Advanced phylogenetics

Master’s level
10 credits (ECTS)
Study pace
Study form
Application open
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Full education cost: 21 333 SEK
First payment: 21 333 SEK

No fees are charged for EU and EEA citizens, Swedish residence permit holders and exchange students.

More information about tuition fees

Application closed, late application opens 15 July 2024.


The course is aimed at those who want to know how to use DNA that builds up our genes to see how closely different organisms are related and how to build family trees (phylogenies) around this.


Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at a natural history museum? Or how organisms are related to one another? Or how DNA molecules can be used to tell species apart? Or why there are so many species in some places (such as tropical forests) but not in others? Are you interested in genes made of DNA sequences and how these differ within and between species? Do you want to know more about how the DNA of organisms change through time (evolution)?

Systematic biology (systematics) is the field of biology that engages with the questions raised above. This course focuses on a key component of systematics, namely the inference of phylogenies – the tree diagrams that show how species or genes are related to one another. Course contents include: model-based phylogenetic inference; multi-species coalescent; incongruence, hybridisation and paralogy; phylogenetic network analysis; advanced DNA alignment methods; basic genomic tools; confidence and support of phylogenetic hypotheses.

Prerequisites and selection


1BG393 Fundamental and molecular systematics (University of Uppsala) given in the program NABiS - Masters in Biodiversity and Systematics, or corresponding course. Applicants must prove their knowledge of English: English 5/English A from Swedish Upper Secondary School or the equivalent level of an internationally recognized test, for example TOEFL, IELTS.


Selection is based upon the number of credits from previous university studies, maximum 165 credits.


This is mainly a distance course, however attendance is mandatory at the examination at the end of the course. If you are admitted to the Master's Programme in Biodiversity and Systematics, you can write the exam at your home university, namely at one of the nine Nordic universities which is a part of the network that provides the program (see

Recommended study route

The teaching components of the course include:

  • lectures delivered online (either live or recorded)
  • computer sessions guided by step-by-step instructions
  • guidelines and online discussion with a teacher during the research project
  • moderated online discussion forum with students and teachers
  • literature to supplement the lectures and computer sessions