Module Identifier BS12020  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Dr Iolo Ap Gwynn  
Semester Semester 2  
Other staff Dr Aileen R Smith, Dr David J Hopper, Dr Mustak A Kaderbhai, Dr Richard B Kemp  
Pre-Requisite BS11910 Normally A or AS level Biology or its equivalent.  
Co-Requisite BS10910  
Course delivery Lecture   40 Hours  
  Seminars / Tutorials   A small number of remedial classes.  
  Practical   12 Hours (4 x 3 hours)  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam3 Hours 1 x 3 hour theory paper and 1 x 1 hour cell biology practical examination plus continuous assessment for biochemistry (67% and 33% respectively) 67% essays, 33% MCQs63%
Semester Assessment Mid semester test 7%, 15 minute paper held under examination conditions to examine the first lectures with 20 MCQs. The material in these lectures will also be assessed in the theory paper.  37%
Supplementary Exam3 Hours  67%
Supplementary Assessment Practical supplementary examination.  33%

Learning outcomes

On completion of the module, students will be able to


The overall aim is to provide an integrated account of the cell as analogous to the model factory. The discrete parts of the eukaryotic cell are not isolated 'entities' but rather they form an interactive and inter-related continuum with integrated inputs and outputs. The cell's functional compartments increase efficiency by division of labour with the processes forming a nexus to maintain life. The practicals are designed to highlight aspects of the module and develop analytical skills.


The division of labour in the eukaryotic cell on the model of a factory with integrated processes increases the efficiency of the living process. As a prerequisite, all aspects of the structure must be related to function and integrated with metabolism. The central importance of the membrane will be stressed in terms both of delimiting the cell from its environment and in compartmentalising the cell into efficient units of the factory. As their role in the integrated process is explained, so the biochemical pathways that allow each organelle uniquely to contribute to the overall process will become clear. Thus the complexity of the cell will be analysed in a logical way that sets all the mechanisms in the context of a continuing process.

In order to achieve cellular integration, there must be regulation and control of the processes. This will be demonstrated at various planes. At the molecular level, the classical mechanisms of cybernetic and allosteric feedback are needed to control the biochemical pathways. In addition, cytoplasmic and nuclear processes are regulated downstream and upstream by macromolecular cascades that also involve nuclear-cytoplasmic interactions. Communication and transport is also required between all the other organelles in terms of specific molecules to modulate processes and recognition for vesicles transporting materials between them and to/from the cell surface. There is also this need in connection with the incorporation of host genes into the genomes of chloroplasts and mitochondria. With the advent of multicellularity, there is increasing specialisation to form tissues and organs composed of different cell types. In order to harmonise function of the organism, cells communicate by various methods transduced by the plasma membrane and interacting with intracellular cascades.

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Garnett, R.H. & Greisham, C.M. (1999) Biochemistry 2nd. Harcourt Brace College Publishing
Alberts, B., Johnson, B., Lewis, A.J., Raff, M., Roberts, K. & Watson, D. (2002) Molecular Biology of the cell 4th. Garland Publ., New York (especially for students continuing in this discipline in Levels 2/3)


This module is at CQFW Level 4