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FCB3205 Biomolecular Structure and Function for Doctoral Students 7.5 credits

Structure and function of biomolecules with focus on proteins and their role in biological systems, as well as in medical and industrial applications.

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For course offering

Autumn 2024 Start 26 Aug 2024 programme students

Application code


Headings with content from the Course syllabus FCB3205 (Autumn 2021–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course disposition

The course comprises approximately 200 full-time study hours, which corresponds to 7.5 ECTS credits. The course is jointly red with BB2165, but doctoral students perform in-depth hand-in assignments based on the lectures, as well as more in-depth and comprehensive practical elements (laboratory work and projects), which provides progression from advanced level to doctoral level.

The course uses an interactive pedagogical concept to increase and deepen knowledge and understanding of 3D structure and the connection between the structure and function of macromolecules, which aims to consolidate theoretical knowledge and offer directly applicable key competencies with research connection. Further details about the course structure can be found in the course memo for this course round.

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

  • show in-depth knowledge of concepts in structural biology, and demonstrate the ability to explain and analyze complex concepts based on relevant research literature, and in a pedagogical way communicate the knowledge in writing.
  • good ability to use suitable computer software and relevant databases to visualize, examine, analyze, evaluate and validate the structures and function of macromolecules.
  • design, plan, implement and present in written and oral form an independent project in the field of structural biology
  • evaluate and discuss structural-functional relationship from its sigificance in the perspective of sustainable societal development

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Eligible for studies at the third-cycle level.

Recommended prerequisites

Completed courses in biochemistry and/or molecular biology at the second cycle. Admitted to third-cycle education in the subject Biotechnology.


Personal computer


Branden C, and Tooze J., Introduction to Protein Structure, 2nd Ed. Garland Publishing Inc., 1999.

Hand-outs and scientific articles.

Examination and completion

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

Grading scale

P, F


  • INL1 - Assignment, 1.5 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • LAB1 - Laboratory work, 2.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • PRO1 - Project, 4.0 credits, grading scale: P, 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 memo.

Other requirements for final grade

The theoretical part requires approved hand-in assignments that take the form of reflective and critically examining analyses of selected research articles in structural biology that builds further on the lectures. (INL1)

The laboratory part requires mandatory, active attendance during the exercises and written reports that are submitted at the end of each exercise, or at the time specified by the examiner. (LAB1)

The project is carried out individually and presented at the end of the course in the form of a written report, peer review of another student's project report and a short oral presentation. Part of the project is expected to be carried out outside the scheduled time. (PRO1)

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

No information inserted

Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

No information inserted


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 room in Canvas

Registered students find further information about the implementation of the course in the course room in Canvas. A link to the course room can be found under the tab Studies in the Personal menu at the start of the course.

Offered by

Main field of study

This course does not belong to any Main field of study.

Education cycle

Third cycle

Add-on studies

No information inserted

Transitional regulations

If the course is discontinued, the student is given the opportunity to be examined on the course for another two academic years.

Postgraduate course

Postgraduate courses at CBH/Industrial Biotechnology