Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course will give an introduction to animal behaviour, such as the nuture-nature controversy, motivation, communication, personality, and mate choice. The course is useful for anybody that wish to have a broader background in physiology, ecology and evolution to understand behaviour, such as students in biology, medicine, psychology, and anthropology. The subject is also popular for teaching in school.

Learning outcome

When you have finished the course, you should have:

  • knowledge about animal behaviour in light of ecology and evolution
  • knowledge about genetic and physiological mechanisms, and development of individual behaviour
  • become familiar with terms and concepts such as proximate and ultimate explanations, fitness, altruism, optimality, and game theory
  • knowledge required for doing a master on the subject


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.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

In addition to fulfilling the Higher Education Entrance Qualification, applicants have to meet the following special admission requirements:

  • Mathematics R1 (or Mathematics S1 and S2) + R2

And in addition one of these:

  • Physics (1+2)
  • Chemistry (1+2)
  • Biology (1+2)
  • Information technology (1+2)
  • Geosciences (1+2)
  • Technology and theories of research (1+2)

The special admission requirements may also be covered by equivalent studies from Norwegian upper secondary school or by other equivalent studies (in Norwegian).

Recommended previous knowledge

It is an advantage with some biological background.

Overlapping courses


Lectures and colloquia.

Attendance is mandatory for the first lecture, also for those on the waiting list. You will lose your seat on the course if documentation for valid absence is not provided to the student administration prior to the first lecture.


  • A two hour long midterm written digital exam (50 %)
  • A two hour long final written digital exam (50 %)

Digital examination

The written examination is conducted in the digital examination system Inspera. You will need to familiarize yourself with the digital examination arrangements in Inspera.

Read more about written examinations using Inspera.

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

You have three chances to attend the exam. Number of exam attempts are transferred between this course and BIO3081 – Animal Behaviour 1 (continued) and BIO4081 – Animal Behaviour 1 (discontinued).


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


Every autumn

Teaching language