Skip to Content


Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

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 None. Sustained Study No
  • Professor Carol 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.

Contact Teaching Time

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

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: One 2.5 hour examination (60%) and in-course assessment (40%). Oral examination for borderline candidates.

Resit: One 2.5 hour examination (60%) and in-course assessment (40%). Oral examination for borderline candidates.

Formative Assessment

- PRS-based revision sessions allow students to practice for MCQ tests and receive feedback on their performance. - PRS-based MCQ in lectures/practicals. - Practice exam questions on MyAberdeen. - Problem-solving sessions on data handling in workshops.


- Practical reports and essays will be marked with written comments. - Problem solving questions will be discussed during a lecture/feedback session. - Students are given general feedback on performance during PRS revision sessions. - Students receive on-line feedback on completion of the tests. - PRS MCQ assessment answers discussed at the end of assessment session. Immediate feedback on practice questions available on MyAberdeen. - Feedback on problem-based learning exercise.

Course Learning Outcomes


Compatibility Mode

We have detected that you are have compatibility mode enabled or are using an old version of Internet Explorer. You either need to switch off compatibility mode for this site or upgrade your browser.