AP0607 - Molecular Cell Interactions

What will I learn on this module?

In the early part of the module you will learn about mammalian cell signalling processes correlated with their role in disease pathogenesis and cellular responses to toxic compounds. These lectures will provide a sound theoretical understanding of concepts that will be further explored in material designed to consider the molecular mechanisms underpinning carcinogenesis. To augment this approach you will then also learn about the molecular basis of bacterial signalling and bacterial pathogenesis. As the module further develops you will then learn about therapeutic strategies designed to alleviate disease/pathogenesis. The content of this material will include the molecular basis of therapeutic design including drug action, chemotherapy and gene therapy. These lectures will serve to provide a molecular therapeutic complement to the pathogenesis lectures. Finally through case studies and essay writing you should learn to effectively, and critically, evaluate modern molecular based research.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn in this module by attendance at lectures and through engagement with Case Study Seminars. The presented case will encompass content covering previously delivered lecture material and students will be expected to discuss and present aspects of the case informed by reading of primary source research articles. This requires you to engage with both independent learning/reading alongside directed reading and study. Both students and staff will lead an interactive debate about the case which will serve to provide an environment for the development of critical thinking skills and analysis. You will then be able to take this knowledge and apply it to a critical evaluation of the case to be provided in essay form at the end of the module. Essay assignments will be submitted electronically and subsequent marks/feedback will be delivered by the same route.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Tutors on this module will be available to provide support and guidance on delivered lecture material to promote understanding throughout the duration of the module. During the case study seminars, the teaching team will provide “in class” feedback on material and issues raised by the case. This feedback can then be utilised to aid in the construction of your essay assignment which will be based on the case. Lecture material and/or lecture associated reading material will be posted on the e learning portal alongside any details of the case study and assessment. Any changes in scheduled delivery will be posted on the module site and e-mailed to all. To help with independent study and literature searching the university library is open 24 hours every day of the week. Strategies on how to locate and analyse appropriate material will be provided by staff members in lectures and case study discussions. This will develop your ability to discriminate between relevant and irrelevant literature sources in the creation of their essay assignment.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1.You will develop an appreciation for the role of molecular based research in informing our understanding of the biological basis of disease.
2.The course will enable you to engage with and build on knowledge, derived from lectures, of the most recent advances in molecular biology applied to the evolution of new therapies.
Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
1.You will be able to critically evaluate published research articles that discuss the molecular basis of pathology/therapy.
2.You will develop concise and critical writing skills.
Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
1.You will develop an understanding of how modern molecular approaches to biomedicine frequently raise ethical issues.

How will I be assessed?

Summative module assessment (100%) will be by means of an essay assignment based on case study material (assessing all MLOs). The assignment encompasses knowledge and skills, across the curriculum, related to the understanding of Molecular Cell Interactions. Feedback on the assignment will be provided by electronic means using the appropriate module site on Blackboard (elp). Feed-forward on the appropriate essay content will be provided by student attendance and staff/student led discussion at formative case study seminars.


Biochemistry; Applied Anatomy and Physiology or equivalent; Cell Biology & Genetics;
Introductory Pathological Sciences; or equivalent, or pre-module



Module abstract

This module explores molecular events underpinning cellular communication that serve to maintain cellular homeostasis in mammalian/ microbial species. These signalling events, when modified due to factors such as toxicity or mutation, lead to disease processes. Alongside the induction of pathogenesis the module explains how recent advances in biochemical, molecular or pharmacological therapies can be used to combat human disease. The module will be delivered by lecture and through in class exercises including the study of case material. The coursework will comprise of an essay based on the case study that explores current literature on the induction, pathology and treatment of a given disease. Feedback from this essay can be used by students to inform their understanding of “cutting-edge” research that is relevant to subsequent modules including “Pathology in Practice”. The material covered in this module is highly relevant to students interested in jobs involving further biomedical research or drug development.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 18 months

Location Sri Lanka

City Sri Lanka

Start September or January

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

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