Course Outline

LFS100 Cell Biology

Course Coordinator:Ann Parkinson ( School:School of Health - Biomedicine

2023Semester 1

UniSC Sunshine Coast

UniSC Moreton Bay

UniSC Fraser Coast

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.

Please go to for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


Cell Biology explores the cellular foundation of life in animals, including humans, plants and microorganisms. You will explore the connection between the structure and function of cells, aspects of their evolution, and their organisation into the primary tissues of organisms. The course offers you the opportunity to develop and demonstrate the skills important for scientific experimentation and investigation in the fields of science and biomedical science, including practical laboratory skills and science communication. It provides a strong foundation for further studies in physiology, molecular biology and genetics relevant to sciences broadly, including biomedicine.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Learning materials – Online learning Materials 2hrs Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 2 – Weekly workshop to engage with the theory content and work through problems on the topics presented 1hr Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Small class tutorial with interactive and collaborative learning 2hrs Week 1 7 times
Laboratory 1 – Science wetlab with practical skill development 3hrs Week 2 6 times

Course Topics

  • Comparative structure and function of eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells
  • Cell membrane structure and function
  • Introductory cell metabolism
  • Cell Communication
  • The cell cycle and cell division
  • Genetics and patterns of inheritance
  • Introductory molecular biology
  • Animal cell and tissues, structure and function
  • Plant cells and tissues, structure and function

What level is this course?

100 Level (Introductory)

Engaging with discipline knowledge and skills at foundational level, broad application of knowledge and skills in familiar contexts and with support. Limited or no prerequisites. Normally, associated with the first full-time study year of an undergraduate program.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming...
1 Describe the basic structure and function of cells in living organisms. Knowledgeable
2 Apply knowledge of cell structures and functions to solve problems. Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker
3 Research, critically evaluate, and ethically present appropriate and relevant literature about cells in a creative and informative way. Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker
4 Demonstrate the procedures for observing and recording biological specimens using compound light microscopy. Knowledgeable
5 Present results of an experiment in a standard scientific format. Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the UniSC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


Not applicable


Not applicable


SCI103 or LFS101 or LFS103

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Not applicable

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

This course will provide you with early feedback on your learning of cell biology topics and scientific skills. This feedback will be in the form of in-class feedback on a formative class preparation task in week 2, and subsequent in-class feedback on summative class preparation tasks from week 2 onwards. In addition, there are weekly formative online quizzes throughout semester and a summative quiz in week 3. You can use the feedback provided to identify if you require additional support for your learning of cell biology.

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Portfolio Individual and Group 40%
Multiple components:
Laboratory class preparation and participation - 5-10 minutes for each set of prelab questions and 3 hour class participation; 
Online quizzes -15 – 25 minutes per quiz;
Graphing assignment, week 7 – approximately 20 minutes; 
Practical exam in week 13 – 90 minutes duration
Throughout teaching period (refer to Format) Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check and in class
All 2 Artefact - Creative, and Written Piece Individual or Group 20%
Wk 4 Checkpoint approx 50 words; Week 10 
complete CSi approximately 500 words plus one diagram
Refer to Format Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 3 Examination - Centrally Scheduled Individual 40%
2 hours
Exam Period Exam Venue
All - Assessment Task 1:Theoretical and Practical Portfolio
For you to engage in the theoretical and practical components of the course regularly and actively, to facilitate your learning.
Product: Portfolio
A series of assessment tasks consisting of: written responses to questions; online quiz questions including MCQ and short responses; data calculations, graphing and interpretation of data, scientific drawing and scale bar calculations; solving of problems. The assessments will include 6 x practical preparation and participation (6%; weeks 2,4,6,8,10 and 12); 3 x online quizzes (9%; weeks 3, 7 and 12); graphing assignment (5%, week 7); and will culminate in the practical exam in the Week 13 Workshop 1 (20%).
Further detail will be provided on Canvas.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Participation in laboratory classes to learn about cells, and develop skills of microscopy and scientific method
1 2 4 5
Description of structures and functions of cells
Application of cell biology knowledge to solve problems
Demonstration and understanding of light microscopy skills
Presentation of data in a standard scientific format
All - Assessment Task 2:Cell Specific Investigation (CSi) Assignment
This task is designed to help you explore the world of cells and how they are important for life. You will gain skills in searching for relevant academic literature and communicating in scientific language. You will revise various concepts in cell biology and how they are important for your chosen cell type. In addition, if you elect to complete the CSi in a group you will gain experience in working in a team.
Product: Artefact - Creative, and Written Piece
Submit: Weeks 4, 10. You will work as either an individual or in a group of 2-3 students to produce a 500 word written piece with an accompanying diagram describing the structure and function of a cell.
By week 4 you will choose your cell and give a brief description of the cell (2-3 sentences and at least one reference, 50 words); submit to Canvas for formative feedback.
By the start of Week 10 you will submit your written assignment with in-text references and reference list online for Turnitin for Self Audit. You will download your Turnitin originality report and check for any matching text and make any changes, as appropriate, to your text.
You will then submit the Final CSi document - written piece plus your diagram to the online assignment link by the end of week 10.
Further instructions, resources and a rubric will be available on Canvas.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Critical evaluation and synthesis of scientific literature to describe a chosen cell’s structure and related function.
1 2 3
Integration of cell biology concepts discussed in the course theory modules specific to your chosen cell.
1 2
Communication of the cell’s structure and function using visual means.
1 2 3
Use of appropriate scientific and academic language.
1 3
Adherence to instructions on presentation and formatting, including referencing
Compliance with academic integrity when using and citing literature
All - Assessment Task 3:End of semester Examination
To assess your understanding of and ability to apply knowledge of the theory of cell biology presented in the course.
Product: Examination - Centrally Scheduled
A comprehensive, two hour final examination, consisting of various question types including multiple choice, fill in the blank and short answer style questions. 
If the exam is delivered online, you will be required to submit written questions to the text matching software Turnitin.
Further details will be provided on Canvas.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Description of structure and function of cells
Demonstration of the connection between structure and function of cells
1 2
Demonstration of structure and function of tissues in animals and plants
1 2
Application of knowledge of cell biology theory to solve problems

