BMS109 Cell Biology (20 Credits)

Module Co-ordinator: Dr M. Cambray-Deakin

Available as an individual module to students outside the department of Biomedical Science  as BMS151


This module aims to provide students with a firm knowledge base in cell biology.


This module gives information regarding the following: tools in cell biology, prokaryotes and eukaryotes; the structure and function of cell membranes; cellular compartmentation; nucleus and cytoplasm; the organelles; cell metabolism; protein synthesis, modification and transport; endocytosis; the cytoskeleton and its role in cell division and motility; the extracellular matrix and cell adhesion; cell-cell junctions; the development, specialisation and roles of cells that form the basic tissues (epithelia, muscle, nervous tissue, connective tissue); cell-cell signalling including aspects of endocrine, paracrine and autocrine signals, receptors and second messengers.


In line with the general degree objectives of acquiring detailed knowledge of the area and developing practical skills, this module has a set of specific objectives. On completion of this module students should be able to:

  • List the fundamental features of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells and methods used to examine them.
  • Note the structure, composition and role of eukaryotic cell membranes.
  • State the major biochemical pathways associated with the regulation of cell energy.
  • Recognise and give roles for the major cell organelles.
  • Identify and give roles for components of the extracellular matrix.
  • Recall types of cell-cell junctions.
  • List the basic tissues and define their specialised structures and embryological origins.
  • Relate the key features of haemostasis.
  • Name specific processes and proteins involved in membrane transport.
  • State the major stages of the cell cycle.
  • Relate various parameters important in the control of membrane potential.
  • Give examples of intercellular chemical messengers.
  • Define the term receptor.
  • Give mechanisms by which different messenger-receptor interactions bring about long or short-term changes in cell state.

Teaching Methods

The module is taught with a combination of traditional 50 minute lectures and Web-based material.


Applies only to non-BMS students taking these sessions as the free-standing module BMS151.

The module is assessed by a multiple choice, guessing-corrected examination.