Molecular & Cellular Biology (with Biotechnology) BSc/MSci

Genes, Molecules & Cells 2 BIOL2042

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Molecular Biosciences
  • Credits: 30
  • Level: Level 2 (SCQF level 8)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

Genes, Molecules & Cells will cover core areas of biomolecular sciences, in particular the genetic, molecular and cellular processes that underpin biological systems. The overarching theme of the course is to equip students with a broad general knowledge and understanding of the fundamental concepts that form the basis of these subject areas, revealing the complexity of biological systems, aspects of the molecular basis of life, and how molecular mechanisms are regulated in healthy organisms but may fail in disease. The thematic areas of the course are: Genetics, Environmental Perception, Developmental Biology and Energetics, Enzymes & Proteins, and cover topics as diverse as the control of genetic information, the use of model organisms, the control of cell shape, cell division and movement, organogenesis and the development of drugs.

The course will also equip the student with a broad knowledge of experimental approaches and specific laboratory skills. 


Normally, five lectures per week (Monday to Friday) plus one 3-hour lab per week for 6 weeks in the morning or afternoon (Monday or Tuesday or Wednesday or Thursday or Friday) and 4 x 2-hour tutorials. In addition, non-timetabled directed-learning tasks also have to be completed.

Excluded Courses



BIOL2039 Fundamental Topics in Biology 2


The course will be assessed by means of a 2-hour examination paper in the April/May diet (50%), one class test (10%), a lab report assignment (20%) and a group set exercise consisting of two components - a video produced by the group (5%) and an individual technical report (15%). The written examinations will normally comprise MCQ and short-answer questions.

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the 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. 


Re-assessment is not available for the group video exercise.

Course Aims

The aims of the course are:

■ To provide an overview of fundamental processes and concepts that underpin the biomolecular sciences; 

■ To explore the main principles of molecular sciences from the molecular level through energy and genetics to cellular level considering the development of organisms and environmental perception;

■ To introduce experimental approaches and techniques used in these disciplines; 

■ To develop appropriate skills in data interpretation and analysis;

■ To develop laboratory skills in key research methods;

■ To develop key transferable skills and graduate attributes.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Describe fundamental mechanisms and concepts in Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular and Cellular Biology; 

■ Evaluate appropriate experimental approaches used to answer specific scientific questions; 

■ Interpret information from relevant literature;

■ Analyse scientific data, including data collected in the laboratory;

■ Solve relevant quantitative problems;

■ Communicate scientific ideas effectively. 

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.