Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton

BIOL6030 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 and presenting 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
  • Present original literature in cell biology to a scientific audience


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. An exercise to interpret and present a on a recent research paper related to the topics presented in the module.

Practical classes and workshops6
Work based learning4
Independent Study138
Total study time154


Assessment Strategy

Lectures and feedback / revision seminars. A one page graphical abstract of an agreed research article from the current literature. The article is selected from a reading list compiled from all sections of the module. An oral presentation of the above research paper. Feedback is given on both the written and oral part.


MethodPercentage contribution
Oral presentation 20%
Written exam  (2 hours) 65%
Written scientific abstract  ( words) 15%


MethodPercentage contribution
Oral presentation 20%
Written exam  (2 hours) 65%
Written scientific abstract 15%
Share this module Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo
Privacy Settings