Biology, Master's, 2 years

Bergen's location offers unique opportunities to use nature as a classroom and we emphasise a hands-on approach by extensive use of data analysis, field work and interactive discussions with our staff and students from around the world. 
  • TuitionNone
  • Years2 Years
  • Intake53
  • Grade requirementsMinimum C
  • LanguageEnglish
  • ECTS120
  • StartAutumn and Spring

Main content

Welcome to master’s programme in biology, a study at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences!   

Start-up meeting: 

The start-up meeting in spring 2024 will be on Monday 8 January, 10:00-12:00, Biologen Blokk a: K1+K2 (A) Marineholmen

Attendance is mandatory. At the meeting, important information will be given. If compelling reasons make it impossible for you to attend the meeting, send an email to studie@bio.uib.no 

What to bring with you: Nothing special, but you can bring something to write on if you want to take notes 

Checklist: Follow the steps in our checklist to make sure you’re on track: uib.no/en/checklist 

Students with special needs: If you have a disability and need special arrangements, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can find good solutions for you. 

Queries? Please contact your faculty information centre at 55 58 30 30 or send an email to studie.matnat@uib.no.    


As a master’s student in Biology, you study key processes and typical patterns in the ecosystems. From flora and fauna characteristics to habitats and organisms, their biology and ecology.  

Biology develops knowledge that is needed to solve many of society's major challenges. It is essential to understand the effects of anthropogenic changes to natural processes in the short and longer term. We also need biological knowledge to ensure sustainable social and economic development. 

As a master’s student in Biology, you will research the major questions in biology:  

  • How do life forms, life processes and patterns of life develop?  
  • How is biological diversity created and maintained?  
  • How does the interaction between individuals, populations and species maintain the functions and processes of ecosystems?  

We offer these specialisations: 


More information below

Study close to nature in Bergen



Our graduates have a combination of biological expertise and a broad natural science foundation. This ensures that they are well equipped to fill important roles in research, education, industry, management and society. 

With a master’s in biology, you will have many available career paths in both the public and private sector, such as consultancy agencies, in ministries and directorates both on the national and regional level, and in environmental organisations. They can also study biological and environmental issues in research institutes and relevant industries, such as the growing aquaculture and seafood industry, the biotechnology industry and many others.  

Our graduates have landed jobs as for instance: 

  • Aquaculture Technician at Sterling White Halibut 
  • Conceptual Developer at Nature:xpo 
  • Advisor at the Norwegian Environment Agency 

You can apply for a PhD degree at UiB or another institution if you are interested in pursuing a career in research.

Student life 

Life as a master’s student in biology is hectic and rewarding.  

Your workweek will be full of activities such as: 

  • lab work every day 
  • field courses 
  • research cruises (if you choose a marine specialisation) 
  • … and of course, lectures and seminars. 

You will be taught by world-class scientists within their fields. We are Norway's largest marine university, with academic programmes of a high international standard and several world-leading research environments.  

Bergen's location offers unique opportunities to use nature as a classroom and we emphasise a hands-on approach by extensive use of data analysis, field work and interactive discussions with our staff and students from around the world. 

We make sure students are a natural part of the research group, and the work environment is informal. Many different nationalities work together, and English is the working language.  

At the Department of Biological Sciences, we have a Centre for Excellence in Biology Education, bioCEED. This means we do research on how to best educate students in Biology, and as a master’s student you can get involved in our projects and get valuable experience as a mentor for younger students, among other things. 

Our master’s students have their own student association, STIM. They organise social events and are a link between students and the Department of Biological Sciences. Connect with them on STIM’s Facebook page

Once you start work on your thesis, you will get your own desk at the Department of Biological Sciences (BIO) which is situated at the Marineholmen campus, close to the city centre. Our department is part of a vibrant marine cluster of different research centres and businesses. 

Follow us! 

More information below.


The programme covers two academic years (four semesters) and starts in the autumn. Applicants residing in Norway and Nordic citizens may also apply for supplementary admission for the spring term.

The first year you follow courses which constitute 60 ECTS. Courses, schedules and study plans depend on your specialisation. All master’s students follow two compulsory research method courses in their first semester: BIO300A Academic Writing (5 ECTS) and BIO300B Biostatistics (5 ECTS). 

The second year is devoted to working on your master's thesis, which also constitutes 60 ECTS. Having a whole year dedicated to the thesis gives you the chance to really focus on your own independent scientific work. 

You choose your master’s topic from available master’s projects in biology or you can find a suitable subject in cooperation with your supervisor.

What you will learn 

This programme is for students who are reflective, critical and inquisitive about nature. You will be trained to think creatively and beyond the standard explanatory models and disciplinary boundaries. You will also learn the most common research methods within field-based, experimental and theoretically-oriented research of ecosystems.  

With a master’s degree in Biology, you will: 

  • contribute to understanding the issues that are important in natural resource management and provide relevant knowledge in conservation and management issues.  
  • retrieve, analyse and apply new knowledge.  
  • analyse, interpret and discuss your own data in an academic and critical manner, in light of data and theories in the field.  
  • work in accord with scientific principles, and understand and respect openness, precision, accountability and the significance of distinguishing between knowledge and opinion. 

See full list of required learning outcomes under each specialisation.

Study period abroad 

There are different options for students who want a study period abroad. This could be lab work abroad, summer school at the University Centre in Svalbard or another type of student exchange decided after consulting with your supervisor. 

(* admission_requirements *)

How to apply

Follow these links to find the general entry requirements and guidelines on how to apply:

All applicants with citizenship from outside the EU/EEA must pay tuition fees. 

You will also have to meet the programme specific entry requirements

Please note that the specialications Marine Biology and Fisheries Biology and Management only have admission in fall, while the other specialications have admission in fall and supplementary admission in spring (application deadline 1 November), if not all spots have been filled in the fall admission. The spring admission does not apply for applicants from outside the European Union/EEA/EFTA.