Degree Project in Biology
During the degree project you will gain deeper theoretical knowledge within part of the biological subject area and learn to work independently on a scientific question, usually within an ongoing research project.
Recent degree projects
- Temporal genomic change in the Scandinavian brown bear
- Primate brain size correlates with life history and group size
- POU/Oct transcription factor Nubbin in Drosophila immunity
The degree project consists of two parts, the project plan and the project work.
When you start the course, you will begin by working on the project plan and time plan, allowing you to read up on the background as well as plan your work. The aim of the project plan is to make sure you understand the tasks involved before you begin the project work and that you gain experience in formulating a scientific hypothesis.
The project work involves working on the tasks set out in your project plan. The aim is that you should be able to perform a scientific study and lead a scientific discussion within a part of the biological subject area.
During the course you work indepedently under supervision. What you work on is dependent on the project you choose and is decided in agreement with your supervisor (see below in More Information).
You present the project plan and the project work both orally and in writing. The written part for the project work should be in the form of a scientific report including a popular summary and an ethical and societal reflection. The oral examination is in the form of a seminar normally held at the research department, and is open to colleagues at the deparment, students as well as family and friends.
The examiner depends on which subdiscipline your project best fits.
Ecology och Biodiversity
Genetic and Molecular Plant Science
Molecular Life Science
Biodiversity and Systematics
ScheduleThis is a preliminary schedule and is subject to continuous change. For this reason, we do not recommend print-outs. At the start of the course, your institution will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
The course does not have set start and end dates, but you should apply for the course the period that best fits when you plan to do the project. Which weeks you will work and what workhours you should keep is an agreement you make with your supervisor, these are then specified in the time plan which must be approved by the examiner. Degree project 30 ECTS credits should be equivalent to 18 full time work weeks.
Presentations of completed projects are listed in the schedule below (to be implemented in autumn 2020).
Course literatureNote that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.
The degree project does not have any set literature. As part of the project you will read literature assigned by your supervisor as well as identify relevant literature to read yourself.
It is your responsibility to find a suitable project and supervisor. The research departments keep lists of suggested degree projects, which are a good source of inspiration. Other ways of finding ideas for projects include:
- discussing possible projects with the teachers on the courses you take
- reading about ongoing research projects on the department’s websites
- checking for projects advertised on BIG’s notice boards (mainly external projects)
- talking to our teachers at BIG's lunch fair (held once per semester)
- MyCareer listings
The supervisor is responsible for the theoretical and practical supervision during the entire degree project. The supervisor should hold a doctorate within the relevant subject. There are often others, e.g., PhD-students that help you during your degree project, however, there is only one official supervisor.
If the project and supervisor are tied to a work place other than Stockholm University, e.g., an authority, company or a university abroad, it counts as an external degree project. If you plan to do an external degree project you should contact the examiner for external degree projects well before starting. You are also encouraged to show your intended supervisor the instructions for external supervisors before you start.
Some projects require data collection abroad. In this case you should talk to your supervisor and BIG early on to make necessary arrangements to ensure that you are insured during the time abroad.
Within some projects it is possible to do a Minor Field Study (MFS), that is, a field study in a developing country financed by a Sida stipend. If you have questions concerning doing an MFS please contact the coordinator for Minor Field Studies, Michael Tedengren.
After the course
A completed degree project is a requirement for the Master's degree, 30 ECTS credits is enough to qualify for a Master's degree in Biology. At most you can include 60 ECTS credits of degree projects in your degree.
A completed degree project is also a requirement for eligibility for postgraduate studies in biology at Stockholm University.