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

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

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 and 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.

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.

A seminar on a given topic has to be approved before the students are allowed to take 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: 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) Oct. 25, 2020 3:16:40 PM

Facts about this course


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

Teaching language