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2 years
120 ECTS
Full time
Fall 2020

EU/EEA applicants

Non EU/EEA applicants

If you want to learn more about the human footprint on coastal ecosystems, this is the master’s programme for you. It is also perfect for those who wish to know more about conservation Science, ecosystem services and the potential for sustainable food production in coastal areas. The programme offers the opportunity to work with field based or experimental projects that will give you a good introduction to scientific research.

Through its Centre for Coastal Research, the University of Agder cooperates with world-leading environments, where GRID-Arendal, the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research (IMR), the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA), the University of Oslo, as well as business partners from Southern Norway all contribute with education and guidance in this master’s programme. Through these partnerships, the University of Agder can offer stimulating research topics and student projects. Meanwhile, you will have a chance to build a network among well-established specialists.

What do you learn?

A master’s degree in Coastal Ecology will give you a broad understanding of the terminologies and methodologies that are used in coastal ecological studies. You will gain a good general view of how anthropogenic environmental impacts are affecting coastal ecosystems’ structure and function, and you will learn how national coastal zones are managed. You will be able to participate in exciting research projects and, through those projects, you will gain unique expertise that is not offered at other places of study.

Central questions in the programme:

  • What characterises a healthy coastal environment?
  • What effects do climate change have on coastal nature?
  • How are coastal resources affected by nutrients, pollutants and other chemicals?
  • How can our use of coastal resources reach a sustainable state?
  • How can international conventions contribute to responsible management of the coastal zone?

The courses offered in the programme are developed and taught by international specialists affiliated to UIA’s Centre for Coastal Research, and by professionals in the aquaculture industry. This ensures up-to-date-, relevant education for a career in research, aquaculture or management.

Job opportunities

The master’s programme in Coastal Ecology is a future-oriented programme that will qualify you for a number of positions related to this field. For example within public environmental- and fisheries management, private sector consultancies, in environmental impact assessment, or in the "blue industry": aquaculture business and industry. 

Course structure

Autumn 2020:

  • BIO413 Coastal Benthic Ecology (10 ECTS) 
  • BIO403 Statistics in Ecological Studies (5 ECTS)
  • BIO405 Pollution of Coastal and Marine Ecosystems (5 ECTS)
  • BIO406 Scientific Communication (5 ECTS)
  • BIO407 Applied Fish Ecology (5 ECTS)

Spring 2021:

Autumn 2021/ Spring 2022:

  • BIO500 Master Thesis (60 ECTS)

Admission requirements

Admission requirements

See supplementary regulations regarding admission.

Application period

  • Non EU/EEA international applicants: From 1 November till 1 December.
  • EU/EEA applicants: From 1 February till 1 March.
  • Nordic citizens and applicants with a permanent or renewable residence permit in Norway: From 1 February till 1 March.

Further education

Completed master's degree can qualify for admission to the doctoral program (PhD) at the Department of Natural Sciences at UiA or for other doctoral programs in Norway and internationally.


Language of instruction


Questions regarding admission

Questions about this programme?

Meet the lecturer, Tove Gabrielsen