NPLB17003U  Experimental Molecular Biology

Volume 2018/2019

BSc Programme in Biology-Biotechology


The course offers experimental platforms to acquire new skills with regard to methods in molecular biology and biotechnology. The choice of topics ensures that the students learn standard techniques relevant to molecular biology, biochemistry and physiology. Additionally, the course comprises an introduction to how to critically read and evaluate scientific literature.

The students will gain experiences in a wide-range of both basic and advanced experimental methods in molecular biology, e.g. extraction of DNA and RNA, PCR, RT-PCR, real-time PCR, cloning, primer and vector design, transformation of prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms, cultivations of cell cultures, heterologous gene expression, protein purification, immunoblotting, histochemical analyses, enzyme kinetics, and bioimaging and basic bioinformatics. A wide-range of experimental organisms are employed including bacteria, yeast, fungi, plants and mammalian cells to emphasize that the methods and basic scientific principles taught have general relevance.

Learning Outcome

The course aims at providing practical experience and theoretical knowledge of 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 aimed at reaching distinct research goals.



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



  • Work independently as well as together with other students to plan and carry out defined experimental work.
  • Reflect upon the empiric basis of research within the field of biotechnology through critical reading of original research articles.


Laboratory manuals including theoretical background for each practical exercise provided on Absalon together with the research articles discussed in the journal clubs and a compendium for ethics and philosophy of science. 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 in biochemistry and molecular genetics is required.
The course comprises lab exercises with written lab reports, lectures and journal clubs. The students carry out different experiments as specified in the description of the exercises. The results of the exercises are discussed in follow-up sessions. The exercises are complemented by lectures and journal clubs in the mornings, which provide the theoretical background for the experiments.
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
Type of assessment
Written examination, 4 hours under invigilation
Exam topics include theories and methods taught in practical exercises and journal club.
Exam registration requirements

5 out of 7 laboratory reports must be accepted in order to be eligible for the exam.

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 exam registration requirement is not met, the student has to follow the course the following year as the laboratory exercises need to be followed.

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.

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Practical exercises
  • 130
  • Theory exercises
  • 6
  • Lectures
  • 40
  • Colloquia
  • 22
  • Preparation
  • 210
  • Exam
  • 4
  • Total
  • 412