BIO9331 – Human Impact on the Marine Environment

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course provides an overview of how current marine environmental problems including eutrophication, toxic algal blooms, climate change and acidification and introduction of waste, contaminants, oil pollution, nano particles and species influence the marine environment. Topics included are impact on individuals, populations, communities and food webs. Other topics include aims and strategies for environmental monitoring and efficient environmental management and how to consider environmental risk and perform impact assessment.

Learning outcome

After completing the course you will have the following competence:

  • Understand current important marine environmental problems.
  • Have insight into method challenges, and be able to critical evaluate reports, publications and environmental data.
  • Have insight into national and international environmental legislation and important international treaties.
  • Have basic understanding of effects studies, environmental monitoring, and evaluation of risk and environmental state from a scientific, regulatory and industrial perspective.


PhD candidates from the University of Oslo should apply for classes and register for examinations through Studentweb.

If a course has limited intake capacity, priority will be given to PhD candidates who follow an individual education plan where this particular course is included. Some national researchers’ schools may have specific rules for ranking applicants for courses with limited intake capacity.

PhD candidates who have been admitted to another higher education institution must apply for a position as a visiting student within a given deadline.

The courses BIO4331 and BIO9331 have common 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


Recommended previous knowledge

Basic knowledge in general chemistry and biology, BIO4400 – Pelagic Ecology , and BIO4301 – Marine benthic ecology.


The teaching takes place in week 40-45 and will consist of lectures and mandatory groupwork. All groupwork is mandatory, but a maximum of 20% absence is accepted. The groupwork will consist of demonstrations, excursions and discussions. In addition there will be individual presentations. The students must also write two 10 page essays on given topics, which they will present in two 45 minutes lectures.

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



To get permission to take the final exam you have to pass the compulsory participation on the group work. Final written exam in week 45, 3 hrs, weighs 70% of the final mark. Essays and lectures weigh 15% each (30% of the final mark).

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. 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.

Facts about this course






Every autumn

The course has to have three or more registered students to be lectured.


Every autumn

Teaching language

Norwegian (English on request)

The name of the course has changed in 2016