BIO234 Environmental Microbiology

Credits (ECTS):5

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Teaching language:Norsk

Limits of class size:48 students (including BIO233).

Course frequency:Annually

Nominal workload:

125 hours

  • Lectures / seminars: 26 hours.
  • Self-study: 99 hours.

Teaching and exam period:This course starts in the Spring parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in the Spring parallel.

About this course

The course is designed for students in the fields of microbiology, microbial ecology, environmental microbiology, food microbiology, human- and veterinary microbiology, water and environmental technology. The course will mainly cover the sustainability goal Clean water and proper sanitation (number 6). 

LECTURES: Introduction to the principles of how to describe the bacterial diversity with special emphasis on modern molecular biological and bioinformatic analyzes. Furthermore, the major groups of microorganisms in different environments will be described. Some important microbial communities with focus on communities associated with humans and animals will be reviewed. This will cover water and water treatment, fecal contamination as source for antibiotic resistance, and sewage treatment.

Learning outcome


  • Students will get insight into both the description and significance of microorganisms in some central environments such as drinking water, gut and sewage, as well as insight into the ecological principles and biotechnological use of complex microorganism communities. 


  • Students will be able to use knowledge about microbial composition and properties to understand microbial processes in the environment.
  • The student is able to perform the preparations, techniques and analyses employed in the course. The student masters the instruments and equipment used in the course.


  • Students will be able to write reports based on scientiffic data, and to communicate across disiplins (bio- and watertechnology). 
  • Contact with teachers via Canvas and e-mail. Lecture notes will be posted on Canvas. 
    • Knowledge in microbiology corresponding to BIO130.
    • Knowledge in biochemistry theory corresponding to KJB200.
  • Skills for interpretation of experimental data is evaluated by the filing of journals, counts 25% (A-F)

    Evaluation of student learning will be based on their theoretical knowledge and understanding, being tested in a final written exam of 3.5 hours, counts 75% (A-F)

  • An external examiner approves the examination questions and marks a minimum of 25 selected examination papers.
  • Writing of reports.
  • BIO234 = the theory part of BIO233. Because of this there is an overlap of 5 credits between BIO233 and BIO234.
  • Lectures / tutorials: 2 hours per week for 13 weeks. 
  • BIO233, reduction of 5 credits
  • Letter grades
  • Special requirements in Science