Course Title: Cell Biology and Biochemistry

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Cell Biology and Biochemistry

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 1 2015


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 1 2021,
Sem 2 2023


Open Learning Australia

Non Award

171H School of Science

Distance / Correspondence


Course Coordinator: Assoc Prof. Donald Wlodkowic

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7157

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Bundoora West campus 223.01.32A

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Assumed Knowledge 

This is an introductory course requiring no formal prerequisites, but you will find that basic knowledge of biology and chemistry at VCE level will be an advantage. 

Course Description

This course is intended as an introduction to life sciences at the molecular and cellular levels. This course is designed to provide you with fundamental knowledge in biochemistry and cell biology. It will teach you how cells and their component parts are structured and interact to allow organisms to carry out their basic functions. 

The course topics covered include: fundamentals of biochemistry including chemistry of life, macromolecules and molecular diversity; cellular bioenergetics and thermodynamics; membranes and movement of molecules; enzymes and enzyme regulation.  

This course then follows on to discuss origins of modern cell biology describing the Cell Theory, common characteristics of cell types, cell and membrane structure; organelle structures and functions; respiration, fermentation, photosynthesis, cell cycle, proliferation and programmed cell death and cell signalling and communication.  

A particular emphasis of this course is future work-oriented exploration and learning of latest practical laboratory methods and techniques used in modern laboratories working with biomolecules and cells. 

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Program Learning Outcomes 

This course contributes to the program learning outcomes for the following programs: 

Bachelor of Science  

  • PLO 2 Analyse and critically examine scientific evidence using methods, technical skills, tools and emerging technologies in a range of scientific activities. 
  • PLO 3 Analyse and apply principles of scientific inquiry and critical evaluation to address real-world scientific challenges and inform evidence based decision making. 
  • PLO 4 Communicate, report and reflect on scientific findings, to diverse audiences utilising a variety  of formats employing integrity and culturally safe practices.  

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:  

  1. Identify the fundamental concepts of biochemistry and chemical building blocks of life  
  2. Explore the mechanisms and energy flows underpinning cellular metabolism including fundamentals of cell bioenergetics, enzymatic biocatalysis, cellular respiration and photosynthesis 
  3. Identify different types of cells as well as structure and function of biological membranes and eukaryotic organneles  
  4. Explain the mechanisms of complex cellular processes such as cell cycle, proliferation and programmed cell death as well as fundamentals of cell signalling and communication
  5. Demonstrate knowledge of diverse practical laboratory methods and techniques used in modern laboratories working with biomolecules and cells  

Overview of Learning Activities

You will be actively engaged in a range of learning activities such as lectorials, tutorials, practicals, laboratories, seminars, project work, class discussion, individual and group activities. Delivery may be face to face, online or a mix of both. 

The learning activities included in this course are: 

  1. Online pre-recorded lectures where syllabus material will be presented and explained, and the subject will be illustrated with demonstrations and examples;
  2. Online weekly live Q&A tutorial and discussion sessions
  3. Interactive online virtual laboratory simulations designed to provide self-paced practice in the application of modern laboratory methods and techniques 
  4. On campus laboratory classes to explore and provide hands on training in laboratory methods and techniques
  5. Critical reflection on laboratory simulations, and their applications in modern bioscience laboratories
  6. Completion of assignments teaching basic laboratory problem solving capabilities based on learned topics
  7. Development of written and oral communication skills and interpersonal awareness;
  8. Private study, working through the course as presented in lectures and other learning materials.

You are encouraged to be proactive and self-directed in your learning, asking questions of your lecturer and/or peers and seeking out information as required, especially from the numerous sources available through the RMIT library, and through links and material specific to this course that is available through myRMIT Studies Course

Overview of Learning Resources


RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through myRMIT Studies Course

There are services available to support your learning through the University Library. The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help as well as a range of study support services. For further information, please visit the Library page on the RMIT University website and the myRMIT student portal.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment Tasks 

Assessment Task 1: Online MCQ quizzes
Weighting: 20%
CLO 3  

Assessment Task 2: Short answers and case studies written test
Weighting 40%
CLOs 3-5  

Assessment Task 3: Oral viva
Weighting 40%
CLOs 1-5 

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more.