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.


Period and Topic Activities
Week 1: Cell structure and Function (Part 1)
Online Learning Materials and Weekly Lectorial: Cell structure and function of Eukaryotic and Prokaryotic cells
Workshop 1: Course introduction, scientific drawing and scale bar calculations
Week 2: Cell structure and Function (Part 2)
Online Learning Materials and Weekly Lectorial: Cell structure and function of Eukaryotic and Prokaryotic cells
Laboratory 1: An introduction to the cell using compound light microscopy
Week 3: Cell membrane structure and function
Online Learning Materials and Weekly Lectorial: Cell membrane structure and function 
Workshop 2: Preparing results from experimental data; graphing exercises; Concept revision: cell structure and function
Week 4: Introduction to cell metabolism
Online Learning Materials and Weekly Lectorial: Introduction to cell metabolism 
Laboratory 2: Osmosis in cells
Week 5: Cell communication
Online Learning Materials and Weekly Lectorial: Cell communication
Workshop 3: Concept revision cell membrane structure and function and cell metabolism
Week 6: The cell cycle and cell division
Online Learning Materials and Weekly Lectorial: The cell cycle and cell division. 
Laboratory 3: Enzyme activity (catalase) in liver tissue
Week 7: Genetics I – Mendel and the Gene Idea
Online Learning Materials and Weekly Lectorial: Genetics I – Mendel and the Gene Idea
Workshop 4: Using a Rubric for assessment and Cycle Revision
Week 8: Genetics II – The chromosomal basis of inheritance
Online Learning Materials and Weekly Lectorial: Genetics II – The chromosomal basis of inheritance
Laboratory 4: Garlic root tip squash chromosomes in mitosis) and Reebop genetics
Week 9: Introduction to Molecular Biology – DNA to Protein
Online Learning Materials and Weekly Lectorial: Introduction to Molecular Biology – DNA to Protein 
Workshop 5: Assessment preparation - using Turnitin in Canvas and Concept revision - Genetics and DNA activities
Week 10: Animal cells and tissues
Online Learning Materials and Weekly Lectorial: Animals tissues 
Laboratory 5: Animal cells and tissues
Week 11: Plant cells and tissues
Online Learning materials and Weekly Lectorial: Plants cells and tissues
Workshop 6: Concept revision animal and plant cells and tissues; assessment preparation week 13 Practical Exam
Week 12: Case studies in eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells
Online Learning Materials and Weekly Lectorial: applications to cell function
Laboratory 6: Plant Cells and Tissues
Week 13: Semester Review
Weekly Lectorial: Review of the semester's learning materials to prepare for Task 3 Final Examination
Workshop 7: Task 1 Practical Exam

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

Please note that you need to have regular access to the resource(s) listed below. Resources may be required or recommended.

Required? Author Year Title Edition Publisher
Required Urry LA, Meyers N, Cain ML, Wasserman SA, Minorsky PV, Orr RB, Burke da Silva K, Parkinson A, Lluka L and Chunduri P 2021 Campbell Biology (12th Ed) Pearson
Required Urry LA, Meyers N, Cain ML, Wasserman SA, Minorsky PV, Orr RB, Burke da Silva K, Parkinson A, Lluka L and Chunduri P. 2022 Cell Biology LFS 100 (Custom Edition) (4th Ed) n/a

Specific requirements

You must wear a lab coat, enclosed shoes, and safety glasses during laboratory classes. You must either purchase and bring to lab classes a copy of the LFS100 Cell Biology Workbook: Workshop and Laboratory manual.  A bound copy of the workbook will be available for purchase from Mail and Print Services (MaPS) , or alternatively print the manual and bind it yourself.

How are risks managed in this course?

Risk assessments have been performed for all laboratory classes and a moderate level of health and safety risk exists. Moderate risks are those associated with laboratory work such as working with chemicals and hazardous substances. You will be required to undertake laboratory induction training and it is also your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Eligibility for Supplementary Assessment
Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:
a.	The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
b.	The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
c.	You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate (the rates are cumulative): 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day 
- 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. 
To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


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Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

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