Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course gives an introduction to the ecosystems of the free water masses, and will cover topics ranging from the physico-chemical environment to food webs, biological processes and evolutionary adaptations of pelagic organisms, to how contemporary environmental challenges affect these systems. These topics will be explored in lectures, laboratory and computer exercises and in the field. The field work includes cruise(s) with the research vessel Trygve Braarud and a four day field course in Drøbak.

Learning outcome

This course provides basic understanding of small and large scale processes that govern the structure and function of pelagic ecosystems. Students will receive an introduction to

  • the physico-chemical environment, and its role for vertical structure of the pelagic habitat.
  • organisms, biological processes, evolutionary adaptations, and food webs.
  • the role of global change for the pelagic ecosystems
  • pelagic sampling


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.


Recommended previous knowledge

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with BIO3400 – Aquatic Ecology (discontinued)


The teaching consists of lectures, laboratory exercises, computer exercises, colloquia, project work, cruises with the research vessel Trygve Braarud in Inner Oslofjord, and a week long field course in Drøbak. Laboratory and computer exercises, cruises, field work, and project work are mandatory, as are instructive lectures prior to these.

Participation on the excursion is mandatory. The excursion has a fee on 150 NOK per day.

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.


To be able to take the final written exam, students need to recieve a passing grade on reports from laboratory exercises, project nd Field work. All mandatory teaching must be passed. Final written exam (3h) counts 100%.

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.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

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

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.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.


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

Facts about this course






Every spring


Every spring

Teaching language

Norwegian (English on request)