This unit provides a strong foundation for students moving into areas such as: biotechnology, molecular biology, medical sciences and environmental sciences. Topics include: Eukaryotic cell organisation (covering all of the major organelles) and compartmentalisation; membranes and transport mechanisms; the cell surface; intracellular targeting of proteins including co-translational and post-translational pathways; transport and docking of vesicles; motor proteins, movement and the cytoskeleton; communication between cells including receptors and signal transduction pathways; cell cycle and its regulation; apoptosis; the molecular basis of cancer.  Students will gain practical skills in plant and mammalian cell culture in the laboratory setting.

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:


RBF1310 Biology 1 or RBM1528 Human Physiology 2.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Review how eukaryotic cell structures relate to their respective functions;  
  2. Map the pathways of signal transduction and the cell cycle in normal and cancerous cells and identify targets for novel cancer therapies;  
  3. Determine mechanisms of intracellular transport and apply this knowledge to the design and delivery of anticancer therapies;  
  4. Appraise and synthesise relevant scientific literature;  
  5. Investigate the principles of biosafety and bioethics within the context of cell biology practice; and  
  6. Demonstrate competency in plant and mammalian cell culture techniques.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Assignment Assignment (approx. 1500 words) 20%
Examination Written Examination (3 hours) 50%
Practicum Practical Reports 30%
In order to obtain a pass or higher in this graded unit, all components of assessment must be passed.

Required reading

The world of the cell 8th ed
Becker, W., Kleinsmith, L.J., & Hardin, J.
Benjamin Cummings

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