Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


After the course the students
1. have sound theoretical knowledge about methods used in biotechnology laboratories
2. have a good understanding of relevant regulations and safety aspects when working in biotechnology laboratories
3. will be able to perform basic microbiology and biochemistry laboratory experiments
4. will be able to plan and conduct basic experimental work by themselves

Credits: 5

Schedule: 13.09.2021 - 21.10.2021

Teacher in charge (valid for whole curriculum period):

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Heli Viskari, Jenny Thors

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation):

Throughout the course the students can contact responsible teacher Heli Viskari, Other contact information will be announced in the beginning of the course.

CEFR level (valid for whole curriculum period):

Language of instruction and studies (applies in this implementation):

Teaching language: English. Languages of study attainment: English


  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    This course provides the theoretical background and basic practical skills required for working in biochemistry and microbiology, use of aseptic technique in the laboratory, culturing pro- and eukaryotic cells, isolation, identification and microscopy of the cells, working with proteins and performing analytics with different instrumentation.

  • applies in this implementation

    The main focus of the course will be in acquiring solid theoretical and practical skills in basic methods used in biotechnology. This will be done by cell and molecular level experiments and by analysing the outcome with several techniques and devices. In addition to hands-on laboratory work the students will also write reports of the experimental results as well as give an oral presentation according to given instructions. Emphasis is also given on in silico work and analyses.

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Experimentation, planning, practical implementation, assignments, reporting.

  • applies in this implementation

    Grading is based on attendance (both hands-on and remote teaching), completion of the laboratory experiments and reporting of results and other assignments.

    Preliminary grading scale: Max 100 points distributed as follows:

    Activity and attendance in the laboratory and in remote sessions 20

    Reports (written and oral) 30 + 30 = 60

    Other assignments 15

    Self and group assessment at the end of the course 5

  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Total 135h = 5 cr

    Laboratory work and other experimentation

    Reporting (written and/or oral)
    Assignments and self-study

  • applies in this implementation

    Please note that these hours are estimations, depending on each experimental success and working pace of each student.

    Lectures (remote and in-between laboratory work) 10-12 h

    Laboratory work and other experimentation, e.g. in silico exercises 70-75 h; according the preliminary scheduling hands-on laboratory work will cover two weeks (six days) of the total course / student

    Reporting (written and/or oral) 30 h

    Assignments and self-study 18 h


Study Material
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    To be announced later

  • applies in this implementation

    The course laboratory manual will be given to students in the beginning of the course, other learning material during the course.

Substitutes for Courses
SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    4 Quality Education


Further Information
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Priority is given to the degree students in Biotechnology major. If there is space, other students (Aalto degree students and exchange students) with sufficient background in chemistry and biology can be admitted to the course. After the registration period the teacher of the course will inform registered students if they are accepted into the course.

    Teaching Period:

    2020-2021 Autumn I

    2021-2022 Autumn I

    Course Homepage:

    Registration for Courses: In the academic year 2021-2022, registration for courses will take place on Sisu ( instead of WebOodi.


Details on the schedule
  • applies in this implementation

    Below is presented a preliminary plan for course scheduling. Due to corona restrictions (e.g. maximum capacity of the lab space) this might still change.

    First half of the course: molecular biology with the emphasis on cloning, both hands-on and remote work. Each student will spend one week (three days) in the lab, one day a week.

    Second half of the course: biochemistry techniques, both hands-on and remote work. Each student will spend one week (three days) in the lab, one day a week.

    Reporting modes for both parts will be announced in the beginning of the course.