Cellular and Molecular Biology
This page was last updated on 31/12/2015.
BIOSCI 201 covers quite a wide range of topics and does have quite a bit of content but is easily manageable if you stay on top of it. The textbook molecular cell biology is a good companion for this course and especially helped in the first two lecture series. In the test there is a multiple choice section and a short answer section. In the short answer section it asks for answers to two out of the four questions. There are two questions from each of the first two lecturers and one from each must be answered. This is similar to the exam as there is also a multi choice section but this time there are twelve questions, two from each lecturer and only three need to be answered. This gives a little bit of leeway for what needs to be studied as some students choose to focus on studying only a few topics instead of all of them but this could also prove to lead you into a trap so should be looked on with caution.
As usual, the course guide isn't very comprehensive and only contains pictures with a general lecture outline for each lecture. It's possible to just print off the lecture guide from CECIL and use it as you go. Also, as with most BIOSCI papers, they're pretty good with always having lecture recordings so reviewing the content with the lecture slides is always a great way to revise. But, be warned: there is quite a bit of content to learn for certain parts of this course!
Labs are not too difficult as long as you listen to the lab tutor and ask the lab demonstrators for help – they are more than happy to answer your questions. The assessment for the labs is mainly through an answer sheet that is handed in up to one week after the lab so gives plenty of time to find the answers. The labs are also assessed through the multi choice questions in the test and exam and this I found to be the most difficult part of the labs. It is important to fully understand everything you are doing in the labs, ask lots of questions and revise the labs to ensure that you can answer these multi choice question. However, there are only a few lab multi choice questions in the test and exam.
The Architecture and Dynamics of Mammalian Cells
This section was 11 lectures long and was taught by Dr John Taylor in 2015.This is quite an interesting section as it goes into more details about some of the functions within cells, however, this also requires the learning of many names and processes. The sheer amount of detail in these lectures means it can be quite difficult to keep up, however, there are usually good slides and lecture recordings are put up on CECIL. The textbook is also very helpful for understanding these processes.
Nucleic Acids, Gene Expression and Protein Structure
This section was 9 lectures long and was taught by Dr David Goldstone in 2015. This section is even more complex than Dr John Taylor’s section as it has lots and lots of names that must be remembered which will require a lot of revision to remember them all. The best way to get everything that is needed is to take good notes in lectures and review them with the slides that are put up on CECIL. The textbook also helps quite a bit in this section.
Gene Expression and Genetic Engineering
This section was 6 lectures long and was taught by Dr Augusto Barbosa in 2015. This content was conceptually hard in some parts. The best way to learn the content would definitely be to attend lectures, make the best out of the lecture, then followed closely by going through the lecture slides he uploads and trying to piece together what he explained in lecture. In lectures, you'll want to pay very close attention - it will require a lot of focus to keep up during the lecture. This is a hard section and can be time consuming. Most people, due to the exam format, simply did not bother to learn this section as well to save them large amounts of time (they might've lost a few marks in the MCQs, but didn't lose any marks in the essay questions because you could choose to write on the other sections)
This section was 5 lectures long and was taught by Dr Hilary Sheppard in 2015. These were very interesting lectures and well worth going to. Dr Sheppard explains everything you need to know in a very straight forward way in her lectures making it easy to study for this section. In 2015 she also went through a past exam question explaining everything that she would expect to be in a perfect answer making it easier to know what she is expecting in the exam.
This section was 4 lectures long and was taught by Assoc. Professor Peter Metcalf in 2015. This section is easy to study as Professor Metcalf pretty much gives out the exam question as it is pretty similar every year. However, there are also a lot of independent readings that are expected to be done to get good marks in this section. These readings, however, are pretty easy to understand and not hard to plan an exam answer.
Cell Proliferation and Cancer
This section was 4 lectures long and was taught by Professor Rod Dunbar in 2015. This section is really engaging and brilliantly taught. The lectures are helpful and there are some visual demonstrations in the class. These are helpful for understanding and involve class participation which is quite entertaining. To answer the exam questions, pretty much all the content taught is needed to answer the exam question fully, but this is manageable due to there only being 4 lectures in this section.