Short Course Online

Cell Biology

The Open University UK

1584 GBP/full
1584 GBP/full
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


Cell Biology at The Open University UK explores the fascinating and diverse world of cells, from single-celled micro-organisms to the specialised cells that form complex tissues in plants and animals. 


The Cell Biology programme at The Open University UK develops the key aspects of cell and molecular biology introduced in Questions in Science, Science: concepts and practice and Science and health: an evidence-based approach.

It explores the origins of cells and the generation of cell diversity, as well as the common features of cellular structure and function – how they obtain energy, synthesise new molecules, communicate, proliferate and survive. There is an emphasis on the fundamental importance of cell biology in modern science, particularly in relation to cell technologies and health.

What you will study

The module is structured as three blocks, each comprising a printed book and supporting multimedia, including video, animations and interactive activities, all delivered via a website.

The first block, Generating Diversity, begins with a discussion of current theories about the origins and evolution of cells, and an exploration of the diversity seen among modern day cells. 

You will then look in detail at the subcellular structures where essential cell processes take place. You’ll also be introduced to genetics; how characteristics are inherited, and how the information in a cell’s genome directs and controls the synthesis of thousands of different proteins, the versatile molecules that form much of the cell’s structure and perform many of its functions.

In the second block, Working Cells, you will consider in more detail the molecular and structural basis for many of the biochemical activities that are common to all cells: the structure and function of proteins; the role of cell membranes; transport of substances into and out of cells and between different parts of the cell; how cells capture and use energy; and how cells transmit, receive and respond to signals from their environment.

The final block, Challenging Cells starts by exploring the life and death of cells with reference to disease and other abnormal processes – how cells proliferate, age and die, and the mechanisms that allow cells in a complex organism to diversify into different specialised forms. 

Through a series of brief case studies you will look at the application of cell and molecular biology to health science and biotechnology. These include topics related to gene technology, stem cell technology, novel antimicrobial agents and microbial fuel cells.

Programme Structure

By the end of the module you will be able to:

  • demonstrate a broad understanding of fundamental concepts, principles and theories relating to cell biology, genetics and microbiology
  • appreciate that our knowledge of complex cellular functions is based on observation and experiment
  • appreciate the importance of cell biology in modern technologies and medicine.
The module also develops key skills including data interpretation, collaborative working and accessing and reading articles on cell biology.

Key information

Start dates & application deadlines




30 alternative credits



Academic requirements

We are not aware of any academic requirements for this programme.

English requirements

We are not aware of any English requirements for this programme.

Other requirements

General requirements

  • There are no formal entry requirements to study this module.
  • However, this is an OU Level 2 module, so you’ll need study skills appropriate for this level of science study, obtained either by OU Level 1 study or by equivalent study with another higher education institution. You’re likely to find parts of this module difficult if you have no knowledge of biology.

Tuition Fee

To alway see correct tuition fees
  • International

    1584 GBP/full
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 1584 GBP for the full programme
  • National

    1584 GBP/full
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 1584 GBP for the full programme


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Our partners

Cell Biology
The Open University UK


Go to your profile page to get personalised recommendations!