Nordic vegetation in the past and present

Undergraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

The course provides an overview of the distribution of plant species and nature types in the Nordic region with the main emphasis on Norway. Norway's classification system for nature (Nature in Norway- NiN), as well as the most important habitats and how these are distributed along ecological gradients, will be presented. The course will cover how geographical patterns in today's nature are influenced by climate and the environment, but also by historical factors such as species immigration, cultural influence and climate change since the Ice Age. Quaternary landscape and vegetation development will be examined.

Learning Outcomes

  • To achieve knowledge of the composition and distribution of the Nordic plant species and habitats in relation to ecology and history.
  • To learn how to classify and map nature according to the system "Nature in Norway (NiN)".
  • Preparation of a field course report will provide training in scientific reporting.
  • ECTS Credits

    10 ECTS

    Level of Study

    Advanced bachelor students and master students.

    Semester of Instruction

    Autumn, every other year (even-numbered years).


    This course has a limited capacity, enrolment is based on application. The application deadline is Wednesday in week 33 for the autumn semester. Please see this page for more information. You will receive confirmation of whether you received a seat in Studentweb no later than Monday the week after the deadline.


    It is compulsory to attend the first lecture/orientation meeting, or you risk losing your seat. If you are unable to attend the first lecture, you must contact the Study Section ( The time of the first lecture/orientation meeting can be found in the schedule on the course website or on Mitt UiB.

    Place of Instruction

    Required Previous Knowledge
    Compulsory courses in bachelor's in biology, or equivalent courses.
    Recommended Previous Knowledge
    Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
    Access to the Course
    In order to be admitted to the course, you must be admitted to a study programme at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences and fulfill required previous knowledge.
    Teaching and learning methods
  • 6-day field course: 5 days on field excursion + 1 day NiN practice
  • Writing a field course report
  • Lectures/TBL sessions («Team Based Learning»): 4 hours/week for 10 weeks
  • Seminars where students present scientific papers
  • Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
  • Participation in field trip and writing field trip report.
  • Participation in seminars and presentation.
  • Approved compulsory activities are valid for 6 semesters, including the semester of completion. Compulsory activities have to be passed in order to take the exam.

    Forms of Assessment
    Written digital exam (3 hours), accounts for 100% of final grade..
    Grading Scale
    Grading scale A-F, where grade A is the highest passing grade, and grade F is a fail.
    Assessment Semester
    The written digital exam is held in both semesters. In semesters with no teaching, the exam is held early in the semester.
    Reading List
    The literature list will be available by June 1st for the autumn semester and December 1st for the spring semester.
    Course Evaluation
    Students will evaluate the course in accordance with the quality assurance system at UiB and the Department. You can find course evaluations in the Quality Assurance Reports.
    Examination Support Material
    Programme Committee
    The Programme Board is responsible for the content, structure and quality of the course.
    Course Administrator
    The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences by the Department of Biological Sciences has the administrative responsibility for the course.