Environmental Toxicology

  • Years2 years
  • ECTS credits120


Objectives and content

Environmental Toxicology is the study of environmental contaminants and their effects on different organisms. Environmental Toxicology is an interdisciplinary research field that requires extensive knowledge of mathematics, chemistry, biology, and molecular biology. Knowledge of chemistry is important to understand how the substance's chemical properties affect dispersion, distribution and uptake by organisms. Knowledge of biology is important to understand how the physiology and lifestyle of different organisms determine the degree of exposure and vulnerability, and how the effects of different toxicants can affect reproduction and growth, and even entire ecosystems. The molecular biological knowledge is important to gain insight into the mechanisms that determine the substance's behavior and impact on fundamental life processes such as reproduction, metabolism and growth. Cellular biology and molecular biological methods are central to this research, along with bioinformatic analyses of changes in the transcriptome and proteome of study organisms. The research ranges from studies of the ability of endocrine disrupting substances to activate nuclear receptors in cell cultures, to investigations of pollutants dispersion and biological effects in field and laboratory experiments. Current model systems include Oikopleura, cod, stickleback, zebrafish, salmon, seals, polar bears, mice and humans.

The aim of the programme is to provide students with a broad understanding of the subject Environmental Toxicology and research within this field, and a good understanding of current issues in the discipline and its role in society. This Master's degree will make the student qualified to go into a wide range of positions where knowledge of pollutants and environmental toxicology is relevant.

You can find more information about BIO's research in environmental toxicology and possible thesis projects on the website of the research group in Environmental Toxicology: http://www.uib.no/fg/toks

What you Learn

Learning Outcomes

The graduated candidates should


  • Understand the dicipline in a societal context
  • Understand the biological basis for environmental toxicology
  • have extensive knowledge about environmental toxicants and their ability to cause effects in organisms or on the environment


  • Have well founded scientific knowledge and skills in environmental toxicology
  • Understand the scientific working methods and master the relevant analytical methods in this field of study
  • Be able to carry out a scientific project, in accordance with the scientific method and current practice
  • Be able to interpret, discuss and disseminate research results and methods in the students own project
  • Use scientific working methods and use modern methods.
  • Retrieve, evaluate and apply new knowledge within the field
  • Handle, and present quantitative data, and evaluate confidence to conclusions by use of basic statistical principles

General competences

  • Be able to work independently with comprehensive and demanding scientific tasks.
  • Be able to work independently and in a team with extensive and demanding academic tasks
  • Present, oral and written, scientific results based on analysis, in the context of existing research results also to non-specialists
  • Be able to discuss the subject in public debate
  • Be able to analyze biological scientific issues and participate in the discussion of approaches and ways of solving the issue.
  • Show understanding and respect for scientific values such as remaining accurate, open, honest, objective, factual and distinguish between knowledge and opinions

How to Apply



Admission Requirements

In order to qualify for admission to the Master's Programme in Biology, you must fulfill the following criteria:

1) hold a Bachelor's degree in Biology or related field

2) document university courses covering the following:

  • 80 ECTS in Biology, which must cover the following fields: Zoology, Botany, Microbiology, Cell Biology, Genetics, Molecular Biology, Physiology, Evolution and Ecology
  • 20 ECTS in Chemistry, whereof 10 ECTS must include lab work
  • 10 ECTS in Statistics
  • 10 ECTS in Mathematics (excluded in GPA calculation)

3) have obtained a minimum average grade equivalent to ECTS grade C / US grade B for the above-mentioned courses (excluded:10 ECTS in Mathematics)

Use this GPA calculator to check if your average grade compares to a US grade B.

4) document proficiency in the English language, read how here

The main intake is in the autumn. A supplementary intake in the spring is available (only for Nordic citizens and applicants residing in Norway) if not all spots have been filled.

Number of international applicants (EU/EEA/EFTA and non-EU/EEA/EFTA) residing abroad admitted to each specialisation, per intake: max. 2 students.

Follow the guidelines on how to apply depending on which applicant group you belong to:

Ill: Marianne Brattås

More information

About the programme

See full study plan


Department of Biological Sciences (BIO)

For more information please contact the study advisor at the Department of Biological Sciences: studie@bio.uib.no