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Teaching and exams spring 2022

In light of the most recent infection control regulations, we will at the start of the spring semester 2022 increase our online teaching, while we at the same time try to maintain in-person teaching where this is possible. We hope to go back to more in-person teaching later on in the semester. You will be informed about any changes in teaching or examinations on the semester page, in Canvas or through your regular channels.

Read more about postponed exams for the autumn semester 2021.

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

After completing this course, you:

  • 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.
  • 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).
  • understand the ion chemical and physical processes in an ion source and be able to choose the best ionization method for your sample
  • are able to understand and describe the chemical-analytical performance of a mass spectrometer (mass resolution, mass accuracy, sensitivity, limit of detection, etc.)
  • are able to interpret mass spectra (mostly ESI-generated) and know the basic principles of ion fragmentation.

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.

Overlapping courses


The course duration is one semester, and consists of:

  • 30 hours of lectures
  • 15 hours of exercises.

Students are required to familiarize themselves with and give a seminar on a given topic. The seminar has to be approved for the student to be allowed to take the exam.


  • Final oral exam which counts 100% towards the final grade.

A seminar on a given topic must be approved before you can take the final 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: KJM5240 – Mass Spectrometry.

Examination support material

Smartphone or notebook (for using online MS interpretation tools)

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) Jan. 27, 2022 7:21:51 PM

Facts about this course


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

Teaching language