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CMB1004 : Cell Biology

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Michele Sweeney
  • Lecturer: Dr Lindi Chen, Dr David Kennedy, Dr Harley Stevenson-Cocks, Professor Robert Hirt, Dr Seamus Holden, Dr Tim Cheek
  • Owning School: Biomedical, Nutritional and Sports Scien
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 15
ECTS Credits: 8.0


This module aims to:

•       introduce students to the fundamental principles of cell biology and biodiversity
•       explore the biophysical chemistry of living systems, including the roles of cell membranes
•       consider the specialised function of specific cell types and communication within and between cells

Outline Of Syllabus

Lectures and seminars cover the following topics:

Biodiversity: the place and relationship that humans have in and with life on Earth.

Cells: basic eukaryotic cell structure; function of membrane proteins; intracellular sorting and transport; cytoskeleton and cell movement; cell growth and division.

Transport: The mammalian cell and its environment; types of membrane transport.

Excitable Cells: membrane potentials; the action potential; signal transmission at the neuromuscular junction; muscle contraction; functional neural pathways. Biophysics: life based in water; reactions in water; life and growth is limited by resource; acids and bases; chemical energy and electrical energy.

Cell Signaling: general principles of cell communication; signalling through cell surface receptors; regulation of signalling pathways.

Endocrinology: introduction to endocrinology; the hypothalamus and pituitary; the thyroid gland and control of metabolism; the adrenal glands and gonads.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:001:00Formative assessment (mid-semester). Invigilated online via Canvas.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture291:0029:00PIP
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching31:003:00PIP. Seminars.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1117:00117:00Writing up lecture notes, revision and general reading
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

1. Lectures materials will define the scope of the course and communicate basic knowledge as a basis for further study.

2. Seminars will encourage students to develop their understanding of the subject and interpersonal communication skills. They provide an opportunity for students to ask questions and exchange ideas in a small group setting. Skills practiced include critical thinking, numeracy, communication & team working.

3. Private study is used for self-directed learning and includes: reading lecture notes and texts; preparation for seminars; using learning resources. Skills practiced include critical thinking, active learning, numeracy, planning and organisation and independence.

Public Health Contingency:
All lectures and seminars can/will move online either as synchronous online or non-synchronous delivery.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination901M100Invigilated MCQ exam (120 questions)
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Computer assessment1MInvigilated (45 mins) MCQ/fill in the blank exam via Canvas.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The end of module examination assesses knowledge and understanding of the course material. The formative assessment will help students assess their knowledge and understanding of course material as well as familiarise students with the format of the end of module exam.

FMS Schools offering Semester One modules available as ‘Study Abroad’ will, where required, provide an alternative assessment time for examinations that take place after the Christmas vacation. Coursework with submissions dates after the Christmas vacation will either be submitted at an earlier date or at the same time remotely.

Public Health Contingency:
Written exam can/will move to remote online, timed exam to be completed in 24-hour period (120 questions, expected completion time 90 mins).

Reading Lists