Skip to content
Main menu hidden.

Biophysical-Chemical Concepts, 15 Credits

Swedish name: Biofysikaliska-kemiska koncept

This syllabus is valid: 2018-05-28 and until further notice

Course code: 5KE174

Credit points: 15

Education level: Second cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Chemistry: Second cycle, in-depth level of the course cannot be classified

Grading scale: Three-grade scale

Responsible department: Department of Chemistry

Established by: Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 2017-08-25

Revised by: Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 2018-05-31


The course covers biophysical and chemical processes in the environment and in biological systems. The practical part of the course includes  spectroscopic measurements on proteins and their interaction with small organic molecules, equilibrium calculations based on fugacity concepts and characterization of molecular adsorption on organic/biological (e.g. nanotubes, membranes) and inorganic surfaces (e.g. different minerals). The course covers the following areas: thermodynamics, absorption processes, kinetics, fugacity, physicochemical properties, molecular dynamics and spectroscopic methods with focus on mainly NMR spectroscopy as well as Raman, IR and Fluorescence spectroscopy. The course also contains a literature project that includes literature search, followed the presentation of the project orally but also in written form. The course also addresses the theory of science and ethics. The practical moments of the course are closely related to ongoing research at Umeå University in the area of proteins, and pharmaceutical and environmental chemistry.

Expected learning outcomes

After the course the student should be able to:

  • describe and discuss various chemical processes at interfaces and describe its thermodynamic and kinetic dependence based on physico-chemical concepts
  • perform theoretical chemistry based calculation of exchange processes and kinetics,  and link them to experimental observations
  • demonstrate the ability to calculate and analyze organic substances' fate in the environment based on concepts of fugacity
  • explain and describe the spectroscopic techniques presented in the course , and describe, perform and discuss their practical applications in the study of biological molecules and chemical processes in soil and biota
  • critically examine, analyze, and discuss data from calculations and computer simulations combined with data from spectroscopic measurements in a course relevant theoretical or experimental context
  • explain the choice of suitable spectroscopic method for a given problem in structural biology and chemistry
  • independently identify and formulate a question in the field and thereby carry out a literature project and its written and oral presentation
  • demonstrate the ability to discuss social and ethical aspects of scientific research


Required Knowledge

90 ECTS credits, of which at least 60 ECTS credits are in the main area of chemistry, or the equivalent and English B/6.

Form of instruction

Teaching consists of lectures, group exercises, labs, demonstrations and project work. The labs and accompanying set of exercises as well as seminars on social and ethical issues is mandatory.

Examination modes

The projects are carried out in groups and are examined in oral and written form. The project will be assessed by the grades Pass (G) or Fail (U). The course ends with a written individual exam. Laboratory work is assessed by the grades Pass (G) or Fail (U). Participation in group work and oral presentations is mandatory and is also part of the examination and will be assessed by the grades Pass (G) or Fail (U). In the written exam, and for the course in total, following grades are used: Fail (U), Pass (G) or Pass with Distinction (VG).
To pass the course it is required that all mandatory parts are approved. Those who pass the tests cannot have a re-exam for a higher grade. A student who has failed two exam of the course or part of parts of it, is entitled to have another examiner appointed, unless there are special reasons to the contrary (HF Chapter 6. § 22). Requests for a new examiners have to be addressed to the head of the Department of Chemistry.

Other regulations

Students have the right to be assessed with respect to previous education or equivalent knowledge and skills acquired during professional activities. This assessment can result in credits reflecting the equivalent education at Umeå University. The application for this assessment has to be sent to the Student Center/Examina. More information about this assessment of credits can be found on the Umeå University Student Web, www.student.umu.se, and in the Higher Education regulations (chapter 6). Against rejection of the application for credit assessment, an appeal can be made (Higher Education regulations chapter 12) to the Appeal Board of the University. This applies to both, the entire or parts of the application for assessment of credits.

In the event that the course plan ceases to apply or undergoes major changes, students are guaranteed at least three exam opportunities (including the regular examination) according to the rules in the syllabus that the student was originally registered for; with a   maximum of two years from the expiry date of the previous course plan or the course ended up to be chosen.


Valid from: 2018 week 22

Atkins' Physical Chemistry
Atkins Peter, De Paula Julio, Keeler James
eleventh edition : Oxford : Oxford University Press : 2017 : xxvii, [3], 908 sidor :
ISBN: 978-0-19-876986-6
Search the University Library catalogue