15 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 1BG308

A revised version of the syllabus is available.
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)
Finalised by
The Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 6 November 2007
Responsible department
Biology Education Centre

Entry requirements

120 credits including alternative 1) 40 credit points/60 credits biology and 20 credit points/30 credits chemistry or 20 credit points/30 credits earth sciences; alternative 2) 60 credit points/90 credits biology. In both cases, the biology should contain

Toxicology least 4 credit points/6 credits.

Learning outcomes

During this course the students will acquire knowledge and skills that facilitate an overall assessment of the distribution, fate, and effects of chemicals within different biological organisational levels in the environment. To that end toxicological concepts and definitions introduced under the Bachelor's course in toxicology will be further developed and used as a valuable and important tool. After the course, the student shall be able to:

  • present sources, routes, biotransformation, and distribution in the environment of foreign chemicals
  • present and explain negative effects of foreign chemicals on different biological organisational levels
  • estimate the probability of a toxic effects on a low organisational level (e.g. cell) to also have impacts on high organisational level (e.g. individual, population) based on inherent properties (e.g. toxicity, persistence and bioavailability) of the chemical
  • retrieve and critically evaluate toxicological information from different sources (Internet-based databases, guides, scientific articles etc.)
  • independently perform and present (orally and in written form) classification and labelling of chemicals dangerous for the environment
  • independently perform and present (orally and in written form) an environmental risk assessment of a plant protection product


Environmental chemistry: This part comprises an overview of different chemical groups of anthropogenic origin (pesticides, industrial chemicals, drugs) present in the environment. Focus will be towards their sources, routes, biotransformation and distribution between different parts of the environment.

Effects of anthropogenic chemicals: This part comprises negative effects of chemicals on different biological organisation levels (cell, organs, organism, population, ecosystem) with focus directed towards mechanistic issues. Two or three students per group perform two separate projects. The first deals with consequences of an accidental discharge into a river of a chemical dangerous for the environment. and the second is about monitoring of changes, if any, in an ecosystem due to measures against discharges of toxic chemicals.

Hazard assessment: This part comprises retrieval and critical evaluation of toxicological information form different sources (internet-based databases, hand books, scientific articles etc.) for classification and labelling of chemicals. The students perform as an individual project a classification and labelling of chemicals dangerous for the environment according to EU guidelines and present their findings orally and in written form. According to current legislation the chemical industry is responsible for classification and labelling of chemicals.

Environmental risk assessment: This part comprises environmental risk assessment of plant protection products according to EU guidelines. Two or three students per group perform such a risk assessment of a given plant protection product and present their findings orally and in written form. According to current EU legislation the use plant protection products must approved at national level by the competent - Swedish Chemicals Agency.

Modules: Theory 10 credits; Project work 5 credits


Teaching methods: Lectures, seminars, tutorials, laboratory sessions. Attendance at the laboratory work and connected lessons is compulsory.


Theory: Written exam equivalent to 10 credits. Project work: Written and oral presentation and opposition on other student's projects equivalent to 5 credits.