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Unit information: Foundations in Bioscience I: Molecules to Cells in 2016/17

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Unit name Foundations in Bioscience I: Molecules to Cells
Unit code ANAT10003
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Fulford
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Anatomy
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences


The unit aims to provide Gateway students with the fundamental understanding of biomolecules and cells that underpins the study and practice of Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Science. The unit will act as an introduction to the biomedical sciences which underpin the curricula of these professional programmes. In addition, the unit aims to provide students with an understanding of the method and importance of scientific enquiry in clinical science.

Intended learning outcomes

At the end of this unit students should have an knowledge and understanding of:

1.1. The aqueous environment and the chemistry of water

1.2. Acids and Bases

1.3. Origins of life on earth

1.4. The molecular building blocks of life: nucleic acids, lipids, proteins and carbohydrates

1.5. Structural organisation of cells

1.6. The diversity of life: prokaryotes and eukaryotes

1.7. Cell-cell communication and origins of multicellularity

1.8. Energy in biological systems and enzymes as biological catalysts

1.9. Diffusion, osmosis and active transport

1.10. Cell-cell junctions

1.11. The cell cycle and cell division

1.12. Mitosis and meiosis

1.13. Genomes, genetic code and translation

1.14. Genetics and variation

1.15. Taxonomy

1.16. Basic molecular biology

1.17. Light and electron microscopy

In addition students should gain the following skills:

2.1. An understanding of experimental design and hypothesis testing

2.2. The ability to undertake basic measurements and assays in a laboratory setting

2.3. The ability to analyse experimental data and to draw conclusions from it

2.4. The ability to present experimental data and information in written and oral form

2.5. The ability to use computers for e-learning

2.6. The ability to engage successfully with team work

Teaching details

Lectures, tutorials, practicals and workshops

Assessment Details

The assessed ILOs are indicated in brackets.


eBiolabs quizzes (2.1-2.6, 1.2, 1.17)

Short essay (1000 wds)- to be marked by tutors against skeleton answer (2.4)


Unseen written examination (70%) comprising MCQ, EMQ and essay (1.1-1.17, 2.1, 2.3)

Lab work (including eBiolabs) 10% (2.1-2.6, 1.2, 1.17)

Poster presentation 10% (2.4)

Group task & oral presentation (10%) (2.4, 2.6)

The format of these assessments has been designed to give the students practice at the types of assessments used in the later years of the MBChB, BDS and BVSc programmes.

Reading and References

Seeley’s Anatomy and Physiology, (9th Ed), Vanputte, Regan and Russo

Essential Cell Biology (4th Ed), Alberts et al

Histology: A Text and Atlas (2010), Ross & Pawlina