BIOL111-15S1 (C) Semester One 2015

Cellular Biology and Biochemistry

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 23 February 2015
End Date: Sunday, 28 June 2015
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 6 March 2015
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 22 May 2015


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 Biological Sciences 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

+  An appreciation of the cellular nature of life as the core theme of biology.
+  Knowledge of basic principles of cell structure and organisation.
+  Knowledge of basic principles of cellular biochemistry and molecular biology
+  Attainment of basic skills in the collection and interpretation of biological data in the laboratory.
+  An appreciation of the role of cell biology and biochemistry to human endeavours.

Timetable Note

It is compulsory to wear a lab coat in the laboratory and can be purchased at the beginning of the year.

To obtain lab coats and safety glasses please pay at the Copy Centre which is in the Undercroft, below the Central Library, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday to Friday.  They will give you a receipt.  Then exchange your receipt for goodes in Room 233 Chemistry, 10-12 and 2-4 (23 February - 6 March).

We will provide information on where to take your receipt and pick up your lab coat closer to the start of the course once details are known.

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Grant Pearce


David Collings and Ashley Garrill

Lab Coordinator

Jackie Healy

Lab Technician

Claire Galilee


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Final Exam 47%
Lab Quizzes 30%
Lecture Test 30 Mar 2015 23%

Textbooks / Resources

Required Texts

Reece, Jane B. et al; Biology, A Global Approach ; 10th; 2014.


Purchase of a new textbook provides you with a password for Campbell Biology.  This web site is designed for users of the textbook and includes self-assessment reviews, interactive learning activities, chapter specific web links and much more.

You will need to purchase a laboratory manual. It is compulsory to wear a lab coat.

If a laboratory is missed, arrangements should be made to make up the work at a later date.  This could involve:
(a) Attending another lab. stream later in the week after informing your laboratory supervisor (this is by far the best course of action).
(b) Consulting with the lab. supervisor to obtain data for the missed lab.

If a laboratory assessment due date is missed due to illness, injury, personal bereavement or other critical personal circumstances, and the work can be made up by obtaining an extension, a written explanation from an appropriate person (e.g., medical doctor, counsellor, minister, priest) should be given to the lab. supervisor to obtain an extension.  If those critical circumstances mean you cannot make up the work, missed the test or final exam, or you consider you have been impaired, you should apply for aegrotat consideration for the piece of assessment.

Additional Course Outline Information

Academic integrity

It is essential that you are aware that plagiarism is considered a very serious offence by the Academic community, the University and the School of Biological Sciences. Plagiarism is defined as taking content from another work or author and presenting it, without attribution, as if it is your own work. Content here includes text (sentences or major parts of sentences), display items (graphs and tables), and overall structure (the detailed sequence of ideas). Plagiarism includes:
• re-use of previous assignments (even if each individual sentence has been rephrased to say the same thing in different words, if the overall structure is re-used)  
• copying of another student’s work (with or without their consent)
• the unreferenced use of published material or material from the internet e.g. cutting and pasting of paragraphs or pages into an essay.
For most pieces of in-term assessment you will be given information concerning the use of direct and indirect quotes from previously published work. If you are in any doubt about appropriate use of published material, please speak with a member of academic staff. If you are still unsure what plagiarism is, then seek advice.

It is a School policy that courses may request you submit work electronically for subsequent analysis of originality using Turnitin. Students agree that by taking courses in BIOL, required papers may be subject to submission for textual similarity review to for the detection of plagiarism.  All submitted papers will be included as source documents in the reference database solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of such papers.  Use of the service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the site.

Assessment and grading system

SBS Grading
A+ 90% or above
A 85 – 90
A- 80 – 84
B+ 75 – 79
B 70 – 74
B- 65 – 69
C+ 60 – 64
C 55 – 59
C- 50 – 54

A restricted pass (R) may be awarded to those who are close to a pass (i.e. an overall score of 48-49.9%) AND who have achieved at least a 40% overall score in both in-course assessment and tests/exams. If an R grade is awarded you gain credit for the course but cannot continue into papers that require this course as a pre-requisite. NB. The R grade is only available at 100 and 200 level - it cannot be awarded for third year papers.

Failing grades:   D   40-49             E  0–39


What if you have written more than the word or page limit?

