Course Title: Biology of the Cell

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Biology of the Cell

Credit Points: 12.00

Important Information:

Please note that this course may have compulsory in-person attendance requirement for some teaching activities. If a course has compulsory in-person attendance for some teaching activities or assessment, you will need to comply with your local state/national vaccination mandate/rules/guidelines for on-campus attendance and assessment that apply when the course starts and throughout the duration of the entire course. The applicable vaccine mandate may require you to have COVID vaccinations or an approved medical vaccination exemption to attend RMIT in-person activities. Please also read this RMIT Enrolment Procedure as it relates to vaccination and your study at RMIT:

Please check your Canvas course shell to see if this course requires mandatory in-person attendance closer to when the course starts, as the situation might change quickly due to changes in your local state/national directive regarding in-person course attendance.


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,
Sem 1 2016


Bundoora Campus


173H School of Health and Biomed


Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 1 2021


City Campus


160H Medical Sciences


Sem 1 2013

Course Coordinator: A/Prof Terry Piva

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 6503

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 220.04.14

Course Coordinator Availability: Available by appointment only

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course provides an introduction to cell biology. It will cover the molecular and physical structures of cells, their biochemical and physiological functions and their components, as well as the genetic basis of inheritance.

Areas covered include:

  • Structures and functions of cells and organelles
  • Protein structure and function · Macromolecules
  • DNA and RNA structures
  • Cell cycle, mitosis and meiosis
  • Basic genetics and inheritance
  • Cell membrane structure, transport and signalling pathways
  • Metabolism and energy transduction pathways
  • Functions of specialised cells in the human body

This course will lay the foundations for advanced studies in biochemistry, physiology, molecular and cell biology.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the program learning outcomes in the following disciplines:

BP231 Bachelor of Biomedical Science

  • Exhibit depth and breadth of scientific knowledge by demonstrating knowledge across disciplines contributing to biomedical science (PLO 2)

BH102 Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours)

This course contributes to capability development in the following Domains of the National Competency Standards Framework for Pharmacists in Australia:

  • Critical analysis, research and education (Domain 8)

BP147 Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Laboratory Medicine)

  • Knowledge capability (PLO 1)
  • Technical capability (PLO 2)

BP311 Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Sciences

  • Exhibiting depth and breadth of scientific knowledge
    Develop a broad and coherent body of knowledge particularly in biochemistry, physiology, pharmacology and toxicology (PLO 1)

BP278 Bachelor of Health Science/Bachelor of Applied Science (Chinese Medicine), and, BP280 Bachelor of Health Science/Bachelor of Applied Science (Chiropractic)

  • Provide specialised health care within a patient-centred, evidence-based framework (PLO 1)
  • Communicate effectively in a range of forms (written, online, oral) and with diverse audiences (patients, community/public, agencies and health professionals) (PLO 5)
  • Work independently and in teams, specifically to lead and contribute to inter-professional care partnerships (PLO 6)

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes (PLO) for BP279 Bachelor of Health Science/Bachelor of Applied Science (Osteopathy):

  • Manage all aspects of clinical practice to comply with ethical, legal, and regulatory standards in an evolving healthcare industry (PLO 5)
  • Work autonomously and collaboratively, to lead and/or contribute to inter-professional healthcare partnerships (PLO 6)

Upon successful completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. Recognise the differences between prokaryotes and eukaryotes, as well as the specialisation of cells in a multicellular organism
  2. Identify subcellular structures, organelles and understand their functions
  3. Explain the basic processes involved in DNA replication, transcription and translation in prokaryotic and eukaryotic systems
  4. Relate the role of DNA in the control of cell division and reproduction
  5. Recognise the fundamental aspects of inheritance and relate this to how genes pass on particular characteristics
  6. Describe the biological processes of mitosis and meiosis
  7. Define the nature and roles of macromolecules in cellular functions
  8. Recognise basic metabolic processes in a cell and how such processes are regulated
  9. Perform basic laboratory techniques in a competent manner

Overview of Learning Activities

Course materials (lectures and workshops/tutorials) will be delivered predominantly online, while some practical classes be delivered in a mixture of face-to-face and online delivery. Regular revision lectures (Q & A sessions) will provide feedback on your progress and consolidate the understanding of the material taught in the course.

Overview of Learning Resources

Learning resources used in this course include:

  • Online learning activities
  • Practical/tutorial activities
  • Recommended readings from textbooks, online sources and designated references.

Online resources will be made available via the RMIT Learning Management System (LMS).

Overview of Assessment

This course has no hurdle requirements.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1: Online quizzes

Weighting 15%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8

Assessment Task 2: Practical reports

Weighting 20%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 & 9

Assessment Task 3: In semester timed online test assessment

Weighting 20%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8

Assessment Task 4: End of semester timed online test assessment

Weighting 45%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8