BIOS9710 – 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 the underlying biology and clinical challenges of the four most common cancer cases: breast-, colorectal-, prostate-, and lung- cancer.  Several experts in the field from the 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 and an oral presentation of a relevant article

Admission to the course

PhD candidates from the University of Oslo should apply for classes and register for examinations through Studentweb.

If a course has limited intake capacity, priority will be given to PhD candidates who follow an individual education plan where this particular course is included. Some national researchers’ schools may have specific rules for ranking applicants for courses with limited intake capacity.

PhD candidates who have been admitted to another higher education institution must apply for a position as a visiting student within a given deadline.

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

  1. PhD candidates and master students at the MN faculty who have the course as part of the approved
  2. Other PhD candidates and visiting PhD candidates.
  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

Formal prerequisite knowledge

Admission to a PhD program

A Master degree in molecular biology/cell biology/biochemistry/physiology or equivalent background.

BIOS3700 – Cell Biology 2 or corresponding knowledge.

Overlapping courses


  • Lectures for the first three weeks of the course 
  • During the last two weeks an individual essay preparation chosen from a short list of assigned topics. 


The exam will consist of three parts:

  • An oral presentation given by each student during the first three weeks of the course. The topic will be a relevant article within the field (that will be provided).
  • 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.

Both the oral presentation and the written essay must be 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: BIOS5710 – Advanced Cancer Biology MBV4160 – Advanced Cancer Biology (continued) MBV9160 – Advanced Cancer Biology (continued).

Examination support material

No examination 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 pass/fail scale. 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) Oct. 20, 2020 12:14:12 AM

Facts about this course

Teaching language