Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Changes in the course due to coronavirus

Autumn 2020 we plan for teaching and examinations to be conducted as described in the course description and on semester pages. However, changes may occur due to the corona situation. You will receive notifications about any changes at the semester page and/or in Canvas.

Spring 2020: Teaching and examinations was digitilized. See changes and common guidelines for exams at the MN faculty spring 2020.

Course content

This course is addressed to unexperienced mass spectrometry users from various fields (e.g., chemistry, biology, pharmacy, medicine, physics, geology) who want to understand how their instrument works and how to properly interpret the obtained data. Although no hands-on is provided, the course is very much oriented towards helping you with your everyday work on a mass spectrometer, equipping you with the essential technical and chemical-analytical knowledge.

Learning outcome

On successful completion of this course:

  • you will understand how the most common mass analyzers work: quadrupole (QMS), triple quadrupole (TQMS), cylindrical and linear ion trap (CIT-MS, LIT-MS), Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FT-ICR-MS), Orbitrap-MS, time-of-flight (TOF-MS), and magnetic sector MS analyzers.
  • you will know the principles of the main ionization methods that are currently in use: electron ionization (EI), chemical ionization (CI), Penning ionization (PeI), electron capture negative ionization (ECNI), photoionization (PI), matrix assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI), fast atom bombardment (FAB), and electrospray ionization (ESI).
  • you will understand the ion chemical and physical processes in an ion source and be able to choose the best ionization method for your sample
  • you will be able to understand and describe the chemical-analytical performance of a mass spectrometer (mass resolution, mass accuracy, sensitivity, limit of detection, etc.)
  • you will be able to interpret mass spectra (mostly ESI-generated) and know the basic principles of ion fragmentation.

Admission to the course

Students at UiO register for courses and exams in Studentweb.

Overlapping courses


The course duration is one semester, and consists of 30 hours of lectures and 15 hours of exercises.

It is mandatory to attend the first lecture (including students on the waiting list). If you are unable to attend, you must notify the Department of Chemistry before the start of the lecture, otherwise your course registration will be cancelled.


Final oral examination counts 100 % of the final grade.

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: KJM9240 – Mass Spectrometry,

Examination support material

Smartphone or notebook (for using online MS interpretation tools)

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) Sep. 22, 2020 2:17:27 PM

Facts about this course


The course may be cancelled if less than five students register.

Teaching language