Syllabus for Conservation Biology


A revised version of the syllabus is available.


  • 15 credits
  • Course code: 1BG318
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Biology A1N
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
  • Established: 2007-03-15
  • Established by:
  • Revised: 2020-02-13
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: Autumn 2020
  • Entry requirements:

    150 credits including (1) 60 credits in biology and 30 credits in chemistry or 30 credits in earth science, or (2) 90 credits biology, in both cases including the intermediate course Ecology, 15 credits, or Limnology, 15 credits. Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 6.

  • Responsible department: Biology Education Centre

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • analyse the causes behind the vulnerability and extinction risk of populations
  • apply population viability models considering both demography and genetic variation in populations
  • critically evaluate and discuss verkliga conservation efforts
  • identify and discuss ethical issues related to conservation biology.


The course comprises theories and concepts of importance for assessing the viability and status of plant and animal populations. In particular, the effects of population size on demographic and genetic processes that influence extinction risk are treated in depth. These processes include survival and fecundity, stochastic and density-dependent demography, genetic drift, inbreeding and natural selection. The course also focuses on population models of relevance for conservation problems. The course also includes project work, where students analyse an ongoing conservation effort, such as action programmes for threatened species or environments, or ex-situ breeding programs.

The course is based on previous knowledge in ecology and genetics. The advanced study and the labour market links are ensured through increased depth and independence and in exercises where the students apply their knowledge to real-world problems in nature conservation and sustainable development.


The teaching is given as a mixture of lectures, seminars, computer exercises, genetics labs, excursions and individual project work. Participation in seminars, exercises, excursions and project work are compulsory.


Modules: Theory 11 credits; Project 4 credits.

The theory module is evaluated by a written examination. The project module demands active participation in project work, field trips, seminars and exercises, and is further examined through oral and written presentations.

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the disability coordinator of the university.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: Autumn 2020

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

  • Höglund, Jacob Evolutionary conservation genetics

    Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009

    Find in the library

  • Morris, William F. Doak, Daniel F. Quantitative conservation biology : theory and practice of population viability analysis

    Sunderland, Mass.: Sinauer Associates, cop. 2002

    Find in the library

Last modified: 2022-04-26