918 MSc Environmental Health, master

Target Group and Admission Requirements

This Master's degree programme is especially designed for applicants with educational background in the areas of the natural sciences, health and the environment, science and mathematics, teacher education (natural sciences), nursing with the relevant supplementary subjects, or other relevant education. Furthermore, the study programme is relevant as continuing education for employees with various professional backgrounds who want to improve their educational qualifications. The instruction is structured so that it is possible to take the programme on a part time basis.

Admission requirements

For admission to the Master's degree programme, a Bachelor’s degree (or Cand. Mag. degree) is required which includes 60 ECTS credits within the relevant natural sciences/environmental subjects. Alternatively, it is possible to supplement with such subjects as well. The application process will pay attention to the relevant academic background of the applicants in relation to the tutor expertise available. The examination grades of the applicants will be evaluated individually. Any relevant professional experience may also be considered in addition to educational background.

Aim of the Programme

The Master’s degree programme aims to provide students with thorough multidisciplinary knowledge about the natural environment, health and/or the environment by allowing them to acquire subject specialisation in how interaction and processes in the natural environment regulate resources, and how this affects the health and well being of the individual.

Specific learning goals will vary depending on whether the aim is purely scientific or if it is related to an element of management ability. Emphasis will be placed on how and why different management strategies can contribute to sustainable use, conservation / protection and the recovery of natural and environmental resources, or how this affects the management of health.

Substantial emphasis will be placed on critical and independent work by the students. This applies particularly to the Master’s thesis. They must be able to understand and critically evaluate information, methods and research results. The students on the programme will practice multidisciplinary cooperation and communication and learn how scientific research and results reporting is accomplished.

Further Education opportunities

The Master’s degree forms a basis for enrolment on more advanced research programmes.

Curriculum and structure

MSc Environmental Health
Code Course title Credits O/V *) Credits pr. semester
  S1(A) S2(V) S3(A) S4(V)
4301 Natural Science Methods 10.00 O 10      
4302 Genetics 10.00 V 10      
4307 Applied Microbiology 10.00 V 10      
4502 Alpine Biodiversity and Climatic Change 10.00 V 10      
4323 Applications in Water Science 10.00 V 10      
4311 Methods and Analysis of Wildlife and
Fish Stocks
10.00 V 10      
4308 Ecotoxicology 10.00 V   10    
4309 Biogeography 10.00 V   10    
4313 Biotechnology 10.00 V   10    
5702 Geographical Analysis 10.00 V   10    
4321 Interaction between Chemicals and
Biological Injury
10.00 V   10    
4316 Special Syllabus 10.00 V 10 10    
4319 Supervised Project 20.00 V 20 20    
4317 Master’s Thesis 60.00 O     30 30
Total: 30 30 30 30
*) O - Mandatory course, V - Optional course

Mandatory courses
4301 Natural Science Methods is an obligatory course in methods. A foundation in statistics equivalent to 10 ECTS credits is desirable. If this is not included in the admission application, the student should take a course in statistics, either independently or as part of the Master’s degree programme (see below “Approval of Bachelor’s degree courses”).

Elective courses
The table above is for the academic year 2007/8.

Please note: In order for an elective subject to be offered, a sufficient number of students must sign up for the course. This is evaluated for each separate course. If too few students have signed up, the course may be postponed until the following academic year. Under special circumstances, an elective course may be discontinued. Such decisions will be taken up with the students so that the quality of the programme is maintained.

Post-graduate courses from other institutions may be accepted if they are relevant. We encourage students to take advantage of student-exchange arrangements with foreign universities and colleges: http://www.hit.no/AF/Administrasjon-Boe/Internasjonalt-kontor/Studier-i-utlandet
It is also possible to choose some courses form the joint Master’s degree study programme, Inland Water Quality Assessment; please refer to the course catalogue on our home page (with the reservation that the study programme has been approved by NOKUT, the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education).

Limitation regarding some courses
Some of the courses only accept a limited number of applicants, for instance 4307 Applied Microbiology, 4313 Biotechnology and 4315 Bio Computer Science.

Approval of Bachelor’s degree courses

Up to 10 ECTS credits of Bachelor’s degree level courses may be approved as part of a Master’s degree, if the Master’s degree supervisor recommends this in order to strengthen the subject profile of the thesis. Normally, such approval concerns courses from the third year of a Bachelor’s degree. However, mandatory courses from Bachelor’s degree programmes which are included in a student’s application to the Master’s degree will not be approved.

Approval of practical work experience (course code 4320)

Students who can document relevant practical experience can apply to have up to 30 ECTS credits approved for at least one year’s work; this must be thoroughly documented and reported, or students must submit a certificate from employers. The practical experience must be directly relevant to the Master's thesis. The supervisor will determine if the work experience is relevant or not by considering its content, scope and quality; in other words, the practical experience must constitute more than just “routine” work.

The practical experience must be concluded and approved before the student may submit his/her thesis.

The programme is structured as follows:

Obligatory part, 10 ECTS.

Elective part, 50 ECTS.

Master’s thesis, 60 ECTS.

* It is also possible to write a Master’s thesis comprising 30 ECTS credits (4318 Master’s Thesis) instead of one comprising 60 ECTS. The elective part of the study programme must then be increased to 80 ECTS, so that more ECTS credits may be used to explore the scope and extent of a given subject area.

Master’s study programme plan
At an early point in the study programme, each student’s plan of study will be drawn up. The plan will define the composition of the student’s study programme, the topic of his/her Master’s thesis and other possible conditions that concern the individual student. The Master’s plan must be written on a separate form, which is available on the Department’s homepage. It should signed by the student, the main supervisor, and possibly other supervisors and the Head of the Department. Please refer to the following web page: http://www.hit.no/AF/Natur-helse-miljoevern/Studieinformasjon/For-masterstudenter/Skjema-for-masterplan-august-2008

Master’s thesis/presentations

Each student will make two presentations of his/her Master’s thesis for the student group and the student’s supervisor. The thesis questions and the plan of progress must be drafted at an early point in the Master’s degree studies, and the results and conclusions will be presented towards the end of the course of study.

Teaching and Learning Methods

Practical teaching
The programme puts great emphasis on laboratory and field-oriented teaching. Students are also expected to work independently to a large extent, because much of the teaching in based on presentations, problem-solving and problem-based learning.

Teaching in periods

As far as possible the teaching of the individual courses will be based on module-weeks. It provides a more flexible study situation for students in relation to working on assignments and if necessary combining with a student’s job. Study material will be available on the university college’s homepage and may be accessed using a password.


Legitimate absence (sick leave) of as much as 20% of the obligatory part of a course will be accepted. A student’s absence for more than 20% of the obligatory course will not be approved, and the student will not be eligible for preferential treatment with regard to applying for a place on the field/laboratory course the next time the course is given.

Assessment Methods

Master's degree courses will be awarded individual grades which will be entered on the diploma. Please refer to the individual course descriptions for assessment criteria. When the Master's thesis has been submitted and evaluated, a final oral examination related to the student’s thesis will be held. The mark for the thesis will be adjusted after the oral examination, and a final grade will be shown on the diploma.

Students who have set up a special syllabus for themselves will submit a written assignment. In this case, a separate grade will be entered on the diploma.

In addition to the Master’s degree thesis the final examinations for the Master’s degree courses will be assessed individually using an external examiner and a supervisor from the Department of Environmental and Health Studies.

Minor adjustments may occur during the academic year, subject to the decision of the Dean

Publisert av / forfatter Anette N. Fredly <Anette.N.FredlySPAMFILTER@hit.no>, last modified Anette Norheim Fredly - 29/01/2009