The programme setup

The MSc in Biology with specialization in biodiversity and systematics is designed to tailor individual student’s interests and goals. Our elective portfolio offers a wide range of subjects, and courses are continually updated to reflect developments in all areas of biodiversity and systematics research. The thesis is a substantial element of work that focuses learning on an area of particular interest to the student.

The Nordic master’s in biodiversity and systematics provides an intellectually challenging learning environment with roots in a research group and a wide range of courses, distributed across Scandinavia, combining theoretical studies with practical elements. The courses will be taught as a combination of assisted e-learning and intensive field or lab sessions where students and teachers meet for a short period of time at the host university or at a field station.

The programme offers a wide range of thesis projects and a total of 18 courses that can be divided into four categories. Read about the categories and offered courses.

Learning outcomes

The Nordic master’s in biodiversity and systematics curriculum emphasizes four key components:

  • Scientific knowledge
  • Practical skills
  • Independent academic thinking and ability to convey knowledge
  • Ethics and sustainability in a global perspective

Having followed the programme you will have a broad overview of living organisms and the relationship between them, have specific identification skills in one of more organism groups allowing for inventory of species and natural habitats, be familiar with nomenclatural rules, be able to describe evolutionary mechanisms leading to speciation and account for the species concepts, in practice be able to produce and assess molecular systematic information, understand the role of biodiversity in a global perspective and the ethical and economical aspects of conservation, and hav practice in conveying scientific information to academic groups as well as to the public.

When the programme is complete you will become a Master of Science in Biology (or Master of Science in Biodiversity and Systematics depending on host university).

Thesis work

The length of the thesis is optional and amounts to 30, 45 or 60 ECTS. Thesis work may extend over several semesters, and be interspersed with courses giving practical or theoretical training.

Students are admitted to the university at which their thesis work is supervised. At the time of admittance, each student, together with the tutor, establish an individual curriculum designating the courses to be included in the master’s degree. Each course in the programme is offered by only one of the cooperating universities. Students apply for admission to courses listed in their curriculum at the particular universities hosting them.

Read about possible thesis projects.