NPLB17003U Experimental Molecular Biology

Volume 2024/2025

BSc Programme in Biotechnology


The course offers experimental platforms to acquire hands-on experience with techniques relevant to biotechnology. The choice of topics ensures that the students learn about standard methods in molecular biology and biochemistry. Additionally, the course comprises an introduction to how to critically read and interpret scientific literature.

The students will gain experience with a wide-range of both basic and advanced experimental methods in molecular biology, e.g. extraction of DNA and RNA, PCR, quantitative real-time PCR, cloning, primer and vector design, transformation of prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms, heterologous gene expression, protein purification, immunoblotting, histochemical analyses, enzyme kinetics, bioimaging and basic bioinformatics. Data analysis will be carried out using different programs, including R Studio. The organisms employed in the exercises include bacteria, yeast, and plants to emphasize that the methods and basic scientific principles taught have general relevance.

Learning Outcome

The course aims at providing practical experience with and theoretical knowledge on basic principles and methods in experimental molecular biology.

After completing the course the students should be able to:


  • Describe basic principles and analytical methods used in molecular biology research.
  • Explain how these principles and methods can be exploited in practical experiments adressing research questions within biotechnology.



  • Carry out experiments using a number of general methods in molecular biology, biochemistry and cell biology.
  • Analyse, visualise, interpret and conclude from data acquired in the laboratory.
  • Summarise and present scientific concepts and own experimental results to fellow scientists through written and oral communication.
  • Critically interpret and discuss results presented in scientific articles within the field of molecular biology and biotechnology.
  • Use e.g digital tools in creative processes in the context of experimental design and presentation.



  • Work in a groups to plan and carry out defined experimental work.
  • Reflect upon the empirical basis of research within the field of biotechnology through critical reading of original research articles.



Laboratory manuals including theoretical background for each practical exercise are provided on Absalon together with the research articles discussed in the journal clubs. The literature changes from year to year dependent on the chosen topics.

Text book:

“Principles and Techniques of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Paperback”, Keith Wilson (Editor) and John Walker (Editor).

Participation in courses which provide basic knowledge on biochemistry and molecular genetics is required.
The course comprises lab exercises with written lab reports, lectures, theoretical exercises, programming-based data analysis workshops, and journal clubs. The students carry out different experiments as specified in the descriptions of the exercises. The results of the exercises are discussed in follow-up sessions. The exercises are complemented by lectures and journal clubs, which provide the theoretical background for the experiments.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 26
  • Preparation
  • 210
  • Theory exercises
  • 40
  • Laboratory
  • 132
  • Exam
  • 4
  • Total
  • 412
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
Type of assessment
On-site written exam, 4 hours under invigilation
Type of assessment details
Exam topics include theories and methods taught in theoretical and practical exercises, lectures, and journal clubs.
Exam registration requirements
  • At least 75% attendance during the laboratory exercises per topic.
  • Active participation in presenting a journal club article.
  • Acceptance of at least five out of six laboratory reports.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship

Reexamination is an oral examination, 30 min. No preparation time.

If the student do not meet the requirement of 75% attendance and/or acceptance of at least five out of six laboratory reports, the student has to follow the course the following year as the laboratory exercises need to be followed. If the student did participate active in presenting a journal club article, a one pager summary of a paper handed out by the course responsible need to be handed in 3 weeks before reexam.

Criteria for exam assesment

In order to obtain the grade 12, the student should convincingly and accurately demonstrate the knowledge, skills and competences described under Learning Outcomes.