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The University of Southampton

BIOL3014 Molecular Cell Biology

Module Overview

The organisation of the eukaryotic cell has always fascinated researchers. It is the aim of this module to illustrate upkeep of cellular structure and function. The module includes an exercise on reading a scientific paper (“journal club”).

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • describe the structure, diversity and function of cellular membranes
  • describe ways in which proteins are targeted to their appropriate cellular locations within eukaryotic cells following synthesis
  • describe vesicular traffic, as well as secretion and uptake mechanisms
  • describe the cell cycle and checkpoints
  • describe elements of the cytoskeleton required for upkeep of cell structure and function
  • describe the function of phosphoinositol signalling
  • describe mechanisms of cell-cell interaction and formation of tissue
  • read and interpret original literature in cell biology


This module describes the organisation of the eukaryotic cell and illustrates the upkeep of cellular structure and function. The structure of the cell and cell organelles as well as the molecular mechanisms of cell division and distribution of organelles to daughter cells are covered. An understanding of lipids and membrane proteins is crucial to realise how membranes can perform as essential elements in upkeep of cellular function. The molecular mechanisms for protein insertion into and crossing of membranes as well as targeting to intracellular compartments are investigated. Vesicular traffic that regulates secretion and uptake is required for survival and discussed in detail. Mechanisms of phosphoinositol signalling and control of cellular function are introduced. Organization of cells into tissues requires integration of physical and chemical structures and signalling. The cytoskeleton supports the upkeep of cellular function and is discussed along with the above topics.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures and independent study.

Independent Study126
Total study time150



MethodPercentage contribution
Written exam  (2 hours) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Written exam  (2 hours) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisites: BIOL2010 and BIOL2011

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