Accessibility statement

Cells to Organisms - BIO00025C

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  • Department: Biology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Andrew Holding
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: C
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
    • See module specification for other years: 2023-24

Module summary

The module provides an overview of the molecular, cell and developmental biology that underpins life at different scales. The module will start with discussing bacteria and then build up to organismal development and specialised systems of multicellular organisms. The module consists of four parts. The first part will compare prokaryotic and eukaryotic life and discuss how prokaryotic cells respond to their environment. The second part will investigate the origins of multicellularity, and the processes that enable eukaryotic cells to communicate and alter gene expression in response to extracellular signals. The third part will apply this knowledge to understanding the developmental processes in model organisms. The final two weeks will highlight the development and function of two systems – neurons and the immune system – as examples of highly specialised parts of multicellular organisms.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2024-25

Module aims

The module aims to establish a firm foundation in cell and molecular biology that is key to understanding how organisms develop and function. In addition to core cell biology there will be an emphasis on mechanisms of cell communication and the role of gene expression control. These topics are integrated with key examples of developmental biology. The module conclude with examples of neuronal biology and the immune system. Throughout the module, we provide examples of experimental strategies and evidence needed to address questions in cell and molecular biology thus emphasising the scientific method and helping to promote skills in problem solving and critical thinking.

Module learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this module will be able to:

Summarise and contrast the organisation and key features of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.

Describe the mechanisms regulating prokaryotic and eukaryotic gene expression

Describe the origins of multicellularity and the need for cell signalling

Explain and illustrate with examples the general principles that underpin cell signalling

Explain and illustrate with specific examples the mechanisms regulating cell growth, cell death and cell-type specification.

Identify the key features of pathogenic microorganisms that enable their success.

Identify the key features of the innate and adaptive immune system

Discuss and interpret experimental evidence that support the key concepts presented in the module


Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Cells to Organisms Online Exam
6 hours 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Cells to Organisms Online Exam
6 hours 100

Module feedback

Marks for all summative assessments will be made available to you and your supervisor via e:vision. Feedback will be either individual or cohort-level, depending on the assessment format. You should take the opportunity to discuss your marks and feedback with your supervisor.

For exam-style summative assessment, model answers will be provided for all questions along with cohort-level feedback indicating how students answered questions in general. Marks achieved per question will be added to your script.

For coursework assessments (eg. reports or essays) you will receive individual feedback on your work. This will usually be in the form of a feedback sheet that will include suggestions for further improvement.

During the teaching of the module you will receive formative feedback that may be at a whole class or individual level. Such feedback may include: model answers and discussion of workshop questions, summaries of performance in practicals, VLE-based quizzes, individual spoken comments during workshops, individual written comments on formative work.

Indicative reading

These are available through the VLE module site.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.