VSC113 Fundamentals of Veterinary Cell Biology (8)

 This subject provides a brief introduction to taxonomy & phylogeny and basic science & measurement concepts, then introduces cell biology incorporating applied aspects of basic cell structure and function including aspects of introductory organic chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, and cell physiology with particular emphasis on biochemical and genetic functions of cells. It provides foundations in membrane transport, cell signalling and cellular motors (including muscle function). This subject will prepare students for advanced study in physiology, pathophysiology, microbiology and histology. Previous basic knowledge of chemistry and biology is assumed. 


Session 1 (30)
On Campus
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: VSC113. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Assumed Knowledge

Basic chemistry and biology.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to use phylogenetic and taxonomic principles to explain major differences between eukaryote and prokaryote organisms including microbes, plant and animal cells;
  • be able to utilise principles of research, measurement and analysis to demonstrate an awareness of scientific method and an emerging ability to communicate research findings and conclusions appropriately
  • be able to apply concepts of thermodynamics, solution, diffusion and equilibrium to physiological systems;
  • be able to describe the families of biological molecules essential for life (proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and nucleic acids) and outline the relationships of their anabolic and catabolic pathways;
  • be able to describe the basic structure of cells, including various subcellular structures in relation to their function;
  • be able to detail the structure and functions of cellular membranes, their integral proteins and describe the role these play in cellular communication;
  • be able to describe chemical transport of ions and molecules across biological membranes;
  • be able to demonstrate the basic understanding of muscle structure and function;
  • be able to describe the flow and regulation of information from DNA to proteins
  • be able to explain how the cell cycle is regulated in normal cells and how it changes in neoplastic cells, using examples
  • be able to explain how recombinant DNA technology can be used in the context of improving animal health and production;
  • be able to demonstrate a basic understanding of the structure, function and pathogenicity of various classes of micro-organisms; and
  • be able to culture and identify various classes of micro-organisms.;


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Introduction to taxonomy & phylogeny: Structure and classification of living organisms
  • Science and Measurement
  • Major classes of biological molecules important for cell function
  • Structure and function of nucleated cells and major differences between plant and animal cells.
  • Biological membranes, cellular signalling and transmembrane transport processes.
  • Control of the cell cycle
  • Flow of genetic information, control of gene expression, gene families and cancer.
  • Recombinant DNA technology and its application to animal and veterinary sciences.
  • Structure, function and classification of micro-organisms such as viruses, bacteria, protozoa and fungi
  • Culturing micro-organisms and control of microbial growth
  • Cellular motors (including muscles)


For further information about courses and subjects outlined in the CSU handbook please contact:

Current students

Future students

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2019. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.