicate professional topics and findings in marine biology, both to specialists and the general public
  • Be able to reflect on key ethical and scientific issues in their own and others' work
  • Show understanding and respect for scientific values such as remaining accurate, open, honest, objective, factual and distinguish between knowledge and opinions

Admission Requirements

In order to apply for the Master Programme in Biology, you need a bachelor degree in biology or related field.

You must holda minimum of:

  • 60 ECTS in biology
  • 7,5 ECTS in chemistry that must include lab work
  • 7,5 ECTS in statistics
  • 7,5 ECTS in mathematics

Bachelor degrees from UiB that qualify:

  • Bachelor degree in Biology
  • Bachelor degree in Sustainable Aquaculture
  • Bachelor degree in Environment and Resources (Natural Sciences specialisation, Biology track)

Bachelor degrees that qualify:

Other bachelor degrees may qualify, if they include the required subjects listed above

You also need to document:

Compulsory units

1st semester (Autumn):

BIO300A Academic Writing (5 ECTS)

BIO300B Biostatistics (5 ECTS)

BIO325 Ocean Science (20 ECTS)

2nd semester (Spring):

BIO225 Marine Benthic Fauna (5 sp)*

Electives (15 sp) Choose at least 1 out of the following 6 courses:

SDG214 UN Sustainable Development Goal 14: Life Below Water* (10 ECTS) - if selected, to be taken 2nd semester (Spring)

BIO201 Ecology* (10 ECTS) - if selected, to be taken 3rd semester (Autumn)

BIO280 Fish Biology I - Systematics and Anatomy* (10 ECTS) - if selected, to be taken 3rd semester (Autumn)

BIO356 Stock Monitoring and Responsible Harvesting (10 ECTS)

BIO217 Microbial Ecology (10 ECTS)

BIO212 Marine Community Ecology - Organisms and Habitats (10 ECTS)

BIO339 Ecosystem and Fisheries Assessment Models (10 ECTS)

BIO356 Stock monitoring and responsible harvesting (10 ECTS)

3rd semester (Autumn):

BIO399 Master's Thesis in Biology (30 ECTS)

4th semester (Spring):

BIO399 Master's Thesis in Biology (30 ECTS)

*Compulsory unless the course (or equivalent) has been taken previously. If taken previously, replace with an elective.

Recommended electives















Mathematics or statistics courses (see course portfolio of the Department of Mathematics)

Chemistry courses (see course portfolio at the Department of Chemistry)

Master thesis credits

The Master's Thesis in Biology is 60 ECTS.

Study period abroad

You can plan study periods abroad in consultation with your supervisor as apart of the master agreement.

Teaching and learning methods

The Master's thesis is an independent scientific work, under supervision of an academic supervisor. A combination of teaching methods is used in the various courses, mainly lectures, seminars, hands-on laboratory practice, and workshops. You will find more information in the individual course descriptions.

Assessment methods

The final step in the programme is an oral examination. The examination is held when the master's thesis has been submitted, evaluated and approved. The most common assessment methods in courses are written and oral exams, individual and group presentations, and various forms of term projects. The assessment methods for each course are described in its course description.

Grading scale

At UiB the grades are given in one of two possible grading scales: passed/failed and A to F.

The master's thesis will be graded A to F.

The grading scale for each course is given in the course description.

Diploma and Diploma supplement

The Diploma, in Norwegian, and the Diploma Supplement, in English, will be issued when the degree is completed.

Access to further studies

The Masters Programme provides a solid preparation for Ph.D studies. To be eligible for admission to the Doctoral education (PhD) at UiB the average grade for the master's thesis, the Master's degree and the bachelor's degree should be at least C.

In order to get enrolled you have to be granted a fellowship for doctoral training.


Many Marine and Fisheries Biologists work with nature, environment and resource management, research, aquaculture, education, industry, environmental organizations and the media and consulting businesses. The program will provide a solid basis for work in public management and administration, trade and industry, education and for further doctoral study in marine biology, fisheries biology, and fisheries management, and in related fields.


The programme will be evaluated according to the quality assurance system of the University of Bergen.

Programme committee

aculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences by the Department ofBiological Sciences, holds the administrative responsibility for the programme.

Administrative responsibility

The Department of Biological Sciences is responsible for the programme. Please contact the study advisor for the programme ifyou have any questions: studie@bio.uib.no + 47 55 58 44 81.

Contact information

Please contact the study advisor for the programme ifyou have any questions: studie@bio.uib.no + 47 55 58 44 81.