Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course is intended as a stand-alone introduction to the chemistry of life, including the most important types of biomolecules and their importance in biological systems, the underlying organic chemistry, relevant techniques as well as the concepts of metabolic pathways (carbohydrate metabolism), photosynthesis, the processing of genetic information and drug design. Lab exercises are related to carbonyl chemistry and biochemistry.

Learning outcome

After completing this course, we expect the student to have the following competence:

  • Basic knowledge of the organization of the cell, the organelles, cell membranes and biological molecules like nucleic acids, proteins, carbohydrates and lipids.
  • Know the mechanisms of important reactions between organic molecules relevant to biochemistry such as carbonyl-alpha substitutions and condensation reactions, and how enzymes can be used as catalysts in organic chemistry.
  • Be familiar with the concepts of metabolic pathways, glycolysis, the citric acid cycle, oxidative phosphorylation and photosynthesis.
  • Have insight into fundamental medicinal chemistry and rational drug design.
  • Know basic theory for selected spectroscopic techniques (MS, IR, UV/Vis, NMR) and X-ray crystallography, interpret results and decide what method(s) is (are) best applied for a certain scientific problem.
  • Gain insight into molecular biology and protein chemistry techniques.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

In addition to fulfilling the Higher Education Entrance Qualification, applicants have to meet the following special admission requirements:

  • Mathematics R1 (or Mathematics S1 and S2) + R2

And in addition one of these:

  • Physics (1+2)
  • Chemistry (1+2)
  • Biology (1+2)
  • Information technology (1+2)
  • Geosciences (1+2)
  • Technology and theories of research (1+2)

The special admission requirements may also be covered by equivalent studies from Norwegian upper secondary school or by other equivalent studies (in Norwegian).

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

Recommended previous knowledge

Admission to the course will be granted to students with background from KJM1100 – General chemistry (continued) only. However, these students will have a clear disadvantage and will need to be prepared to take on a higher workload to compensate for their lack of knowledge in organic chemistry. It is therefore strongly recommended also to have passed KJM1110 – Organic chemistry I (continued) or a similar course before admission, or one can take KJM1110 – Organic chemistry I (continued) in the same semester.

Overlapping courses

The course overlaps 4 ECTS credits with MBV1030 – General biochemistry (discontinued).


The course comprises 38 lecture hours and 20 hours of laboratory exercises. In addition there is one compulsory exercise as well as several voluntary exercises throughout the course.

The first lecture is mandatory, as are all the laboratory exercises. If you are unable to attend, the course responsible Ute Krengel has to be informed by e-mail before the lecture starts (ute.krengel[at]


Written final exam (counts 80 %) and one compulsory midterm exam (counts 20 %). The students may choose not to count the midterm exam, in which case the final exam will count 100 %. Attendance at the midterm exam is nevertheless compulsory. The laboratory course and the exercise in spectroscopy must be completed/passed before a student may take the final exam.

Information about examination rules

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

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 scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

A student may appeal against an awarded grade and/or file a formal complaint about exam procedures.

Resit an examination

This course offers new examination in the beginning of the subsequent term for candidates who withdraw during an ordinary examination or fail an ordinary examination. For general information about new examination, see:


Special examination arrangements

Students may apply for access to alternative exam resources or exam forms on the basis of chronic illness and/or special needs that create a marked disadvantage to other students in the exam situation. Mothers who are breastfeeding may apply for extra time to complete the exam.


Abscence from compulsory laboratory teaching must be documented according to the rules which apply to exams, e.g. by valid attestation from medical doctor in the case of illness.

A completed laboratory course is valid four semesters after it was passed the first time. After this period you must retake the whole laboratory course in order to sit for a final exam. If you have completed the laboratory course but never sat for the final exam, it is your responsibility to have the laboratory course registered, and in such a case you must contact the student administration in room VU20-22 in the Department of Chemistry.

Facts about this course






Every spring


Every spring

Teaching language


Approx. 50 % of the teaching will be in English.