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Last modified: 25 May 2018 11:16

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?

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • One of BI2002 Genes and Evolution (Passed) or BI2017 Genes and Evolution (Passed) or BI20M3 Molecular Biology of the Gene (Passed) or BI25M5 Microbes, Infection & Immunity (Passed)

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.

Degree Programmes for which this Course is Prescribed

  • BSc Biochemistry
  • BSc Biochemistry (Biobusiness)
  • BSc Biomedical Sciences (Molecular Biol)
  • BSc Biotechnology (Applied Molecular Bio)
  • BSc Genetics
  • BSc Genetics (Biobusiness)
  • BSc Genetics (Immunology & Biobusiness)
  • BSc Genetics (Immunology)
  • BSc Immunology
  • BSc Immunology (Biobusiness)
  • BSc Microbiology
  • BSc Molecular Biology
  • BSc Molecular Biology (Biobusiness)
  • BSc Molecular Microbiology
  • BSc in Biotechnology (Applied Molecular Biology & Biobusines
  • Bachelor Of Science In Microbiology (Biobusiness)
  • Bsc In Biomedical Sciences (Molecular & Biobusiness)
  • MSci Biochemistry (Biobusiness) with Ind Plt
  • MSci Biochemistry with Industrial Placement
  • MSci Biotechnology (Ap Mol Bio & Biobusiness) with Ind'l P'mnt
  • MSci Genetics (Biobusines) with Ind'l Pl'mnt
  • MSci Genetics (Immunology) with Ind'l Pl'mnt
  • MSci Genetics with Industrial Placement
  • MSci Immunology with Industrial Placement
  • MSci Microbiology with Industrial Placement
  • MSci Molecular Biology with Indust Placem
  • MSci in Biomedical Science (Molecular Biol) with Ind Plac't
  • MSci in Biotechnology(Appd Molecular Bio) with Ind Placement
  • MSci in Molecular Biology (Biobusiness) with Industri Placem
  • Master In Science In Immunology (Bio Bus) With Ind Pla
  • Master In Science In Microbiology(Biobus) With Ind Pla
  • Msci In Biomedical Sciences (Molecular Bio& Biobus) With Ip
  • Msci In Genetics (Immunology & Biobusiness) With Ip

Contact Teaching Time

77 hours

This is the total time spent in lectures, tutorials and other class teaching.

Teaching Breakdown


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.

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