926 Environmental Science, for international students, master


Environmental science is an interdisciplinary academic field that integrates physical and biological sciences, (including but not limited to Ecology, Chemistry, Biology, Soil Science, Water, Geology and Atmospheric Science) to the study of the environment, and the solution of environmental problems. Environmental science provides an integrated, quantitative, and interdisciplinary approach to the study of environmental systems.

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. The study program is research and management oriented and provides thorough experience of laboratory and fieldwork.

Target Group and Admission Requirements

This master's program is specially designed for international students with an educational background from a broad field of sciences related to environmental science or environmental health.

A Bachelor's degree*, which includes 80 credits within the relevant science / environmental science, is required. Grade Requirements is C.

English requirements

The requirement for English proficiency may be met in one of the following ways:

  • International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) with a minimum score of 6.0. An IELTS test is only valid for two years. You must take the Academic test.
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 550 for a paperbased test, a score of at least 210 for a computer-based test or minimum 80 for an internet-based test. A TOEFL test is only valid for two years.
  • Bachelor’s degree from UK, USA, Canada, Australia, Ireland or New Zealand with English as the language of instruction.
  • A bachelor’s degree from one of our partner institutions may be sufficient to meet the requirement for English proficiency (individual evaluation of such applicants). Examples are applicants from the Autonomous University of Madrid, University of Cumbria, the University of Pune, the University of Zilina and the University of Greifswald. Please visit our list of partner institutions at http://www.hit.no/eng/HiT/Student/Student-Exchanges/Exchanges-from-TUC/TUC-partner-universities

Since the language of instruction is English you do not have to know any Norwegian.

*Bachelor's degree

You must have an education equivalent to a Norwegian Bachelor's degree with a minimum of 80 ects specialisation in environmental science (ecology, biology, geology, limnology, or equivalent courses) to be eligible for a Master's programme in Environmental Science (i.e. at least three years of higher education, in addition to the minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway).

Aim of the Programme

Our aim is to educate graduates with good multidisciplinary knowledge in the field of Environmental Science.

Independent work will be emphasized especially for the Master thesis. The student will be trained to understand and critically evaluate information, methods and research results. Students will also learn interdisciplinary collaboration and communication, and how scientific research and reporting is accomplished. Completion of this program will qualify for PhD studies.

Learning outcome

After completing this program, the students should have the following qualifications regarding knowledge, skills, and general competence:

• Advanced knowledge in biological fields such as botany, zoology, microbiology, genetics, biotechnology, ecotoxicology and limnology
• Detailed knowledge of selected topics, processes and mechanisms related to key environmental factors and their effects (see course descriptions)
• Ability to analyze academic problems on the basis of traditions of the academic field

• Be able to use relevant methods for research in an independent manner
• Be able to locate, assess and refer to technical information and present it both orally and in writing
• Ability to use relevant government regulations in administrative tasks, planning and impact assessment
• Be able to carry out independent, limited research project under supervision and in accordance with applicable norms for research ethics

General Competence:
• Be able to apply their knowledge and skills in new areas
• Be able to communicate extensive independent work and master language and terminology of Environmental Science
• Be able to contribute to new thinking and innovation processes

Curriculum and structure

Environmental Science, for International students
Code Course title Credits O/V *) Credits pr. semester
  S1(A) S2(V) S3(A) S4(V) S5(A) S6(V)
4301 Natural Science Methods 10.00 O 10          
4502 Alpine Biodiversity and Climatic Change 10.00 V 10          
4307 Applied Microbiology 10.00 V 10          
4311 Ecological Methods 10.00 V 10          
4308 Ecotoxicology 10.00 V   10        
4313 Biotechnology 10.00 V   10        
4325 Boundary Layer and Local Climates 10.00 V   10        
4324 Georesources and Groundwater 10.00 V   10        
4316 Special Syllabus 10.00 V   10        
4319 Supervised Project 20.00 V   20        
4317 Master’s Thesis 60.00 V     30 30    
Total: 0 0 0 0 0 0
*) 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
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

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

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 study program consists of various courses comprising in total 60 ECTS and a Master’s thesis (60 ECTS). The teaching is largely based on one-week modules, and laboratory and field-oriented teaching. It provides a flexible study program, and places high demands on students’ ability to work independently.


This is an international study program which admits Norwegian students and students from partner institutions from all over the world. An exchange period (30 ects/one semester) abroad may be accepted as part of the degree. For more information, please visit: http://www.hit.no/eng/HiT/Student/Student-Exchanges

Teaching and Learning Methods

All the courses are a combination of lectures, field work, field trips and laboratory exercises (see course descriptions for details). All the field work and laboratory exercises are mandatory (absence of up to 20% of the mandatory part of a courses will be accepted).

Combining theory and practice is central throughout the program. This will provide the students with necessary theoretical knowledge as well as practical experience required to be prepared for employment or further studies. The Master thesis is based on independent study under the supervision of Professors.

Theory and Practical Training

We want to educate graduates with good multidisciplinary knowledge about nature, health and environment, with particular focus on terrestrial and aquatic issues, both natural and caused by anthropogenic influence. Students also have the opportunity to specialize in environmental and human health.
Specific learning objectives will be trained in the collection of relevant information (already published works or data produced by the students themselves at lab.arbeid, sampling, etc.), systematization and publication of this in a scientifically correct manner.
It is emphasized that the students critical and independent work. This applies particularly to this thesis. They should be able to understand and critically evaluate information, methods and research results. Students will learn interdisciplinary collaboration and communication, and how scientific research and reporting is accomplished.

Further study opportunities are PhD in various nature - environmental, or health care professional direction or another on forkerutdanning.

Assessment Methods

All courses have a final exam. Some of the courses may also have additional assessment such as laboratory reports/ field reports or smaller written assessment (see course descriptions for details).

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

Publisert av / forfatter Mona Sæbø <Mona.SaboSPAMFILTER@hit.no>, last modified Ralph Ingemar Stålberg - 05/10/2012