Module code: BMS1060

Module Overview

This module is designed to develop a fundamental understanding of the structure and function of cells and the biochemical processes that underpin them.

Module provider

School of Biosciences

Module Leader

CONNORTON James (Biosciences)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 53

Lecture Hours: 30

Tutorial Hours: 3

Practical/Performance Hours: 9

Guided Learning: 24

Captured Content: 34

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • The cell, structure & organisation

  • The organelles: ER, golgi, mitochondria, nucleus & ribosomes Vesicles, endocytosis and exocytosis

  • Cell turnover: Mitosis, Meiosis and Apoptosis Structure/function of specialist cells including:

  • Epithelial tissue, enterocytes, hepatocytes

  •  Muscle and connective tissue

  •  Nerve cells & gap junctions Fundamental chemistry: atoms, bonding, energy, properties of water and pH. Structure and function of amino acids, carbohydrates, lipids and nucleotides. Structure and function of DNA, RNA and protein. Nucleus, Ribosomes, Transcription and translation Practical skills including histological staining, microscopy and UV-Vis spectrometry

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Coursework based on practical 30
Examination MCQ examination (1.5 h) 70

Alternative Assessment

Example data will be provided for students with a valid reason for missing the practical

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the course content.

The will also demonstrate their ability to interpret data gathered in the laboratory.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

Coursework, online data handling questions, assesses learning outcomes 7 and 8

Online MCQ exam, assesses learning outcomes 1-6 

Formative assessment:

All lecturers provide formative quizzes related to their content. Students are encouraged to complete these every week and correct their own answers.


A proportion of lecture time is devoted to discussing formative quizzes, how they are answered and many misconceptions students may have about the content.

Module aims

  • Provide a fundamental understanding of the structure of the cell and its constituent parts
  • Develop an understanding of how cells grow, divide and are turned over with reference to particular cell types
  • Develop a broad understanding of fundamental chemical principles important for biology and the structure/function of key biological molecules
  • Introduce students how amounts of substance are quantified and necessary calculations
  • Give an overview of the central dogma of molecular biology
  • Provide key practical skills that are important for studying cell biology and biological chemistry, and that will be built on in future modules

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 the mechanisms of cell division and cell death, and briefly comment on their regulation K
003 Relate cellular structure to specific complex tissue organisation and function CK
004 Identify and describe / draw the cellular structure of organs and tissues from prepared slides, and outline the principles of histochemical staining K
005 Discuss the structure and function of biologically relevant molecules including water, amino acids, carbohydrates, lipids and nucleotides. CK
006 Discuss the central dogma of molecular biology and the flow of information from DNA to RNA to protein. CK
007 Competently use key laboratory equipment, perform essential calculations and analyse experimental data. CKPT
008 Competently perform experimental techniques as instructed making accurate observations; record, analyse and interpret data CKPT

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:

Provide a fundamental understanding of cell biology and biochemistry with particular emphasis on cell types and biological molecules that will be encountered again in future modules.

Students are also introduced to fundamental lab techniques that will be built on throughout their degree and beyond.

The learning and teaching methods include:


Practical sessions

Tutorials Formative MCQ tests

Summative MCQ tests Coursework

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: BMS1060

Other information

Resourcefulness & resilience: Part of the assessment is coursework based on a laboratory practical. Students must manage their own time in the lab effectively and react in a professional way when experiments do not go according to plan. Formative quizzes are provided for students to evaluate their own learning and they are encouraged to use their own notes and other resources to correct any wrong answers. Digital capabilities: Students use the Virtual Learning Environment extensively and communicate with staff and each other through the discussion board. Computer simulations of laboratory equipment and techniques are used to prepare for practicals. Employability: Practicals introduce students to fundamental ¿wet lab¿ skills which are required for almost any lab-based career. They also enhance their skills in data analysis and handling numerical data, which are very transferable to any career.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Nutrition BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Food Science and Nutrition BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Nutrition and Dietetics BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate of 40% overall and a pass on the pass/fail unit of assessment is required to pass the module
Sport and Exercise Science BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

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 2024/5 academic year.