BIOS5213 – Phylogeny and Classification

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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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 a survey of research methodology in modern systematics with emphasis on phylogenetic analysis based on molecular data. Different approaches to phylogenetic analysis will be dealt with: distance methods, parsimony, network algorithms, maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference. The connection between phylogeny and classification as well as a short introduction to basal nomenclature will be included.

Learning outcome

After completion of the course, you will:

  • Have basic knowledge of phylogenetic theory
  • Have knowledge of various approaches of phylogenetic analysis: distance methods, parsimony, network algorithms, maximum likelihood and Bayesian analysis
  • Have knowledge of analysis tools appropriate for different kinds of data
  • Be able to interpret the results from a phylogenetic analysis
  • Understand the basic principles for scientific naming of species (nomenclature)
  • Experience from presentation of a scientific subject to master students

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.

The courses BIOS5213 and BIOS9213 have joint admission with a capasity limited to 30 students. Applicants are ranked by the following criteria:

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

2. Other PhD candidates and visiting PhD candidates.

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

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.

Overlapping courses


Teaching will take place over ten weeks from the beginning of the semester and will be organised in lectures and mandatory computer exercises. The students will have to hand in a written assignment based on the computer exercises, as well as read and present a research paper on a relevant subject.

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


Final written digital exam (3 Hours) will count 70% on the final grade.

Written assignment based on the computer exercises will count 30% on the final grade.

Mandatory presentation of research paper must be approved before students can sit for the final exam

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.

.Exam 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 the following courses: BIO9210 – Phylogeny and Classification (continued), BIO4210 – Phylogeny and Classification (continued) and BIOS9213 – Phylogeny and Classification.

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English.You may submit your response 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) June 12, 2020 12:15:35 PM

Facts about this course

Teaching language
Norwegian (English on request)

The course has been moved to the spring semester 2021