Developmental Biology and Physiology, M.Sc.

Developmental Biology and Physiology, M.Sc.

  • Application Deadline
  • 24 months
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

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 24 months
  • Credits
    120 ECTS
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

    Schedule TOEFL®
  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks. Read more about TOEFL®PBT.

    Schedule TOEFL®
  • 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.

    Schedule IELTS

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

  • 10362 - 16830 NOK/month
    Living Costs

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


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