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Nordic Master´s Programme in Biodiversity and Systematics

  • 120 credits

Be part of the new generation of taxonomists with the expertise and skills to take action against biodiversity loss. You will gain a broad knowledge of living organisms, their relationships and learn specific identification and research skills to be able to follow a career in the conservation of biodiversity for the future.

Information for admitted students Autumn 2020

Congratulations! You have been admitted at Stockholm University and we hope that you will enjoy your studies with us.

In order to ensure that your studies begin as smoothly as possible we have compiled a short checklist for the beginning of the semester.

Follow the instructions on wether you have to reply to your offer or not.


Checklist for admitted students

  1. Activate your university account

    The first step in being able to register and gain access to all the university's IT services.

  2. Register at your department

    Registration can be done in different ways. Read the instructions from your department below.

  3. Read all the information on this page

    Here you will find what you need to know before your course or programme starts.


Your seat may be withdrawn if you do not register according to the instructions provided by your department.

Information from the department - programmes

Welcome to the Department of Biological Education! We are happy to be part of your student experience and contribute to your future success.

In order to get you off to a good start, we have gathered the important things you need to know here. Read through carefully and if you have any questions, please contact us.


Starting in the autumn term, we will make a partial return to campus-based teaching, to the degree possible. Compulsory teaching will to a large extent be given on campus, adapted according to the guidelines of the Public Health Authority. Parts of the teaching will be given online to reduce the spread of infection. Read more about the teaching at BIG in autumn 2020.


As a new programme student you are called to an introduction week and a compulsory roll call, the week before start of term. Note! As a Master's student you should, well in advance of the roll call, check if you have any conditions on your admission. See "Eligible with condition" below.

Note that the roll call is compulsory and if you do not participate you can loose your place on the programme. If you are unable to attend you must contact the student office latest one hour before the roll call starts.

After the roll call you will be registered on the programme and the autumn courses.

Introduction to Master's programmes

Eligible with conditions

If you did not meet all the eligibility requirements for the course when you applied then you are eligible with conditions. It is stated in your acceptance letter from if you are eligible with conditions. In that case, you cannot be registered as the department must first assess your eligibility.

Conditions for master's programmes are almost always that you need to complete your Bachelor's degree. You must meet the condition before the programme starts and a completed Bachelor's education should be documented in University admissions or Ladok (the Swedish student registry). If you will not meet the conditions in time you should decline your place.

Check the requirements under "Eligibility" here on the course page. As soon as you meet the requirements, send a message to with the following information:

  • Subject line: Terms
  • Your name
  • Which programme you are admitted to

If you have questions about your condition, you can contact the study counsellor.

Read about eligibility

Studying with a disability

If you need special pedagogical support, you can apply for support measurs. You should apply as soon as possible after you have been admitted to take advantage of the best possible support.

Read how to apply for support

Once you have your Nais certificate, contact the study counsellor for a meeting where we will go through the support measured. After the meeting, you should contact the course coordinators for the courses you will attend and inform them that you have been granted support, so that they can prepare well.

Declining your place

If you no longer want your place, it is important that you decline your place so that another applicant can get the place. Please note that you can only decline your place at before the roll call. Declining the place after roll call is counted as having dropped the programme.

Declining your place at

Reserve place

If you have been given a reserve place you may be admitted if someone declines their place. Reserve admission mainly takes place in connection with the roll call. If there is cause for reserve admission then you will receive notice one to two weeks before the roll call.

More information about your studies with us

On our website you will find more information about your studies with us.

Welcome activities

Stockholm University organises a series of welcome activities that stretch over a few weeks at the beginning of each semester. The programme is voluntary (attendance is optional) and includes Arrival Service at the airport and an Orientation Day, see more details about these events below.
Your department may also organise activities for welcoming international students. More information will be provided by your specific department. 

Find your way on campus

Stockholm University's main campus is in the Frescati area, north of the city centre. While most of our departments and offices are located here, there are also campus areas in other parts of the city.

Find your way on campus

Read more

New student

During your studies

Student unions

For new international students

Pre-departure information

New in Sweden

Reasons to choose a Master in Biodiversity and Systematics

  • Emphasis on gaining practical skills alongside theoretical knowledge
  • Constantly updated courses to reflect latest research
  • Programme designed to be tailored to individual students career goals
  • Programme overview

    The programme is a collaboration between seven nordic universities and courses are taught as a combination of distance studies and intensive field and lab sessions at different field stations and participating universities. The distance element allows you alot of flexibility in when and where you conduct your studies. The up to week long field and lab sessions give you hands on experience of methods and deeper insight to biodiversity and systematics research across Sweden and the Nordic countries.

    The programme consists of courses within four main categories: Biodiversity-identification, Biodiversity-classification, Systematic theory and Tools & skills. You will receive a broad training in both practical and theoretical subjects and there is plenty of space available in the programme to choose from a selection of elective courses depending on your interests and career goals. The requirement is that you include at least one course from each of the categories.

    Year 1

    Compulsory courses

    Alpha taxonomical principles (Gothenburg)

    Fundamental and molecular systematics (Uppsala)

    Elective courses

    List of courses

    Year 2

    Compulsory course

    Degree project in Biodiversity and Systematics
    (instructions apply for all degree projects at the department)

    Independent project

    Master’s degree projects are carried out within ongoing research projects at your host university.

    Recent degree projects

    • Systematic review of the Puntius chola and Puntius sophore complexes (Teleostei: Cyprinidae) in Bangladesh and Myanmar
    • Phylogeny and diversity of the Madagascan Uvarus. A glimpse into the diving beetle tribe Bidessini (Coleoptera: Dytiscidae)
    • Tracing the ancestral distribution of Chimarra (Trichoptera: Philopotamidae) with descriptions of 7 new species from Malawi
  • How to apply

    The Master's programme in Biodiversity and Systematics is only open for application in the first round, with deadline for applications in mid-January.

    The Biodiversity and Systematics programme requires a solid background in Biology, specifically we expect the equivalent to a Bachelor in Biology including at least one year's full time studies in Biology.

    Selection process

    Additional eligibility criteria

    Applicants that meet the eligibility requirements are ranked based on their merit rating. Only students with the highest merit ratings are selected for our programmes. The merit rating is based on the following four selection criteria, with equal weight:

    • relevance of previous studies in relation to the programme
    • grades of academic courses
    • motivation letter
    • research ideas

    Required supporting documentation

    To submit your motivation letter and research ideas you must use our cover letter form.

    Cover letter/Motivation letter
    The form is only available when applications are open.

    Recommendation letters and CVs are not concidered.

  • Career opportunities

    The Master’s degree in Biodiversity and Systematics opens career paths for students wishing to pursue careers in academic research or as museum curators. Similarly, the programme is well suited to non-academic careers in Nature conservation, government agencies and non-governmental organisations.

  • Contact

    Student office
    Study counsellor at master's level