BIOS5710 – Advanced Cancer Biology

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

The course will provide the student with a comprehensive insight into the molecular biology of cancer and awareness of the complexity in cancer biology and medicine. The students will acquire an overview and in depth understanding of certain aspects of the underlying biology and clinical challenges of the the four most common cancer cases: breast, colorectal, prostate, and lung cancer.  Several experts in the field from the Institute of Cancer Research/Oslo University Hospital will contribute with lectures in the course.

Learning outcome

After completing the course the student should:

  • Have an in depth understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms that lead to cancer.
  • Be able to describe the fundamental mechanistic principles behind cancer diagnosis and prevention
  • Know the basic principles behind personalized medicine and therapeutic cancer management
  • Have an overview of advanced methodologies used in cancer research
  • Know the positive and challenging sides of using model organisms in cancer research
  • Have an understanding of the importance of bioinformatic tools in cancer research
  • Be able to read and understand articles within the field of cancer research
  • Have improved their ability to obtain, process and present essential scientific literature through a short written essay.

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.

The courses BIOS5710 and BIOS9710 have common admission. Applicants are ranked by the following criteria:

1. Master students and PhD students at the MN faculty who have the course as part of the approved curriculum.

2. Other PhD students and visiting PhD students.

3. Students with admission to single courses on master’s level and exchange students

4. Applicants are ranked by credits in each group; all applicants within 1st rank before applicants in 2nd etc.

If admission is limited to a fixed number of participants, admission will be decided by drawing lots for students who are ranked equally

A Bachelor's degree in molecular biology/cell biology/biochemistry and/or admission to a Master program in molecular biology/cell biology/biochemistry/physiology or equivalent background.

BIOS3700 – Cell Biology 2 and MBV3020 or corresponding knowledge.

Overlapping courses


  • The lectures will be delivered over a period of nine weeks.
  • The course involves a mandatory essay assignment. For this essay, the students can choose between four different topics, which will be presented by the course organizers on the first course day. 
  • The course also involves group work. 


The exam will consist of two parts:

  • Preparation of a written essay (to be chosen from a short list of assigned topics).
  • A final 3 hour written exam in the end of the course.  The written essay must be completed and approved before the date of the written exam.

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 one of the following courses: BIOS9710 – Advanced Cancer Biology MBV4160 – Advanced Cancer Biology (continued) MBV9160 – Advanced Cancer Biology (continued)

Examination support material

no examinatin supprt material is allowed.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English. You may submit your response in English or Norwegian.

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) Dec. 1, 2020 2:15:17 PM

Facts about this course

Teaching language