Module code: BMS1025

Module Overview

This module introduces students to the structures within a cell and their functions, including an understanding of the processes by which cells divide and die.  The module then considers how cell structure and function can be adapted to specialise cells for particular purposes, and begins to consider how different types of cell are able to interact with one another and their environment in order to form higher order structures such as tissues and organs.  Overarching these themes are four practical classes which illustrate the way in which cells and tissues can be studied.

Module provider

School of Biosciences

Module Leader

CAMELLITI Patrizia (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: 64

Lecture Hours: 21

Tutorial Hours: 10

Laboratory Hours: 12

Guided Learning: 22

Captured Content: 21

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • The nucleus: structure and organisation

  • Ribosomes and protein synthesis

  • Endoplasmic reticulum and the Golgi apparatus

  • Exocytosis and endocytosis

  • Lysosomes and peroxisomes

  • Mitochondria

  • Cytoskeleton and mobility in eukaryotes

  • Cell turnover: Mitosis, Meiosis and Apoptosis

  • Microscopy and staining of cells and tissues

  • Tissue types: epithelial, connective, muscle and nerve tissue

  • Junctions between cells

  • Tutorials: Organelles, Cell turnover, Tissues, Exam tutorial


This module has a significant practical component and include 4 practical classes:

  • Practical 0: Subcellular fractionation

  • Practical 1: Chromosomes

  • Practical 2: Microscopy and tissue structure

  • Practical 3: Histological staining

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Practical based assessment Coursework - Practical Report: Microscopy and Tissue Structure 30
Examination Invigilated MCQ Examination - 75 minutes 70

Alternative Assessment

Where practical Microscopy and tissue structure has been missed or failed students will be set written coursework to assess the underlying principles of the appropriate learning outcomes. This will reflect the material covered in the original assessment and will carry the same weighting.  

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy comprises of summative and formative assessments. Summative assessments are used to generate a final module mark for each student whereas formative assessments are used as a tool for students to assess their own learning and understanding of the module material. As such, completion of formative assessments does not count towards the final module mark.

The summative assessment for this module is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of the principles of cell biology by correctly answering multiple choice style questions. In addition, students will be able to demonstrate their practical, analytical and cognitive skills within the practical assessment.


Summative assessment:


1.  Practical report - 'Practical: Microscopy and Tissue Structure' - (typically week 9; submitted in class). 


2.  MCQ exam - will be invigilated and held in person during the exam period (in January) and consists of 60 multiple choice style questions (MCQ). This will also contain questions directly pertaining to practical 3 ('Histological Staining').


Formative assessment:


- For each topic, students will have access to Self-test quizzes to help them revise and check their knowledge and guide them to study further. These quizzes will be published in each relevant week and will remain available throughout the semester.


- In addition, there will be three formative cross-topic self-test quizzes, and a ‘Whole module self-test’. The format of these tests will mirror that seen in the Exam and offers an opportunity to practice answering questions as well as assessing students learning. Self-test will be marked immediately after submission and feedback will be available.


- Formative assessment is also available during and after practical classes to help students consolidate their skills and learning, these include Q&A submitted online, and proforma for recording results in class.





- Prior to the assessments, time will be spent discussing the assignment and feedback process. The marking scheme will be specified, expectations discussed and examples of excellent practice provided for students to make comparisons. This facilitates self-efficacy.


- Immediate feedback is provided as part of the formative Self-test quizzes and practical tests.


- Verbal feedback from academics will be provided during tutorials and practicals.

