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Cell & Developmental Biology

Programme Specification: Part IB Cell & Developmental Biology

This course is taught jointly by the Departments of Biochemistry, Genetics, Plant Sciences and Zoology.


  1. to introduce some of the major ideas and current experimental approaches in cell and developmental biology;
  2. to illustrate how molecular approaches complement classical cell biology in providing details of how cells carry out their basic processes;
  3. to consolidate and extend students' knowledge of how cells work, how they interact and how they differentiate;
  4. to illustrate the excitement of the rapid advances in cell and developmental biology;
  5. to provide a framework for further specialised study of molecular, cellular and developmental biology in Part II courses in biological sciences.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course students should:

  1. have developed knowledge of the major ideas in cell biology and developmental biology;
  2. have an understanding of the experimental approaches, and how they are applied to specific problems in cell and developmental biology;
  3. be able to carry out and interpret simple experiments in cell and developmental biology.

Teaching and Learning Methods

These include lectures, supervisions and practical work.


Assessment for this course is through:

  • two unseen written examinations based on the content of the lecture courses (for aims 1-4 and learning outcomes 1 and 2);
  • one unseen examination, based on practical work conducted throughout the year (for aims 1-4 and learning outcomes 2 and 3).

Courses of Preparation

Essential: NST Part IA Biology of Cells.

Additional Information

Further information on each subject is available in the Subject summary and on the Course Websites pages.