AB-208 Internship in Arctic Biology (15 ECTS)






Spring semester, annually. Cancelled in 2023.

AB-330/830 fieldwork in Van Mijenfjorden, April 2016. Photo: Ane Cecilie Kvernvik/UNIS

Grade:Letter grade (A through F)
Course Cost:None
Course Capacity Min/Max:–/5 students
Language of instruction:English
Examination support material:Bilingual dictionary between English and mother tongue

Course requirements

60 ECTS within general natural sciences, of which 30 ECTS within the field of biology. The applicant must be enrolled in a programme at Bachelor level, or document that the course is approved into the applicant’s current study programme. Students with former courses from UNIS will be given priority. For some internship places, additional requirements like certificate of good conduct and fluency in Norwegian are required.

The course can only be combined with AB-207.

Applicants should apply through the UNIS application web, and also upload the additional application form among the application documents.

Academic content

Many discipline students in biology do not realize that they have achieved valuable transferable skills during their education. An internship in Arctic biology makes students aware of the extended range of their education and they acquire new knowledge and skills not readily obtained in a classroom setting. Focus lies on more general competences and skills like communication, group work, collaboration, time management, flexibility and so on. Interns are given the opportunity to explore career interests and options, and to apply their Arctic knowledge and skills in real-life environments. It is expected that students will experience both educational and personal development during the course, and gain confidence in own abilities. This course also encourages reflection over the role and relevance of biologist in society.

Learning outcomes

Upon completing the course, the students will:


  • understand how biology is useful in a workplace
  • acquire knowledge specific for the work done with the internship host


  • apply biological knowledge in a workplace setting
  • articulate biological/disciplinary skills.

General competences

  • understand how a company/organization functions (work culture)
  • time management
  • articulate and apply transferable skills.

Mutual expectations and specific learning objectives related to knowledge, skills and general competences will be formulated between the intern and the internship host company/organization, facilitated by the faculty supervisor from UNIS.

Learning activities

The course extends over a full semester. Initially, students attend one week of compulsory Arctic survival and safety training (AS-101).

The main part of the course is an internship at a local company. Through observation, cooperation, supervision and practical work the intern shall be given the possibility to discover professional abilities and skills needed, and gain authentic work experience. Students will apply for placements through UNIS application web, the additional application form and should prioritize their preferred internship placements. Considering students’ choice/wish of internship host, background and interests; they will be assigned to a host company.

Parallel to the internship, a series of seminars will be held, where students can reflect on and discuss their experience at the internship workplace. Focus will also be on the personal experiences students make during the internship, positive and negative ones. There will also be arranged seminars combined with AB-207, with a more practical focus related to transferable research skills.

Besides the internship period, the other main part of the course is documentation and reflection of experiences made, as well as learning outcomes achieved. A series of digital publications (Blog/Podcast/Video), a reflection nota and an oral presentation will encourage reflection of experiences made and the biologist’s role in society.


  • Total internship hours: Ca 240 hours.
  • Total seminar hours (including contact meetings): Ca 25 hours.
  • Preparatory reading & self-study: Ca 50 hours
  • Assignments (communication of experience): Ca 60 hours.

Potential internship places are described in the top and bottom of the document.

Compulsory learning activities

  • Internship period (max 10% absence due to illness etc.)
  • Contact meetings (including midterm and end-evaluation) between student, host contact and UNIS supervisor
  • Seminars at UNIS with other students throughout the duration of the course
  • Oral presentation based on the reflection note at the end of the semester

All compulsory learning activities must be approved in order to be registered for the final assessment.


  • All assessments must be passed in order to pass the course.
Internship evaluation by contact person at hosting workplace
Communicate experience through chosen digital media (e.g. Blog, Podcast, Video-blog) with five posts of approximately 400 words or 3 minutes duration)
Reflection note (1 page)