BIOL463-24S1 (C) Semester One 2024

Cell Biology

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 critical examination of recent advances in cell biology with emphasis on cell signalling, the cytoskeleton, cell junctions and the nucleus. The focus ranges from fundamental cellular and molecular biology to consideration of cellular mechanisms within the context of physiological or pathological processes.

During the course our aim is to encourage and provide advice and feedback to enable you to develop skills in written and oral communication, and in the efficient acquisition of scientific information. The course will involve group discussion, presentation of scientific papers, and preparation and critique of a review article.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course, students are expected to be able to:

Gain a greater appreciation and understanding of the internal workings of the cell (assessment task: seminars, literature review and final exam). GP1
Achieve familiarity with some modern laboratory methods used in cell biology, and an understanding of the diversity of experimental approaches that can be taken to investigate cells (assessment task: seminars, literature review and final exam). GP1, GP2
Comprehend the unity of eukaryotic life - understand that the cell biology of organisms as diverse as plants, fungi and lower animals will help investigations of human biology and disease (assessment task: seminars, literature review and final exam). GP1
Understand that to build multicellular organisms requires interactions between cells, and the differentiation and specialisation of cells (assessment task: seminars, literature review and final exam). GP1
Appreciate how research in cell biology leads to a better understanding of disease and an understanding of the factors that are pertinent with respect to Māori health and the impact of colonisation. GP1, GP3 (K3,K5)

Pūkenga ngaio / Transferable skills
The following skills are developed in this course:

Synthesise information. In everyday life and in many job situations you will be required to read information from different sources, generate your own understanding and develop your own viewpoint. In the seminars we will discuss recent research papers and this will develop your abilities to identify the essential elements of research outputs - you will use these skills in report writing. GP2
Analyse information. Important for research, as well as in a number of private-sector organizations. This skill will be further developed when we assist you to analyse the data we generate in the lab. GP2
Write a literature review. Clear written communication is essential for most professional careers. We will provide you with written guidelines on the elements of successful reports, including how best to present data, and we will help you recognise these elements by supplying examples. GP2
Give a verbal presentation. In many jobs there is a requirement to give presentations to groups of people and to answer questions relating to your presentation. You will have to opportunity to practice these skills during the seminars. GP2


Subject to approval of the Head of School. RP: Recommended preparatory course BIOL351 or BIOL331/BCHM301



Recommended Preparation

Recommended preparatory course BIOL351 or BIOL331/BCHM301

Timetable 2024

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 13:00 - 14:00 Jack Erskine 241
19 Feb - 25 Feb
Tutorial A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Tuesday 09:00 - 11:00 Meremere 526
26 Feb - 3 Mar
11 Mar - 17 Mar
25 Mar - 31 Mar
29 Apr - 5 May
13 May - 19 May
27 May - 2 Jun

Timetable Note

BIOL 432 extends the coverage of a number of topics introduced in BIOL351, as well as introducing
topics that were not covered in that course. Your BIOL351 lecture notes and/or sections of Molecular Biology of the Cell by Alberts et al will often be given as background reading. The 6th edition of this very impressive textbook has just been released, but references will also be given to the 5th edition. The 4th and 5th editions of Alberts are also in the Restricted Loan section of the Central Library, and a nonformatted version of the 4th edition of Alberts et al. is accessible electronically at the following website:
In addition, you will be assigned various papers (both original articles and reviews) to read. Links to these papers will be placed in the course folder in Learn.

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Ashley Garrill


Christoph Goebl


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Final Exam 60%
Class presentations 15%
Review article 25%

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,145.00

* 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 BIOL463 Occurrences

  • BIOL463-24S1 (C) Semester One 2024