University of Bergen

Developmental Biology and Physiology, M.Sc.

  • Application Deadline
  • 24 months
  • English
The specialization in Developmental Biology and Physiology from University of Bergen investigates the formation and function of organisms. Development of a multicellular organism starts from a one cell zygote which undergoes a phase of rapid cell divisions.


This is followed by cell migration, cell-cell communication, and reorganization to form an organism with different cell types and organs which perform various physiological processes essential to its life processes.

Developmental Biology and Physiology are at the centre of understanding the evolutionary relationships between organisms and their abilities to adapt to different environments and ecological communities. They are also important disciplines in understanding disease states, both inherited and environmental and in developing core strategies for therapies and/or preventative measures. It is an interdisciplinary research field that requires broad understanding of biology and knowledge in mathematics (bioinformatics), chemistry and molecular biology.

Developmental Biology and Physiology is a research field where, in addition to descriptive analyzes, we also use functional experimental approaches to better understand biological processes. By manipulating genes and gene expression (genetic engineering), we can study the roles of specific genes, or sets of interacting genes, in these processes. It is a challenging and very interesting field requiring synthetic thinking and analysis on both temporal and spatial scales. Computational and systems skills are also increasingly used as powerful analytical and synthesis approaches.

Research ranges from studies of developmental biology in urochordates ; evolution and development of the notochord in fish , development of digestion, nutrient absorption and appetite in fish endocrine regulation of growth and energy metabolism in fish, smolting , transformation from freshwater to seawater Atlantic salmon, endocrine regulation of osmoregulation , cellular mechanisms for osmoregulation; molecular mechanisms of light detection, vision and light regulated biological processes ; and fish brain plasticity through development .

Most of the projects will related to salmon, cod, halibut, zebrafish and tunicates.

The aim of the MS Developmental biology and physiology program from University of Bergen is to give students a broad knowledge of the field of developmental biology and physiology, an understanding of the structure and function of organisms, research in the field, and a good understanding of current issues in the discipline and its role in society.

The Master's degree will form the student for a wide range of jobs where understanding of complex biological systems, structure and function are important. It will also provide the student with good skills in experimental design, data analysis and interpretation.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Biological Data Analysis and Research Design
  • Biostatistics
  • Cell and Developmental Biology
  • Fish Histopathology
  • Master's Thesis in Biology

Detailed Programme Facts

Check your fit with this programme

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Book IELTS
  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL – or Test OF English as a Foreign Language – offers a paper-based test (PBT). The final, overall PBT score ranges between 310 and 677, and is based on an average taken from the three test components (listening, structure, and reading). The writing part of this test is scored separately on a scale of 0-6. Read more about TOEFL (PBT).

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).

Academic Requirements

You need a completed first degree (bachelor's degree) of three or four years duration from an approved institution of higher education as well as documented proficiency in the English language.
The selection of students for admission to the Master's programme in Biology is based on the following criteria:
  • Academic degree in biology, molecular biology, or equivalent, not older than two years (exceptions can be made if the applicant has relevant work experience)
  • The average grade of the Bachelor's degree must be at least 2nd class/B or the equivalent as academic result
  • Your Bachelor's degree must include specialization in biology/molecular biology corresponding to minimum 60 ECTS (one academic year) and should be documented with course descriptions and learning outcomes for the degree
  • A good command of English (documented by English test
Additional consideration is given to the following:
  • Lab experience and practical field experience (must be documented)
  • Depth and relevance of educational training
  • Extent and relevance of work experience
  • The applicant's prospects for having a productive career in the special field of study
  • Consideration to ensure diversity in the pool of students admitted to the programme
Number of self-financing students admitted to the master's programme: max 3 students

Tuition Fee

  • International Applies to you

    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 0 EUR per year and a duration of 24 months.
  • EU/EEA Applies to you

    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 0 EUR per year and a duration of 24 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

The University of Bergen is publicly funded and offers tuition-free quality education for all students, regardless of citizenship.

Living costs for Bergen

7990 - 8840 NOK/month
Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Check the programme website for information about funding options.

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

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