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NBIA07002U  Molecular Cell Biology Volume 2017/2018

Course information

Credit15 ECTS
Duration1 block
Block 2
A, B and C
Course capacity32
Continuing and further education
Study boardStudy Board for the Biological Area
Contracting department
  • Department of Biology
Course responsible
  • Olaf Nielsen (6-73726d6b697244666d73326f7932686f)
Peter Brodersen, Vibe Østergaard, Michael Lisby, Anders Løbner-Olesen, Olaf H. Nielsen.
Saved on the 08-03-2017

BSc Programme in Biochemistry
BSc Programme in Biology


A series of Group Discussions (no lectures) in which prepared material is treated and discussed, and three weeks of laboratory exercises where a range of experimental techniques is carried out and concepts taught. In the theoretical part of the course as well as in the experimental part, the main emphasis is on the parts of molecular cell biology that deals with gene expression, signaling, and regulation of cell growth, with examples referring to the molecular mechanisms and signaling in growth and cancer. The final evaluation focuses on understanding experimental detail and interpretation of experimental data rather than on recitation of facts.

Learning Outcome

The main goal of the course is for the student to develop an understanding of how knowledge in molecular cell biology is obtained through experimental approaches; an aim particularly important and appropriate close to the point of the bachelor project. This objective is reached through discussion of selected aspects of molecular cell biology, many of which deal with the changes taking place in cancer cells. Through discussion of experiments and their results, by in-debt evaluation of primary data from publications, as well as de-novo interpretation of presented data, the student is expected to obtain the ability to demonstrate specific knowledge, to read, understand and follow the validity of conclusions from experimental data from primary scientific literature, and use this knowledge when planning and interpreting experiments.


Students can identify, describe, and name specific research areas including different experimental and theoretical approaches; can identify a subset of instruments and devices used in molecular and cellular biological experiments.
Students can describe the use of a number of molecular biological techniques; in particular those done at the lab-course, but also methods that combine and exploit known pieces in new combinations.


Based on protocols for laboratory experiments, the student can carry out experiments and assess results.
Based on presented experimental results, the student can argue for the conclusions drawn, point out important controls, compare results from different conditions and evaluate them.
Based on original research literature, posed problems and experience with laboratory exercises, the student can explain the purpose of specific experiments, the materials used in experimental designs, the procedures involved and the format of results obtained. The student can use a subset of instruments and devices used in molecular and cellular biological experiments and explain results obtained, and will have first hand experience of generation of primary data.


Students can use obtained and already acquired knowledge within molecular biology to understand the use of, limitations of, and interpretation of, results from experiments and methods within molecular biology.

  • can assess the importance of the activity of proteins in detail, in relation to molecular cell biology and how these activities can be affected by mutations, other proteins, as well as other activities, and the consequences of such influences
  • can evaluate the detailed description of an experimental protocol, and can form conclusions from primary as well as derived data
  • can evaluate which results from experiments are solid, important and significant
  • can recognize controls in the experiments, and understand which parameters these control for
  • can understand the experimental background for the conclusions drawn in original research papers dealing with molecular cell biology topics
  • can understand the importance of and carry out quantitative calculations as used in the laboratory-course or illustrated in class.

See Absalon.

Teaching and learning methods
Group discussions and laboratory course.
Academic qualifications
It is necessary that the student has solid knowledge of basic biochemistry and molecular biology - around 22 to 30 ECTS total. Students should have qualifications corresponding to one of the following sets of courses:

A: Molecular Biology, Genetics and Biotechnology (Molekylærbiologi, genetik og bioteknologi) and Protein Science and Enzyme Technology (Proteinvidenskab og enzymteknologi) of the bachelor curriculum for biochemistry students.
B. Protein Chemistry and Enzymology I and II (Proteinkemi og enzymologi I og II), Molecular Biology (Molekylærbiologi) and Cell Biology (Medicinsk celle- og vævsbiologi) of the bachelor curriculum for molecular biomedicine students
C. General Biochemistry (Almen biokemi), General Molecular Biology (Almen Molekylærbiologi) and General Cell Biology (Almen Cellebiologi) of the bachelor curriculum for biology students.
All written material including the exam are in English.
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Credit15 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination, 4 hours under invigilation
AidAll aids allowed

NB: If the exam is held at the ITX, the ITX will provide computers. Private computers, tablets or mobile phones CANNOT be brought along to the exam. Books and notes should be brought on paper or saved on a USB key.

Marking scale7-point grading scale
Censorship formExternal censorship

Written examination (as ordinary).

If ten or fewer students have signed up for re-exam, the type of assessment will be changed to 30 minutes oral exam with 30 minutes preparation time.

Criteria for exam assesment

With the exception of demonstration of skills related to execution of experiments, the student will obtain 12 by demonstrating all knowledge, skills and competences described in "Learning Outcome".

Practical exercises75
Saved on the 08-03-2017