Module code: BMS1056

Module Overview

In this module students will appreciate the structures within a cell and their function, and how these can be adapted for purposes. The module then establishes how different types of cells interact with each other and teh environment to form tissues and organs.
The module also introduces students to microorganisms, the main cellular processes and how they affect humans and the environment.

The module provides students with key knowledge and understanding of cell biology and microbiology as a foundation for subsequent modules in their programme.
Through the practical elements students also gain key laboratory skills in cell and microbiology alongside aptitude in compiling analysing and interpreting data

Module provider

School of Biosciences and Medicine

Module Leader

COLLINS Adam (Biosc & Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

JACs code:

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 110

Lecture Hours: 30

Tutorial Hours: 4

Laboratory Hours: 6

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Cell biology (2 hours each)

• Introduction to the module aims and learning objectives

• The nucleus, structure, organisation

• Ribosomes and protein synthesis

• Endoplasmic reticulum and the Golgi apparatus

• Mitochondria

• Cell turnover: Mitosis, Meiosis and Apoptosis (3 hours)

• Visualising tissues and cells 

• Epithelial tissue

• Muscle

• Tutorials: Organelles, Practical report feedback, Cell turnover, Tissues, Exam tutorial Microbiology (1 hour each)

• Introduction to Microbiology

• Bacteria, their growth and genetics

• Viruses – the infectious cycle, genomes and structure 

• Protozoan microorganisms

• Fungi

• Human-associated microbiota 

• Microbe-environment interactions

• Microbial metabolism: microbial products, human health and disease

• Food- and water-borne diseases

Practical classes:

• Practical A: Subcellular fractionation, organelle separation and identification

• Practical B: Identification of human skeletal morphology or Practical C: Identification of human epithelial tissue by microscopy

• Culture, microscopy and staining techniques, Enumerating and measuring bacteria, isolating bacteria from the environment

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Portfolio of practical reports 30
Examination Unseen MCQ Exam 70

Alternative Assessment

For the practical based Coursework, data and/or altrnative questions will be provided to the students

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge by correctly answering multiple choice style questions designed to test their understanding of the content. Using this approach, we are able to assess knowledge across the wide breadth of topics covered in the module in a short period of time. In addition,the practical components are designed to introduce the students to basic techniques in Cell Biology and Microbiology, as well as develop their ability to keep accurate laboratory records and analyse experimental data.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

Final MCQ exam (70%) consisting of 90 multiple choice (5-answer) style questions to be answered in 90 minutes.

Coursework (30%) – A Practical Portfolio - consisting of laboratory practical short reports and/or laboratory record keeping Formative assessment and feedback

The students will have the opportunity to undertake on-line multiple choice style assessments as part of formative assessment. These assessments will take place mid-way through the module and in the last week of the module, The assessments will be taken on SurreyLearn within a defined period and marks will be published automatically they will receive their mark. . All lecturers on this module use a range of tools (e.g. electronic voting, worksheet examples or peer-to-peer learning) to assess learning and understanding during the course of their lectures

Module aims

  • Establish a basic appreciation of cellular structures, processes and function\
  • To provide the practical skills needed to examine cellular structure and function
  • Establish a firm basis for subsequent molecular biology, physiology and biochemistry
  • Introduce students to the major groups of microorganisms
  • Give students a basic understanding of how a bacterial cell and virus functions
  • To understand what constitutes our natural microbiota and how it impacts our health
  • Introducing the ways in which microbial processes can be managed and manipulated in relation to nutrition and/or food science
  • Introduce students to basic microbiological techniques used when working with microorganisms in the laboratory

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Describe or identify the intracellular components of the eukaryotic cell and relate their structure to specific functions K
002 Describe how DNA is organised within the nucleus and outline how access to the nucleus is controlled across the nuclear envelope K
003 Explain how proteins are manufactured and sent to the correct location within or outside of the Cell K
004 Explain where and how energy is produced in eukaryotic cells K
005 Describe the mechanisms of cell division and cell death, and briefly comment on their Regulation K
006 Discuss the principles of the techniques by which subcellular components of mammalian cells K
007 Identify and describe / draw the cellular structure of organs and tissues from prepared slides, and outline the principles of histochemical staining CP
008 Perform experimental techniques as instructed making accurate observations; record, analyse and interpret data CPT
009 Appreciate the importance of Microbiology in society
010 Describe the distribution and main species of microorganisms associated with the human body and be aware of their impact on human health K
011 Understand the application of, and perform basic microbiology techniques, and analyse and report associated data scientifically
012 Understand the importance of microbial biodiversity and ecology in the context of the human microbiome; the physical environment, and in biotechnology applications

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to meet all learning outcomes. Providing students with a solid basic knowledge in both cell biology and microbiology. It also provides students with critical practical skills and begins to develop skills in scientific writing. This FHEQ level 4 module is designed to provide students with a framework from which to build on in subsequent modules in the programme

The learning and teaching methods include:

• Lectures: 30 hours 

• Formative assessment exercises with feedback practical classes (2x2hr Cell biology and 2x 3hr Microbiology practicals).

• supporting tutorials: 2- hours

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: BMS1056

Other information


Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2022/3 academic year.