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, development of sustainable sea food 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 of top-quality instruction, this program also emphasizes good relationships with the local and international industry. We help students and their future employers understand exactly where the advancement of technical knowledge will apply to innovation within both 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.
Objectives, content and organization
The purpose is to educate candidates in modern biotechnological expertise, with particular empasis on 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 programme, 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 theses/what we excpect 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.
The study programme 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 programme 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.
For details regarding required relevant background see Admission requirements (scroll down to the menu).
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 specialisation 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 specialisation must amount to 80 credits in total.
- Lack of in-depth specialisation in one of these 2000 topics can be compensated by a strong background in one or more of the other topics.
Are you an international applicant? Read more here.
We have 15 places available each year. Upon admission, applicants are ranked by average grade on subjects included in the in-depth specialisation from the bachelor degree.
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 scientific methodology
- advanced skills in genetic, biotechnological and molecular biological techniques
- multidisciplinary skills that enable students to combine different disciplines so that they can analyse 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 PhD programmes 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, bioactives and medicinal components
The job opportunities are many and varied for graduates in Marine
Biotechnology. 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 production of
seafood and other foodstuffs, and laboratory-based
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 graduated students work as PhD'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.
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 on 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 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.