Course description forFARMA1310 Biochemistry, Cell Biology and Microbiology


The course covers selected topics from biochemistry, cell biology and microbiology.  Biochemistry focuses on the structural and functional aspects of biological molecules such as proteins (including enzymes), carbohydrates, lipids and nucleic acids, along with fundamental biochemical processes and energy transfer in human cells.

Cell biology deals with the structure/organisation of human cells and the sequence of events in the cell cycle. Other key topics include transport over the plasma membrane, signal transmission/communication between cells and the flow of information from DNA for protein synthesis.

Microbiology provides an introduction to the main groups of microorganisms (eubacteria, fungi) and viruses, and emphasises sub-groups that are particularly relevant to pharmaceutics and medicine. Other key topics are the mechanisms of antibiotic action and the processes behind the development of antibiotic resistance, and identification and classification of microbes.  The laboratory course provides an introduction to basic techniques used in molecular biology and microbiology. Students will also perform simple diagnostic tests in this practical part of the course.

Composition of subjects, with credits specified:

  • Biochemistry 5 ECTS.
  • Cell biology 5 ECTS.
  • Microbiology 5 ECTS.

Required preliminary courses

The student must have been admitted to the study programme.

Learning outcomes

After completing the course, the student is expected to have achieved the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge and skills:


The student

  • has detailed knowledge of the structure, nomenclature and reactions of selected biological molecules
  • has detailed knowledge of the structure of human cells
  • has knowledge of the function of enzymes as biological catalysts and energy transfer in human cells
  • is capable of outlining the main features of transport processes, signal transmission and the regulation of cell division in human cells
  • is capable of outlining the main features of the flow of information from DNA to proteins in human cells
  • has knowledge of the structural features and qualities that characterise eubacteria, fungi and viruses and their significance in pharmaceutics and human medicine
  • is capable of describing relevant methods used to identify and classify microbes
  • is capable of describing the structure and mechanisms of action of antibiotics and can explain how antibiotic resistance arises


The student

  • is capable of using selected methods to detect and measure macromolecules in biological material
  • is capable of performing basic DNA-analyses
  • is capable of isolating, cultivating, identifying and determining the resistance of nonfastidious microbes using aseptic technique
  • is capable of interpreting and presenting experimental data from selected biological research and tests
  • in cooperation with other students, is capable of planning, conducting and presenting written and verbal laboratory-related project assignments in the fields relevant to the course

Teaching and learning methods

Work and teaching methods include lectures, seminars and practical laboratory work. The "flipped classroom" is used to teach part of the course. Digital learning resources will be made available to students in advance and the time they spend at the university will be used for solving assignments and group work.

The students work in groups in the laboratory. The groups will plan and write a report, using a scientific article format, about a laboratory experiment they have selected themselves. The report is included in the syllabus for the course and will also be presented orally. Lecturers and fellow students will provide feedback.

Teaching and follow-up at seminars and in the laboratory will take place in English.

Course Requirements

The following required coursework must be approved before the student can take the exam:

  • A minimum attendance requirement of 80% at laboratory courses and seminars with oral presentations.
  • Written report in groups of between two and four students, 5000 words  (+/- 10 %) and subsequent oral presentation. The report can be written and presented in either English or Norwegian.


Exam content: The learning outcomes.

Exam form: Supervised individual written exam, six hours. The exam paper will be written in English, but students may choose to write their answers in either English or Norwegian.

Permitted Exam Materials and Equipment


Grading scale

Grade scale A-F.


An external and internal examiner will assess at least 30% of the papers. Two internal examiners assess the remaining papers. The external examiner's assessment shall benefit all the students.

Course information

Course name in Norwegian
Biokjemi, cellebiologi og mikrobiologi
Study programme
Fall: Bachelorstudium i farmasi - reseptarutdanning
Year of study
Programme description
Fall 2019: Bachelorstudium i farmasi - reseptarutdanning
Subject History