Thematic Course: Experimental Molecular Biology II

Course content

Building on the “Thematic Course: Experimental Molecular Biology I”, the course offers the opportunity to apply standard techniques relevant to molecular biology, bioinformatics, biochemistry and physiology to a research project. In addition to an introduction project management and experimental design, the course covers concepts and IT tools important for scientific writing and poster presentation.

In small groups, the students will plan and carry out a project, which allows them to gain additional practical experience with basic and advanced experimental methods in molecular biology depending on the project. Together with their supervisors, the students will critically interpret their data, analyze the project with regard to philosophy of science and ethics, write a scientific report and prepare a poster.


BSc Programme in Biology-Biotechnology

Learning outcome

The course mainly aims at extending the students’ practical experience and theoretical knowledge of basic principles and methods in experimental molecular biology and of general concepts of ethics and philosophy of science within the field.


After completing the course the students should be able to:


  • Compare principles of analytical methods used in molecular biology research.
  • Explain how these principles and methods can be exploited in research projects to answer scientific questions.
  • Understand the basic idea of how to plan and carry out project-oriented experimental work from hypothesis generation to final report.
  • Describe selected central principles of ethics and philosophy of science.
  • Describe standards of Responsible Conduct of Research with particular focus on biotechnological problems.



  • Plan and carry out a research project in the field of biology/biotechnology combining general methods in molecular biology.
  • Formulate scientific hypotheses and choose appropriate methods to test them.
  • Analyse, interpret and conclude from results acquired in the laboratory.
  • Search, assess and exploit results and knowledge from relevant scientific sources incl. cite correctly and generate a correct list of references.
  • Summarise and present scientific concepts and own research results to fellow scientists through written and oral communications.
  • Interpret and discuss research (incl. own experimental data) in the context of theoretical and ethical principles.
  • Use e.g IT tools in creative processes in the context of project management and presentation.
  • Identify infringements of Responsible Conduct of Research within the field of biotechnology.



  • Work independently as well as together with other students and supervisors to plan and carry a scientific project.
  • Transfer practical experience and theoretical knowledge to implementation of new targeted analyses.
  • Reflect upon the empirical basis of research within the field of biotechnology and understand and contribute to broader ethical and societal discussions on the use of biotechnology.

The course comprises research projects carried out in groups in different research laboratories at different departments. The 3-5 students in a group prepare a written project report describing the research area, the methods used, the results obtained, followed by a discussion, conclusions and perspectives. The research area and the experimental work are moreover discussed in the context of ethics and philosophy of science in the report. To strengthen the oral communication skills, the students prepare a poster and present the results of their research in a half-day workshop with poster presentations.

Thematic Course: Experimental Molecular Biology íncluding acceptance of five out of seven lab reports.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 30 min.
No preparation time.
Project groups submit one report and generate one poster per project. Questions for the individual oral exam cover the content of the project reports as well as methods and concepts covered during the "Thematic Course: Experimental Molecular Biology I".
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

In order to obtain the grade 12 the student should convincingly and accurately demonstrate the knowledge, skills and competences described under Learning Outcome.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Project work
  • 411,5
  • Exam
  • 0,5
  • English
  • 412,0