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Study plan for MAMN-BIOUTFYE Developmental Biology, Physiology and Nutrition, fall 2022

Name of qualification

Master of Science in Biology - Developmental Biology, Physiology and Nutrition

ECTS Credits

Two years of full-time study, where the normal workload for a full-time student is 60 vredits 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

Developmental Biology, Physiology and Nutrition is a specialisation in the Master's Programme in Biology.

Developmental biology, physiology and nutrition investigates the formation and function of organisms. Development of a multicellular organism starts from a one cell zygote which undergoes a phase of rapid cell divisions. This is followed by cell migration, cell-cell communication, and reorganization to form an organism with different cell types and organs which perform various physiological processes, nutrient uptake essential to its life processes.

Developmental biology, physiology and nutrition are at the core of understanding the evolutionary relationships between organisms and their abilities to adapt to different environments and ecological communities. Knowledge of development and physiological processes is central to understanding how living animals function and are adapted to their living environment at the molecular, cellular, organ and individual level. Nutrition is central to understanding the need for nutrients through development and how hormones and metabolites regulate genes and proteins in the body to maintain growth and development. Such knowledge is important, for example, in the mapping and understanding of fish farming conditions and negative environmental effects (climate, pollution and disease).

The field of study is interdisciplinary and requires broad biological understanding, as well as knowledge in chemistry and molecular biology, including bioinformatics. In the study programme, one will connect insight into anatomical structure, cellular function, and physiology and nutrition, with knowledge of the structure of the genome's function and molecular mechanisms.

The field uses, in addition to descriptive analyses, also functional experimental approaches to better understand biological processes. By manipulating genes and gene expression (genetic engineering) in model organisms, one can study the roles of specific genes, or sets of interacting genes, in these processes. It is a challenging and very interesting field requiring synthetic thinking and analysis on both temporal and spatial scales. Computational and systems skills are also increasingly used as powerful analytical and synthesis approaches.

Research ranges from studies of developmental biology in urochordates; evolution and development of the notochord in fish, development of digestion, nutrient absorption and appetite in fish endocrine regulation of growth and energy metabolism in fish, effects of nutrient on developing processes; smoltification, transformation from freshwater to seawater Atlantic salmon, endocrine regulation of osmoregulation, cellular mechanisms for osmoregulation; molecular mechanisms of light detection, vision and light regulated biological processes; and fish brain plasticity through development. Most of the projects will related to salmon, cod, halibut, zebrafish and tunicates.

The aim of the program is to give students a broad knowledge of the field of developmental biology, physiology and nutrition, an understanding of the structure and function of organisms, research in the field, and a good understanding of current issues in the discipline and its role in society.

The Master's degree will form the student for a wide range of jobs where understanding of complex biological systems, structure and function are important. It will also provide the student with good skills in experimental design, data analysis and interpretation.

Required Learning Outcomes

A candidate who has completed their qualifications should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:

Knowledge

The candidate:

  • has a detailed understanding of molecular processes that take place within and between cells and tissues. The understanding shall be sufficient for the candidate to describe and explain both the processes and their impact on properties, development and evolution of living organisms.
  • can select, develop and apply appropriate methods and experimental design to extend our biological knowledge.
  • has knowledge of how developmental modules and signaling pathways have an important impact on evolutionary adaptation to the environment and the formation of new species.

Skills

The candidate:

  • can work independently and creatively in the laboratory.
  • can ask relevant research questions in developmental biology, physiology or nutrition, and is able to put forward hypotheses and choose, adapt and perform molecular, cellular, physiological or nutrition experiments to test these hypotheses.
  • can find and read relevant scientific articles and acquire a critical understanding of these and understand relevant methodology.
  • can retrieve, analyze and apply new knowledge within the field.
  • can analyze, interpret and discuss their own data in an academic and critical manner, in light of data and theories in the field.
  • can manage and present quantitative data, discuss the precision and accuracy and use basic statistical principles.
  • can communicate scientific topics and research results orally and in writing, both for specialists and popular science audiences.

