Syllabus for Ecotoxicology



  • 15 credits
  • Course code: 1BG308
  • 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: 2022-10-17
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: Autumn 2023
  • Entry requirements:

    Completed courses of 120 credits including 60 credits in biology and 30 credits in chemistry. Participated in the advanced course Toxicology 15 credits. English 6. Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 6.

  • Responsible department: Biology Education Centre

Learning outcomes

The main objective of the course is to give the students knowledge and skills that allow an overall assessment of the fate of foreign chemicals in the environment and of their effects on different biological organisation levels. To that end, the conceptual framework introduced during the course in toxicology will be further developed and used.

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

  • describe sources and fates of chemicals in the environment
  • present and explain mechanisms for adverse effects of chemicals
  • estimate the risk for adverse effects of a chemical on different biological organisation levels based on knowledge about the toxicity, degradability, and bioavailability of the chemical
  • retrieve and critically evaluate toxicological information from different sources (internet-based databases, hand books, scientific articles)
  • independently carry out, and present orally and in writing , classification and labelling of chemicals dangerous for the environment
  • independently carry out, and present orally and in writing, environmental risk assessment of chemicals


Environmental chemistry: This part comprises an overview of different chemical groups of anthropogenic origin present in the environment. Focus is on their sources and fates in the environment.

Effects of anthropogenic chemicals: This part comprises negative effects of chemicals on different biological organisation levels (cell, organ, organism, population, ecosystem) with focus on mechanisms. An experimental study is carried out.

Hazard assessment: This part comprises retrieval and critical evaluation of toxicological information from different sources (internet-based databases, hand books, scientific articles etc.) for classification and labelling of chemicals. The students perform an individual project on classification and labelling of chemicals dangerous for the environment according to EU guidelines.

Environmental risk assessment: This part comprises environmental risk assessments of chemicals and is done as projects.


The teaching is given as lectures, seminars, a laboratory practical, exercises and theoretical project work. Active participation in all parts of the laboratory practical and the theoretical project work is compulsory. The course includes integrated communication training.


Modules: Theory 8 credits; Project work 7 credits

The theory is examined through written examination. The module project work is examined through written and oral presentations and critical evaluation of other course participants' project reports.

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 2023

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

  • Walker, C. H. Principles of ecotoxicology

    4th ed.: Boca Raton, Fla.: CRC, 2012

    Find in the library

Last modified: 2022-04-26