BIOS9213 – Phylogeny and Classification

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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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



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 BIOS5213 and BIOS9213 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


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 will count 30% on the final grade.

PhD students must hold a 30 minutes lecture on a relevant topic that is not already or shortly presented in the course. The topic will be decided on by the teacher and the student. Mandatory presentation of research paper must be approved before students can sit for the final exam. 

Written 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.

Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read more about how to submit assignments in Inspera.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

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.

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: BIOS5213 – Phylogeny and Classification, BIO4210 – Phylogeny and Classification (continued) and BIO9210 – Phylogeny and Classification (continued)

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


Every autumn

Teaching language

Norwegian (English on request)