Synthetic Biology

10 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 1MB433

Education cycle
Second cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Applied Biotechnology A1F, Molecular Biotechnology A1F, Technology A1F
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
Finalised by
The Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 25 October 2019
Responsible department
Biology Education Centre

Entry requirements

Alternative 1) 120 credits including Microbiology and Genomics and Bioinformatics and 5 credits at Master's level. Alternative 2) 15 credits within the Master's Programme in Applied Biotechnology. Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 6.

Learning outcomes

Through the course, the students will achieve a deep knowledge in the field of synthetic biology.

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • describe how naturally occurring organisms regulate the expression of their genes
  • describe how the regulation of the genes and properties of gene products can be altered with synthetic biology methods used during the course
  • describe how synthetic biology alters the properties of the cell or the organism
  • apply a scientific approach to the planning, execution, reporting and interpretation of advanced projects with the aim at creating replicating systems with new properties that can be regulated, and to critically analyse the results and generate testable hypotheses from these experiments
  • critically analyse, present and defend scientific literature in synthetic biology, including practical applications such as biofuel and metabolic engineering
  • develop ethical perspectives in synthetic biology


Structure of, expression and regulation in prokaryotic and eukaryotic systems, including their viruses. Advanced biotechnological methods comprising cloning, mutagenesis, polymerase chain reaction, synthesis of nucleic acids, DNA sequence determination, synthetic genomics, CRISPR-Cas9, directed evolution, alternative splicing and computational modeling. Experimental characterisation of structural and functional properties of biomolecules. Bioinformatic analysis and characterisation of genes and biomolecules. Basic theoretical and computational modelling of replicating systems. Laboratory highlighting BioBrick cloning and chromoprotein reporters as a methodology in synthetic biology. Ethical aspects.


The course consists of lectures, seminars, labs and a literature-based symposium. Participation in seminars, the symposium, labs and related lessons, is compulsory.


Sections: Laboratory 5 credits; Seminars and symposium 1 credit; Theory 4 credits

The Laboratory section requires lab performance according to written and oral guidelines. Active discussion, including an oral presentation of a topic is required for the seminars and symposium section. The theory is examined through written exam.

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the disability coordinator of the university.

Other directives

A maximum of two of the courses Project in Laboratory Synthetic Biology I, Project in Laboratory Synthetic Biology II and Synthetic Biology may be included in the Bachelor's or Master's degree.