MDCS42280 Biological Princpl&CellularOrg

Academic Year 2020/2021

This is a postgraduate module introducing biological principles of the organisation of the cell as relevant for human anatomy, physiology and pathology. The intended audience are postgraduate students from a non-biology background. The module will cover vital cellular functions such as the control of gene regulation, the composition and properties of the biological networks which govern intracellular communication, cell growth, replication, differentiation and cell death from a systems biology perspective. It also will discuss experimental techniques and analysis methods to probe these functions. This module forms part of the core curriculum for the MSc AI for Medicine and Medical Research.

Show/hide contentOpenClose All

Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

After successful completion of this module, the student will be able to
• List the basic components of the cell and how they contribute to function
• Explain vital cellular functions such as self-replication, migration, differentiation, endo-and exocytosis, and cell death.
• Discuss the intracellular processes that control these functions, including the control of gene-regulation, cell-signalling and metabolism.
• Distinguish different feedback loops and qualitatively predict their possible dynamic behaviours
• Give examples of how disruptions of these normal functions can cause disease.
• Appraise biological experiments
• Interpret various types of biological data, including molecular (genomics, proteomics, metabolomics) data, biochemical data and basic cell biological measurements.
• Infer knowledge from biomedical literature.

Indicative Module Content:

• Introduction to the cell and its role in human anatomy, physiology, and pathology
• Molecular genetic mechanisms
• Cellular functions and their control
• Mathematical descriptions of basic mechanisms
• Experimental techniques to probe cellular functions and overview of biological data
• Disruption of normal function and disease mechanisms

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
1) Lectures
2) Computer Aided Learning Practicals
3) Student lead activities 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment: Individual assignments; Essay. Varies over the Trimester n/a Graded No


Presentation: Continuous Assessment Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Remediation Type Remediation Timing
In-Module Resit Prior to relevant Programme Exam Board
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Peer review activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Name Role
Professor Walter Kolch Lecturer / Co-Lecturer