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Last modified: 05 Aug 2021 13:04

Course Overview

  • a course detailing for the first time how a cell really works; we reveal and explain how cell biology is governed by a cell's molecular biology and biochemistry; 
  • a course placing a high value on its teaching and learning; all lecture material supported by non-assessed workshops – your chance to team-work, ask questions and enjoy the science; 
  • contains an extended research practical; you carry out lab research to understand how cells responds to starvation stress, and write up in research paper format; 
  • we teach how to access the scientific literature and write successful essays, preparing you for Honours year

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Carol A. Munro

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Either Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • MB3005 The Molecular Biology of the Cell (Studied)

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

The first part of the course deals with the basic biochemistry of genetic material, including an examination of DNA replication, including cell cycle, chromosome organisation, recombination and repair. We progress into the core central dogma by dealing with both prokaryotic and eukaryotic mechanisms for the transcription of DNA into RNA and the subsequent synthesis of proteins encoded in mRNA. The focus then moves first to protein molecules, dealing with protein processing, targeting and turnover, and then to cell biological aspects of protein trafficking, membrane transduction and cell signalling. The course concludes with a discussion of cell structure. Laboratory work and assignments are designed to complement and extend the lecture topics. Additional learning opportunities are provided in the staged series of Workshops, which allow the opportunity to actively employ understanding of a topic in a workshop/small group learning environment.

In light of Covid-19 this information is indicative and may be subject to change.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Practical during University weeks 13, 14
  • 2 Workshops during University weeks 10 - 12, 15, 18
  • 1 Workshop during University week16

More Information about Week Numbers

In light of Covid-19 and the move to blended learning delivery the assessment information advertised for second half-session courses may be subject to change. All updates for second-half session courses will be actioned in advance of the second half-session teaching starting. Please check back regularly for updates.

Summative Assessments

Essay analysis and essay 20%

Lab report 20%

End of course exam 60%

Alternative Resit Arrangements for students taking course in Academic Year 2020/21

Online Exam

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ReflectionEvaluateStudents will be able to abstract information and understanding from complex literature and analyse and interpret data.
ConceptualUnderstandDescribe aspects of cell signalling in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. This will include kinases, G-proteins, Ras, nuclear receptor, steroids, 2-component systems in microorganisms.
ConceptualUnderstandStudents will be able to describe the complex intracellular architecture of higher eukaryotic cells.
FactualUnderstandStudent will be able to describe the main features of DNA structure and replication.
FactualUnderstandStudents will be able to describe the main features of chromosomal organisation, recombination and repair.
ProceduralCreateStudents will gain an understanding of, and training in, laboratory skills and how to observe and record scientific data.
FactualUnderstandStudents will be able to describe various selected aspects of protein biochemistry including protein folding, turnover, targeting and trafficking within the cell.
FactualUnderstandStudents will be able to describe the main features of transcription, including post-transcriptional processing, and translation in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes.
FactualUnderstandStudents will be able to describe the structure and propagation of mobile genetic elements (mobile DNA).

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