Skip to content
Main menu hidden.

Aquatic ecosystems, 7.5 Credits

Swedish name: Akvatiska ekosystem

This syllabus is valid: 2021-06-21 valid to 2023-01-01 (newer version of the syllabus exists)

Course code: 5GV090

Credit points: 7.5

Education level: Second cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Earth Science/Physical Geography: Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Grading scale: VG Pass with distinction, G Pass, U Fail

Established by: Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 2021-03-11


The course covers the physical, chemical, hydrological and ecological processes and their significance for the aquatic ecosystem structure and function. Consequences of elements dynamics and stoichiometry of productivity are treated as well as the importance of trophic interactions and size structure of the population and community dynamics.

Expected learning outcomes

On completion of the course, for the grade Pass, the student should be able to:
1. Analyze mechanisms and significance of metabolism of inorganic substances, dissolved organic matter, nutrients for the function and dynamics of aquatic systems.
2. Analyze mechanisms and consequences of, variation in food web structure and function of trophic interactions and dynamics in aquatic systems.
3. Actively contributing with qualified scientific viewpoints at seminar discussions
4. With a high degree of independence compile, analyze, orally and in writing present scientific literature within the main field of the course.

On completion of the course for the grade Pass with Distinction the student should be able to:
5. Show an analytic ability and understanding for general and system specific mechanisms and processes and being able to apply these in different aquatic systems.

Required Knowledge

120 ECTS credits, of which 60 ECTS credits in Earth science / Physical geography or 60 ECTS credits in Biology, alternatively 60 ECTS credits in Chemistry or 60 ECTS credits in Environmental science and 30 ECTS credits in Earth science / physical geography or 15 ECTS credits in Biology, or equivalent knowledge.  Proficiency in English equivalent to Swedish upper secondary course English A.  Where the language of instruction is Swedish, applicants must prove proficiency in Swedish to the level required for basic eligibility for higher studies.

Form of instruction

The course consists of lectures, seminars,  presentations and group discussions. Seminars, presentations and group discussions are mandatory. The main part of the course consists of themes with the lecture series.

Examination modes

Examination takes place through oral and written presentation of seminar assignments and a written exam. The ratings given in the oral presentation of seminar assignments are Fail (U) or Pass (G). The rating given on the written exam and the whole course is Fail (U), Pass (G) or Pass with Distinction (VG). Anyone who pass the tests can not retake them to obtain higher grades. To pass the entire course all tests and compulsory parts are approved. The grade of the course is based on all examinations and is set only after all mandatory elements are approved. A student who has failed two tests for a course or a part of a course, are entitled to have another examiner appointed, unless there are specific reasons against it (HF 6 chap. 22§). Requests for new examiners are made to the head of the Department of Ecology and Environmental Science.

Students have the right to have their previous education or equivalent knowledge and skills acquired in the profession tested whether it can be credited for the corresponding course at Umeå University. Application for credit is submitted to the Student Centre / Examinations. For more information on credit transfer available on Umeå University's student web,, and the Higher Education Ordinance (Chapter 6). A refusal of accreditation may be appealed against (Higher Education Ordinance Chapter 12) to the University Appeals Board. This applies to the whole as well as part of the application if accreditation is refused.

Deviations from the course syllabus examination form can be made for a student who has a decision on pedagogical support due to disability. Individual adaptation of the examination form should be considered based on the student's needs. The examination form is adapted within the framework of the expected syllabus of the course syllabus. At the request of the student, the course responsible teacher, in consultation with the examiner, must promptly decide on the adapted examination form. The decision must then be communicated to the student.

Other regulations

In the event that the course plan ceases to apply or undergoes major changes, students are guaranteed at least three exam opportunities (including regular examinations) according to the rules in the syllabus that the student was originally registered for, for a maximum of two years from the date of expiry of the previous course plan or the course ceased being offered.
Other Directives


Valid from: 2021 week 30

The course literature is bawsed on scientific articles that will be provided during the course. Additional material may be presented by the teacher.