Gene structure, function and applications

Undergraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content


The course gives a detailed understanding of molecular structures, functions and applications of the genetic material in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Introduction to bioethics.


This course deals with the structure of DNA, RNA, chromatin and genome, and how maintenance of the genome through replication, repair and recombination occurs, as well as genome expression through gene regulation, transcription, RNA splicing and translation. Furthermore, gene technology methods and applications of genetic analyses will be explored. Bioethics will be dicussed.

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 DNA structure and topology, RNA structure, chromatin organization and modification with emphasis on function in gene regulation.
  • can explain in detail about replication, transcription and translation
  • can explain recombination and how DNA damage is created, recognized and repaired
  • can explain in detail about molecular mechanisms in gene regulation at all levels
  • can compare molecular mechanisms in gene regulation in pro-and eukaryotic organisms
  • can explain applications of genetic engineering, genetic analyses and biotechnology.
  • can explain basic principles of immunology and vaccinology
  • can reflect on ethical issues raised by molecular biology research and application


The student

  • can communicate knowledge about DNA and RNA structure and function
  • has the skill to compare molecular mechanisms in gene regulation to show similarities and differences between pro- and eukaryotic organisms
  • have knowlegde of applications of genetic engineering and biotechnology
  • can communicate knowlegde of basic principles within immunology and vaccinology
  • adress ethical issues using genetic engineering and application

General competence

The student

  • Can communicate about gene structure, function, regulation and application
  • Can reflect on ethical issues using genetic engineering

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.

Place of Instruction

Required Previous Knowledge
Recommended Previous Knowledge
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
MOL203; 10 ECTS
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
Teaching is given as lectures and colloquium. 
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Two mandatory colloquia.

Completed mandatory activities are valid for a total of six semesters (the current semester and five following semesters). Compulsory activities must be approved before exam can be taken.

The first lecture/ orientation meeting is mandatory

Forms of Assessment
Final written exam (4 hours)
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.
Assessment Semester
Ordinary exam every semester
Reading List
The reading list will be available July 1st for the autumn semester and January 1st for the spring semester.
Course Evaluation
The students will evaluate the eaching in line with UiB and thedepartment's quality assurance system.
Examination Support Material
Programme Committee
The Programme Committee is responsible for the coontent, structure and quality of the study programme and courses.
Course Administrator
The faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences - Department of Biological Sciences has responsibility for the course and programme.