Course content

The course aims to provide students with a theoretical and systematic knowledge of ornithology as a basis for continued learning about birds. The students will learn about the methods used in ornithological research and thereby obtain the ability to evaluate ornithological studies. Furthermore, they will obtain competences in communicating about scientific ornithological studies. After the course the students will be well qualified to start Master’s Thesis project within ornithology.

Key areas: Bird biology, including identification and taxonomy, functional morphology, ecology, evolution and behavior.


MSc Programme in Biology

Learning outcome

Evaluate scientific ornithological papers
Define ornithological questions and devise solutions
Reflect on the solution to ornithological problems and general inference

Describe ornithological methods and apply a selection of these method Analyse ornithological data sets
Identify most Danish bird species

All extant bird orders
Basic aspects of the ecology, evolution, functional morphology and behaviour of birds

Three weekly three-hour teaching blocks, one full day teaching block and two one-day and one two-day weekend field excursion. A teaching block can be a combined one-hour lecture and two-hour colloquias or practical exercises, and lectures and colloquias may be combined. The practical exercises include: Field excursions (capture and marking, counts; potentially bioacustics or collection of tissue samples), identification exercises, preparation of specimens, and operational exercises (calculus), Throughout the course, the students will work on their own ornithological project which will be handed in at the end of the course in the form of a scientific paper.

Graham Scott (2010) Essential Ornithology. Oxford University Press

Knowledge of Danish birds on a level corresponding to the bachelor course Danmarks Fauna – hvirveldyr.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20 minutes
Written assignment, 16 hours
Oral examination without preparation time. The oral examination consists of a discussion of a scientific paper known from the course and the written report/project

Weight: written report 50 % weight and curriculum 50 %; the written report and the discussion of it is graded as a whole.

Scope: The examination takes 20 minutes, inclusive grading.

The part-examinations does not have to be passed in the same exam-period.
Without aids
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners.
Criteria for exam assessment

See description

Part time Master and Diploma courses

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 11
  • Practical exercises
  • 24
  • Colloquia
  • 20
  • Project work
  • 16
  • Excursions
  • 25
  • Exam
  • 1
  • Preparation
  • 109
  • English
  • 206