Bacterial Biofilms and Their Role in Chronic Infections

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General information

The focus of this online course is to provide the participants with a basic understanding of bacterial biofilms and of the health care problems related to infections involving bacterial biofilms. The participants will learn to describe and explain the basis for biofilms in chronic infections and to recognize relevant biofilm model system and interpret results thereof. The course can be followed by both Master degree and PhD students, as well as professionals with a microbiological background. 

The online course in bacterial biofilm stretches over ten weeks in the fall of 2015. The course is structured around internet based E-learning modules (E-modules) with weekly deadlines. This means that you as a student can follow the course from anywhere in the world at any time you like. All you need is an internet connection. You will only meet and interact with your teachers and fellow students at the University of Copenhagen's online learning platform. The weekly plan is as follows:

Week 1 Introduction to E-learning and Absalon, and meeting your workgroup
Week 2 The fundamental understanding of biofilms: What is a biofilm and where do we find biofilm
Week 3 The basic understanding of how biofilms are formed and maintained, including how to study biofilms
Week 4 Biofilm specific phenotypes: the matrix, antibiotic and host tolerance and density regulated phenotypes (quorum sensing)
Week 5 Biofilms in disease: types of chronic infections
Week 6 Host response toward biofilm infections
Week 7 Diagnosis of biofilms
Week 8 Treatment of biofilms
Week 9 Biofilms in disease vs. Natural habitats
Week 10 Exam 

The E-lessons are online learning activities which can be questionnaires, assignments, discussions or practical experiments (ready to use kits). Each E-module is composed of:

  1. An introduction to the topic 
  2. An overview of the purpose, the subjects and the intended learning outcome
  3. A short study guide 
  4. Learning resources (which can be text, audio and/or video files)
  5. Several exercises called E-lessons.
Learning outcome:

The participants will learn:

  • to recognize, and distinguish biofilms from planktonic bacteria both in nature and in medical related situations
  • how to illustrate and examine health care problems caused by infections involving bacterial biofilms
  • how to explain and analyze the consequences of biofilms in chronic infections
  • to recognize and design relevant biofilm model system and interpret their results
  • how to design and develop their own biofilm model including strategies for future research.
Contact Person: E-Learning consultant Maria Thorell (Course Coordinator) (


The highlighted icons, represent the fields of education (in compliance with ISCED Classification) engaged during this course/programme.


Venue: University of Copenhagen
Copenhagen, Denmark

Online Course



MSc students

PhD students: EUR 552,39

Professionals: EUR 1000


Academic level
All applicants must have a microbiological background on at least BSc level.

Proof of English proficiency
Applicants for whom English is not the first language must submit results of either the International English Language Testing System (IELTS/Academic) or the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The minimum acceptable score for the IELTS is 6; the minimum acceptable score for the TOEFL is 550 on the paper test, 213 on the computerized test, or 79-80 on the internet-based test. The organizers reserve the right to ask for an English language test from any applicant.

Application Procedure:

MSc students
To apply, please fill in the online application form for credit students. 

PhD students
The application form can be found in the course catalogue of the Graduate School of Health Sciences. 

To apply, please fill in the online application form "for all other courses".

Application deadlines

  • Danish and International MSc studends- and prof.: 1 June 2015
  • PhD students: 1 August 2015 


Academic level: Master, PhD, Lifelong Learning


Students must complete at least 75% of the E-modules to qualify for the final exam. The exam will be a written 72 hour examination conducted via the Internet (estimated workload 3 hours).

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