Cell Biology and Cellular Pathology

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


Requisites for this module


BS333, BS349

Key module for

BSC B990 Biomedical Science,
BSC B991 Applied Biomedical Science (NHS placement),
BSC B995 Biomedical Science (Including Year Abroad),
BSC B999 Biomedical Science (Including Placement Year),
BSC BD00 Biomedical Science (Including Foundation Year)

Module description

We begin with the ultrastructure of the nucleus before reviewing the role of the cytoskeleton in cellular and subcellular movement and in the determination of cell shape. We will also look at how cells communicate and explore the range of cytoplasmic signal transduction pathways. The regulation of cell division and cell death is critical for the normal development of multicellular organisms and for tissue maintenance in the adult and the loss of regulation of these processes ultimately leads to cancer.

The second half of the course will focus on the cellular changes that result in cancer development, and will examine a variety of different cancers, including breast, cervical, colorectal and lymphomas. This will include diagnosis, prognosis, ethics of screening and regulations involving collection and storage of tissue samples.

Module aims

The aim of this module is to provide a detailed view of human cell structure and function as a basis to explore the principles of cellular pathology.

Module learning outcomes

At the end of this module students will need to be able to:

1. explain the structural organisation of the nucleus and the role of nuclear and chromosomal organisation in gene expression and cell division;
2. describe the molecular composition of the cytoskeleton and show how it influences cell shape, cell movement and cell-cell interactions;
3. describe how cells integrate endogenous messages and signals from the environment to regulate growth, proliferation and cell death in normal and pathological conditions;
4. explain the principles and practice of histological screening, with an emphasis on changes observed in pathological conditions and diagnosis;
5. carry out a range of laboratory procedures used to study normal and abnormal cells and tissues.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

20 x 1 hour lectures 12 hours practical sessions 2 hours revision


  • Muskett, David; Orchard, Guy. (2018) 'Immunocytochemistry in action', in Histopathology, Oxford: Oxford University Press., pp.204-251
  • Orchard, Guy; Javed, Alex. (2018) 'Immunocytochemistry in diagnostic histopathology', in Histopathology, Oxford: Oxford University Press., pp.170-203
  • Blann, Andrew. (2015) 'Cells of the cardiovascular and lymphatic systems', in Cell structure & function, Oxford: Oxford University Press., pp.263-295
  • (2015) 'Breast tissue', in Cell structure & function, Oxford: Oxford University Press., pp.478-481
  • Berk, Arnold; Kaiser, Chris A.; Lodish, Harvey; Amon, Angelika; Ploegh, Hidde; Bretscher, Anthony; Krieger, Monty; Martin, Kelsey C. (2016) Molecular Cell Biology, New York: W.H.Freeman & Co Ltd.
  • Molecular Cell Biology - Online resources,
  • (2018) Histopathology, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Evans, David; Robinson, Max. (2018) 'What is histopathology?', in Histopathology, Oxford: Oxford University Press., pp.1-33
  • (2015) Cell structure & function, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • (2015) 'Skin and Breast', in Cell structure & function, Oxford: Oxford University Press., pp.451-478

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   Prac 4 - Learning Curve    10% 
Coursework   Prac 5 - Moodle Quiz    5% 
Coursework   Prac 2 - Pigment Worksheet    10% 
Coursework   Prac 1 - SPF (Immunoblotting)    70% 
Practical   Prac 3 - Lymphomas EVS    5% 
Exam  75 minutes during Early Exams (Multiple Choice) 
Exam  150 minutes during Summer (Main Period) (Main) 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
50% 50%


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



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
Of 207 hours, 17 (8.2%) hours available to students:
190 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)

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