The Marine Biotechnology program at UiT’s the Norwegian College of Fishery Science aims to educate candidates in the broad field of biotechnology with emphasis on application to marine systems or “Blue Biotechnology”. Students become well prepared for careers in industry and/or research because of our joint focus on innovation and fundamental scientific principles placed between biology and engineering. Students receive one-on-one mentorship and supervision from a professional UiT researcher and typically join an established research group to complete their final project.
UiT offers an exceptional opportunity to take advantage of Norway’s enormous portfolio of marine resources. The life in our oceans is diverse and new scientific discovery is possible at all levels. This leads to new innovation, new value chains, and the development of new processes that support sustainable development goals. Hence, we teach and support student research across a relatively wide range of topics that include bioprospecting for marine drugs, the development of sustainable seafood products, and biotechnology for carbon capture and utilization. This is supported by constantly adapting the curriculum to teach modern skills in analytical chemistry, marine microbiology, bioprocess engineering, and synthetic biology.
In addition to our focus on top-quality instruction, this program also emphasizes good relationships with the local and international industries. We help students and their future employers understand exactly where the advancement of technical knowledge will apply to innovation within both the private and public sectors. Tromsø has become the home to many new start-up companies in the blue biotech space with help from this program and the surrounding research culture fostered by UiT.
- Duration: 2 years
- Credits (ECTS): 120
- Degree Name: Master of Science in Marine Biotechnology
- Application code:
- Norwegian and Nordic applicants: 6008
- International applicants: 2039
Objectives, content, and organization
The purpose is to educate candidates in modern biotechnological expertise, with particular emphasis on the use of marine resources, bioactive compounds, gene products, and marine rest raw materials. You will qualify for careers in fields such as marine value creation, innovation, and research.
A good marine biotechnologist must have a broad base of knowledge and skills in basic molecular biology, chemistry, and techniques and processes that use marine micro-organisms, plant and animal cells, or parts of these, to manufacture, develop or modify commercially useful products. On successful completion of the program, the degree of MSc in Marine Biotechnology is awarded.
In preparation for your study we encourage you to do the following:
iKomp - information literacy: The course is an online course that aims to make you better equipped to deal with the demands and expectations you are met with at universities and colleges when it comes to learning and academic integrity. Check the website: iKomp.
There will be a mandatory introductory part with themes like:
- How to do science
- How to be a master student in biotechnology
- Writing a master thesis/what we expect from a master's thesis
- Plagiarism / iKomp
- Searching for literature / Munin
- EndNote/Using references databases and how to use them in Word
- Preparation for laboratory work
- Web page in Canvas for Master students at NCFS
The program contains two parts: The first part is obligatory courses during the first semester and an approved selection of courses of at least 60 credits (ECTS) in total. The second part is a written thesis of a project (Master thesis). The extent of the assignment should correspond to a workload of 60 ECTS.
HMS-0501 (web-module), HMS-0502 (first aid, practical course), HMS-0504 (web-module), the compulsory safety course for laboratory work, must be taken by all students who carry out lab work. The compulsory parts of this multi-module course are taken online. The first aid part requires physical attendance. Students must fulfill the compulsory online modules as soon as the semester starts to have access to the laboratory wings. There are no credits for these courses.
On completion of the course, the candidate is expected to have achieved the following learning outcomes:
- advanced knowledge about processes for use of molecules with unique characteristics.
- knowledge that can be applied to solve specific tasks in industry and public administration.
- understanding our ethical responsibility for sustainable resource utilization, industrial practice, and innovation.
- knowledge of scientific theory and experience in applying the scientific methodology.
- advanced skills in genetic, biotechnological, and molecular biological techniques.
- multidisciplinary skills that enable students to combine different disciplines so that they can analyze and solve a wide range of technical problems.
- proficiency in working individually and as a member of a team.
- complete a research project in marine biotechnology.
- a general understanding of the importance of natural resource-based industries and the challenges and opportunities involved.
