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Study plan for MAMN-BIOMILJ Environmental Toxicology, fall 2022

Name of qualification

Master of Science in Biology - Environmental Toxicology

ECTS Credits

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

Full-time/Part-time

Full-time

Language of Instruction

English

Semester

Autumn (main admission) & Spring (supplementary admission if not all spots are filled)

Objectives and content

Environmental Toxicology is a specialization in the Master's Programme in Biology.

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 the Department of Biological Science's research in environmental toxicology on the website of the research group Environmental Toxicology.

Required Learning Outcomes

The graduated candidates should

Knowledge

  • 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

Skills

  • 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

Admission Requirements

In order to apply for the Master Programme in Biology, you need a bachelor degree in biology or related field. You must hold a minimum of:

  • 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)

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: 

Recommended previous knowledge

We recommend that you have a solid background in biology, chemistry and molecular biology, including soldi laboratory training. One or more courses in toxicology, environmental chemistry, molecular biology and/or physiology are recommended.

Compulsory units

STUDY START: AUTUMN

1st semester (Autumn):

  • BIO300A Academic Writing (5 ECTS)
  • BIO300B Biostatistics (5 ECTS)
  • Elective courses (20 ECTS)

2nd semester (Spring):

  • BIO216 Toxicology* (10 ECTS)
  • BIO316 Selected Topics Environmental Toxicology** (5 ECTS)
  • Elective courses (15 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.

**BIO316 may be arranged either 1st semester (autumn) or 2nd semester (spring), as it is arranged in parallel with a toxicology conference. BIO316 may also be replaced by AT-330 Arctic Environmental Toxicology, a course held at the University Centre in Svabard (UNIS).

STUDY START: SPRING

1st semester (Spring):

  • BIO216 Toxicology* (10 ECTS)
  • BIO316 Selected Topics in Environmental Toxicology** (5 ECTS)
  • Elective courses (15 ECTS)

2nd semester (Autumn):

  • BIO300A Academic Writing (5 ECTS)
  • BIO300B Biostatistics (5 ECTS)
  • Elective courses (20 ECTS)

3rd semester (Spring):

  • BIO399 Master's Thesis in Biology (30 ECTS)

4th semester (Autumn):

  • 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.

**BIO316 may be arranged either 1st semester (autumn) or 2nd semester (spring), as it is arranged in parallel with a toxicology conference. BIO316 may also be replaced by AT-330 Arctic Environmental Toxicology, a course held at the University Centre in Svabard (UNIS).

Recommended electives

Recommended electives:

Recommended electives at the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS):

*The compulsory course BIO316 Selected Topics in Environmental Toxicology can be replaced by AT-330 Arctic Environmental Toxicology

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 in Aquaculture and related disciplines. 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.

Employability

Toxicologists and environmental toxicologists work in research, teaching, public management and administration, healthcare and industry. Particularly within health, safety and environment (HSE) competence in envioronmental toxicology is essential. The program also provides good foundation for further doctoral study within the field or closely related disciplines.

Evaluation

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

Programme committee

The programme committee is responsible for the academic content, the structure and the quality of the program

Administrative responsibility

The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences by the Department of Biological Sciences, holds the administrative responsibility for the programme.

Contact information

Please contact the study adviser for the program if you have any questions: studie@bio.uib.no