If there is a word limit on an assignment, it is usually there to stop you doing too much work and to encourage you to write succinctly.  It also makes things easier to assess.  You can be up to 10% over without too much worry, but if the length increases beyond that your mark may suffer due to failure to follow the requirements.  If you find yourself way over the word limit have a chat to the lecturer concerned about how to trim your assignment to an acceptable length.

Requests for extensions

Reports and assignments should be handed in on time. Extensions may be granted if you have a valid reason. If you require an extension, you should request one from the course co-ordinator (or the lecturer responsible for marking the work), with as much notice as possible.  Please do this BEFORE the deadline for the assignment. If you have been given an extension you should hand the work DIRECTLY to the course coordinator (do not put it in the drop box as it may not be cleared after the due date).
If an extension has not been granted:
• work must be handed in by the due date to gain full credit
• work handed in up to 7 days after the deadline will be marked, but the marks will be discounted 25% before they are recorded to the student's credit
• any work handed in more than 7 days after the deadline date will not be marked or earn credit.

What to do if you're sick

If you feel that illness, injury, bereavement or other critical circumstances have prevented you from completing an item of assessment worth 10% or more of total course assessment or have affected your performance in a test or exam, you should visit a doctor within 24 hours and submit the application form within 7 days. The application form is available on-line or from the Student Health Centre. You should also notify the course co-ordinator.  For further details on aegrotat applications, please refer to the University’s website - The aegrotat provisions are intended to assist students who have covered the work of a course but have been prevented by illness or other critical circumstances from demonstrating their mastery of the material or skills at the time of assessment – they do not excuse you from doing the assessment. If the examiner cannot assess your aegrotat application because of lack of other evidence, you may be asked to sit a special assessment if you miss a final exam. You should also expect to be required to submit additional work if you miss a major assignment (e.g. a field trip for which a major write-up is required). Please note: acceptance of the grounds for an aegrotat application does not simply excuse you from completing items of assessment if you are requested to do so. You will be given reasonable time to complete any such work.

What to do if you miss something

In rare cases you may not be able to sit a test or exam, or attend a field trip, because of involvement in international or national representative sport or cultural groups. In such cases see the course co-ordinator, and a course of action (usually the sitting of an equivalent test or exam at a different time, or submitting an equivalent piece of written assessment) will be arranged. This should be done well in advance of the set date for a missed exam/test/assignment. Please note – holiday trips, weddings, birthday parties etc. are not given special status in the University policy, so please do not ask for special consideration in these circumstances.

What if I fail part of the course?

In BIOL, we require a satisfactory level of achievement in both the theoretical aspects of the discipline and in practical activities. This means you must attend all class activities and submit all items of assessment unless you have a very good reason not to (e.g. medical reasons). A student must attain an average score of at least 40% for in-course assessment and average score of at least 40% in the course exam/test, AND score at least 50% overall for the course, to be awarded a passing grade.

Best way to give feedback

We welcome constructive feedback at all times – help us to make this a valuable course for you.  We endeavour to remain approachable at all times.  If you would rather give feedback anonymously, please use the on-line course survey or talk to lab demonstrators, or your class rep (who will all report back to the staff-student liaison committee that includes a representative from each of the undergraduate classes). Class representatives will be selected from each class at the start of course.

Best way to complain

If you feel you have not been fairly treated during this course, please raise the issue with the lecturer or course co-ordinator in the first instance.  Other avenues include your class rep., who can raise issues anonymously, or the UCSA education coordinator.

Where to submit and collect work

All assignments should be placed in the designated collection box in the foyer of the 2nd floor of the School of Biological Sciences (near the main office), unless directed otherwise by the course co-ordinator. All assignments must be accompanied by a cover sheet signed by you stating that the submitted work is not plagiarised. Cover sheets are available on top of the collection boxes, or you can download one from the Biology website (under Undergraduate). In addition, you may also be asked to submit your work electronically (via Learn) for analysis in Turnitin. You will be given instructions on how to do this in the assignment handout.

Marked assignments can be collected from the Secretaries' Office between the hours 9.30-10.30am and 1.30-2.30pm, unless directed otherwise by the course co-ordinator. Teaching staff will endeavour to return work as soon as possible, and should contact you if there are likely to be any delays that will prevent return within the maximum 4-week timeframe.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $808.00

International fee $3,638.00

* 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 BIOL111 Occurrences

  • BIOL111-15S1 (C) Semester One 2015