Warning! This subjects requires on campus attendance. Refer to Special Requirements for more information.

Subject details

At the completion of this subject students will be able to:

  • explain the concept of cells as the fundamental building blocks of life
  • explain the way in which all cells share a set of basic characteristics
  • explain the role of various classes of macromolecules in cell structure and function
  • explain the way in which cell and organelle membranes contribute to cellular functions
  • explain the mechanisms and energy flows underpinning cellular metabolism
  • relate how protein structure is related to their various functions
  • relate how energy flows through processes such as photosynthesis, cellular respiration and fermentation
  • understand how DNA is a store of genetic information and how it is replicated and transcribed into proteins
  • explain the way in which cells divide to enable growth and reproduction and the genetic controls on these processes
  • undertake laboratory procedures useful to investigating cellular structure and process
  • interpret experimental data and draw appropriate conclusions based on theoretical concepts
  • have practical and conceptual knowledge of cell biology to undertake further studies in genetics, biochemistry, molecular, plant and animal biology or related fields.
    • Introduction to eukaryotic cells and microscopy
    • Chemical composition of cells and macromolecules
    • Biological membranes and movement of molecules
    • Eukaryotic cell organelles
    • Cellular energetics and thermodynamics
    • Enzymes
    • Cellular respiration and fermentation
    • Photosynthesis
    • DNA replication, gene transcription and protein synthesis
    • Cell division and cell cycle regulation
  • Study resources

    • Print materials

      • Welcome letter
    • Online materials

      • Online Assessment
      • Resources and Links
      • Audio-Video streaming
      • Quizzes
      • Online Assessment
    • Other materials

      • Audio
      • Practicum


This is an introductory subject requiring no formal prerequisites but an understanding of chemistry to senior secondary level is helpful.

Special requirements

  • AttendanceDetails - Practicum of five half days on RMIT's Melbourne Campus

This subject introduces you to the biology of eukaryotic cells, emphasising cells as the basic subject of life and their evolutionary origins. Topics covered include: diversity of cells, cellular macromolecules and molecular diversity; organelle structures and functions; cellular energetics; experimental techniques used to examine cells; membranes and movement of molecules; enzymes and enzyme regulation; cellular respiration, fermentation and photosynthesis; DNA, the genetic code, RNA and gene transcription, protein synthesis and cell division.

This subject lays the foundation for more advanced studies in biotechnology, biochemistry, genetics, molecular and organismal biology.

Please note: the dates below for the compulsory requirement for this subject to attend laboratory classes at RMIT University's City Campus in central Melbourne:

2019, Study Period 2:

  • Jun 17 - 21, 2019 9:00am - 1:00pm*

2019, Study Period 4:

  • Feb 3 - 7, 2020 9:00am - 1:00pm*

*More details will be provided at the commencement of the relevant Study Period and available on Blackboard.

  • On Campus Practicals (25%)
  • Invigilated exam (50%)
  • Online Tests (25%)

Textbook information is pending.

Textbook information is pending.

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