Faculty of Science

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.




Dr Priscilla Johanesen and Associate Professor Helen Abud



  • First semester 2016 (Day)


In this unit we will explore the construction, components and maintenance of the cell, focusing on: the similarities and differences between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells; the properties and functions of membranes; how cells replicate, die, communicate, and form communities; and how cells are genetically programmed.


On successful completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Relate the structure and composition of cells to their function and explain how mammalian cells differentiate to form tissues and organs.
  2. Explain the roles of different cellular compartments and organelles in cellular functions.
  3. Describe the general principles of gene organisation and the control of gene expression and give examples of how expression is controlled.
  4. Explain how cells communicate with each other and the environment.
  5. Outline the factors that control cell growth, proliferation, differentiation and movement.
  6. Describe the fundamental approaches and uses of recombinant DNA technology.
  7. Demonstrate practical skills in the molecular biology techniques that are used to study DNA, RNA and protein and use online databases to retrieve and analyse information on genes, proteins and molecular processes.
  8. Utilise appropriate microscopy techniques to visualise cells and intracellular organelles.


Mid-semester test: 10%
End of semester examination: 50%
Evaluation of Practical/Workshop activities: 30%
Online quizzes: 10%

Hurdle requirement: attendance (100% attendance is expected, with a minimum attendance requirement 80% - with medical certificate or special consideration) and pass grade in practical/workshop activities and overall pass grade in the theory component (mid-semester test and final exam).

Workload requirements

Two 1-hour lectures and up to four hours workshop activities per week

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

To be advised

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study



MOL2011 and BMS1062