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Unit information: Cell Signalling in 2015/16

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Cell Signalling
Unit code CSSBM1015
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Professor. McArdle
Open unit status Not open




School/department Bristol Medical School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

This unit covers the mechanisms by which cells communicate with one-another at the molecular and biochemical level. It will cover three main areas (with approximately equal emphasis/time on each). The first will provide a broad coverage of the principles and types of molecules involved in cell-cell communication (this will also encompass revision of some more fundamental aspects of cell biology). The second will provide a more detailed coverage of signalling pathways and networks that influence cell fate (division, death and differentiation). The third will provide a more detailed coverage of signalling within specific systems (e.g. neuronal, immune and cardiovascular systems). Relevance to health and disease will be incorporated in each section.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students successfully completing this module will:

  • have a broad understanding of biochemical and molecular mechanisms underlying cell-cell communication.
  • have a more detailed understanding of the signalling pathways, networks and molecules controlling cell differentiation, proliferation and survival.
  • have a more detailed understanding of the signalling pathways controlling activity within specific physiological systems (e.g. neuronal, immune and cardiovascular)

Teaching Information

  • Web-based Audio Lectures and Seminars.
  • Web-based tutorials/practicals
  • Self-directed study
  • On-line discussion forums

Assessment Information

Summative Assessment:

  • Coursework (contributing a total of 60% to the module).
  • 4 sets of multiple choice questions (MCQ) of a simple format (e.g. select an answer from a short number of options, true/false) each contributing 10% to module giving a total of 40%.
  • 2x short answer question sets or extended MCQs each contributing 10% to module giving a total of 20%

Please note that students will be given formative feedback on all coursework assessment where appropriate.

  • Written Exams (contributing a total of 40% to the module and taken in Bristol)
  • Essay paper - contributing 27%
  • MCQ paper – contributing 13%

Contribution reflects time spent in each exam.

The pass-mark for the module will be 50%. However students will be required to reach a minimum standard in both their coursework and their written exam. As such only 5% compensation between the total coursework element and the total exam element will be allowed.

Reading and References

There is no single key text. Key reading (mostly review articles) will be provided for each lecture/tutorial.