This course is discontinued

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Course content

The course provides thorough introduction into the essential statistical concepts and gives basic skills in the methodological foundations of modern biological research. The statistical programming environment R is used throughout the course.

Learning outcome

After completing the course we expect your competence to include the following:

  • Be well aquainted with the concepts and be able to explain probability and probability distributions, significance tests and statistical inference, and interpretation of estimates.
  • Have practical skills in statistical modeling, model selection, and hypothesis testing.
  • Know how to plan and perform biological experiments and observational studies in a wide range of field
    and laboratory settings, knowing the statistical basis for the methods, and be well aquainted with the concepts randomization, blocking, confounding, pseudoreplication, multivariate statistical methods, and sampling methods in different disciplines of biology.
  • Be able to interpret and evaluate the results and theories in biological journals.
  • Master the statistical programming environment R.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

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


Formal prerequisite knowledge

In addition to fulfilling the Higher Education Entrance Qualification, applicants have to meet the following special admission requirements:

  • Mathematics R1 (or Mathematics S1 and S2) + R2

And in addition one of these:

  • Physics (1+2)
  • Chemistry (1+2)
  • Biology (1+2)
  • Information technology (1+2)
  • Geosciences (1+2)
  • Technology and theories of research (1+2)

The special admission requirements may also be covered by equivalent studies from Norwegian upper secondary school or by other equivalent studies (in Norwegian).

Recommended previous knowledge

This course offers a preparatory course in the beginning of the semester . It is strongly advised to follow this course, as the content (elementary statistics) will not be taught in BIO2150A.

BIO1000 – Elementary Biology (discontinued), BIO1200 – Biodiversity (discontinued), BIO2100 – General Ecology (continued), MAT1001 – Mathematics 1 (discontinued) and KJM1001 – Introduction to chemistry (continued). Some prior background in statistics (e.g. STK1000 – Introduction to applied statistics or similar) is an advantage but not necessary.


The course comprises lectures, compulsory tutorials and one compulsory hand-in report on biostatistics.

The first lecture is compulsory. This subject uses Canvas.


The course has two 3 hours exams:

A written mid term exam with multiple choice questions, no permitted materials (30% of the final mark).

A written end of term exam (70% of the final mark), where each student may bring up to ten sheets of paper (A4) with handwritten or printed text, formulas, equations, figures, tables etc., on both sides + calculator

All compulsory coursework must be completed and approved before the student can sit the end term exam.

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.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

This course offers both postponed and resit of examination. Read more:

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