BIO4120 – Norwegian nature – typification, description and mapping of natural variation based on ‘Natur i Norge’ (NiN)

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course gives an overview of how variation in Norwegian nature is systematised and natural variation is mapped by use of to Natur i Norge (NiN), the system for typification and description issued by the Norwegian Biodiversity Information Centre. The theoretical foundation for NiN (variation in nature as variation along environmental gradients) is explained and the theory and practice of nature mapping by NiN is introduced.

The course is established as a result of the authorities’ efforts for enhancement of competence in, and capacity for, mapping of variation in Norway using the NiN system.

Learning outcome

After completing the course you should have achieved the following competence:

  • Knowledge of the ecological theory on which the Natur i Norge (NiN) system is founded, and understanding of the ecological processes that give rise to variation in species composition.

  • Understand the theory used in NiN to systematise variation in nature, and the principles used in NiN for typification of nature.

  • Be aware of how variation within each nature type is described, and know how to recognize the most common nature types in the field.

  • Know the theory behind mapping of nature, with a focus on map quality.

  • Understand the mapping process and the challenges related to mapping of nature.

  • Be able to map nature and create digital nature-type maps both in field and on a computer.

  • Knowledge of recent research in variation in nature types and mapping of nature in Norway.


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.

Applicants are ranked by the following criteria:
1. Master students at the MN faculty who have the course as part of the approved curriculum.
2. Students with admission to single courses on master’s level and exchange students
3. 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


Recommended previous knowledge

BIO2150 – Biostatistics and Study Design (discontinued) or corresponing basic knowledge of biostatistics

Basic ecological knowledge and good knowledge of vascular plants is required. Knowledge of bryophytes and lichens is useful. Skills in geographic information systems (GIS) are very useful for the part of the course that addresses nature-type mapping.


This is an intensive course; teaching is concentrated to three periods, week 15, 26 and 37. The course comprises lectures (40 h) and excursions (9 d). The first teaching period, which includes lectures and discussions only, takes place 5 d in the last third of the spring semester. The second teaching period comprises an excursion (5 d) scheduled for June. The third teaching period takes place in the beginning of September, comprising lectures as well as excursions. You have to meet on at least 80% of the lectures for participation to be approved.

The students are expected to hand in a report from the second excursion (40 h), containing a nature-type map with metainformation, created in GIS. The map shall be submitted on a digital platform with opportunities for further editing. The report is evaluated, using the grades Pass/Fail.

Participation on the excursion is mandatory. The excursion has a fee on 150 NOK per day.

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


Oral exam in the end of the course counts 100%.

To attend the exam the report and the mandatory parts of lectures and field course must be approved.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

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.

Dette emnet ses i sammenheng med følgende emner ved praktisering av tregangersregelen: BIOS4120 – Norwegian nature - typification, description and mapping of natural variation based on "Natur i Norge" (NiN)

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




From May to September.

The course will be replaced by BIOS4120 from spring 2020.


Every autumn

Teaching language