Cell Biology

The details
Life Sciences (School of)
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 5
Monday 13 January 2020
Friday 20 March 2020
23 May 2019


Requisites for this module


BS333, BS349

Key module for

BSC C700 Biochemistry,
BSC C701 Biochemistry (Including Placement Year),
BSC C703 Biochemistry (Including Year Abroad),
BSC CR00 Biochemistry (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C400 Genetics,
BSC C402 Genetics (Including Year Abroad),
BSC C403 Genetics (Including Placement Year),
BSC CK00 Genetics (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C200 Human Biology,
BSC C201 Human Biology (Including Year Abroad),
BSC C202 Human Biology (Including Placement Year)

Module description

The study of cells is at the centre of modern biology. We will review the roles of the major types of filament structures of the cytoskeleton involved in cellular and subcellular movements and in the determination of cell shape. An important topic in this course will be how cells communicate, i.e. by direct cell-cell interaction and by cell-cell signalling via small molecules and via peptides and proteins. The cytoplasmic signal transduction pathways in animal cells will be discussed.

The regulation of cell reproduction and cell death is critical for the normal development of multicellular organisms and for tissue maintenance in the adult. Deregulation of these processes ultimately leads to cancer.

Module aims

In this course we aim to integrate the molecular aspects of the control of cellular processes with the structural and dynamic aspects of cell organisation.

This course is designed to provide a core of knowledge central to an understanding of modern cell biology.

Module learning outcomes

To pass this module students will need to be able to:
1. explain how structure and function are interrelated in the nucleus, in the cytoplasm and in cell membranes;
2. describe the molecular composition of the cytoskeleton and cell junctions and show how they influence cell shape, cell movement and cell-cell interactions;
3. describe how cells integrate endogenous controls and signals from the environment to regulate cell growth and proliferation and cell death in normal and pathological conditions;
4. demonstrate competence in (a) the analysis and interpretation of data and (b) written and verbal communication of experimental results.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

20 x 1 hour lectures, plus 1 revision class before summer exam; 2 x 3 hour practicals or equivalent


  • Harvey F. Lodish. (2016) Molecular cell biology, New York, NY: Freeman W.H.

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Moodle Image Analysis    20% 
Coursework   Online Assessment    10% 
Coursework   SPF  06/03/2020  70% 
Exam  120 minutes during Summer (Main Period) (Main) 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
50% 50%


Coursework Exam
50% 50%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Greg Brooke, email:
Dr Greg Brooke
School Undergraduate Office, email: bsugoffice (Non essex users should add to create the full email address)



External examiner

Dr Clive Butler
The University of Exeter
Associate Professor of Microbial Biochemistry
Available via Moodle
Of 78 hours, 21 (26.9%) hours available to students:
57 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Life Sciences (School of)

Disclaimer: The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its Module Directory is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to programmes, modules, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to modules may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery or assessment of modules and other services, to discontinue modules and other services and to merge or combine modules. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications and module directory.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.