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Undergraduate course

Introduction to bioinformatics

  • ECTS credits10
  • Teaching semesterSpring
  • Course codeBINF100
  • Number of semesters1
  • LanguageNorwegian
  • Resources

Main content

ECTS Credits


Level of Study




Teaching semester


Objectives and Content

The course provides an introduction to the field of bioinformatics including key concepts and algorithms, the development of the field historically, its applications and relevant ethical considerations. The course covers the basics of bioinformatics sequence analysis and related tools and databases. Topics covered are global and local pairwise alignment, score matrices, sequence database search, p- and e-values and measures of classification performance. The course also reviews the necessary basics of molecular biology and in particular the concepts of genomes and genes and includes an introduction to genome browsers and central biological databases and knowledge bases.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course the student should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


The student

  • Has a general understanding of central topics and concepts within the field of bioinformatics
  • Understands dynamic programming algorithms for alignment of biological sequences
  • Understands and be able to explain basics of molecular biology and evolution pertaining to sequence alignment and connect them with the various algorithms
  • Is able to compare technical aspects of pairwise local and global sequence alignment algorithm
  • Has basic understanding of what a genome is and how a genome browser can be used to represent and explore genome level data
  • Knows principles and examples of biological databases and knowledge bases
  • Knows the algorithms behind sequence similarity search, in particular BLAST
  • is able to create working implementations of basic bioinformatics algorithms and to use such algorithms for analysis of concrete data
  • is able to use and understand different classification performance measures in the fields of biological sequence analysis
  • Has an understanding of application areas of bioinformatics including ethical considerations and aspects


The student can

  • use selected bioinformatics databases, genome browsers, and tools in an informed way
  • set up scripts to perform simple analysis pipelines

General competence

The student is able to

  • work in inter-disciplinary teams to address biological questions using computational approaches

Required Previous Knowledge


Recommended Previous Knowledge

INF100. Be able to implement basic algorithms in a programming language of your own choice. A basic understanding of algorithms and efficiency is required. Basic knowledge in molecular biology and statistics is recommended.

Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap

INF281: 5 ECTS
MOL204: 5 ECTS

Access to the Course

Access to the course requires admission to a programme of study at The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.

Teaching and learning methods

The course is given as lectures and mandatory exercises

Lectures, 2 hours per week

Exercises, 4 hours per week

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Compulsory exercises are valid for one subsequent semester.

Forms of Assessment

The forms of assessment are:

  • Compulsory assignments, 30 % of total grade.
  • Written examination (3 hours), 70% of total grade.

All compulsory assignments must be approved before examination.

Due to the measures taken to avoid the spread of SARS-CoV-2, UiB is closed for teaching and assessment. As a consequence, the following changes is made to assessment spring semester 2021:

  • Written home examination instead of written examination

Examination Support Material

Non-programmable calculator, according to the faculty regulations

Grading Scale

The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade in the grading scale, grade F is a fail.

Assessment Semester

Examination both spring semester and autumn semester. In semesters without teaching the examination will be arranged at the beginning of the semester.

Reading List

The reading list will be available within June 1st for the autumn semester and December 1st for the spring semester.

Course Evaluation

The course will be evaluated by the students in accordance with the quality assurance system at UiB and the department.

Programme Committee

The Programme Committee is responsible for the content, structure and quality of the study programme and courses.

Course Coordinator

Course coordinator and administrative contact person can be found on Mitt UiB, or contact Student adviser

Course Administrator

The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences represented by the Department of Informatics is the course administrator for the course and study programme.


Student adviser:

Student adviser

T: 55 58 42 00

Exam information

  • For written exams, please note that the start time may change from 09:00 to 15:00 or vice versa until 14 days prior to the exam.

  • Type of assessment: Written examination

    29.09.2021, 09:00
    3 hours
    Withdrawal deadline
    Examination system
    Digital exam