BIO4320 – Systematics and ecology of marine algae

Changes in the course due to coronavirus

Autumn 2020 the exams of most courses at the MN Faculty will be conducted as digital home exams or oral exams, using the normal grading scale. The semester page for your course will be updated with any changes in the form of examination.

See general guidelines for examination at the MN Faculty autumn 2020.

Course content

The course presents an overview of algal systematics and phylogeny based on morphology, ultra structure, reproduction and molecular data. It also includes plankton and benthic algal ecology and biogeography with emphasis on Norwegian conditions.

Learning outcome

After the course the students will:

  • Be familiar with algal systematics, evolution and phylogeny.
  • Know the characteristics of algal groups.
  • Know the biology of selected algal species.
  • Be familiar with the temporal variation and biogeography of algae.
  • Have knowledge of algal ecology with emphasis on Norwegian conditions.
  • Be able to indentify algae using morphology, ultra structure and molecular methods.

Admission to the course

Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

The courses BIO4320 and BIO9320 have joint admission. Applicants are ranked by the following criteria:

1. PhD students and master students at the MN faculty who have the course as part of the approved curriculum.

2. Other PhD students and visiting PhD students.

3. Students with admission to single courses on master’s level and exchange students

4. Applicants are ranked by credits in each group; all applicants within 1st rank before applicants in 2nd etc. If admission is limited to a fixed number of participants, admission will be decided by drawing lots for students who are ranked equally

Formal prerequisite knowledge

HMS0503 - Laboratory Safety

HMS0504 - Field Safety

BIO1000 – Elementary Biology (discontinued),BIO1200 – Biodiversity (discontinued),BIO2100 – General Ecology (continued),BIO2150 – Biostatistics and Study Design (discontinued),BIO2120 – Evolutionary Biology (discontinued),BIO4400 – Pelagic Ecology

Overlapping courses


The teaching is organised by lectures and laboratory work. The laboratory work is obligatory.

One week obligatory field excursion to Drøbak in the Oslofjord. 

First lecture is mandatory. If you can not attend the first lecture, please send a note to, before the first lecture.

As the teaching involves laboratory and/or field work, you should consider taking out a separate travel and personal risk insurance. Read about your insurance cover as a student.

The course is only given if three or more students meet on the first lecture.

Cost of taking the course

Costs for the field excursion are 150 NOK pr. day.


One written exam weighted 100%. One oral presentation and compulsory lab-journals. Requires approved participation in the field excursion.

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

It will also be counted as one of the three attempts to sit the exam for this course, if you sit the exam for one of the following courses: BIO9320.

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Language of examination

You may write your examination paper in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Resit an examination

This course offers both postponed and resit of examination. Read more:

Special examination arrangements, use of sources, explanations and appeals

See more about examinations at UiO

Last updated from FS (Common Student System) Nov. 29, 2020 2:14:23 AM

Facts about this course

Teaching language
Norwegian (English on request)