Course content

Modern biological methods produce big data, a development that demands specialized computational methods to make such data to be understandable, and which also makes it possible to tackle questions in the biosciences that were previously seen as unanswerable. This course will teach you to use Python and other programming tools to organize, compare and analyse biological data, with focus on sequences of nucleotides and amino acids.

Learning outcome

After completing this course, you

  • are familiar with the underlying statistical principles for analyzing large sequence datasets
  • know of the most important strategies and algorithms for pairwise sequence comparisons and for searches in sequence databases
  • understand how comparison of biological sequences can give functional and evolutionary information
  • can use programming to implement simple sequence analysis algorithms


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.

Priority will be given to students in the bachelor program in Biosciences.


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).

Recommended previous knowledge

BIOS1100 – Introduction to Computational Modelling in the Biosciences (Introduction to Computational Modelling in the Biosciences)
BIOS1110 – Celle- og molekylærbiologi (Cell and molecular biology)


  • Ca. 2 hours of lectures per week
  • Ca. 4 hours organized group tutorials with TA per week
  • Ca. 2-4 hours of independent tutorials with TA available

There is mandatory attendance for the first weeks of group tutorials for students enrolled in the course. There are mandatory assignments in the group tutorials.

Attendance is mandatory for the first lecture, also for those on the waiting list. You will lose your seat on the course if documentation for valid absence is not provided to the student administration prior to the first lecture.


  • Final written exam 4 hours that counts for 100 % of the mark

Mandatory assignments must be passed and mandatory attendance registered prior to students sitting for the exam.

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Language of examination

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

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

The course is offered for the first time Spring 2020


Every spring

Teaching language