Module aims

  • Establish a basic appreciation of cellular structures, processes and function
  • Introduce modern techniques in microscopy and cellular investigations
  • Provide the practical skills needed to examine cellular structure and function
  • Provide an appreciation of the use of biochemical and histological skills in biomedical and clinical research laboratories
  • Establish a firm basis for subsequent molecular biology, physiology and biochemistry

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Describe or identify the intracellular components of the eukaryotic cell and relate their structure to specific functions K
005 Identify and describe the cellular structure of organs and tissues from prepared slides, and outline the principles of histochemical staining CP
006 Perform experimental techniques as instructed making accurate observations; record, analyse and interpret data CPT
007 Work productivity both independently and collaboratively as a team in a laboratory setting CPT
002 Discuss the role of the cytoskeleton in intracellular organisation and transport K
003 Describe the mechanisms of cell division and cell death, and briefly comment on their regulation K
004 Relate cellular structure to complex tissue organisation and function K

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

BMS1025 is designed to provide students with material which will underpin many of their later modules in a format which is readily accessible and can be referred to during the rest of their course.  The lectures are designed to give sufficient details to make the principles of cellular organisation clear so that the control of cellular processes and / or pathologies associated with their disruption can be built upon this foundation in later modules.  Overarching the lectures are four practical classes which serve to illustrate these principles in a practical setting, as well as to teach students skills of observation, record keeping, interpretation and classification.  Interactive tutorials enable students to discuss problems and explore their understanding of the topic, as well as serving as a vehicle for feedback on progress and assessments.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lectures: most of the content will be delivered in this way. These will include active learning activities.

  • Content tutorials: in these tutorials we will explore some topics in greater detail and will discuss students’ questions about the module content, often using interactive tools.

  • Recorded content: short videos watched ahead of the tutorial. Students are expected to engage with this captured content and prepare for the content tutorials to facilitate the ‘flipped learning’ experience.

  • Practical sessions: provide students with an opportunity to put their knowledge into practice and develop key technical and transferable (teamwork, professionalism, communication) skills in bioscience, preparing them for the world of work. Students are encouraged to be active participants practical sessions, and support one-another in the process, and in doing so develop as informed, confident, collaborative and independent learners.

  • Formative examination tutorial (end of module): this helps students to ask questions and talk through how to approach the exam.

  • Formative self-test quizzes: topic-specific and cross-topic delivered via SurreyLearn. To help students revise and check their knowledge. They provide immediate feedback.

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: BMS1025

Other information

The School of Biosciences and Medicine is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills, and capabilities in the following areas:


Employability: This module provides students with basic and practical scientific knowledge essential for all bioscience jobs. During practical sessions students will be introduced to various equipment and techniques utilised by scientists in academia, industry, and clinical settings. Students are expected to meet professional standards (H&S, technical [pipetting, microscopy, histology] and transferable [communication, teamwork] professional skills etc) and implement problem-solving skills, preparing them for the world of work.


Digital capabilities: As with all modules, students are expected to engage with online material and resources via SurreyLearn, and other digital platforms. Following a flipped classroom approach, students are advised to view digital learning material in advance of tutorials. Students will use active learning technologies such as Kahoot and Poll everywhere.


Sustainability: In this module students will learn how the structure of cells and tissues underpins their function. This is essential to understand how diseases develop. The module includes references to cardiovascular diseases and stem cell therapies, as well as cell cycle dysregulation which is involved in the development of cancer. Students will gain a foundation of knowledge and skills for future modules including Physiology (BMS1032) and Pathology and Medicine (BMS2046).


Resourcefulness & resilience: The learning, teaching and assessment strategy for this module has been designed to encourage active participation and promote independent learning approaches, with students expected to bring questions for discussion in tutorials. Each week students will have access to formative assessments and will receive immediate feedback. During practical sessions students will apply knowledge acquired in the classroom and expand on some theory aspects in addition to becoming confident with laboratory techniques. Formative assessments and feedback practices provide an opportunity for students to fail and learn from the experience, building confidence and self-efficacy. Formative and summative assessments are designed to ‘feed forward’ to assessments within this module and to future modules in the programme (BMS1032, BMS2046).


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Medicinal Chemistry BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Medicinal Chemistry MChem 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Veterinary Biosciences BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Biochemistry MSci (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Biochemistry BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Biological Sciences (Infection and Immunity) BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Biological Sciences (Animal Biology and Ecology) BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Biological Sciences (Cellular and Molecular Sciences) BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Biological Sciences BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Biomedical Science MSci (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Microbiology 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 2025/6 academic year.