Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2013-2014 (archived)

Module BIOL3481: Cell Architecture

Department: Biological and Biomedical Sciences

BIOL3481: Cell Architecture

Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2013/14 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • Cell Structure & Function AND Molecular Biology.


  • At least one other Level 3 Biology module.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To appreciate the contribution of the internal cellular architecture to cell function.
  • To appreciate how the cytoskeleton and associated proteins contribute to cell function.
  • To appreciate how the cytoskeleton and associated proteins are integrated into the cell architecture of organelles and membrane compartments.
  • To appreciate how cytoskeletal function is regulated.
  • To appreciate the link between lost or altered function and disease.


  • In this module students will investigate the contribution of the different elements of the cytoplasmic and nuclear cytoarchitecture to cell function.
  • This will involve studying the structural details of the different cytoskeletal components and their associated proteins and their integration into the internal cell architecture of organelles and various membrane compartments.
  • It will involve studying their regulation and current perception of their function in cells and therefore appreciate the role of the different cytoarchitectural elements in cell function.
  • Where possible those human diseases caused by their malfunction and/or loss will be covered utilising the latest research available in the scientific literature.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • At the end of this course the student will appreciate how cell function varies with cellular context;
  • Appreciate the contribution of the cytoskeleton and associated structures to cell architecture;
  • Appreciate how cell function is determined by the internal cell architecture;
  • Appreciate the different mechanisms that can regulate cytoarchitecture distribution and therefore function;
  • Appreciate the link between cytoarchitecture and disease.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Data interpretation.
Key Skills:
  • Appreciation of deep learning techniques.
  • Presentation.
  • Essay writing.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Lectures, Workshops, Unseen exam and Data handling.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 36 Weekly 1 hour 36
Surgery 1 1 hour 1
Preparation & reading 163
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 80%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Unseen formal examination 3 hours 100%
Component: Continuous Assessment Component Weighting: 20%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Data handling 100%

Formative Assessment:

Data analysis/interpretation.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University