Postgraduate course

Structural Molecular Biology

  • ECTS credits10
  • Teaching semesterSpring
  • Course codeMOL310
  • Number of semesters1
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Resources

Teaching semester


The registration deadline for enrollment in the course is Thursday in week 2 for the spring semester/Thursday in week 33 for the autumn semester. You will receive confirmation of whether you received a spot in Studentweb no later than Tuesday the week after the deadline.

The first lecture/orientation meeting is compulsory, which means you will lose your spot if you do not attend class that day. The time of the first lecture/orientation meeting can be found in the schedule on the course website or on the ¿Mitt UiB¿ learning platform.

Objectives and Content


The course aims to give students knowledge about the relationship between biomacromolecules¿ structure and their function. There will be an emphasize on how several biomacromolecules assembles into functional assemblies and how these give rise to cellular function.


Protein will, as the most important functional molecule in living systems, get the main focus of this course. Topics that will be covered is how amino acids their characteristics are combined in secondary, tertiary and higher order complexes, and how their new, emergent properties are utilized in living organisms. Other biomolecules and assemblies of biomolecule will generally only be discussed in connection with their relationship to proteins. The focus will be on concepts that have already been presented in earlier courses such as allostery, ligand and effector binding, post-translational modifications, nucleotide signaling, and how these phenomena regulates protein function. The course will offer a brief introductions into relevant methodology, in particular how one determine protein structures experimentally. The course will also discuss protein evolution from a structural perspective.

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 in detail about

  • the different levels og protein structure, from the amino-acid level to larger, quaternary complexes
  • forces and effects that leads to the formation of protein structures
  • how a protein uses its structural organization to achieve traits that do not occur in its individual components
  • how these properties underpin function at the molecular level in a living organism
  • how these protein functions are controlled by modification, localization and effector interactions
  • relevant methodology to study biomacromolecules in vitro and in vivo


The student is able to

  • explain (orally and in writing) how the topics outlined above acts together in cell processes such as signal transduction, endo / exocytosis, cell motility and gene regulation
  • choose the right methodology in order to answer simple (and possibly also difficult) questions linked to a given macropmolecualr problem
  • orient themselves in the spatial- and temporal scale that is associated with macromolecalar understanding
  • solve math- and theoretical tasks related to the topics discussed in the course
  • work in a group to produce a (compulsory) written assignment about a MOL310 relevant topic of the group¿s choice. The assignment must hold a good level with respect to student insight, clarity of presentation and proper use of terminology.

General competence

The student has

  • the ability to place concepts discussed in MOL310 into a wider biological and chemical context, and moreover, reach their own conclusions independently of exisiting material
  • understood how particular protein achieves its specific and unique characteristics
  • the ability to convey qualitative and quantitative aspects of structural molecular biology, by oral and written means, to both specialists and non-specialists

Required Previous Knowledge

Bachelor's degree or equivalent, including knowledge of molecular biology.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Written assignment

Obligatory activities are valid for total six semesters.

The first lecture/orientation meeting is compulsory.

Forms of Assessment

Written assignment (25 %) and written exam (4 hours). Written exam counts 75 % and the written assignment 25 % of final grade. The written exam, the midterm exam and the written assignment must be completed and compulsory activity approved, to obtain a grade in the teaching semester.

For a semester without teaching, the student may take the final exam if written assignment is approved. The result of the exam will constitute 75%, and the written assignment 25 % of final grade.

Examination support materials: Non- programmable calculator, according to model listed in 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.


Contact Information

Department og Biological Sciences, e-mail: studie@bio.uib.no

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. The exam location will be published 14 days prior to the exam.

  • Type of assessment: Written eksamination

    05.10.2018, 09:00
    4 hours
    Withdrawal deadline
    Examination system
    Digital exam