• Offered by Biology Teaching and Learning Centre
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Biology
  • Areas of interest Medical Science, Cell and Molecular Biology, Neuroscience, Biology, Biomedical Science
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • AsPr Ben Corry
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Second Semester 2020
    See Future Offerings

Some activities that form part of this course can be taken remotely or on-campus in Sem 2 2020. Check timetable for details. Group limits may apply.

This course deals with the basic physiology of cells, with a particular emphasis on human disease. It will cover the following topics: cell and membrane structure and function; membrane channels and transporters and their roles in nutrient uptake, ion homeostasis, cell signalling and drug resistance; the electrical properties of membranes; the cellular and molecular basis of the excitability of the nervous system; excitation-contraction coupling in muscle; signal transduction; the molecular structure and function of membrane transport proteins; the molecular basis of the action of a number of drugs; diseases involving transporter and channel defects.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Describe the structure and function of membranes and explain how cells target the transport of proteins and other molecules within the cell;
  2. Explain the cellular and molecular basis of the excitability of the nervous system;
  3. Define the differences between channels and transporters and discuss in detail the role of these proteins in the uptake of nutrients and neurotransmitters, and in ion homeostasis and signalling;
  4. Understand the molecular basis of a range of diseases in which membrane transport proteins play a role;
  5. Work collaboratively with peers to research and communicate scientific journal articles.

Other Information

Honours pathway option (HPO):  HPO options available and may vary from year to year.  Students should contact the course convener directly for HPO option.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Five online quizzes (15) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  2. Three in-class tests (30) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  3. Seminar presentation (15) [LO 5]
  4. Final exam (40) [LO 1,2,3,4]

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


The expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours including:

  • Face-to face component which may consist of 3 x 1 hour of lectures per week plus 5 x 2 hour of tutorials and 4 x 2 hour workshops throughout the semester.
  • Approximately 75 hours of self-study which will include preparation for lectures, presentations, group work reports and other assessment tasks.

Students are expected to actively participate and contribute towards discussions.

Inherent Requirements

Not yet determined

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have successfully completed BIOL1004 and CHEM1201. Alternatively you can have completed PSYC1003, PSYC1004 and PSYC2007. Incompatible with BIOL6174.

Prescribed Texts

No prescribed texts but the following is highly recommended:

Cellular Physiology and Neurophysiology 2nd Edition; Blaustein, Kao and Matteson. Mosby Press.



Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $4830
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $6420
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
8670 27 Jul 2020 03 Aug 2020 31 Aug 2020 30 Oct 2020 In Person View

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