Molecular microbiology

Postgraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content


The course aims to give a thorough introduction to molecular microbiology.


The course is divided into 4 modules focusing on the following topics:

1. Molecular adaptations to extreme environments,

2. Metabolic and functional diversity,

3. Ecosystem and biogeochemical cycles and

4. Biotechnology and synthetic biology.

Students will complete project work related to the modules, consisting of:

a. Planning and carrying out laboratory work,

b. Analysis of -omics data,

c. Analysis of recent scientific literature and

d. Reporting and discussion of experiment.

The results of the project work shall be presented orally and in writing.

The course is primarily for students in the master's program in biology, specialization in Microbiology.

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 main principles of molecular adaptions of microorganisms to extreme environmental conditions
  • describe the characteristics of various physiological groups of microorganisms
  • identify metabolic interactions among microorganisms (in diffrent ecosystems)
  • explain molecular tools for taxonomic and phylogenetic placement of microorganisms
  • describe applications of microorganisms


The student is able to

  • cultivate different physiological groups of microorganisms
  • identify metabolic pathways in microorganisms based on omics data
  • perform phylogenetic analyzes of microorganisms
  • characterize enzymes from extremophiles
  • plan, conduct, and report (oral and written) microbiological experiments
  • evaluate and discuss possible biotechnological applications of micororganisms

General competence

The student can

  • communicate subject matter in writing and orally
  • find, compile and evaluate microbiological literature
  • understand and discuss the relevance of microorganisms in society

Level of Study

Bachelor and master

Semester of Instruction


This course has a limited capacity, enrolment is based on application. The application deadline is Wednesday in week 2 for the spring 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.

Place of Instruction

Required Previous Knowledge
BIO214 General Microbiology or GEOV245 Geomicrobiology, or an equivalent course.
Recommended Previous Knowledge
Access to the Course
In order to be admitted to the course, you must be admitted to a study programme at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences and fulfill required previous knowledge.
Teaching and learning methods
  • Lectures: 2 hours/week for 8 weeks
  • Course assignments/seminars: 16 hours/week for 4 weeks
  • Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
    Attendance to laboratory exercises. Compulsory assignments are valid for 4 subsequent semesters.
    Forms of Assessment

    The forms of assessment are:

    • Laboratory report: 50 % of total grade
    • Oral presentation: 30 % of total grade
    • Poster presentation: 20 % 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
    Only in semesters with teaching
    Reading List
    The readinglist will be available within July 1st for 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 courseevaluations in the">Quality Assurance Reports.
    Examination Support Material