Alphataxonomical principles - University of Gothenburg Till startsida
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Alphataxonomical principles

Master's level | 5 credits | Course code: BIO401
Autumn 2020
100% Day
Period: 31 August 2020 - 22 September 2020
2) Only EU/EEA citizens and students with approved residence permit in Sweden can apply

About the Course

Alpha taxonomy is the discipline within biology concerned with delimiting, naming and describing organisms. It constitutes the basis for conducting systematic studies on our biodiversity at any level from cell to ecosystem. The course comprises a thorough discussion on species concepts, in biological terms as well as with a philosophical angle. Naming organisms follow international rules that are published in so called Nomenclatural Codes. The main principles for naming taxa within different organism groups will be presented. Examples of the importance of reference specimens and detailed labelling for taxonomical work are given. Descriptions of species often follow a number of rules that are dependent on the group being studied. Exercises in taxon description, even formalised ones using computers as a tool, are given. Keys used for species identification are an important link between the taxonomical expertise and users within science as well as the rest of society.

The theoretical part of the course, the first two weeks, is given on distance. The project work and written exam, the third week, are done locally at the university where you have been admitted to the course or the master programme in biodiversity and systematics. For further information, see

More Information

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Course Syllabus


Requirements and Selection

Requirements: University studies of a minimum of 60 credits in Biology. Applicants must prove their knowledge of English: English 5/English A from Swedish Upper Secondary School or the equivalent level of an internationally recognized test, for example TOEFL, IELTS.

Selection: Selection is based upon the number of credits from previous university studies, maximum 225 credits.

Tuition Fee

Application fee: 900 SEK
Full course cost: 9 917 SEK
First payment: 9 917 SEK

EU/EEA citizens, Swedish residence permit holders and exchange students do not pay fees. More information on:

Study Guidance

Peter Gulz, 031-7862524 eller 031-7862526


Department of Biological & Environmental Sciences
Box 463
40530 Göteborg
Visiting address: Medicinaregatan 18

Page Manager: Pontus Sundén
Last update: 2/18/2020 2:41 PM

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Page Manager: Pontus Sundén|Last update: 10/16/2018

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