KJM9320 – BIOCAT - Structural Biology Techniques

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

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), small angle X-ray and neutron scattering (SAXS and SANS), molecular modelling and structural mass spectrometry. The methods will be studied in theory and practice, giving the students a good overview over methods applicable in their PhD 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 SAXS, SANS 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

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.

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 the exam.

A completed seminar with approved attendance and 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 is based on exploration of the existing literature and on-line sources. Students at the PhD level are expected, in addition, to identify gaps in existing knowledge and propose experiments using knowledge gained during the course.

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: KJM5320 – 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) Oct. 25, 2020 3:16:42 PM

Facts about this course


Every other spring starting 2018

Teaching language