Studieplan 2022/2023

MAOK Master in applied ecology

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Master in applied ecology



Studiets nivå og organisering

The master in applied ecology is a full time study over 2 years, consisting of 120 ECTS credits according to § 3 in ‘The regulation of requirement to a master degree appointed by the Ministry of Education and Research July 2nd, 2002 (”Forskrift om krav til mastergrad” fastsatt av Utdannings- og Forskningsdepartementet den 2. juli 2002).

The students can choose between two tracks, or specializations within applied ecology:

- Forestry

- Management and Research

In both specializations, the candidate can choose between a 30- and a 60-point master’s thesis.  This will allow students time to choose to take additional elective courses such as economics, leadership, or management, depending on their career goals. We advise students with an interest in research to choose the 60-point thesis.

Bakgrunn for studiet


Applied Ecology is a subfield within ecology, which applies the science of ecology to real world questions. This includes the application of ecological concepts to environmental problem solving, policy and management including the sustainable production, use and management of biological resources (mainly wildlife, fish, forest. cultivated plants and livestock). ‘Applied’ in the present study program also refers to the ability to carry to completion a limited piece of research. We aim to train students to be able to plan, conduct, analyze and present results from scientific studies.

The management of our ecosystems to halt the loss of biodiversity and mitigate climate change while maintaining human welfare is a major task regionally, nationally and internationally. In the present program we focus on the biological processes, management and the scientific tools needed to understand ecosystems and how they can be managed in a sustainable manner. We aim at providing the competence needed among the practitioners in education, management and research in these areas

Why a master in applied ecology?

Humans are dependent upon ecosystems for their health and wellbeing. Population increases, technologies development and policies change the pressure on the ecosystems. The demand for biological products is increasing. This is partly due to the bioeconomy strategy, where biomass is converted into products that can replace fossil fuels in order to halt climate change. However, increased demand for biomass will require more intensive production, which may negatively affect biodiversity. Management of biological resources has also objectives like food and fiber supply, culture and recreation (like ecotourism and hunting). Hence, sustainable development requires understanding of the interactions between the different objectives and sound ecological and management knowledge.

The master in applied ecology is also unique in Norway because it is taught in English to give it an international perspective, and because theory and practice follow each other continuously during the study.


Learning outcome

The learning outcome is a result of the master thesis, participation in the educational component and participation in an active research environment.

By completing the master program in Applied Ecology the candidate will obtain the following learning outcomes:


The candidate:

  • is acquainted with advanced topics in applied ecology
  • has an in-depth knowledge of ecological topics at scales from individuals to global systems has a profound understanding of human impacts on organisms, populations, communities and ecosystems and the importance of ecosystems to human wellbeing
  • is able to critically acquire information and be critical of the sources referred to


the candidate:

  • is able to conceive, plan and carry to completion a limited piece of research under the supervision of a professional in the field
  • is able to apply relevant scientific methods of study design, statistical modeling, scientific technologies to solve scientific or management problems


the candidate:

  • is able to design and carry out management and minor research projects in the field of applied ecology
  • is able to communicate applied ecological research through national or international publishing channels, and to policy makers, stakeholders and the general public
  • is able to present and debate important topics in the field of applied ecology in regional and national forums
  • is ready to participate in discussions on current controversial issues in ecology and the application of the science


Target group

Our aim is to target students and professionals who have a dedicated interest in wildlife/forestry, and the interaction between man and the environment. Herein we target professionals within wildlife management and forestry who want to extend their competence in the field of ecology above the level of a bachelor.

Many of our students have taken a bachelor in ecology, forestry, biology, evolution, natural resources management, environmental sciences or related topics. However, we encourage applicants with other bachelor degrees, or who can show an interdisciplinary bachelor degree, as long as they fulfill the entrance requirements.

