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Last modified: 31 Jul 2023 11:19

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
  • Professor 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.

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 30 August 2024 for 1st half-session courses and 20 December 2024 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

Essay analysis and essay 20%

Lab report 20%


Open book assessment 20%

Open book assessment 40%

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
FactualUnderstandStudents will be able to describe the main features of transcription, including post-transcriptional processing, and translation in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes.
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 the main features of chromosomal organisation, recombination and repair.
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 structure and propagation of mobile genetic elements (mobile DNA).
FactualUnderstandStudent will be able to describe the main features of DNA structure and replication.
ReflectionEvaluateStudents will be able to abstract information and understanding from complex literature and analyse and interpret data.
ConceptualUnderstandStudents will be able to describe the complex intracellular architecture of higher eukaryotic cells.
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.

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