Study plan

PhD in Aquatic Biosciences

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Programme description

The Programme has an educational training component from which the PhD student has to obtain at least 30 credits (the equivalent of one full time semester). The research component includes preparation of a PhD thesis based on an original piece of high quality research in one of the research areas of the Faculty.


The obligatory courses of the PhD Programme are: Ecological and Interspecies Ethics (5 credits) and one PhD level course (5 credits) in a subject area directly related to the thesis.


The PhD student should obtain 20 credits from elective courses. A minimum of 10 credits must be secured from PhD level courses.


The PhD level elective courses (5 credits) currently offered at the faculty can be found under "Programme overview" on this website. The students are encouraged to select these courses, provided they are relevant for their research theme.


Internationally acclaimed PhD courses conducted at other universities in Norway or abroad can be included in this component, if necessary.

The PhD student is expected to prepare a thesis, which is a body of work based upon original research that is recognised by its scientific excellence, relevance and value. This research work will be associated with at least one of the faculty's research groups. The resulting thesis is normally in the form of a series of published/publishable papers. An external committee will evaluate the thesis. In addition, the candidate is also required to actively participate in national and international research environments and carry out result dissemination based on his/her project theme.

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Learning outcomes

The erudition of the candidate completing a PhD degree at the Faculty will be on par with the national standards. Candidates who are adjudged as qualified for the Doctoral degree in Aquatic Biosciences at UiN isexpected to possess the knowledge, skill and general competency in the particular field of science.

The learning outcomes are maintained on the standards stipulated by the Norwegian Agency forQuality Assurance in Education (NOKUT; regulations on the supervision and control of the quality of Norwegian higher education "Tilsynsforskriften" § 4.2.)



The Candidate

  • should be an intellectual elite in the field of Aquatic Biosciences, is a connoisseur in the theories and/or artistic issues, is able to apply the right tools and advance in the domain of knowledge;
  • should have in-depth and up-to-date knowledge of methods and processes in research and in scholarly - projects within the realm of Aquatic Biosciences;
  • should have advanced knowledge of theories, innovations, methods, elucidations and forms of documentation within their area of expertise.



The Candidate

  • can develop new research questions and topics for scholarly and/or artistic creations;
  • can plan and conduct internationally recognized research and academic and/or artistic work;
  • can solve complex academic questions and challenge established knowledge and practise within the field of Aquatic Biosciences.


General competencies

The Candidate

  • can recognize ethical issues, new and otherwise, to perform research and to disseminate results with strong scholarly moral principles;
  • should possess managerial skills to perform assignments, conduct projects and complex interdisciplinary tasks through effective collaborations;
  • should disseminate research through appropriate national and international channels in order to enhance their impact on end-users and society;
  • should partake in national and international debates, scientific and popular, within the field of expertise;
  • can assess the need for innovation, initiate and implement it for progression of human thinking and well-being.

Admission requirements

The Faculty of Biosciences and Aquaculture (FBA) welcomes applicants who have successfully completed their master's degree (120 ECTS) in Aquaculture or Marine Ecology or other related fields within biology, with a minimum average grade C (or its international accepted equivalence) or better. Potential candidates with master´s degree in other areas may be considered depending on the nature of the proposed research project.

In order to be admitted to the PhD programme applicants must source financing for the entire period of the doctoral studies (3 years). Possible funding sources are PhD fellowships funded by FBA or other external sources. Self-financed applicants are normally not accepted (documented funding from governmental or non-governmental bodies is required). Available PhD scholarships funded by FBA will be publicly available on the website:

Please review the Regulations for the doctor of philosophy degree at Nord University, including the Supplementary regulations for the PhD in Aquatic Biosciences for more detailed information on admission requirements for the PhD programme.

Complete applications will be forwarded to the Faculty Research Board and Dean, which take the decision on admission.

Career possibilities

The PhD in Aquatic Biosciences will first and foremost qualify the students for positions within higher education institutions and for research and development work at research institutes. They would also have opportunities within the aquaculture or marine life science-related industries in Norway and abroad. Non-Governmental agencies interested in marine environmental issues will also be an attractive employer.

Further education

PhD is the highest form of academic education offered, and signifies the conclusion of studies.

Study abroad

Based on the nature of the research project, there will be research visits/stay at national or international institutions.


Running costs are generally covered by the funds of the project related to the research theme of the candidate.

Examination regulations, assessment and grading

Examination regulations can be found in regulations for studies and exams at Nord University as well as the special regulations "Regulations for examination candidates at Nord University". The Norwegian assessment and grading system uses the letter grades A-F, in which A denotes the best grade and F denotes "failed". Grades can also be given as: "passed" /"not passed" or "approved"/ "not approved".

Assessment methods

Course component: Pass/Fail
Students have to successfully complete the obligatory and elective courses, recommended as part of this programme.
Further, they have also to fulfill other academic requirements stipulated in the PhD contract.

Research component: Approved/Not approved, wherever applicable

Presentations, Publications, Dissertation, Trial lecture and Defense

The students will have to compile their research in the form of a dissertation that will be evaluated by an external committee. They will also have to publicly present a trial lecture and defend their dissertation successfully.

Graduation requirements

Successful completion of the training and research components followed by successful delivery of the trial lecture and defence of the PhD thesis.

Programme evaluation

Dialogue meetings are conducted between students and the programme director every year.


Qualifications requirements and regulations

Here we refer to "Regulations pertaining to studies and exams at Nord University " as well as local regulations and directives, see University Rules and Regulations.
ECTS Credits 180 Study level Doctoral degree with nom length of study Teaching language
Faculty of Biosciences and Aquaculture
Course location Bodø