KJM9320 – BIOCAT - Structural Biology Techniques

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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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

The course offers an introduction to 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 of methods applicable in their Ph.D. 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:

  • have a fundamental understanding of the main experimental structural biology techniques protein crystallography, NMR and cryo-EM
  • have knowledge of complementary experimental techniques, such as SAXS, SANS and structural mass spectrometry
  • have knowledge of complementary theoretical techniques (molecular modeling) and bioinformatics
  • have insight into when to apply which technique, and their advantages and limitations
  • have some practical experience
  • have the ability to present your work and important scientific concepts
  • are 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.

Knowledge about protein structure (e.g. from KJM5310 – BIOCAT - Biomolecular Structure and Function or 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)
  • 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) Jan. 27, 2022 7:21:54 PM

Facts about this course


Every other spring starting 2018

Teaching language