BIOS4215 – Evolution and Systematics of Organismal Groups: The Animal Kingdom

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Course content

The animal kingdom provides by far the largest proportion to Earth's biodiversity and they have occupied all habitats on Earth including other organisms. In this subject, we will present the recent knowledge across different animal groups concerning the evolution of their diversity and adaptive solutions to similar ecological challenges in different groups. The evolution of these traits will be set concerning the recent understanding of the animal phylogeny, and taxonomy. In this subject, special emphasis will be put on groups, which are requested by the participating students, as well as on collection-based work as it is conducted at a Natural History Museum. Hence, the subject will also comprise classes about career opportunities as collection management or exhibition development.

Learning outcome

At the end of the subject you will have:

  • Gained knowledge about different animal groups and their body plans.
  • Gotten insight into the evolution and classification of animals as well as modern research methods and important fields for research.
  • Learned to how to identify a board diversity of animals and to work with collection material.
  • Know about both academic and non-academic career opportunities in this study area.
  • Learnt how to present scientific knowledge, to write scientific papers like species descriptions and research papers.
  • Developed competence in critical analyses and scientific thinking through the different forms of discussions, which are part of the teaching outline.

Admission to the course

Students admitted at UiO must apply for courses in Studentweb. Students enrolled in other Master's Degree Programmes can, on application, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme.

Nordic citizens and applicants residing in the Nordic countries may apply to take this course as a single course student.

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

Applicants are ranked by the following criteria:

1. Master students at the MN faculty who have the course as part of the approved curriculum.

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

3. 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

BIO2120 – Evolutionary Biology (discontinued) or emne: BIOS3100 and BIO4210 – Phylogeny and Classification (continued) or BIOS5213 – Phylogeny and Classification

Overlapping courses


  • Lectures
  • Practical tasks (Mandatory)
  • Visits to collections and exhibitions (Mandatory)
  • Seminars discussing research papers (Mandatory)

The teaching comprises classes about different animal groups, recent research areas in the field as well as collection management, exhibition development, and working with databases. The course will take place at Lids hus, Natural History Museum, Tøyen.

Attendance at the first lecture is mandatory, also for those on the waiting list. You will lose your seat on the course if notice is not given to the student administration prior to the first lecture.

The course is only given if four or more students meet at the first lecture.


One written species description which counts 40% and an essay which counts 60% towards the final grade.

Mandatory course work must be approved before the student can attend the exam. 

Examination attempts

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: BIO4240 – Evolution and Systematics of Organismal Groups: The Animal Kingdom (continued)

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) Dec. 3, 2022 5:21:29 PM

Facts about this course


Every other spring

Teaching language
Norwegian (English on request)