- qualifications for admission to Ph.D. programs in biotechnology and related specialist fields.
- advanced knowledge of current R&D issues and the related commercial potential, especially in marine biotechnology.
- in-depth awareness of the biochemical, cellular, and genetic basis of life.
- a thorough understanding of natural marine resources as the basis for developing food, biochemical, bioactive, and medicinal components.
The job opportunities are many and varied. With skills and qualifications in marine biotechnology, you may work locally, nationally, and internationally. The Norwegian Government's High North strategy highlights marine biotechnology as one of the most important disciplines for the future of the economy. The field is growing rapidly and highly qualified candidates are in demand.
Your Master's degree has equipped you with sound expertise in biotechnology, which will provide you with opportunities in biotechnological industries, in fields such as the production of seafood and other foodstuffs, and laboratory-based specializations.
With an MSc in Marine Biotechnology, you can also become a product developer, principal engineer, researcher, company manager, entrepreneur, or public administrator. The course qualifies students for management-level jobs in the expanding and innovative commercial biotechnology sector.
Our graduate students work as Ph.D.'s at the university, teachers, in hospital laboratories, and in different companies like Colifast, Pharmaq, Mowi, Nofima, Ayanda, GenØk, Nordic Pharma Inc, Akvaplan-Niva, TosLab, and ArcticZymes.
Admission to the MSc in Marine Biotechnology requires a bachelor's degree in biotechnology, marine biotechnology, or equivalent education.
Applicants who hold a bachelor's degree or equivalent issued in Nordic countries, Europe, Canada, USA, Australia, and New Zealand: An average grade strong C as a minimum requirement,
Applicants who hold a bachelor's degree or equivalent issued in countries other than the above mentioned region/countries: An average grade B as a minimum requirement in addition to fulfilling formal admission requirements for Master's level entry. The average grade is calculated from the entire bachelor´s degree.”
Required background in biotechnology:
- In-depth specialization at the 2000 level (2nd-3rd year) in the following subjects.
- chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, molecular biology, methods in molecular biology, and biotechnology (min. 10 credits in each subject).
- The in-depth specialization must amount to 80 credits in total.
- Lack of in-depth specialization in one of these 2000 topics can be compensated by a strong background in one or more of the other topics.
We have 15 places available each year. Upon admission, applicants are ranked by average grade on subjects included in the in-depth specialization from the bachelor's degree.
Teaching and assessment
The study program uses a variety of teaching methods, depending on the courses/subjects, and may include: lectures, seminars, laboratory work, working in teams, fieldwork, and industrial visits - or preferably a combination.
For some of the subjects, specific work requirements may have to be met prior to exam entry. There may be compulsory requirements to submit reports and assignments and attend teaching seminars.
Some courses in the study program are marked on a pass/fail basis, while for others the graded scale of marks from A to E (passed) and F (failed) may be used. The individual course description specifies the marking system used. Individual tutoring is provided for the master's thesis by the department's scientific staff.
Access to further studies
Given satisfactory grades at bachelor's and master's levels, the MSc degree will qualify students for admission to Ph.D. studies. With a master’s degree in Marine biotechnology, you will qualify to apply for vacant PhD-positions if you finish your master's with an average grade of C or better in the Norwegian grading system.
For the students on the program, there will be opportunities for foreign stays in the second semester. A stay abroad can give you professional, linguistic, and cultural experiences that give you valuable additional skills - and memories for life! In recent years, students in the Master's program in biotechnology have been exchanging to Copenhagen (Denmark), Uppsala (Sweden), and Aberdeen (Scotland). There are many types of exchange agreements at UiT, some apply to specific programs, while others are general agreements that apply to the entire UiT. Contact the study counselor on the program for the status of active and operational exchange agreements before applying for an exchange. Most agreements will require some dedication from the student before everything is in place. The students who have been abroad come back with experiences and experiences they would not have been without.
About the School
UiT The Arctic University of Norway is a medium-sized research university that contributes to knowledge-based development at the regional, national, and international levels.