General competence

The candidate:

  • can analyze key scientific issues in developmental biology, physiology or nutrition in relation to their own and others' work and community needs.
  • has detailed knowledge of the subject's working methods and has obtained training in working independently, and as part of a team, with challenging tasks within the field.
  • can work in accordance with scientific principles and has understanding and respect for transparency, accuracy, accountability and the importance of distinguishing between facts and opinions.
  • can present, orally and in writing, research results put into context of existing knowledge, also to non-specialists.
  • can discuss their research field in public discussions.

Admission Requirements

In order to apply for the Master¿s Programme in Biology, you need a bachelor's 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's degree in Biology,
  • Bachelor's degree in Sustainable Aquaculture,
  • Bachelor's 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

STUDY START: AUTUMN

1st semester (Autumn):

  • BIO300A Academic Writing (5 ECTS)
  • BIO300B Biostatistics (5 ECTS)
  • BIO280 Fish Biology I Systematics and Anatomy (10 ECTS)
  • BIO291 Fish Biology II Physiology (10 ECTS)

2nd semester (Spring):

  • BIO370 Cell and Developmental Biology (10 ECTS)
  • Elective courses (20 ECTS)

3rd semester (Autumn):

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

4th semester (Spring):

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

*MOL300 Practical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (20 ECTS, autumn) may be taken as an elective by application, but spots cannot be guaranteed since students in the Master's Programme in Molecular Biology have priority. In addition, one must fulfill the prerequisites of the course.

STUDY START: SPRING

1st semester (Spring):

  • BIO370 Cell and Developmental Biology (10 ECTS)
  • Elective courses (20 ECTS)

2nd semester (Autumn):

  • BIO300A Academic Writing (5 ECTS)
  • BIO300B Biostatistics (5 ECTS)
  • BIO280 Fish Biology I Systematics and Anatomy (10 ECTS)
  • BIO291 Fish Biology II Physiology (10 ECTS)

3rd semester (Spring):

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

4th semester (Autumn):

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

*MOL300 Practical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (20 ECTS, autumn) may be taken as an elective by application, but spots cannot be guaranteed since students in the Master's Programme in Molecular Biology have priority. In addition, one must fulfill the prerequisites of the course.

Recommended electives

  • BIO213 Marin økologi, miljø og ressursar (10 ECTS, Autumn) Norwegian only
  • BIO275 Fiskehistopatologi (10 ECTS, Autumn) Norwegian only
  • BIO280 Fish Biology I - Systematics and Anatomy (10 ECTS, Autumn)
  • BIO291 Fish Biology II - Physiology (10 ECTS, Autumn)
  • BIO299 Research Practice in Biology (10 ECTS, Autumn/Spring)
  • MOL201 Molekylær cellebiologi (10 ECTS, Spring) Norwegian only
  • MOL213 Developmental Genetics (10 ECTS, Autumn)
  • MOL222 Experimental Molecular Biology II (10 ECTS, Spring)
  • MOL300 Practical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (20 ECTS, Autumn)*

*may be taken as an elective by application, but spots cannot be guaranteed since students in the Master's Programme in Molecular Biology have priority. In addition, one must fulfill the prerequisites of the course.

Teaching and learning methods

The Master's thesis is an independently scientific work, under supervision of an academic supervisor. A combination of teaching methods is used in the various courses, mainly lectures, laboratory exercises, field trips, and workshops. You can find more information in the course description.

Assessment methods

The final step in the program 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: Pass/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

To be eligible for admission to the Doctoral education (PhD), the candidate must have completed a master's degree. To qualify for 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

Biologists with at background in development, physiology and nutrition work in research, teaching, resource management, environmental monitoring and regulations, health professions and in industry. Such biological expertise is particularly important in the aquaculture, feed production, health, environment, pharmaceutical and marine resource industries. The study program also provides a foundation for further PhD studies in developmental biology and related disciplines.

Evaluation

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

Administrative responsibility

Department of Biological Sciences, studie@bio.uib.no