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Before choosing course

Structural biology of biomolecules is a cornerstone in modern biotechnology. The principal objective of the course is to provide the students with theoretical and practical knowledge and insight about the foundations of macromolecular structure, how the structure relates to function, and how this knowledge is useful in an applied context.

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* Retrieved from Course syllabus BB2165 (Autumn 2021–)

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

The structure and function of biomolecules (structural biology) is a cornerstone in modern biotechnology. The course aims offer deepened theoretical and practical knowledge about the relationship between structure and function of macromolecules. The focus is on proteins and nucleic acids, as well as biomolecules that are functionally relevant to the macromolecular systems that are being addressed.

In medical biotechnology, the relationship between the structure and function of proteins is an important basis for modern drug development, and in industrial biotechnology, the use and rational design of enzymes for sustainable bioprocesses are widely implemented approaches.

Structural biology is a young science and research in this area is moving forward rapidly. The precise topics and exercises covered are subjects of change to appropriately reflect the research frontier. Topics covered in the course range from the foundations of macromolecular structure to experimental and theoretical methodology of structure determination and validation, and the application of knowledge about structure-function relationship.

Intended learning outcomes

After completion of the course the student should be able to

  • Explain in detail, formulate, analyze and evaluate fundamental concepts in structural biology. 
  • Based on knowledge and concepts acquired during the course, be able to propose, discuss and evaluate strategies for answering scientific questions in biology and biotechnology related to the structure and function of biomolecules.
  • Use computer software tools and relevant databases to visualize, examine, analyze, evaluate and validate structures and function of macromolecules.
  • Design, plan, implement and present in written and oral form an independent project in the field of biomolecular structure and function. A key aspect is to be able to critically evaluate one's own and others' chosen strategies for solving scientific problems from a biomolecular structure perspective. This also includes being able to evaluate and discuss biomolecular structure based on its importance for sustainable development.

Course Disposition

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Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

A bachelor's degree, corresponding to at least 180 ECTS credits, including at least a total of 6 ECTS credits from courses in Biotechnology, Biochemistry, Molecular biology, Gene technology, Cell Biology or Microbiology, 20 ECTS credits in Chemistry, 20 ECTS Mathematics, Numerical methods or computer science, and documented proficiency in English corresponding to English B/6.

Recommended prerequisites

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Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F


  • LAB1 - Laboratory work, 1,5 hp, betygsskala: P, F
  • LIT1 - Literature task, 2,0 hp, betygsskala: P, F
  • TEN1 - Written exam, 4,0 hp, betygsskala: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Grading criteria are specified in the course PM.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

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Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web BB2165

Offered by

CBH/Industrial Biotechnology

Main field of study


Education cycle

Second cycle

Add-on studies

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