Course Handout

From CellBiology
Dr Mark Hill

Course Staff

  • Dr Mark Hill
  • Office: room 221, 2nd floor, Wallace Wurth West Building
  • Email:

Course Introduction

Welcome to Cell Biology in 2017 and thank you for choosing this course! Cell Biology is at the core of basic scientific investigations and current medical research. The course handout information is now integrated to online information available through the SOMS website Advice for Students.

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Computer Lab G08 - Student Risk Assessment

The information below is from previous course iterations and may not be applicable to the current course. This handout contains information designed to help you get started and plan for this semester, please take the time to read through it and contact me if you have any difficulties. I am also continually assessing student feedback in the updating, design and presentation of the course. Also feel free to contact me with questions and course feedback by email at any time. Students who have completed this course have enjoyed both the pace, content and structure of the course.

The course this year will benefit from the new researchers in Cell Biology within the School, take the opportunity to discuss potential future Honours projects with these researchers.

In Lectures and Labs I clearly identify any examinable material. A key component of course structure is the revision final lecture, an opportunity to review course material and ask questions about difficult concepts. As part of the course I also encourage you to develop the general scientific skills of critical thinking, analysis and scientific writing. These are important life skills applicable and required for any future (scientific) career.

Dr Mark Hill (July 2016)

Student Contact

Course Coordinator

  • Consultation times: Tuesday 1-2 pm; Thursday 10-11 am; or by email appointment.
  • University policy concerning student contact:
”When a student is enrolled into University of New South Wales, he or she will be automatically issued with a University email account. The School will use that email account as the official electronic channel to communicate with each student.”

School of Medical Sciences Student Adviser

School of Medical Sciences, BSB Student Office

  • Room G27, Biosciences Building
  • Email

BSB Office opening hours

  • Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday 9am - 12.30pm, 1.30pm - 4.30pm.
  • Tuesday 9.45am - 4.30pm

Course Information

  • 6 Units of credit, Science/Anatomy program.
  • Prerequisite: ANAT2200 or ANAT2241

Course Structure

Course commences week 2 semester 1 2017.

Two lectures and a single 2 hour tutorial/laboratory per week. Course Timetable

  • Lecture 1 – TBA
  • Lecture 2 – TBA
  • Practical – TBA

Course Aims

  • To present the current theories and applications of cell biology.
  • To describe internal and external cellular structures.
  • To examine dynamic changes within the cell.
  • To cover emerging cell biology research technologies.


  • There will be three parts to the course assessment.
  1. Independent Learning - Assessment throughout semester. 20%
  2. Group Project – An online project. 20%
  3. Theory - A written test held during the examination period. 60%

The course has been structured and designed around the 16 guidelines on learning ( developed as part of UNSW guideline vision, values and strategies to improve the educational experience of students. The course specifically builds upon the following graduate capabilities (

  • understanding of their discipline in its interdisciplinary context
  • capable of independent and collaborative enquiry
  • rigorous in their analysis, critique and reflection
  • able to apply their knowledge and skills to solving problems
  • capable of effective communication
  • information and digitally literate
  • capable of initiating as well as embracing change
  • collaborative and effective team workers
  • capable of independent, self-directed practice
  • capable of lifelong learning

Student learning Outcomes

By the end of this course you will have learned the current understanding of cell structure and function and how this is dynamically organized. You will also understand the major methods used to study cells and their application to medical research. This information can then be integrated with other program subjects to give a cellular basis for Anatomy. Importantly the teaching methods and content are designed to encourage your own self-motivated scientific enquiry.

Continual Course Improvement

  • Periodically student evaluative feedback on the course is gathered, using among other means, UNSW's Course and Teaching Evaluation and Improvement (CATEI) Process. Student feedback is taken seriously, and continual improvements are made to the course based in part on such feedback.


The course organizer (Dr Mark Hill) will be the examiner. The course assessor is Prof Edna Hardeman.

  • Group Project an online project prepared by groups of 4 students throughout semester. The project will have a final assessment by student peers and by the course organizer in week 12 of the semester.
  • Individual Assessment (independent learning) brief questions based upon lecture and laboratory content given in the laboratory time and submitted online by the end of laboratory time throughout semester.
  • Theory examination will be an exam within the session 1 exam period and will conform to University examination guidelines. The theory exam is a 2 hour short answer essay format, assessing student understanding and comprehension of cell biology. Questions are based on lecture material and supporting laboratory content. Sample questions will be provided online and during the final revision lecture.
  • Supplementary examinations will only be offered if the student is unable to attend the final examination for medical or misadventure reasons. Special considerations sought outside the 3 day time period WILL NOT be accepted except in TRULY exceptional circumstances.

Administrative Matters

Special Consideration

Students applying for Special Consideration for an illness or misadventure that may have affected their ability to prepare or complete an assessment are required to follow the procedures outlined by the University in myUNSW and available at the following site:

Students should particularly note the additional requirements beyond a standard medical certificate to include an assessment of the severity of your illness or misadventure and opinion of the likely effect on your capacity to undertake the assessment task/s concerned. The timeline for submission, i.e. within 3 days of the assessment, is also critical. A summary of each request for Special Consideration should also be forwarded to the Program Authority.

