General Microbiology

Postgraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

The course gives an introduction to the prokaryotic microorganisms (bacteria and archaea) and virus; their systematics, physiology and genetics / molecular biology. Energy metabolism, regulation, gene transfer and microbial diversity / evolution are the main topics. The role of microorganisms in biogeochemical cycles, biotechnology and medicine will also be discussed.

The laboratory course gives an introduction to basic microbiology techniques and methods such as enrichments, cultivation, microscopy, isolation, characterization and identification of microorganisms as well as genetic analysis.

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

  • has an overview of important groups of bacteria and archaea, their biological properties, adaptions and habitats as well as evolutionary aspects
  • has an overview of the microorganisms' nutrient requirements, metabolism and growth
  • has an overview of viruses, their properties and propagation


The student

  • is able to use sterile technique and handle microorganisms in a safe way in the laboratory
  • can grow and isolate microorganisms
  • can identify microorganisms using physiological and genetic methods
  • can handle data from experiments with microorganisms and make necessary calculations
  • can present results from microbial experiments and studies both in writing and orally.

General competence

The student

  • can apply a concise terminology to describe and discuss issues related to microbiology
  • can demonstrate the ability to work independently and in collaboration with others during laboratory work.

ECTS Credits


Level of Study

Advanced bachelor students and master students

Semester of Instruction


This course has a limited capacity, enrolment is based on application. The application deadline is Wednesday in week 33 for the autumn 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 ( The time of the first lecture/orientation meeting can be found in the schedule on the course website or on Mitt UiB.

Required Previous Knowledge
Basic courses in biology, molecular biology and chemistry.
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
5 ECTS with BIO215 and 5 ECTS BIO218.
Teaching and learning methods

The teaching includes lectures and laboratory exercises:

Lectures: 4 hours pr. week in 8 weeks (total 32 hours)Laboratory exercises: 4 hours 4 days per week in 3 weeks (total 48 hours)

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Attendance of laboratory excersises is compulsory

Approved written laboratory report

Compulsory assignments are valid for 4 subsequent semesters.

Forms of Assessment
Written digital exam (4 hours), accounts for 100% of total grade.
Grading Scale
The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade, grade F is a fail.
Assessment Semester
Written digital exam in both spring and autumn semesters. In semesters with no classes, the exam will be arranged at the beginning of the semester.
Reading List
The reading list will be available within July 1st for the 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.
Examination Support Material
Programme Committee
The Programme Committee is responsible for the content, structure and quality of the study programme and courses.
Course Coordinator
You will find course responsible on Mitt UiB. You can also e-mail: