Student Pages
Postgraduate course

Microbial physiology and taxonomy

Main content

Teaching semester


This course has a limited capacity, enrolment is based on application. The application deadline is Wednesday in week 2 for the spring semester. Please see this page for more information. You will receive confirmation of whether you received a seat in Studentweb no later than Monday the week after the deadline.

It is compulsory to attend the first lecture/orientation meeting, or you risk losing your seat. If you are unable to attend the first lecture, you must contact the Study Section (<email>studie.bio@uib.no</email>). The time of the first lecture/orientation meeting can be found in the schedule on the course website or on Mitt UiB.

Place of Instruction


Objectives and Content


The course aims to give a thorough introduction to microbial physiology, taxonomy and phylogeny.


The course is divided into 4 modules focusing on the following topics: 1. Evolution and systematics, 2. Metabolic and functional diversity, 3. Ecosystem and biogeochemical cycles and 4. Biotechnology and synthetic biology. Students will complete project work related to the modules, consisting of: a. Planning and carrying out laboratory work, b. Analysis of ┬┐omics data, c. Analysis of recent scientific literature and d. Reporting and discussion of experiment.

The results of the project work shall be presented orally and in writing.

The course is primarily for students who are going to take the Master's program in biology, specialization in microbiology.

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 can

  • explain main principles of energy conservation in microorganisms
  • describe the characteristics of various physiological groups of microorganisms
  • identify metabolic interactions among microorganisms (in diffrent ecosystems)
  • explain tools for taxonomic and phylogenetic placement of microorganisms
  • describe applications of microorganisms


The student is able to

  • cultivate different physiological groups of microorganisms
  • identify metabolic pathways in microorganisms based on omics data
  • perform taxonomic and phylogenetic analyzes of microorganisms
  • plan, conduct, and report (oral and written) microbiological experiments
  • evaluate and discuss possible biotechnological applications of micororganisms

General competence

The student can

  • communicate subject matter in writing and orally
  • find, compile and evaluate microbiological literature
  • understand and discuss the relevance of microorganisms in society

Required Previous Knowledge

BIO214 General Microbiology or GEOV245 Geomicrobiology, or equivalent courses.

Access to the Course

In order to be admitted to the course, you must be admitted to a study programme at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences and fulfill required previous knowledge.

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures: 2 hours pr week for 8 weeks
Course assignments/seminars 16 hours per week for 4 weeks

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Attendance to laboratory exercises. Compulsory assignments are valid for 4 subsequent semesters.

Forms of Assessment

The forms of assignemnt are:

laboratory report 50 % of total grade

Oral presentation 30 % of total grade

Poster presentation 20 % of total grade

Examination Support Material


Grading Scale

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

Assessment Semester

Only in semesters with teaching

Reading List

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

Course Evaluation

Students will evaluate the course in accordance with the quality assurance system at UiB and the department. You can find student evaluations in the Quality Assurance Reports.


Contact the Study Section at the Department of Biological Sciences: studie@bio.uib.no

Exam information