Relevans for arbeidsliv og videre studier

The master degree in applied ecology qualifies the student to:

  • Management and research specialization:
    • Work in decision-making in private and public wildlife management at all levels from licensees, local authorities and ministries
    • Work at educational institutions. Additional pedagogic background may be needed dependent on institutional requirements
    • Work as a research technician, for instance with environmental impact assessments or wildlife- and habitat monitoring
    • Enter a PhD-program in ecology or related fields for a further career in research
  • Forestry specialization:
    • Work in private forest management, like forest owner associations, timber trade companies and on private properties as forest manager and/or leader in Norway and abroad
    • Work in public sector, with public management (municipalities, counties, State, international organizations) and with management of forest on public lands
    • Enter a PhD-program in forestry or related fields for a further career in research

Opptakskrav og rangering

Requirements for admission

To enter the programme, students are required to confirm the achievement of either:

  • A Norwegian bachelor degree or an education recognized as being equivalent to a Norwegian bachelor degree with an average weighted (ECTS credits) mark of at least C
  • An education recognized as three years of higher education in Norway
  • Education approved as equivalent to the above-mentioned degrees according to university law § 3-4.

The degree from higher education has to include the equivalent of at least 80 ECTS credits of the following subjects:

  • Minimum 4  ECTS-credit equivalents in statistics or similar topics
  • Minimum 76 ECTS-credit equivalents in ecology, forestry, biology, zoology, botany, evolution, wildlife biology, environmental sciences, additional statistics or other relevant topics

In cases where all or parts of the programme were approved with the use of the marks Pass / Fail, the applicants are admitted after individual assessment.

The study may be limited to a certain number of students decided yearly. In this case, the ranking of students will follow the average weighted (ECTS credits) marks from their degree in higher education.


English Language requirements

All non-native English speakers must provide documentation of English language proficiency at a high level.

Alternatively, students can meet the language requirements by meeting the language requirements for English-taught masters programs at INN.  These can be found at:


Motivation letter:

Applicants from outside EU/EEA must attach a motivation letter (maximum 300 words). “Explain why you wish to take the masters and specifically how you will use the masters in applied ecology in your current or future career plans.”




Arbeids- og undervisningsformer

Working and teaching format

Lectures followed by practical exercises both in the field and on the computer. There will also be extensive use of seminars by student presentations and discussions as well as presentations by invited external professionals.




See description of courses below.

Forskningsbasert undervisning




The master in applied ecology is taught in English. This to allow for international applicants and to create an international student environment that will improve the quality of the study, not least through discussions of various ‘schools’ in ecology and human attitudes. We encourage and make allowances for students who wish to study abroad for part of their degree. Such an international stay is recommended to take place during the second and/or third semester of the study depending on the courses the student will take abroad. In addition, the master thesis can be done abroad with an external supervisor (and an internal supervisor from INN).

Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences has several international agreements of collaboration. Specific to the Faculty of Applied Ecology, Agricultural Sciences and Biotechnology, there are active student exchange programs with many partners in Nordic and Baltic countries through the network Nordnatur (, in most European countries through Erasmus agreements, and in North-America, Africa (Tanzania, Namibia, Zambia, South Africa) and Asia (Nepal, India, Japan) through bilateral agreements. Many students also take their elective courses on Svalbard (

Informasjons- og kildekompetanse

Informatics competence

The students receive training about how to search for information and evaluate different sources of information. Emphasis is placed on the students understanding when acquisition of reference information is necessary, and independently being able to find, evaluate and make use of information in their own learning. The library staff will be responsible for instructing the students.

Studiets oppbygging og innhold





Courses for Research and Management

Compulsory courses

Studiepoeng År 1 År 2

Only one of 6EV399 (60 points) and MAOK4900 (30 points) is required.

Studiepoeng År 1 År 2

Elective courses

Studiepoeng År 1 År 2

Courses for Forestry

Compulsory courses

Studiepoeng År 1 År 2

Only one of 6EV399 (60 points) and MAOK4900 (30 points) is required.

Studiepoeng År 1 År 2

Elective courses

Studiepoeng År 1 År 2