BIOS9411 – Toxicants in ecosystems and humans: Effects

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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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, using mammalian toxicology as a starting point. 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.
  • Expertise in conveying toxicological knowledge at the Master's level


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.

Master-students must register for BIOS5411 – Toxicants in ecosystems and humans: Effects

The courses BIOS5411 and BIOS9411 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, master 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


Lectures: 17 x 2 hrs;

Fieldwork (compulsory): 2 days;

Lab-exercises (compulsory): 6 x 3 hrs;

Discussion groups: 18 hrs.

One compulsory lecture for the other students, making up 20% of the final grade

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. Reports from exercises are compulsory. Attendance at the first lecture is compulsory, also for students on the waiting list. You will loose your seat in the course unless notice about absence is given to before 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.


All compulsory activities needs to be passed prior to taking the exam. Final 3-hr written exam counts 100%.

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 pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

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.

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: BIOS5411 – Toxicants in ecosystems and humans: Effects

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Every autumn

The course is offered for the first time Autumn 2018


Every autumn

Teaching language

Norwegian (English on request)