Master of science (2 year) Full time

Fox stalking a migpie

Fox stalking a migpie


Interested in nature, biological diversity and, natural processes? Ecologists play a key role in understanding how humans impact the environment, the consequences, and how to mitigate the effects.


See "Admission requirements".

Application deadline:

April 20th
International applicants:
December 1st

Study start
Autumn 2022
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Study advisor(s)
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Contact info

Admission's Office:
Phone:  +47 67 23 01 11

Ecology deals with the relations of organisms to one another and to their physical surroundings. As a master’s student in ecology, you will study how nature and its processes work.

This knowledge is a prerequisite for combatting important environmental challenges such as habitat fragmentation, biodiversity loss, pollution, and climate change.  

The ecology master´s will give you a thorough understanding of central elements of ecology. You will be able to understand and recognize the complexity of ecosystems. You will gain an understanding of the ecological and evolutionary processes that have formed biological diversity. You will learn about conservation biology, and have an up-to-date knowledge about global change and its impact on organisms and ecosystems. In addition, you will be able to specialize on a topic of your choosing.

One example of such a topic is tropical ecology, where you will learn about the biology and ecology of the tropics as well as current challenges in tropical ecology like habitat destruction and biodiversity decline. Other topics could be entomology, restauration ecology, behavioural and population ecology, landscape ecology etc.

Job opportunities

You will be qualified for tasks related to environmental monitoring, biological conservation, research, and education. 

Our alumni work for a variety of employers, ranging from public government, NGOs, research institutions, and the university sector. The programme has a strong research emphasis, and can serve as a foundation for PhD studies.

Interviews with finished candidates:

Learning outcomes

The following courses are compulsory for all students:

Conservation Biology, Global Change Ecology, Methods in Natural Sciences and a 60 ECTS master´s thesis. Those courses will give you skills like:

  • Have a thorough knowledge of ecological theories and factors that regulate the structure and diversity of ecosystems.
  • Have an in-depth knowledge of ecological processes and the interactions between humans and ecosystems.
  • Have knowledge of the significance of biodiversity for ecosystems and underlying causes for the loss of biological diversity
  • Have up-to-date knowledge on global environmental change and how it affects organisms and ecosystems.
  • Can use ecological principles and knowledge in an applied perspective; such as in nature conservation and the management of natural resources.
  • Can plan and conduct advanced scientific field work in an independent way, as well as evaluate, analyze and synthesize the data afterwards.
  • Can apply new insight and information to analyze ecological problems.

 In addition students have to choose at least one of the following courses:

  • Photobiology
  • Ecological Entomology
  • Behavioural and Population Ecology
  • Landscape Ecology
  • Ecology and Management of Rivers and Lakes
  • Environmental Pollutants and Ecotoxicology
  • Restoration Ecology
  • Tropical Rainforest Ecology and Conservation
  • Ecology and Management of Natural Resources in the Tropics
  • Human Wildlife Interactions.

These specializations will provide candidates with a number of other skills and competencies.

Exstensive master's thesis
To facilitate extensive hands-on experience, the entire second year is dedicated the master’s thesis (60 ECTS). The topic for the master thesis will be decided in collaboration with your supervisor and based on the specialization chosen. Our master´s students do their field work in many different countries, spread across four continents. 

A detailed course structure can be found here. 

Admission requirements

A Bachelor’s degree, or its equivalent, in natural sciences, with solid knowledge of ecology and ecological processes.

Applicants must have obtained a minimum grade point average (GPA) of C (in Norwegian scale) or equivalent from the specialization in their degree.

Applicants must demonstrate English language ability in accordance with the NMBU regulations for programmes taught in English.

Students who have already obtained a master’s degree in Norway will not be prioritised

You can find general information on admission to NMBU here.

I cooperate with my colleagues on varied ecological research projects, which include field work, statistical analysis and writing reports and scientific papers.

Rannveig M. Jacobsen, Researcher, Norwegian Institute of Nature Research (NINA)