autumn 2023
KJE-2002 Biological chemistry - 10 ECTS

Type of course

Theoretical with one compulsory practical assignment. The course is available as a singular or elective course independent of study program, also to exchange-students. The course is offered on condition that a minimum number of students register for the course.

Admission requirements

Formal prerequisites:

Applicants from Nordic countries: KJE-1001 or equivalent

International applicants: Higher Education Entrance Qualification and certified language requirements in English. It is a requirement that students have some prior knowledge of chemistry and/or biology (participants must have taken introductory level university courses, and achieved pass grades, in these subjects).

A list of the requirements for the Higher Education Entrance Qualification in Norway can be found on the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education website -

Application code: 9197 (Nordic applicants).

Course overlap

If you pass the examination in this course, you will get an reduction in credits (as stated below), if you previously have passed the following courses:

K-241 Organic structural chemistry 10 ects

Course content

Biological chemistry is the study of biologically active molecules (biomolecules) and their involvement in chemical processes in living organisms. The course covers important biomolecules such as amino acids (proteins) carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids, with a focus on the relation between structure and function and on methods for determination of structures. The course provides an introduction to the most important methods for structure determination of biomolecules: X-ray diffraction, neutron diffraction, microscopic techniques (atomic force microscopy and electron microscopy) as well as an introduction to NMR on macromolecules. The nomenclature for the biomolecules, bond distances, bond angles, torsions, molecular packing in crystals and the configuration of chiral molecules, as well as intra- and intermolecular interactions, will be discussed and related to biological activity. An emphasis will be placed on the relationship between structure and function. The structure of molecules important in biology and the relationship between structure and biological behaviour will be described and discussed.

Objectives of the course

The student will have expanded knowledge and proficiency within relevant topics in chemistry. This means that the student


  • has an understanding of basic features of biological molecules and their description with respect to bonds, angles and torsions
  • has an understanding of how biomolecules are formed and their building blocks
  • has knowledge about stabilizing forces (proteins and DNA in particular), and insight into which forces are key to the overall stability of the molecules
  • has insight into how some biomolecular assemblies are formed and how they are of general importance
  • has a general knowledge about a set of structure determination methods (various diffraction techniques, NMR, Atomic Force- and Electron Microscopy, as well as general spectroscopic techniques); when they should be applied, as well as their strengths and weaknesses


  • can describe the general quality assessment terms for the most common structure determination techniques
  • can describe the most common functions of the biomolecules and to couple this with their general structures and individual building blocks
  • can outline some of the basal biological processes investigated in the course; General introduction to Biochemistry, DNA replication, Protein Synthesis and Virus-structure and -replication cycle
  • can describe intra- and inter-molecular stabilizing forces and how they are distinguished


  • has a general knowledge about the biomolecules; their structure and some of the functions they have
  • has knowledge about general structure determination methods for different types of biomolecules
  • has developed general knowledge about the field of biological chemistry which will serve as an aid in all research directions within chemistry

Language of instruction and examination

The language of instruction is English and all of the syllabus material is in English. Examination questions will be given in English, and may be answered in either English or a Norwegian/Scandinavian language.

Teaching methods

Lectures: 36 h, Seminars: 18 h, Laboratory: 4-6 h Computer-based assignment.

Information to incoming exchange students

This course is open for inbound exchange student who meets the admission requirements, including prerequisites. Please see the Admission requirements" and the "Prerequisite" sections for more information. The course is offered to exchange students on condition that students in Bachelor in Chemistry register for the course.

Do you have questions about this module? Please check the following website to contact the course coordinator for exchange students at the faculty:


Examination: Date: Duration: Grade scale:
School exam 01.12.2023 09:00
4 Hours A–E, fail F

Coursework requirements:

To take an examination, the student must have passed the following coursework requirements:

One approved assignment Approved – not approved
UiT Exams homepage

Re-sit examination

Students who have not passed (F) the last ordinary exam can re-sit the written exam early the following semester.
  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 10
  • Course code: KJE-2002
  • Earlier years and semesters for this topic