NBIK14024U Arctic Field Course

Volume 2016/2017

MSc Programme in Biology


The course consists for 3 phases:

1) a preparation phase with a few meetings and supervision for groups held in Copenhagen during block 4
2) the field work, which takes place at the Arctic Station, University of Copenhagen, in Qeqertarsuaq at Disko, West Greenland, during 10 days in July
3) data analysis and report writing in Copenhagen during August

The participants must apply for the opportunity to participate in the course by formulating an experimental group project to be carried out during the 10 days at the Arctic Station. The theme for the course change from year-to-year depending on the teachers. The actual themes will be announced during the autumn 2016.

The application should include:

  • A description of project including title, present knowledge, aim and working hypothesis
  • A short description of the applicants (CV), including course portfolio and grades
  • A time plan and a tentative budget for all known expenses
  • Ideas of how to obtain external funding for the project

Each project must include two to four students. It is strongly recommended to discuss project ideas with the teachers who are responsible for the course. The applications will be avaluated based on motivation, qualifications and feasibility.
All field work will take place at Arctic station. There will furthermore be mandatory excursions and lectures (in the evenings) with contributions from the scientitic leader of the station as well as guest researchers and the teachers at the course are talking about their current projects.

Learning Outcome


  • Comprehensive understanding of the structure and function of Arctic ecosystems including organization and interactions of the biota, their responsiveness to environmental factors, human interference and climate conditions.


  • Carry out practical field work under challenging Arctic conditions
  • Apply general morphological, physiological and reproductive strategies in arctic organisms in the discussion of the acquired results
  • Apply general population dynamics in relation to environmental conditions
  • Apply general element cycling of the Arctic in the discussion of the acquired results.
  • Include general knowledge on arctic abiotic conditions in the treatment of the results of the project
  • Mediate the ideas of the project and the acquired results in terms of a project report and in an oral presentation of the investigation.


  • Understanding the scientific process from the idea of a project to completing a report of the study
  • The ability to work in a group and to take responsibility for preparing a scientific report with in a deadline
  • Gather and analyze experimental data

See Absalon.

It is a pre-request that the course Arctic Biology, or other similar courses in Denmark or other countries, has been successfully passed either before or during the same year as the field course.
Experimental group projects with intensive guidance in connection with planning of project and execution of field work. The groups present their plan to the team during all phases of the course.
Teachers are from Department of Biology, The Natural History Museum of Denmark, Arctic Station and other institutions.
Note that all must send an application following a template that will be announced.

Selection for participation in the course is based on these criteria: relevance, project, feasibility, general skills, grades and motivation.

An English report based on all project reports performed during the Arctic Field Course will be published on behalf of Arctic Station.

Each student must contribute with approx. 5000 DKK as co-financing.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Exam
  • 0,5
  • Excursions
  • 10
  • Guidance
  • 15
  • Lectures
  • 10
  • Practical exercises
  • 70
  • Preparation
  • 30,5
  • Project work
  • 70
  • Total
  • 206,0
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Oral examination, 15 minutes (no preparation)
The groups will write a report in English based on the results of their investigations. The report must follow the format of a scientific paper. Submission deadline is 15 August.

The oral examination is a 15-minute oral examination where the students individually present their study and its results. The presentation is followed by questions to the report as well as relevant background literature to the project. This will take place by the end of Block 5.

The grade is based on an overall evaluation of the two part exams.
Exam registration requirements

It is a requirement that the student has participated in the field part in Greenland.

Only certain aids allowed

All aids are allowed for the written part exam. No aids are allowed for the oral exam.

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiner.

As ordinary exam. The student must hand in a new individual report within the following block.

If the requirement is not fulfilled, the student must take the course again the next year.

Criteria for exam assesment

A report paper incl. own results in relation to relevant literature.