BIOL111-21S1 (C) Semester One 2021

Cellular Biology and Biochemistry

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 22 February 2021
End Date: Sunday, 27 June 2021
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 7 March 2021
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 14 May 2021


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

  • 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 endeavors

    Transferable Skills Register

    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 Note

It is compulsory to wear a lab coat and safety glasses in the laboratory.

To purchase approved safety glasses or lab coats go to
The collection point for purchases is inside the southern entry to the Ernest Rutherford Building, Monday to Friday between the hours 8.30 – 10.00 am and 1.30 – 3.00 pm for the first two weeks of the semester.
Disposable gloves are available in the laboratory for those who might need them.

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 for full feedback.

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Grant Pearce


Ashley Garrill and Vanessa Morris


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Final Exam on lectures 24-35 23%
Laboratories 31%
Test on Lectures 1-12 23%
Test on Lectures 13-23 23%

Textbooks / Resources

Required Texts

Reece, Jane B. et al; Biology, A Global Approach ; 11th; 2018.

Biology, A Global Approach. 10th or 11th edition, Campbell et al
This is the same text used for the three core biology courses (BIOL111,
BIOL112, and BIOL113). This is available from the University Bookshop at
about $160, or electronic versions are available from
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
(but it is far better if you can bring your own).


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.

Additional Course Outline Information

Assessment and grading system

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $910.00

International fee $4,438.00

* 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

  • BIOL111-21S1 (C) Semester One 2021