BIOS5411 – Toxicants in ecosystems and humans: Effects

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

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 gives insight into how toxicants affects humans and the environment, with a particular focus on individual effects. Toxicants affect many of the same processes in different organisms and the course will discuss similarities and differences between different species. The course includes aspects of both ecotoxicology and human toxicology.

Learning outcome

The course will provide in-depth knowledge of how toxicants affect humans and other organisms.

After completing the course, you will:

  • Have knowledge of the mechanisms of toxicity for different toxic substances, including endocrine disruption, genotoxicity, reproductive toxicity, immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity, developmental toxicity and behavioural toxicity.
  • Have knowledge of the metabolism of toxicants in different species.
  • Have knowledge about the effects of toxicants on a molecular and cellular level, on individual health, on populations in nature and on communities, as well as the use of biomarkers.
  • Understand the importance of different groups of toxicants for human health and the environment.
  • Have experience with sampling fish in a field survey and measure selected biomarkers in their tissues.

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.

PhD-candidates must register for BIOS9411 – Toxicants in ecosystems and humans: Effects.

The courses BIOS5411 and BIOS9411 have common admission. 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, master students 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

Formal prerequisite knowledge

Overlapping courses


  • Lectures
  • Fieldwork (compulsory): 2 days
  • Lab-exercises (compulsory) 
  • Discussion groups

Participation in Health and Safety courses are required prior to lab-exercises and fieldwork. The students are required to hold individual insurance to cover field activities. Mandatory course work must be approved before the student can attend the exam. 

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

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


  • Lab-reports counts 25%.
  • Final written exam in Inspera (3 hours) counts 75%.

Mandatory course work must be approved before the student can attend the 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 one of the following courses: BIOS9411 – Toxicants in ecosystems and humans: Effects.

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

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

Students who can document a valid reason for absence from the regular examination are offered a postponed exam at the beginning of the next semester.

New examinations are offered at the beginning of the next semester for students who do not successfully complete the exam during the previous semester.

We do not offer a re-scheduled exam for students who withdraw during the exam.

Special examination arrangements, use of sources, explanations and appeals

See more about examinations at UiO

Last updated from FS (Common Student System) Nov. 24, 2020 10:14:47 PM

Facts about this course

Teaching language
Norwegian (English on request)