Medical Certificates

Students who miss scheduled activities due to illness or other reasons must submit a copy of a medical certificate or other acceptable documentation to the Course Coordinator. Certificates should be lodged no more than 3 days after the activity. Certificates received later than this will not be considered valid and will not be accepted. The following details must be included: Name, student number, date and name of activity missed.

All medical certificates must be fully legible.

Grievance Procedure

Course problems or a grievance with the course, please first attempt to resolve with the course organizer (Dr Mark Hill) then the head of teaching (Prof. Ken Ashwell). If the grievance cannot be resolved in this way, please then contact to the school's grievance officer (Dr Priti Pandey).

UNSW Student Social Media Guidelines

Please also read and follow the UNSW student social media guidelines.

Student Support Services

Those students who have a disability that requires some adjustment in their teaching or learning environment are encouraged to discuss their study needs with the Program Authority or Course Convenor, prior to or at commencement of the course, or with the Equity Officer in the SEADU (9385 4734). Issues to be discussed may include access to materials, signers or note-takers, the provision of services and additional examination and assessment arrangements. Early notification is essential to enable any necessary adjustments to be made.

Laboratory Structure

It is important to be at this location on time, as some classes will then proceed to other locations on campus. Before participating in any research laboratory, specific Health and Safety (HS) information will be provided to students. Time will also be made available in some laboratories for work and discussion on the Group Projects.

The current course laboratory structure is:

  1. Tutorial-based classes covering current cell biology techniques.
  2. Research-based exercises using cell biology analytical techniques.
  3. Research facility visits demonstrating specialist cell biology tools.

Academic Honesty and Plagiarism

Please Read - Plagiarism & Academic Integrity and the linked information pages. The content below is from an earlier version of a UNSW handout.

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is the presentation of the thoughts or work of another as one’s own.(1)

Examples include:

  • direct duplication of the thoughts or work of another, including by copying material, ideas or concepts from a book, article, report or other written document (whether published or unpublished), composition, artwork, design, drawing, circuitry, computer program or software, web site, Internet, other electronic resource, or another person’s assignment without appropriate acknowledgement;
  • paraphrasing another person’s work with very minor changes keeping the meaning, form and/or progression of ideas of the original;
  • piecing together sections of the work of others into a new whole;
  • presenting an assessment item as independent work when it has been produced in whole or part in collusion with other people, for example, another student or a tutor; and
  • claiming credit for a proportion a work contributed to a group assessment item that is greater than that actually contributed.†

For the purposes of this policy, submitting an assessment item that has already been submitted for academic credit elsewhere may be considered plagiarism. Knowingly permitting your work to be copied by another student may also be considered to be plagiarism. Note that an assessment item produced in oral, not written, form, or involving live presentation, may similarly contain plagiarised material.

The inclusion of the thoughts or work of another with attribution appropriate to the academic discipline does not amount to plagiarism. The Learning Centre website is main repository for resources for staff and students on plagiarism and academic honesty. These resources can be located via:

The Learning Centre also provides substantial educational written materials, workshops, and tutorials to aid students, for example, in:

  • correct referencing practices;
  • paraphrasing, summarising, essay writing, and time management;
  • appropriate use of, and attribution for, a range of materials including text, images, formulae and concepts.
  • Individual assistance is available on request from The Learning Centre.

Students are also reminded that careful time management is an important part of study and one of the identified causes of plagiarism is poor time management. Students should allow sufficient time for research, drafting, and the proper referencing of sources in preparing all assessment items.

(1) Text above based on that proposed to the University of Newcastle by the St James Ethics Centre. Used with kind permission from the University of Newcastle † Adapted with kind permission from the University of Melbourne.

Health and Safety (HS)


2015 Course Content

Lectures: Cell Biology Introduction | Cells Eukaryotes and Prokaryotes | Cell Membranes and Compartments | Cell Nucleus | Cell Export - Exocytosis | Cell Import - Endocytosis | Cytoskeleton Introduction | Cytoskeleton - Microfilaments | Cytoskeleton - Microtubules | Cytoskeleton - Intermediate Filaments | Cell Mitochondria | Cell Junctions | Extracellular Matrix 1 | Extracellular Matrix 2 | Cell Cycle | Cell Division | Cell Death 1 | Cell Death 2 | Signal 1 | Signal 2 | Stem Cells 1 | Stem Cells 2 | Development | 2015 Revision

Laboratories: Introduction to Lab | Microscopy Methods | Preparation/Fixation | Cell Knockout Methods | Cytoskeleton Exercise | Immunochemistry | Project Work | Confocal Microscopy | Tissue Culture | Stem Cells Lab | Microarray Visit

2015 Projects: Group 1 | Group 2 | Group 3 | Group 4 | Group 5 | Group 6 | Group 7

Dr Mark Hill 2015, UNSW Cell Biology - UNSW CRICOS Provider Code No. 00098G