Molecular & Cellular Biology 3A BIOL4074

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Molecular Biosciences
  • Credits: 60
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

In Molecular and Cellular Biology, you will learn to apply the principles of genetics and biochemistry to advance your understanding of the molecular basis of life. Molecular and Cellular Biology 3A & 3B build on the Level 2 Life Sciences courses, developing an in depth understanding of molecular genetic methods, genomics, gene expression, protein science, biotechnology, cellular organisation, signalling, and metabolism underpinned by a programme of laboratory practicals. 


Lectures, laboratory work, tutorials, seminars etc as organised.

Requirements of Entry

Normally, this course is only open to students admitted to Level-3 of a programme for which this is a compulsory course. The course may also be available to visiting students, at the discretion of the Life Sciences Chief Adviser and the Course Coordinator.

Excluded Courses



The course will be assessed by means of a 2-hour data analysis examination paper (20%) in the December diet, a 2-hour examination paper (30%) in the April / May diet and in-course assessment (50%).

The in-course assessment consists of three lab reports (30%), one essay (10%) and a class test written under exam conditions in the December diet (10%).

Main Assessment In: December and April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the final Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The aim of this course is to provide students with the opportunity to develop skills in practical laboratory techniques, problem solving, critical analysis, interpretation and discussion of factual information and data relevant to modern Molecular and Cellular Biology and to improve written and oral communication skills.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to: 

■ demonstrate a sound and broad understanding of modern molecular biology and analyse data of a numerical or logical nature in this context;

■ apply practical skills in fundamental molecular techniques and analyse and interpret results obtained from using these technique;

■ demonstrate proficient communication skills by giving well-constructed oral and written presentation;

■ appraise original scientific literature and apply computers, where appropriate, to investigate scientific problems, to obtain information, and to communicate results and conclusions.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.