Course Title: Developmental and Cell Biology

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Developmental and Cell Biology

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


160H Medical Sciences


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015


Bundoora Campus


173H School of Health and Biomed


Sem 1 2017

Course Coordinator: Dr Simon Potocnik

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7074

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 223.02.20

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

BIOL2272 Biology of the Cell or an equivalent course

Course Description

This course expands on the first year course BIOL2272 Biology of the Cell, and details the latest advances in the exciting field of Cell Biology and the powerful new approaches it provides for understanding human health and disease.

You will study the structural and functional organisation of cell organelles; the properties of cell membranes and cellular transport processes.
You will also be given an appreciation of how cells control their shape and movement; the manner in which they communicate with one-another, divide, grow and die, sexually reproduce and differentiate as well as their role in embryology, and organogenesis.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

The objectives are for the student to develop knowledge and capabilities in the following areas: Cell diversity and structure, membrane functions, protein trafficking, cell communication, cytoskeleton, cell division, growth and death, meiosis, fertilization, differentiation and organogenesis.

At the end of the course it is expected that the student should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of organelle structure and function
  • Understand the role membranes play in cellular functions
  • Describe how material is transferred from one region of a cell to another region
  • Describe how cells communicate
  • Understand the role that the cytoskeleton plays in cellular processes
  • Describe the biological processes of mitosis and meiosis
  • Understand fertilization and the development of tissues and organs during embryonic development

The laboratory component will develop practical capabilities. The student should be able to:
  • Keep adequate written records, present data clearly, analyse and interpret such data, as well as possessing problem-solving skills at an intermediate level.
  • Carry out basic cell culture laboratory techniques in a competent manner

Overview of Learning Activities

The learning activities of this course takes place in lectures, tutorials and laboratory classes.  The theory and practical components of the course are integrated throughout the teaching of this course and focuses on how a cell develops and functions, and in particular concentrating on the role that organelles play in these processes.

The practical component of the course is designed to build fundamental skills in cell culture techniques as well as critical analysis.  Students are required to interpret their results in a contextual framework based on their knowledge and technical capabilities.

Tutorials are designed to enhance the material delivered in lectures.  They are also designed to give the student feedback on their progress and better understanding of the material taught in the course.

Overview of Learning Resources

Students will be expected to make use of the course site on the online Learning Hub, which includes announcements, course documents, and a discussion board.

Overview of Assessment

The assessment of this course is based on the following tasks:

  • Tutorial Quizzes
  • Mid semester test
  • End of semester examination
  • Laboratory work assessed on prelab tests and written reports