Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course is an interdisciplinary course between medicine, physics, and biology. It gives an introduction to cell biology, physiology and to central physical and biological principles and regularities. It provides an understanding of how properties of biological systems and processes are determined by basic physical principles at the atomic, molecular and/or cellular levels. The course also gives an introduction to basic principles for modern cancer radiation therapy and to the physics of radiation-based medical diagnostics and imaging. This course will introduce you to Life Science activities relevant for pursuing your studies towards a Master degree in Physics with the speciality Biological and Medical Physics. 

Learning outcome

Upon the completion of the course:

  • you have knowledge about  the building units of a living cell at an organelle level and in some cases at a molecular level and you know  about the functionality of these units.

  • you have knowledge of basic atom and binding theory and can describe the electron configuration of simple molecules, and see this in connection to larger molecules such as proteins and amino acids.

  • you have knowledge about DNA and DNA replication, as well as the role of RNA in the DNA translation and transcription. You also know the basic principles of gene technology and immunology.

  • you have knowledge about radioactivity, basic radiation physics, radiation chemistry and radiation biology, and you are able to make simple calculations of radiation doses.

  • you have knowledge of the physical principles of central diagnostic and therapeutic methods like MRI, CT, PET and modern radiation therapy. You also have knowledge of basic principles of spectroscopic methods like optical spectroscopy and magnetic resonans spectroscopy.

  • you have knowledge of basic principles of spectroscopic methods like UV-VIS, EPR and NMR/MRI.

  • you have knowledge of general physiological processes and how thermodynamics, hydrodynamics and electromagnetism may describe these processes.

  • you have knowledge about electrical signals from cells and how electromagnetic signals are transmitted through biological tissue.

  • you have knowledge of how physiological processes can be modeled using basic physical laws and principles.

  • you have through laboratory experiments gained knowledge about certain experimental methods within biological and medical physics, learned guide lines for laboratory work and also ethics and behavior in laboratory settings. 

  • you have experience in independent and critical thinking, in evaluating the works of fellow students, and in presenting smaller scientific reports written and orally.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

In addition to fulfilling the Higher Education Entrance Qualification, applicants have to meet the following special admission requirements:

  • Mathematics R1 (or Mathematics S1 and S2) + R2

And in addition one of these:

  • Physics (1+2)
  • Chemistry (1+2)
  • Biology (1+2)
  • Information technology (1+2)
  • Geosciences (1+2)
  • Technology and theories of research (1+2)

The special admission requirements may also be covered by equivalent studies from Norwegian upper secondary school or by other equivalent studies (in Norwegian).

The following courses must be taken earlier than the first mandatory laboratory in the course:

Recommended previous knowledge

Overlapping courses


6 hours teaching per week throughout the entire term.

The teaching includes regular lectures, student-active group work, weekly problem solving sessions, team-based mini-projects and laboratory work.  

During the term the itinerary includes 

  • two mandatory laboratory projects including written lab reports. 

  • 3-5 team-based mini-projects with written and oral reports; (completion of 2/3 of the mini-projects is mandatory). 

All mandatory laboratory projects, and active participation in 2/3 of the mini-Projects, must be approved for you to be eligible for exam.

Regulations for mandatory assignments can be found here.

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.


To be eligible for exam, you must:

  • Actively participate in 2/3 of the compulsory weekly tasks, including writing lab reports and oral presentation.
  • Complete all laboratory tasks.

4 hour written exam.

Examination support material

Approved calculator

Language of examination

Subjects taught in English will only offer the exam paper in English.

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

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

Students who can document a valid reason for absence from the regular examination are offered a postponed examination at the beginning of the next semester.

Re-scheduled examinations are not offered to students who withdraw during, or did not pass the original examination.

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.

It will also be counted as one of the three attempts to sit the exam for this course, if you sit the exam for FYS3710 – Biophysics and medical physics (discontinued).

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 autumn


Every autumn

Teaching language

Norwegian (English on request)