Microbial Biotechnology

Course content

The course focusses on the use of microorganisms and their products in biotechnological processes. This includes prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms as factories of industrial enzymes, bioenergy and pharmaceuticals, as well as the use of microorganisms to improve food, to improve human health and to remove contaminants from water and soil. The students will obtain knowledge on the methods used to improve microbial strains, products and processes in biotechnology. In addition, we will introduce to innovation processes as students develop and pitch their own idea relevant to microbial biotechnology. The course includes visits from and to industries in the Copenhagen area working with microbial biotechnology.

The course covers the following topics:

  • Basic microbial physiology
  • Industrial strain improvement
  • Optimization of microbial products and biotechnological processes
  • Bioengineering of phototrophic microorganisms
  • Production of industrial enzymes
  • Bioenergy production
  • Production of pharmaceuticals, e.g. antibiotics, relevant to microbial biotechnology
  • Starter cultures, mainly in food industry
  • The use of microorganisms to improve human health and treat human diseases
  • Bioremediation of contaminated water and soil
  • Property rights and patenting
  • Innovation processes and entrepreneurship

BSc Programme in Bioinformatics
BSc Programme in Biology
BSc Programme in Molecular Biomedicine

Learning outcome

The course aims to give students insight into and understanding of areas of microbial biotechnology research and provide background information on the molecular and microbiological methods, which are prerequisites for this research. With the students own involvement in the classes, we expect that students will acquire the ability to participate in public discussion of related topics.

Knowledge :

  • Selected areas of research within microbial biotechnology
  • Selected biotechnological processes related to microorganisms
  • Danish biotechnology companies and their focus areas
  • Innovation processes and entrepreneurship

Skills :

  • Perform oral presentation of topics in microbial biotechnology
  • Analyse scientific articles on microbial biotechnology
  • Perform innovation processes

Competences :

  • Assess selected areas of research within microbial biotechnology
  • Assess selected biotechnological processes related to microorganisms

Most of the teaching is lectures, discussion classes, and excursions involving selected Danish biotech companies. In addition, the course includes a pitch session, where students will develop and pitch their own biotech idea. This involves supervised brainstorming, pitch training by a professional pitch coach, supervision of group work on the selected idea (and use of literature selected by the group and the supervisor), and lastly pitching by students of the idea. The textbook is Schmid & Schmidt-Dannert (2016) Biotechnology – An Illustrated Primer. Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, Germany. A selection of scientific papers will complement the textbook.

Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
On-site written exam, 2 hours under invigilation
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners.

Oral examination, 15-20 minutes, no preparation time

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
  • Lectures
  • 28
  • Preparation
  • 164,5
  • Theory exercises
  • 8
  • Excursions
  • 5
  • Exam
  • 0,5
  • English
  • 206,0


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level

1 block

Block 3
The number of places might be reduced if you register in the late-registration period (BSc and MSc) or as a credit or single subject student.
Study Board for the Biological Area
Contracting department
  • Department of Biology
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator
  • Anders Priemé   (7-6574766d69716944666d73326f7932686f)

Anders Priemé and Bo Jensen

Saved on the 14-02-2024

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