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Unit information: Biochemistry: Cellular Processes in 2021/22

Unit name Biochemistry: Cellular Processes
Unit code BIOC10004
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Gus Cameron
Open unit status Not open

A-level Biology or equivalent strongly advised



School/department School of Biochemistry
Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

Biochemistry: Cellular Processes gives students the skills and knowledge needed to understand major cellular processes and how they are powered. Topics covered include cell structure, the cytoskeleton, the secretory pathway, cell division, cellular dynamics and cell movement, the basic properties of carbohydrates, the principal metabolic pathways found in cells and their regulation, membrane-based energy transduction, regulation of metabolism, hormones and signal transduction, and the cell biology of development.

The unit is normally supported by laboratory classes and workshops that build ability and confidence in the experimental, numerical and written skills required by scientists. This material is supported by online resources delivered through Blackboard and eBioLabs.

Unit contents

  • Regulation of metabolism
  • Hormones and signal transduction
  • Carbohydrate metabolism
  • Fat metabolism
  • Oxidative phosphorylation and ATP
  • Cell division and dynamics
  • The cytoskeleton
  • The secretory pathway
  • The cell biology of development

Intended Learning Outcomes

At the end of the unit a successful student will be able to

  1. Analyse and interpret metabolic pathways.
  2. Describe energy generation within cells.
  3. Compare and contrast regulatory strategies.
  4. Compare and contrast the breakdown and synthesis of fats and carbohydrates.
  5. Predict the outcome of inhibiting or bypassing components of oxidative phosphorylation.
  6. Discuss cellular dynamics and division.
  7. Identify how cells maintain their structure.
  8. Describe the key drivers of cell development.

The units aims to develop the following skills:

9. Logical deduction, calculation and the application of scientific methods

10. Presentation of scientific arguments both verbally and in written form in a clear and rigorous manner.

11. Understanding of practical work using standard laboratory apparatus and the proper use of scientific units.

12. Observation, measurement, calculation and interpretation of scientific data.

Teaching Information

The teaching in the unit is normally delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions, including lectures, workshops and practicals.

Assessment Information

Coursework: 20%

Mid-sessional assessment: 20%

End of unit exam: 60%


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. BIOC10004).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.