The Cell Cycle - BIOS6100

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Spring Term 6 15 (7.5) Daniel Mulvihill checkmark-circle


The module introduces the student to cell cycle and teaches how its precise regulation is essential for all life. The course will introduce to the students the current understanding of cellular reproduction and how it emerged. The initial lectures will describe the important breakthroughs in cell cycle research in their historical and experimental context. The course will go on to give the students a detailed understanding of the key events that occur and how they are regulated by mechanisms conserved from yeast to man. Key topics that will be discussed include:
Mitotic kinases (including Cdks, Polo, aurora).
Microtubule reorganisation (including spindle formation and regulation).
Actin reorganisation (including regulation of cell growth, endocytosis, and cell division)
Checkpoints (including Spindle assembly checkpoint, DNA damage checkpoint).
Organelle reorganisation (e.g. nuclear and golgi reorganisation).
Cancer and the cell cycle.
Cell cycle related pathologies.
The final lectures will then introduce the students to how generating computer models of the cell cycle are playing a crucial role in defining novel avenues for research into therapies for cell cycle related diseases.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 20
Total Private Study Hours: 130
Total Study Hours: 150

Method of assessment

• Practical Report (2,000 words) – 30%
• Examination (2 hours) – 70%

Both the practical report and the examination are compulsory sub-elements and must be passed to complete the module.

Indicative reading

Alberts, B. et al. (2014). Molecular Biology of the Cell (Sixth Edition). New York: Garland Science
Morgan, D.O. (2006). The Cell Cycle - Principles of Control. Oxford: OUP
Murray, A. & Hunt, T. (1994). The Cell Cycle – An Introduction. Oxford: OUP

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
Demonstrate detailed knowledge of the Cell Cycle and its control.
Explain changes to the cytoskeleton through the cell cycle and its control.
Demonstrate a detailed understanding of apoptosis and its control.
Demonstrate a detailed knowledge of cell cycle checkpoints.
Analyse and interpret microscopy data, and present in an appropriate manner.

The intended generic learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
Retrieve, analyse and evaluate information from textbooks, primary research papers and review articles.
Demonstrate effect communication skills.


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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