Pharmacology BSc/MSci

Biology 1B BIOL1002

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Molecular Biosciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

Biology 1B introduces the students to Biology at the molecular level. Students will carry out detailed investigations of the molecular make-up of biological systems and organisms and relate these to real-life examples of disease, treatments and current research.


Normally, four lectures per week at 9am or 12pm plus one 3-hour lab per week at 9am or 1pm.


The course will be assessed by a 90-minute examination (50%) plus in-course assessment, which counts as 50%.


In-course assessment includes:

■ 1x written assignment

■ 1x problem solving exercise

■ 1x group project

■ 2x online quizzes

■ 1x practical skills assessment

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. 



The group project and the problem solving exercise are non-replicable. These total 20% of the course assessment.

Course Aims

The aims of the course are:

■ to provide a broad-based understanding of modern biology at the molecular and cellular level; 

■ to provide the knowledge appropriate for continuing studies in Life Sciences;

■ to develop general scientific skills and graduate attributes; 

■ to develop an awareness of current scientific research in Life Science;

■ to introduce core digital literacy skills.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ describe cellular respiration in relation to the structure and function of organelles within eukaryotic cells;

■ describe the structure of proteins in relation to their function;

■ explain the processes involved in DNA replication, transcription and translation, and the problems that can occur in these processes;

■ describe how plants use solar energy to fix atmospheric CO2 into carbohydrates;

■ explain the events that occur in the eukaryotic cell division;

■ explain how genetic disease can be due to abnormalities in karyotypes and mutations in genes;

■ describe how inheritance works, and the role of DNA in these processes;

■ describe the genetic and cellular principles of reproduction and development and their evolutionary implications;

■ explain the theories of evolution, natural selection and speciation;

■ describe the importance of the mechanisms of plant growth and the potential impact bioengineering can have;

■ describe the principles of the cellular and molecular basis of plant development and responses to the environment;

■ appraise the quickly changing field of stem cell research. 

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

The minimum requirement for the award of credits is the completion of at least 75% by weight of the summative assessment for the course.