Molecular biology of the nervous system¿

Undergraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content


This course should equip students with an understanding of the molecular basis of membrane electrical excitability and related neurophysiology and with some hands-on experience of measuring ion channel function. After the course, students should be ready to embark on further study or lab projects in molecular neuroscience, biophysics, or pharmacology.


The course covers the major proteins that set up chemical and electrical gradients across cell membranes and mediate membrane excitability in cells such as neurons.

The course describes the biophysical basis of protein function, how this mediates physiological processes especially in the nervous system, in addition to experimental techniques and pharmacological avenues. It also includes a practical introduction to electrophysiology in the laboratory, and tutorials/discussions and presentations of relevant research.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge - The student can explain

- The major groups of membrane proteins that mediate electrical excitability of cells

- Basic aspects of neurophysiology

- Molecular or biophysical bases of membrane protein function

- Some of the major recent directions of protein and neurophysiology research or


Skills - The student can

- Assess research and present it clearly to other scientists

- Perform basic experiments assessing ion channel function

- Perform basic pharmacological data analysis

- Write research reports

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Semester of Instruction

Autumn 2024, then spring (spring 2025, spring 2026 etc)

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
MOL100, MOL201/BIO103 and MOL221 (or equvalent lab courses)
Recommended Previous Knowledge
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
Access to the Course
Access to the course requires admission to a programme of study at The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
Teaching and learning methods
Mostly lectures, along with intervals of tutorials, in which students assess and present research related to the lectures, and a laboratory class, where students practice experimental techniques related to the lectures.
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Participation in laboratory classes and tutorials is compulsory.

 Written laboratory class report is compulsory.

Oral presentation of approved research topic during tutorials is compulsory. 

Orientation meeting is mandatory, otherwise you risk losing your spot.

All compulsory activity must be approved before the exam can be taken.

The compulsory activities are valid in the teaching semester and three following semesters.

Forms of Assessment
Written exam, 3 h
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
Examination both spring semester and autumn semester. In semesters without teaching the examination 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
The course will be evaluated by the students in accordance with the quality assurance system at UiB and the department
Examination Support Material
All calculators, according to the faculty regulations.
Programme Committee
The Programme Committee is responsible for the content, structure and quality of the study programme and courses.
Course Coordinator
Info about the course-in-charge and administrative contact person can be found at Mitt UiB, or you can contact
Course Administrator
The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Department of Biological Sciences, has the administrative responsibility for the course and program.