BCHM111-24S1 (C) Semester One 2024

Cellular Biology and Biochemistry

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 19 February 2024
End Date: Sunday, 23 June 2024
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 3 March 2024
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 12 May 2024


A foundation course in cellular biology integrating the principles of molecular biology and biochemistry with the structure and function of plant, animal and microbial cells. Cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying cell growth/death cycles, cancer and genetic disorders will also be considered.

Welcome to Biology at the University of Canterbury. In this introductory course on cell biology and biochemistry we aim to provide you with a framework for understanding life at the cellular and molecular levels. The cell is considered the basic unit of life because every organism whether animal, plant, or microorganism consists of cells, or is itself a single cell. As such, the structure and function of the cell impacts on all other levels of life such as organisms, ecosystems and the biosphere. For this reason it is essential for all biologists to understand the fundamentals of cell biology.

In this course you will learn the basic concepts of cell function and how these are interrelated with cell structure that is in-turn dependent on molecular structure and biochemical interactions between the molecules of life.

Learning Outcomes

  • Ability to discuss the diversity and complexity of different biological macromolecules, including the structural impacts of the bonds involved
  • Knowledge of the central dogma of biology, and how information is stored and expressed
  • Understand how different forms of energy are used in biological processes
  • Appreciation of the cellular nature of life as the core theme of biology (pre-lab quizzes, mid-term tests, final exam)
  • Familiarity with the basic principles of cell structure and organization (pre-lab quizzes, mid-term tests, final exam)
  • Experience in the collection and interpretation of biological data in the laboratory (lab assessments)

    Transferable Skills Register | Pūkenga Ngaio
    As a student in this course, I will develop the ability to:
  • explain the big picture aspects of current challenges in the molecular life sciences.
  • identify, locate and use a range of different sources of information.
  • communicate information to others in a clear and concise fashion.
  • accurately prepare and use reagents and perform the required experiments.
  • develop a testable and falsifiable hypothesis when presented with an observation.
  • access and interpret safety information and conduct lab work safely and ethically.
  • give and take directions to be an effective team member.


Equivalent Courses

Timetable 2024

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Tuesday 15:00 - 16:00 K1 Lecture Theatre
19 Feb - 31 Mar
22 Apr - 2 Jun
Lecture B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 15:00 - 16:00 A1 Lecture Theatre
19 Feb - 31 Mar
22 Apr - 2 Jun
Lecture C
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Monday 08:00 - 09:00 C1 Lecture Theatre
19 Feb - 31 Mar
22 Apr - 2 Jun
Lab A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Monday 14:00 - 17:00 West 436
26 Feb - 17 Mar
29 Apr - 12 May
20 May - 2 Jun
02 Tuesday 12:00 - 15:00 West 436
26 Feb - 17 Mar
29 Apr - 12 May
20 May - 2 Jun
03 Thursday 10:00 - 13:00 West 436
26 Feb - 17 Mar
29 Apr - 12 May
20 May - 2 Jun
04 Thursday 15:00 - 18:00 West 436
26 Feb - 17 Mar
29 Apr - 12 May
20 May - 2 Jun
05 Friday 13:00 - 16:00 West 436
26 Feb - 17 Mar
29 Apr - 12 May
20 May - 2 Jun

Examinations, Quizzes and Formal Tests

Test A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Monday 19:00 - 20:00 Rata 222 & 223 Drawing Office
22 Apr - 28 Apr
02 Monday 19:00 - 20:00 E8 Lecture Theatre
22 Apr - 28 Apr
03 Monday 19:00 - 20:00 E6 Lecture Theatre
22 Apr - 28 Apr
04 Monday 19:00 - 20:00 E7 Lecture Theatre
22 Apr - 28 Apr
05 Monday 19:00 - 20:00 E16 Lecture Theatre
22 Apr - 28 Apr

Timetable Note

All lectures will be livestreamed and recorded for later viewing, so if you have a timetable clash it is not essential that you attend the lectures in person. Labs and assessments will require physical attendance.


Location, time and things to bring.
The laboratories start in week 2 of the first semester, ie the second week of lectures. The current time and locations for labs can be found using the https://mytimetable.canterbury.ac.nz
You must come equipped with a lab coat, safety glasses, and your lab manual. You will need to bring a calculator to some labs (as indicated in the lab manual). The wearing of a laboratory coat and safety glasses is compulsory. These can be purchased via website at https://www.canterbury.ac.nz/science/current-students/shop/ and may be picked up inside the southern entry to the Ernest Rutherford Building Mon – Fri between the hours of 9 – 10.00 am or 1-2.00 pm during the first two weeks of semester 1.
Ernest Rutherford, Chemistry Stores, 130A
Note closed shoes must be worn in Chemistry Stores.

Feedback from 2019
Every few years, we survey the class to get feedback (we also welcome feedback at any time, either to the course coordinator, any of the lecturers, lab demonstrators, or via the undergraduate coordinator!). Students are asked whether they strongly agree (5) or strongly disagree (1) with the questions.
Please see Course Outline below for full feedback.

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Grant Pearce


Ashley Garrill and Vanessa Morris

Lab Technician

Claire Galilee


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Final Exam 30% on lectures 13-36
Laboratories 31%
Weekly lecture quizzes 24%
Test 15% on lectures 1-12

Textbooks / Resources

There are a variety of resources that will support your learning in the course. There is an open access textbook that contains much of the course material at https://openstax.org/details/books/concepts-biology
If you prefer a more detailed textbook, you can refer to Biology, A Global Approach. 11th or 12th edition, Campbell et al. This is available from the University Bookshop at about $160, or electronic versions are available from www.pearsoned.co.nz.
Several copies are available on three-hour restricted loan at the Lending Desk in the Central Library and a few copies will be available during laboratories.

Additional Course Outline Information

Assessment and grading system

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $978.00

International fee $4,988.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see School of Biological Sciences .

All BCHM111 Occurrences

  • BCHM111-24S1 (C) Semester One 2024