BIOL111-17S1 (C) Semester One 2017

Cellular Biology and Biochemistry

15 points, 0.1250 EFTS
20 Feb 2017 - 25 Jun 2017


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


Timetable 2017

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Monday 13:00 - 14:00 A1 Lecture Theatre 20 Feb - 9 Apr
1 May - 4 Jun
Lecture B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 13:00 - 14:00 A1 Lecture Theatre 20 Feb - 9 Apr
1 May - 4 Jun
Lecture C
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 13:00 - 14:00 A1 Lecture Theatre 20 Feb - 9 Apr
1 May - 4 Jun
Lab A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Tuesday 09:00 - 12:00 von Haast 137 27 Feb - 26 Mar
1 May - 28 May
02 Wednesday 09:00 - 12:00 von Haast 137 27 Feb - 26 Mar
1 May - 28 May
03 Friday 09:00 - 12:00 von Haast 137 27 Feb - 26 Mar
1 May - 28 May
04 Thursday 09:00 - 12:00 von Haast 137 27 Feb - 26 Mar
1 May - 28 May
05 Wednesday 18:00 - 21:00 von Haast 137 27 Feb - 26 Mar
1 May - 28 May
06 Friday 18:00 - 21:00 von Haast 137 27 Feb - 26 Mar
1 May - 28 May
Tutorial A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 11:00 - 12:00 A1 Lecture Theatre 5 Jun - 11 Jun

Examination and Formal Tests

Test A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 18:30 - 20:00 C1 Lecture Theatre (30/3)
C2 Lecture Theatre (30/3)
27 Mar - 2 Apr

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 (20 Feb to 3 Mar 2017) 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, 8.30 - 10.30 am and 1.30- 3.00pm.

After 3 March, payment can be made at the Copy Centre and goods obtain from room 144 Chemistry Building 10am-Noon and 2 - 4pm.

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


Ashley Garrill and Dorien Coray

Lab Coordinator

Jackie Healy

Lab Technician

Claire Galilee


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Final Exam 47%
Laboratories 30%
Lecture Test 23%


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

What do I do if I have to miss something or if my performance was impaired?
If you feel that illness, injury, bereavement or other extenuating circumstances beyond your control have prevented you from completing an item of assessment worth 10% or more of total course assessment or if these circumstances affected your performance in such assessments, you should apply for Special Consideration. Applications for Special Consideration should be submitted via the Examinations Office website and notify the course co-ordinator within five days of the assessment or its due date. If this is for medical reasons you should visit a doctor within 24 hours of the assessment (application form available on-line or from the Student Health Centre). The Special Consideration 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 within a reasonable time agreed with the course co-ordinator. You should 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).

In rare cases you may not be able to complete an assessment or attend a field trip, because of involvement in international or national representative sport or cultural groups. In such cases you should also apply for Special Consideration. Please review the Special Considerations policy because very few kinds of activities will be eligible for consideration (e.g. holiday trips, birthday parties etc. are not given special status in the University policy).

Students prevented by extenuating circumstances from completing the course after the final date for withdrawing, may apply for Special Consideration for late discontinuation of the course. Applications must be submitted to the Examinations Office within five days of the end of the main examination period for the semester.

For further details on Special Consideration applications, please refer to the Examinations Office website

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, 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 $848.00

International fee $3,713.00

* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.

For further information see School of Biological Sciences.

All BIOL111 Occurrences

  • BIOL111-17S1 (C) Semester One 2017