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2022/23 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

BIOL5312M Bioimaging

15 creditsClass Size: 15

Module manager: Dr Michelle Peckham

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

Pre-requisite qualifications

This module is only available to Masters students in the Faculty of Biological Sciences.
BSc in Biological Sciences and knowledge of cell biology.

This module is mutually exclusive with


This module is not approved as an Elective


The aims of this module are:
- To gain theoretical knowledge of a wide range of imaging techniques applicable in modern cell biology.
- To gain some practical experience of preparing, fixing and staining cells for visualisation of the nucleus and cytoskeleton
- To gain some practical experience in imaging cellular organelles in live cells

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to:
- Understand the principles of phase, DIC, fluorescence, deconvolution and confocal microscopy, calcium imaging, and transmission and scanning electron microscopy;
- Be able to perform the techniques required to obtain epifluorescence, confocal and deconvolution images of fluorescently stained fixed cells;
- Explain how to image live cells with an epiflourescent or confocal microscope;
- Understand the principles of the techniques FRAP, FRET and FLIM microscopy;
- Understand the principles of calcium imaging in live cells;
- Understand the principles of imaging cells, and single molecules in the electron microscope;
- Design a research investigation into a biological problem involving a range of bioimaging approaches.


Bio-imaging encompasses a wide range of approaches from imaging single molecules in the electron microscope, to determining the localisation of proteins in fixed cells by fluorescence microscopy. Any one, or a combination of techniques can build up a picture of the structure and function of a protein of interest and its biological role in the cell.

The aim of this module is to provide an introduction to the wide range of approaches used in Bio-imaging and their relative advantages and disadvantages for analysing protein and cellular function.

The module will include a range of lectures/seminars on the techniques/approaches involved together with practical demonstrations and practical work to enable the student to obtain hands on experience of some of the techniques. The practical work will be based on visualising the cellular cytoskeleton (actin, intermediate filaments and microtubules) and molecular motors (myosin, kinesin) and investigating organelle dynamics and protein localisation in plant cells.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours122.00
Total Contact hours28.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

-Analysis of data generated in practical class writing practical report and associated reading.
- Reading for assessed essay and writing essay
- Reading, designing experiments and writing research proposal

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

By attendance at practical classes and tutorials.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2,000 words30.00
Report2,500 words30.00
Research ProposalProforma + 6 slides (A4)40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 13/10/2022


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