M.Sc. Biology and Aquaculture

  • On Campus
  • 24 months
  • Free (International

    Tuition fee for the international students.

    Free (EEA

    European Economic Area tuition fee is applicable to the students from EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

  • English ( Take IELTS test or Find a course )
| Bodø, Norway
The Biology and Aquaculture Master's programme is offered at Nord University, Faculty of Biosciences and Aquaculture (FBA). Are you interested in biology and aquaculture? Are you interested in studying the marine environment, both evolutionary adaptations and anthropogenic influences? Do you want to contribute to a more sustainable aquaculture?



The world needs students who can help to ensure sustainable utilization of marine resources, and have knowledge of how the marine environment is affected by climate change. We also need students who can contribute with new knowledge to the aquaculture industry. Students get the opportunity to use advanced molecular techniques to solve relevant biological and ecological challenges. As a master student in biology and aquaculture, you become part of an international research environment, with the possibility of exciting theses in marine ecology, genomics and aquaculture.

The Biology and Aquaculture Master's programme is offered at Nord University, Faculty of Biosciences and Aquaculture (FBA). The master programme is an academic programme and offers three specializations: aquaculture, marine ecology and marine genomic.

Specialization Aquaculture:

Aquaculture - also known as fish or shellfish farming - refers to the breeding, rearing, and harvesting plants and animals in all types of water environments. Aquaculture is probably the fastest growing food producing sector in the world, now accounts for nearly 50 percent of the world's food fish. The specialization in Aquaculture aims to give students a deeper knowledge in selected areas of aquaculture.

Through the choice of topics, you can delve into subjects such as aquaculture nutrition, fish physiology, fish health, quality and food safety. The master thesis are normally within themes like reproduction of fish, nutrition, fish welfare and health, and muscle quality. The practical work can be carried out in the University's research station or in close cooperation with the industry.

The specialization offers both 30 and 60 credits thesis. Selecting a 30-credit thesis, you have the opportunity to take courses in for example economics and management (in Norwegian) at other faculties.

Specialization marine ecology:

Knowledge about factors and mechanisms, which determine the number and distribution of organisms also known as ecology, becomes increasingly important as human activity continues to exploit and affect nature in different ways. Field sampling, controlled experiments, modelling and advanced laboratory analyses are all common research methods in the study of ecology.

As a master student within the field of marine ecology, you can choose among study topics related to benthic animals and plants to understand and predict how climate change and other anthropogenic or natural factors affect marine benthic systems and to apply this knowledge to sustainable ecosystem management.

Another possibility is to study the interactions between marine organisms and their environment on all scales from the cell level to ocean basins, or using molecular biological techniques to analyze how populations are related and adapt to the changing environments.

Specialization marine genomic:

Technological breakthroughs in DNA sequencing has quickly made new issues available and changed practices within biological research. The study provides knowledge on how to collect, analyze and interpret large data sets using bioinformatics.

Genomics is the study of structure and function of the genetic material. The specialization makes it possible to immerse yourself in an exciting theme, selected from a wide range of possible issues.

Relevant disciplines includes marine ecology, evolutionary biology, systematics, ethology and aquaculture. Completion the master makes it possible to work with a variety of biological disciplines within the industry, health, management and research.

Learning Outcomes

The candidate shall

  • have knowledge in general scientific method.
  • have an overview of important farmed species, and knowledge of the interaction between farming and
  • the surrounding environment in the light of ecological and genetic methodology.
  • depending on specialization have good knowledge within aquaculture, marine ecology or marine genomics.
  • have good knowledge and understanding in one or a few biological themes, based on work with his own thesis

The candidate shall

  • be able to use their acquired knowledge to interpret and critically assess problems in biology and aquaculture and propose practical solutions
  • have intellectual and practical skills to collect, analyse, interpret and understand data related to biology and aquaculture
  • evaluate different research strategies and methods, as well as use this in research
General competence

Candidates should be able

  • communicate relevant biological problems to management, scientific environment, aquaculture industry and the general public
  • participate in scientific marine ecological, marine genomics or aquaculture related research in a professionally research environment

Detailed Course Facts

Start dates and application deadlines

Started in

    Deadline was:
  • ( International

    Deadline applies if you do not have the same nationality as the university.

  • ( National

    Deadline applies if you have the same nationality as the university.


Dates reflect the university's timezone.

Tuition fee
  • Free ( International

    Tuition fee for the international students.

  • Free ( EEA

    European Economic Area tuition fee is applicable to the students from EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

  • No special costs except semester registration fee and syllabus literature.
  • Fees could apply for elective courses, maximum NOK 3000.
Credits (ECTS) 120 ECTS
Duration full-time 24 months
Delivery mode On Campus
Educational variant Full-time

Course Content

By doing a master in biology and aquaculture you are not only learning in depth knowledge within a biological field, you will also improve your way of critical thinking and be a part of a scientific research environment.

The courses offered in the master have different evaluating forms like written and oral exams, home exam and assignments. After submission of the Master thesis, the student defends his/her thesis in a public lecture. After the lecture, there will be an oral examination. The master thesis and courses on master level are evaluated by internal and external sensor.


Year 1

Autumn 2016

  • Scientific Communication and Research Methods
  • Evolutionary Genetics
  • Laboratory safety master
  • Aquaculture Ecology
  • Specialisation

Spring 2017

  • Elective courses

Year 2

Autumn 2016

  • Elective courses

Spring 2017

  • Elective courses


Higher Education Entrance Qualification

Applicants must have a Bachelor in biology, aquaculture, ecology, molecular biology, food technology or equivalent. Students must have basic knowledge of mathematics and statistic. Admission assumes a grade average of C or better in the education that forms the basis of admission.

Regarding the requirements for scope and content of secondary education, most applicants from Europe meet these through completion of a secondary school certificate, which would provide the grounds for university admission in the home country.

Applicants coming from outside Europe may need to demonstrate at least one year of university study in addition to a secondary school certificate. Please consult the GSU-list issued by the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education for country-specific requirements.

Language Requirements
  • English basic course from upper secondary school in Norway with mark 2 or better
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) with a minimum score of 550 points on the paper-based test or 80 (20 reading/20 writing/20 speaking/20 listening) points on the Internet-based test
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System) with a minimum score of 6.0

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Nord University

Bodø, Norway

Norway Nord University offers studies at bachelor, master and doctoral levels. We have study locations in Central and Northern Norway, with state of the art teaching and research facilities, located in a spectacular northern setting. We also facilitate a range of flexible and online study programmes via active use of learning technology.

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