Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

KJM9350 gives a thorough introduction to protein crystallography, the most powerful method to study protein structures and biomolecular complexes. The method will be studied in theory and practice, giving a solid foundation for a PhD project 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 protein crystallography
  • Know important terms and concepts like symmetry, space groups, crystals and crystallization, diffraction, Bragg's law, phase problem, Fourier synthesis and Fourier analysis, structure determination by multiple isomorphous replacement (MIR), multiple anomalous dispersion (MAD) and molecular replacement (MR), Patterson function, Patterson maps and electron density maps, refinement and validation.
  • Gain practical experience related to protein structure determination by X-ray crystallography
  • Get insight into complementary methods for macromolecular structure determination, such as electron diffraction and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy
  • Be able to carry our relevant database searches
  • Be able to read, understand and judge a crystallographic publication


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

Basic knowledge of proteins and proficiency in mathematics is recommended.

Overlapping courses


The course is comprised of 27 hours of lectures and 30 hours of compulsory theoretical exercises and discussion sessions, 8 hours of compulsory laboratory practicals, and a compulsory literature task that students are to present orally as well as in writing. To attend the exam, you must have been present at all compulsory activities, and the laboratory course and literature project have to be approved.

The first lecture is mandatory. If you are unable to join, you have to inform the Expedition Office in advance (phone 22 85 54 46). If not, you will loose the access to the course and to the examination.

Teaching takes place throughout the semester.

As the teaching involves laboratory and/or field work, you should consider taking out a separate travel and personal risk insurance. Read about your insurance cover as a student.

Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


Final oral exam normally counts 100 %. In additiona you have to complete a literature project and present it both orally and in writing. A god presentation may influence positively if there are doubts about your final grade. To attend the exam, you must have been present at all compulsory activities, and the laboratory course and the literature project have to be approved.

Language of examination

You may submit your response in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English. If you would prefer to have the exam text in English, you may apply to the course administrators.

Grading scale

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

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

This course offers both postponed and resit of examination. Read more:

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


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


Written exercises are only valid for one semester.

Facts about this course






Spring 2015

Every fourth semester. Teaching may be cancelled if less than 5 students apply.


Spring 2015

Teaching language


(Norwegian if all students prefer this.)