KJM9310 – BIOSTRUCT - Biomolecular structure and function

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

KJM9310 is the most basic course in the portfolio of the national PhD school in structural biology, BIOSTRUCT, but is exceptionally up to date, covering structures at the cutting edge of current research. The focus is on protein structure and function, but carbohydrates and nucleic acids will also be covered. In addition, the course provides an introduction into experimental methods for structure determination and structure prediction.

Learning outcome

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

  • Know the structures of the most important types of biomolecules and their architectural principles
  • Fundamental understanding of the relation between structure and function
  • Learn the different protein classification systems and obtain more detailed knowledge of enzymes, motor proteins, viral proteins, immunoproteins, amyloids and prions, membrane proteins, and large biomolecular complexes such as fatty acid synthase and the ribosome
  • Get an introduction to experimental methods for 3D structure determination, protein folding and structure prediction
  • Learn how to make professional pictures of biomolecules
  • Undertake a thorough literature search, read original scientific articles and present them orally in English for your fellow students


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.


Recommended previous knowledge

KJM1100 – General chemistry (continued), KJM1110 – Organic chemistry I (continued) or equivalent.

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with KJM5310 – Biomolecular Structure and Function

Information about overlap with previous or other existing courses is not complete. Contact the Department of chemistry if necessary.


The course comprises 28 lecture hours, 16 hours of exercises and a compulsory literature task to be presented orally.

The first lecture is mandatory. If you are unable to join, the Expedition Office has to be informed in advance (phone 22 85 54 46, or e-mail ekspedisjonen@kjemi.uio.no). If you fail to register as an active student for the course in either of these ways, you will loose the access to the course for the given semester.


Oral examination. A passed literature task is a prerequisite for taking the exam.

This course offers new examination in the beginning of the subsequent semester for candidates who fail or withdraw during an ordinary examination.

Grading scale

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

Explanations and appeals


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.


The course name was Biomolecular Structures up until Autumn 2009. It has been changed from Master's to Ph.D. level from autumn 2011.

A passed literature task is only valid the semester it was approved.

Facts about this course






Spring 2016

NB! The course will not be given in the fall of 2016, but instead be postponed to Fall 2017.

Teaching may be cancelled if less than 5 students apply. It will still be possible for students to complete compulsory activities and exam if they wish.


Spring 2016

Teaching language