FYS4700 – Biophysics and Medical Physics

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Changes in the course due to coronavirus

Autumn 2020 the exams of most courses at the MN Faculty will be conducted as digital home exams or oral exams, using the normal grading scale. The semester page for your course will be updated with any changes in the form of examination.

See general guidelines for examination at the MN Faculty autumn 2020.

Course content

This physics course is an interdisciplinary course between physics, medicine, chemistry, biology, and physiology. It gives an introduction to atomic, molecular and cellular principles and processes that are relevant and important for modern cancer radiation therapy and radiation-based medical diagnostics and imaging. This course provides an understanding of how the properties of biological systems are determined by basic physical principles at the atomic, molecular and cellular levels. This course is in particular recommended if you consider a Master's degree in Physics with the specialty Biological and Medical Physics.

Learning outcome

Upon the completion of the course:

  • you have knowledge about the living cell at a molecular- and an organelle level. 
  • you have knowledge of basic atom and binding theory, you can describe the electron configuration of simple molecules, and you can see these configurations in connection to larger molecules such as proteins and amino acids.
  • you have knowledge about DNA and DNA replication, and about the role of RNA in the DNA translation and transcription. You also know the basic principles of 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 have knowledge of the basic principles of magnetic resonance spectroscopic methods like EPR and NMR/MRI.
  • you have knowledge of central physiological processes like the cardiovascular system, the respiratory system, the nervous system, and the digestive system. 
  • you have knowledge about electrical signals from cells and how electromagnetic signals are transferred 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 magnetic resonance, radiation biological and medical physics, learned guidelines for laboratory work, writing reports, 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.

Admission to the course

Students admitted at UiO must apply for courses in Studentweb. Students enrolled in other Master's Degree Programmes can, on application, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme.

Nordic citizens and applicants residing in the Nordic countries may apply to take this course as a single course student.

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

Formal prerequisite knowledge

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

Overlapping courses


It is 4-6 hours of teaching per week throughout the semester.

The teaching includes regular lectures, student-active group work, weekly problem solving, teamwork, and laboratory work.

During the term the itinerary includes

  • two mandatory laboratory projects including written lab reports.

All mandatory laboratory projects must be approved before you can sit the final 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.


  • Final written exam, 4 hours, which counts 100% towards the final grade.

All laboratory assignments, including writing lab reports, must be completed and approved before you can sit the final exam.

It will also be counted as one of the three attempts to sit the exam for this course, if you sit the exam for one of the following courses: ​FYS3700 – Biophysics and Medical Physics

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.

Resit an examination

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

Special examination arrangements, use of sources, explanations and appeals

See more about examinations at UiO

Last updated from FS (Common Student System) Nov. 24, 2020 8:12:03 PM

Facts about this course

Teaching language
Norwegian (English on request)