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Fundamentals of Cell Biology (CEDB20003)

Undergraduate level 2Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 2
Subject codeCEDB20003
Semester 1
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

The subject builds on the basic cell biology concepts introduced in first year biology and develops students’ understanding of the processes that regulate the structure and function of eukaryotic cells. Using examples from plant and animal cells, the subject will outline the cellular structures and molecular processes that are fundamental for regulating cell function in multicellular organisms. It will also explore the external signals (physical, molecular, electrochemical) that can lead to changes in cell behaviour, gene expression, protein synthesis or cell replication.

Intended learning outcomes

In completing this subject, students should be better able to:

  • describe in detail the structure and function of eukaryotic cells (animal and plant), identifying cellular compartments where various cellular activities occur;
  • apply knowledge of the structure and function of eukaryotic cells to describe the range of cellular activities that are especially relevant to multicellular organisms;
  • explain how external signals can lead to changes in gene expression and protein synthesis;
  • explain how cells communicate, including through the use of electrochemical signals. 

Generic skills

On completion of this subject, students should be better able to:

  • demonstrate skills in observation, data interpretation and reporting;
  • apply analytical and problem-solving skills;
  • analyse and integrate knowledge from various sources;
  • demonstrate collaborative learning skills. 

Eligibility and requirements


The following two subjects are prerequisites:

Code Name Teaching period Credit Points
BIOL10004 Biology of Cells and Organisms
Semester 1
BIOL10005 Genetics & The Evolution of Life
Semester 2



Non-allowed subjects

The following subject is a non allowed subject:

Code Name Teaching period Credit Points
BIOM20001 Molecular and Cellular Biomedicine
Semester 1

Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home


Additional details

  • Three 40 minute multiple choice tests (10% each) in early, mid and late semester;
  • 2 hour final examination (70%) in end of semester exam period.

Dates & times

  • Semester 1
    Principal coordinatorJenny Gunnersen
    CoordinatorCharlotte Clark
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hourstwo x 1 hour lecture per week, 8 x 3 hour computer-aided learning (CAL) modules.
    Total time commitment170 hours
    Teaching period 4 March 2019 to 2 June 2019
    Last self-enrol date15 March 2019
    Census date31 March 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail10 May 2019
    Assessment period ends28 June 2019

    Semester 1 contact information

    Subject Coordinator
    Dr Jenny Gunnersen

    Administrative Coordination

Time commitment details

48 contact hours with an estimated total time commitment of 170 hours.

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts

    B Alberts, A Johnson, J Lewis, M Raff, K Roberts & P Walter, Molecular Biology of the Cell, 6th edition, Garland Science (2015).

  • Subject notes

    This subject is not available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Biomedicine.

    This subject is available for science credit to students enrolled in the BSc (both pre-2008 and new degrees), BASc or a combined BSc course.

    This subject is available to students enrolled in the New Generation BSc, pre-2008 BSc, pre-2008 BASc, pre-2008 BBiomedSc.

    Students undertaking this subject will be expected to regularly access an Internet-enabled computer. During semester there will be limited access to computer laboratories.

  • Breadth options
  • Available through the Community Access Program

    About the Community Access Program (CAP)

    This subject is available through the Community Access Program (also called Single Subject Studies) which allows you to enrol in single subjects offered by the University of Melbourne, without the commitment required to complete a whole degree.

    Entry requirements including prerequisites may apply. Please refer to the CAP applications page for further information.

Last updated: 10 August 2019