module specification

NU4053 - Cell biology for nutritionists (2021/22)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2021/22
Module status DELETED (This module is no longer running)
Module title Cell biology for nutritionists
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 150
114 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Tutorial portfolio
Unseen Examination 50%   Online Exam (1 hour)
Attendance Requirement 0%   Tutorial attendance
Attendance Requirement 0%   Practical Attendance
Running in 2021/22

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Monday Afternoon

Module summary

A core module which provides students with an understanding of basic cell structures and an awareness of different cell types and relates the structure and activities of cell components to their functions and to cellular activities as a whole.
The second half of the module is concerned with biochemistry focusing on the properties of key biochemical molecules and their role in biochemical function.
The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. Specifically it aims to expose students to some of the key questions of cell biology concerning cell structure and intracellular activities. Provide students with practical experience in a range of laboratory-based biological techniques. Enhance students' ability to manage themselves and to develop organisational, critical and analytical skills which are applicable to the workplace.

Prior learning requirements

Entry Requirements


Cells and cell theory,  LO1-3
Differences between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells
The plasma membrane
Nucleus, cell cycle, mitosis and meiosis
Intracellular trafficking, cellular junctions, cell adhesion and the extracellular matrix
The cytoskeleton
Cell communication
The prokaryotic cell-structure/function
Principles of cell membrane transport
Cells and energy (mitochondria and chloroplasts)

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Learning will be delivered by lectures, tutorials and practicals and through weblearn-assisted formative sessions. Students will be provided with the opportunity to acquire knowledge of the subject matter through teacher led activities in the form of lectures and problem-solving tutorial sessions and laboratory-based practical exercises. Writing skills will be enhanced through the production of a seen essay on a topical issue. The ability to undertake scientific and ethical appraisal of data will be encouraged through directed reading and tutorial discussions. Students will be expected to reflect upon taught material in order to demonstrate their understanding of cell biology, a process assisted by use of the extensive module website
Lectures (24 hours) will utilize a variety of sources using powerpoint presentations to link content such as animations, video documentary and lecturer led demonstrations involving students.
Tutorials (8 hours) will consolidate the foundation learnt in lectures but will seek to link the content to the impact of modern cell biology on medicine and agriculture in a social and cultural context in the modern day environment.
Practicals (14 hours) will allow students to perform a range of experiments safely, critically analyse their results and present these in an appropriate manner. These sessions will give students oppurtunity to develop and refine their critical, analytical and writing skills. Practicals will be both summative and formative. The initial formative sessions will allow students to reflect on their practical skills and their ability to critically analyse experimental results and present these in an appropriate manner.
Weblearn-assisted session in the first part of the module will seek to link the module content to the impact of modern cell biology on medicine and agriculture in a social and cultural context in the modern day environment but in a wider context than covered in the lectures in an aim to encourage self-directed learning.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:
1. Relate the structure and activities of cell components to their functions and to cellular activities as a whole, and have an appreciation of how cell fractionation is used to isolate these components.
2. Perform a range of experiments safely, critically analyse the results and present these in an appropriate manner.
   3. Discuss how energy is generated and utilized within a cell.

Assessment strategy

This module will be assessed by will be assessed by means of coursework tutorial portfolio (2000 words) (50% of the overall mark) and time-constrained class test consisting of short answer questions (1 hour)(50% of the overall mark)
Students must obtain at least 40% to pass this module. If the module is passed on reassessment, then the maximum mark awarded will be 40%.

Component                    Marks             Learning outcomes
Tutorial portfolio (2000 words)            50%                  1,3
Online exam (1 hour)                          50%                  1,2


Alberts B., Bray D., Lewis J., Raff M., Roberts K. and Watson J.D. (2009).  Molecular Biology of the Cell, (5th edition). Garland, London, New York.
Jones A., Reed R., and Weyers, J. (2007). Practical Skills in Biology. 4th edition Prentice Hall.
René Fester Kratz. (2009). Molecular and Cell Biology for Dummies (1st edition).  Wiley Publishing.