Experimental Molecular Biology

Course content

The course offers experimental platforms to acquire hands-on experience with techniques relevant to biotechnology. The choice of topics ensures that the students learn about standard methods in molecular biology and biochemistry. Additionally, the course comprises an introduction to how to critically read and interpret scientific literature.

The students will gain experience with a wide-range of both basic and advanced experimental methods in molecular biology, e.g. extraction of DNA and RNA, PCR, quantitative real-time PCR, cloning, primer and vector design, transformation of prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms, heterologous gene expression, protein purification, immunoblotting, histochemical analyses, enzyme kinetics, bioimaging and basic bioinformatics. Data analysis will be carried out using different programs, including R Studio. The organisms employed in the exercises include bacteria, yeast, and plants to emphasize that the methods and basic scientific principles taught have general relevance.


BSc Programme in Biotechnology

Learning outcome

The course aims at providing practical experience with and theoretical knowledge on basic principles and methods in experimental molecular biology.

After completing the course the students should be able to:


  • Describe basic principles and analytical methods used in molecular biology research.
  • Explain how these principles and methods can be exploited in practical experiments adressing research questions within biotechnology.



  • Carry out experiments using a number of general methods in molecular biology, biochemistry and cell biology.
  • Analyse, visualise, interpret and conclude from data acquired in the laboratory.
  • Summarise and present scientific concepts and own experimental results to fellow scientists through written and oral communication.
  • Critically interpret and discuss results presented in scientific articles within the field of molecular biology and biotechnology.
  • Use e.g digital tools in creative processes in the context of experimental design and presentation.



  • Work in a groups to plan and carry out defined experimental work.
  • Reflect upon the empirical basis of research within the field of biotechnology through critical reading of original research articles.


The course comprises lab exercises with written lab reports, lectures, theoretical exercises, programming-based data analysis workshops, and journal clubs. The students carry out different experiments as specified in the descriptions of the exercises. The results of the exercises are discussed in follow-up sessions. The exercises are complemented by lectures and journal clubs, which provide the theoretical background for the experiments.


Laboratory manuals including theoretical background for each practical exercise are provided on Absalon together with the research articles discussed in the journal clubs. The literature changes from year to year dependent on the chosen topics.

Text book:

“Principles and Techniques of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Paperback”, Keith Wilson (Editor) and John Walker (Editor).

Participation in courses which provide basic knowledge in biochemistry and molecular genetics is required.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
Type of assessment
Written examination, 4 hours under invigilation
Type of assessment details
Exam topics include theories and methods taught in theoretical and practical exercises, lectures, and journal clubs.
The course has been selected for ITX exam
See important information about ITX-exams at Study Information, menu point: Exams -> Exam types and rules -> Written on-site exams (ITX)
Exam registration requirements

5 out of 6 laboratory reports must be accepted in order to be eligible for the exam.

All aids allowed

As the exam is an ITX-exam, the University will make computers available to students at the exam. Students are therefore not permitted to bring their own computers, tablets, calculators, or mobile phones.

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship

Reexamination is an oral examination, 30 min. No preparation time.

If the exam registration requirement is not met, the student has to follow the course the following year as the laboratory exercises need to be followed.

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 Outcomes.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 26
  • Preparation
  • 210
  • Theory exercises
  • 40
  • Laboratory
  • 132
  • Exam
  • 4
  • English
  • 412


Course number
Programme level

1 block

Block 3
The exercises are typically scheduled in the afternoons from 1pm to ca. 5pm (4 days a week) and are complemented by lectures, theoretical exercises, and journal clubs in the mornings (3-4 days per week).
Study Board for the Biological Area
Contracting department
  • Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator
  • Meike Burow   (3-7d728550807c757e3e7b853e747b)
Saved on the 15-11-2023

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