This course is discontinued

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course can be used as part of the curriculum for a MSc or PhD in toxicology or ecotoxicology. The course is offered in the autumn semester following the course in general toxicology (BIO4500). The course can form part of the theoretical basis for recognition as an EUROTOX-registered toxicologist.

Learning outcome

The course offers advanced subjects in aquatic ecotoxicology, including bioaccumulation, trophic transfer of contaminants, quantitative methods including multivariate statistics and mechanistic modelling, effects of environmental contaminants, specific pollution challenges, and in vitro methods. Upon completing the course students should achieve an up-to-date knowledge of the most important areas of ecotoxicology.


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 BIO4550 and BIO9550 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


Recommended previous knowledge

Knowledge of ecology, chemistry, biochemistry, and/or physiology.

It is strongly recommended that the students have BIO4500 – General Toxicology or similar courses. BIO4500 can be taken before BIO4550 the same semester. Other relevant courses included the KJM3700 – Environmental Chemistry I (discontinued) at Department of chemistry.


The course will be given in week 46-50 each autumn semester. The course consists of lectures, discussions, mandatory laboratory work and mandatory data laboratory exercises. In addition, the students must write two 10 page essays on given topics, which they will present in two 45 minutes lectures.
Lectures will mainly be given by staff at the Department of Biology, but som external researchers will contribute. All students will be expected to give a short presentation over a subject provided.

The course includes a two-days excursion. 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.

Access to teaching

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.


Final written exam, three hours (weighs 70% of the final mark). Essays and lectures weigh 15% each (30% of the final mark). Participation in laboratory work and passed lab raports within certain set dates is a requirement.

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Language of examination

You may submit your response in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English. If you would prefer to have the exam text in English, you may apply to the course administrators.

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:

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

The course is offered for the last time Autumn 2017. From 2018 it is replaced in parts by BIOS9411 and BIOS9412


Every autumn

Teaching language

Norwegian (English on request)