Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Molecular Cell and Cancer Biology
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Practical 2 x 3 Hour Practicals
Workshop 1 x 3 Hour Workshop
Lecture 33 x 1 Hour Lectures


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 3 x open-book mini-tests  (30 minutes)  25%
Semester Assessment Practical report  (1000 words plus figures)  25%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   50%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Students must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to failure of the module.  50%
Supplementary Assessment Students must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to failure of the module.  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Discuss key signalling mechanisms and their importance in the life of the cell.

2. Discuss the regulation of gene expression and its importance in the life of the cell.

3. Discuss the cell cycle, aging and cell death and relate these to development and cancer.

4. Discuss the molecular biology of cancer and its relationship to clinical oncology.

5. Analyse raw developmental data and produce a summary and draw conclusions.

6. Critically interpret published data and analyse key published experiments.

Brief description

The importance of cell signaling and its impact on differential gene expression will serve as an introduction to the module (building on the material in BR10310). These basic principles will then be put into context by examining the role they play in early embryo development, aging and cancer formation and treatment and plant cell biology.


The module will begin with a section outlining the key principles of regulated gene expression and cell signalling together with lectures covering recurring themes throughout development and oncogenesis (cancer formation) such as cell migration and programmed cell death.

In the section on the development of the early embryo we will examine how signals and differential gene expression are important for determining the basic body pattern of embryos as diverse as those of a fly and a human, determining the fates of individual cells in the embryo, and regulating the movements of cells required to form a complex organism.

Cell fate (differentiation) and movement are two key factors in the development of cancer and, in the final part of the module, we will examine how problems with signalling and differential gene expression can lead to cancer and show how many of the process that are features of early development are also crucial for the growth and spread of cancer. How this understanding impacts on treatments and outcomes will also be discussed.

Workshops and/or practicals will use data interpretation exercises to reinforce and expand on the taught material.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Analysis of data, calculation of basic descriptive stats and production of appropriate graphical representations.
Communication Production of succinct and professional reports within strict word limits and to a pre-set format. Production of professional, accessible web resources.
Improving own Learning and Performance
Information Technology Use of Excel to produce appropriate professional figures and perform basic statistical analysis.
Personal Development and Career planning
Problem solving Critical analysis of published data and approaches to resolution of conflicts in the literature. Developing and testing hypotheses.
Research skills
Subject Specific Skills Microscopy.
Team work


This module is at CQFW Level 5