Conservation and the genetics of populations

Master’s level
15 credits (ECTS)
Study pace
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Application open
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Full education cost: 31 000 SEK
First payment: 31 000 SEK

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

More information about tuition fees

In this education, we address issues related to sustainability. The content of the course or program fits into at least one of our 10 sustainability criteria. For you as a student, the sustainability label means guidance, quality assurance, and a guarantee that courses or programs contain a pronounced sustainability perspective.


Loss of biological diversity is often caused by human activities that affect ecology of species, such as habitat change, exploitation and spread of alien species.

The course is aimed at those who want to learn how to use population genetic methods to preserve biodiversity at population, species and ecosystem level


This course
provides a background on how population genetic methods can be used in
conservation of biological diversity on different levels, i.e. population,
species and ecosystems. The usefulness of genetic tools and concepts in
conservation, as well as ecology, evolution and other fields of biology, is
continually expanding as new molecular technologies are developed at a high
rate. This course deals with how these methods can be applied in research and
management of natural resources.

The course deals
with the following parts:

  • Importance of
    biodiversity at population, species and ecosystem level
  • Threats to,
    and protection of, biodiversity
  • Genetics and
    conservation biology
  • Population genetic concepts and methods
  • Modern DNA technology and bioinformatics
  • Current issues
    in conservation biology such as: management and restoration of treasured and
    cultivated species, identification and monitoring, red listing, inbreeding and
    demographics, invasive species, climate change.

Prerequisites and selection


Alternative 1: Completed basic courses in biology comprising 60 credits in the subject areas of cell biology, molecular genetics, evolution, botanical and zoological physiology, ecology, biodiversity and systematics, or equivalent. Alternative 2: 90 credits approved of 120 credits on courses within the first two years of the Bachelor program in marine sciences, University of Gothenburg, or equivalent. Alternative 3: Completed courses in the first year of the Bachelors in science in Environmental science program and an additional 15 hp basic level course in biology, or equivalent. In addition to any of the three alternatives above, at least one approved in-depth course (15 credits) in a relevant area in biology at the Bachelor level and English 6/English B or equivalent, is required.


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


The teaching is mainly conducted at the Zoology house (Medicinaregatan 18 A).

Recommended study route

The course consists of lectures, literature seminars, computer exercises and project work, where literature seminars, computer exercises and project work are compulsory elements. Project work is an essential part of the course.