KJM5320 – BIOCAT - Structural Biology Techniques

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Changes in the course due to coronavirus

Autumn 2020 and Spring 2021 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.

Please note that there may be changes in the form of examination for some courses taught Spring 2021. We aim to bring both the course description and the semester page of all courses up to date with correct information by 1 February 2021.

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

Course content

The course offers an introduction into experimental methods for structure determination and structure prediction. It is up to date, and taught by experts in the fields. The course will cover the main high-resolution methods X-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy as well as electron cryo-microscopy (Cryo- EM), scattering techniques (SAXS and SANS), structural mass spectrometry, strucutre predicition and molecular modelling. The methods will be studied in theory and practice, giving the students a good overview over methods applicable in their Masters projects in the subject. The course shall also enable participants to read and judge modern literature in the field.

Learning outcome

After completing the course, you shall have the following competence:

  • Fundamental understanding of the main experimental structural biology techniques protein crystallography, NMR and cryo-EM
  • Knowledge of complementary experimental techniques, such as scattering techniques and structural mass spectrometry
  • Knowledge of complementary theoretical techniques (molecular modeling) and bioinformatics
  • Insight into when to apply which technique, and their advantages and limitations
  • Some practical experience
  • The ability to present your work and important scientific concepts
  • Be able to read, understand and judge structural biology publications

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.

Max 30 students; priority to PhD students registered in the BioCat PhD school.

Knowledge about protein structure (e.g. from KJM5310 – BIOCAT - Biomolecular Structure and Function/KJM9310 – BIOCAT - Biomolecular Structure and Function)

Overlapping courses


The course takes place during a compact 1-week period, and comprises of 16 hours of lectures and 17 hours of compulsory exercises, 3 hours of student presentations, a minisymposium (4 hours) and an excursion (8 hours). All teaching is mandatory.

Mandatory attendance at the seminar and two short presentations, including an elevator speech, must be approved before exam.

A completed seminar with two presentations is valid for six semesters beyond the semester it was approved.


Written home examination is 100% of the grade.

Written home examination on protein/topic of choice. Exam for Master students is based on exploration of the existing literature and on-line sources.

Mandatory attendance at the seminar and the two short presentations must be approved before the 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: KJM9320 – BIOCAT - Structural Biology Techniques

Examination support material

Access to all material is allowed. The students are further allowed to consult with their fellow students (but not with their teachers or other experts), but need to write the home exam individually.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Resit an examination

Students who can document a valid reason for absence from the regular examination are offered a postponed examination at the beginning of the next semester.

Re-scheduled examinations are not offered to students who withdraw during, or did not pass the original examination.

Special examination arrangements, use of sources, explanations and appeals

See more about examinations at UiO

Last updated from FS (Common Student System) Jan. 28, 2021 1:22:14 AM

Facts about this course


Every other spring starting 2018

Teaching language