Introduction to Molecular Biology

Undergraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

This course gives an overview of modern molecular biology with emphasis on chemical, genetic and evolutionary aspects of biological processes. An introduction to the following topics will be given: structure and organization of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, model organisms, genetics, biomolecules, protein structure, enzymology, metabolism, bioenergy, photosynthesis, replication, transcription, translation, nutrition, biotechnology and methods applies in molecular biology. The focus is on the key principles of molecular biology and processes that different organisms share.

Learning Outcomes


The student

  • can describe the most commonly used model organisms in molecular biology research
  •  can explain key concepts and ideas in molecular biology
  • can explain the composition of essential structures found in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells and describe their functions
  • can describe in a simple way the structure of different types of macromolecules and explain their function
  • can explain in a simple way how DNA, RNA and proteins are being synthesized and describe how gene expression is regulated in cells
  • can describe how the cells use and generate energy
  • can describe in a simple way the principles behind basic methods in molecular biology and cell biology



The student

  • can apply key concepts and ideas in molecular biology
  • can analyze and interpret simple experiments in cell- and molecular biology


General competance:

The student

  • can communicate knowledge in basic cell- and molecular biology
  • can reflect on ethical issues raised by molecular biology research

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


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
Recommended Previous Knowledge
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
MOL101: 5 sp.
Teaching and learning methods
15 lectures (90 min each) and colloquia
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

1 mandatory colloquium.

Obligatory activities are valid for total six semesters (the current semester and the five following semesters).

The first lecture/orientation meeting is compulsory.

Forms of Assessment

Written final exam (3 h) and 1 written midterm exam (2h). Final exam counts 70 % and midterm exam 30 % of final grade.

The written final exam and the midterm exam must be completed and compulsory activity approved, to obtain a grade in the teaching semester.

 For a semester without teaching, the student may take the final exam if compulsory activity is approved. The result of this exam will constitute the final grade.

Grading Scale
The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade in the grading scale, grade F is a fail.
Reading List
The readinglist will be available August 1st for the autumn semester and January 1st for the spring semester.
Examination Support Material
Auxiliary means are not allowed during school exam.