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Macromolecular and Cellular Electron Microscopy


There are no classes currently available for registration.


The field of cryo electron microscopy (EM) and image processing has recently undergone dramatic advances in methods, technology and software, making it a key approach for studying the biological macromolecules that carry out the functions of life.

This online short course, Macromolecular and Cellular Electron Microscopy, helps you gain knowledge in the basic principles underlying the EM and image processing methods needed to determine three-dimensional density maps and atomic models from cryo EM images of macromolecular and cellular structures.

Understanding the principles and practice of cryo EM and image processing is a key skill for people interested in studying the macromolecular machines that carry out the functions of life, and whose misfunction leads to disease. It is now the major approach for determining the three-dimensional structures of large macromolecular complexes in isolation and in their native cellular environments, including the structures of pathogens such as viruses. A critical appreciation of these methods is advantageous for many fields of biology.

This postgraduate-level course is suitable for those wanting to understand structural biology publications using EM, such as:

  • molecular and cell biologists
  • biochemists
  • biotechnologists
  • neuroscientists
  • computational biologists
  • pharmacologists
  • those aspiring to work in structural biology.

This course features a live online tutorial for each section. It is assessed by a 1.5-hour examination (66%) and regular coursework (34%).

30 credits at level 7

  • Entry requirements

    Entry requirements

    Most of our short courses have no formal entry requirements and are open to all students.

    We accept graduates in any scientific discipline, including computer science and psychology. You will need a basic understanding of protein structure (alpha helix, beta sheet, peptide bond) and some simple organic chemistry. If you do not already have this then please take our Principles of Protein Structure short course first.

    As part of the enrolment process, you may be required to submit a copy of a suitable form of ID.

    International students who wish to come to the UK to study a short course can apply for a Visitor visa. Please note that it is not possible to obtain a Student visa to study a short course.

  • How to apply

    How to apply

    You register directly onto the classes you would like to take. Classes are filled on a first-come, first-served basis - so apply early. If you wish to take more than one short course, you can select each one separately and then register onto them together via our online application portal. There is usually no formal selection process, although some modules may have prerequisites and/or other requirements, which will be specified where relevant.