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Course content

The course covers key topics within the field of pharmaceutical microbiology. The curriculum entails the treatment and prevention of infectious diseases, antibiotic resistance development as well as microbiological quality control in drug production. The course also includes the principles for production of biological drugs.

Learning outcome

After completing the course:

  • you will have a broad knowledge of pharmaceutically relevant microorganisms (viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites), and their properties, structure, taxonomy, growth, and molecular mechanisms for gene regulation, transmission of genetic material and antimicrobial resistance development.
  • you will have knowledge of the various methods within microbiological quality control of pharmaceutical products as well as the raw materials, structure, composition, manufacture and key microbiological aspects related to the production of various biological drugs.
  • you can explain how and why different microorganisms (viruses, bacteria, fungi and selected parasites) cause infectious diseases such as urinary tract infections, respiratory tract infections, sepsis, sexually transmitted diseases and skin and bowel infections, at the cellular and molecular level.
  • you can explain the principles of antimicrobial chemotherapy at the cellular and molecular level, including mechanisms of action, drug selection, drug interactions, side effects, misuse of drugs, antimicrobial resistance development and antibiotics in the environment.
  • you will have a broad knowledge of infection epidemiology, vaccination and the Norwegian vaccination program.
  • you can perform key microbiological laboratory techniques and describe your results in a laboratory report.


The course is only available to students enrolled at the Department of Pharmacy at the University of Oslo.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

The compulsory HSE courses HMS0501 – Safety and Physical Environment, HMS0502 – Positive Learning Environment, HMS0503 – Laboratory Safety, HMS0506 – Patient Clinic Safety and HMS0507 – Fire Safety

For students admitted to the 5-year Master`s Program in Pharmacy until and including 2016 and who have been transferred from the old study plan, separate formal prerequisite knowledge apply. These are in professional compliance with the formal prerequisite knowledge that apply to the course, but may be replaced by courses from the old study plan, as well as transitional courses. Students on transitional arrangements may contact the study administration for å complete overview of the formal prerequisite knowledge required.

Recommended previous knowledge

Overlapping courses

3 credits overlap with FRM1040 – Foundation biology for pharmacists

The information about overlaps is not complete.


Lectures and elements involving student-active teaching methods, including laboratory teaching (mandatory), problem based learning (PBL) (mandatory) and colloquia.

  • 30 hours of lectures
  • 10 hours of colloquia. Colloquium questions will be handed out in advance, the students will prepare answers for the study questions which will be presented by students to the other students.
  • 51 hours of laboratory work (this including exercises with subsequent submission of reports as well as preparative lectures and summaries) - mandatory
  • 9 hours of PBL (3 PBL tasks) - mandatory

Compulsory participation and submissions in the course must be completed and approved before the exam. Approved PBL activities implies that the student has participated actively within the PBL group. The main purpose of PBL is to increase the student's ability to communicate information about drug use  to patients and to other health professionals.

As the teaching involves laboratory and/or field work, you should consider taking out a separate travel and personal risk insurance. Read about your insurance cover as a student.

Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.

Completed and approved compulsory instruction and coursework are valid for 3 years.


  • Written (digital) exam 4 hours, counts for 80% of the final grade.
  • Two individual laboratory reports (specified topics, graded reports), count 20% of the final grade.

Admission to the final exam requires:

  • Approved active participation in laboratory teaching and approved laboratory reports
  • Approved active participation in PBL meetings

Digital examination

The written examination is conducted in the digital examination system Inspera. You will need to familiarize yourself with the digital examination arrangements in Inspera.

Read more about written examinations using Inspera.

Examination support material

As of 1 August, 2016, the use of own calculators is no longer permitted. Casio FX-991EX calculators are handed out to all exam candidates at the beginning of the exam.

Language of examination

You may write your examination paper in Norwegian, Swedish and Danish.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

This course offers both postponed and resit of examination. Read more:

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Every spring


Every spring

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