Module Catalogue 2018/19

BIO3032 : Cellular Systems

  • Offered for Year: 2018/19
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Ethan Hack
  • Lecturer: Dr Timothy Boswell, Dr Mike Althaus
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



To inform students about key cellular processes that influence cells’ ability to function and to co-ordinate their functions with other cells, in particular how and why cells recognise and respond to stress, change their growth rate, measure time, and regulate intracellular ion concentrations; to identify genetic, physiological and environmental factors that influence these processes; to enhance students’ ability to understand and evaluate evidence underlying descriptions of cellular processes.

Outline Of Syllabus

• Introduction: normal and abnormal growth and development.
• How cells respond to stress.
• Growth factors, signal transduction and cell cycle control.
• Cellular basis of biological rhythms.
• Membrane transport; ion channels and their regulation.
• Workshop and in-class test: data interpretation exercise.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

At the end of the module students should be able to:
1. Explain current concepts of key cellular processes, in particular how and why cells recognise and respond to stress, change their growth rate, measure time, and regulate intracellular ion concentrations.
2. Show how specific examples of key cellular processes illustrate current concepts.
3. Describe and evaluate experimental evidence underpinning current concepts.

Intended Skill Outcomes

At the end of the module students should be able to:
1. Assemble and interpret subject-specific information to produce a well-argued and accurate account of cellular systems.
2. Communicate with peers to develop insights into research methods gained from reading scientific literature.
3. Interpret data presented in scientific literature.

Graduate Skills Framework

Graduate Skills Framework Applicable: Yes
  • Cognitive/Intellectual Skills
    • Critical Thinking : Assessed
    • Data Synthesis : Assessed
    • Active Learning : Assessed
    • Numeracy : Assessed
    • Literacy : Assessed
    • Information Literacy
      • Source Materials : Assessed
      • Synthesise And Present Materials : Assessed
      • Use Of Computer Applications : Present
  • Self Management
    • Self Awareness And Reflection : Present
    • Planning and Organisation
      • Goal Setting And Action Planning : Present
      • Decision Making : Present
    • Personal Enterprise
      • Initiative : Present
      • Independence : Present
      • Problem Solving : Assessed
  • Interaction
    • Communication
      • Oral : Present
      • Interpersonal : Present
      • Written Other : Assessed
    • Team Working
      • Collaboration : Present
      • Relationship Building : Present
      • Negotiation : Present
      • Peer Assessment Review : Present

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:306:30Exam revision
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture141:0014:00The final lecture is a revision lecture
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion12:002:00Written exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:001:00In-class data interpretation test
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading132:0026:00Lecture follow-up
Guided Independent StudySkills practice17:307:30Preparation for data interpretation test
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops12:002:00Group workshop on data preparation
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study133:0039:00Study of relevant scientific literature
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study12:002:00Preparation for workshop
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures explain key concepts and outline illustrative examples. The workshop provides a forum for groups of students to share their interpretations of published data relating to topics in the module. The in-class test provides an opportunity for students to practise interpretation of structured data. Guided independent study is necessary for students to absorb and evaluate information presented in lectures, to deepen their knowledge and understanding through study of supporting references, and to prepare for the data interpretation test.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A80N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise2M20Data interpretation test
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The exam assesses students’ skill in logical thought and analysis of scientific data and their knowledge, understanding, and ability to integrate subject material learned from lectures and additional reading. The data interpretation test helps students develop their ability to scrutinise and understand data presented in a structured form.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2018/19 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2018/19 entry will be published here in early-April 2018. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.