ANAT SC 2500 - Cells and Tissues II

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2016

Cells and Tissues II considers the structure and function of cells and tissues of the mammalian body. Study of ultrastructural characteristics of the typical mammalian cell is followed by consideration of the structure of tissues, organs and systems. The features of the cells, their arrangement and their intercellular products are considered with emphasis on the relationship between microscopic structure and function. Human examples are mainly used with some material from other mammalian species. Routine techniques used for the study of cells and tissues at the light and electron microscopic levels as well as the principles of microscopy are presented early in the course. Practicals have a problem-solving approach and illustrate topics covered in lectures. Tutorials form a large component of the continuous assessment and give students ongoing feedback information on their progress in the course. Students also participate in an oral presentation and written, referenced summary on a topic in structural cell biology.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ANAT SC 2500
    Course Cells and Tissues II
    Coordinating Unit Medical Sciences
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 6 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assumed Knowledge BIOLOGY 1101 & BIOLOGY 1201 or 1202
    Assessment Mid-semester test, tutorial papers, seminars, slide description 40%, final written & practical exams 60% - details provided at commencement of course
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Eleanor Peirce

    Course Coordinator: Dr Eleanor Peirce
    Phone: +61 8 8313 5191
    Location: Room N131b, Level 1, Medical School North

    Course Co-coordinator: Ms Viythia Katharesan
    Phone: +61 8 8313 4526
    Location: Room N131c, Level 1, Medical School North

    Lecturer: Dr Julie Haynes
    Phone: +61 8 8313 5769

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Demonstrate an understanding of the structure and function relationships of cells, tissues, and selected components of the body systems.
    2 Demonstrate a knowledge of routine tissue processing and causes of artefacts, recognise and interpret the normal appearance and functional status of cells and tissues at the light and electron microscopic levels, and inter-relate features in two-dimensional histological sections with three-dimensional body structure.
    3 Demonstrate competency in using scientific electronic databases to source scientific information.
    4 Demonstrate competency in processing, critically analysing, compiling and referencing scientific information for delivery of an oral presentation and writing a scientific summary on a histopathological topic.
    5 Demonstrate competency in engaging in group work activities.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1, 2
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    2, 3, 4
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    4, 5
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Cells and Tissues Manual
    A pdf version of the course manual is available on MyUni. The manual contains essential information relating to the course.

    Essential Textbook
    Equal First Choices

    Ross, MH & Pawlina, W. (2016) Histology: A text and Atlas 7 Ed. Wolters Kluwer, Philadelphia. ISBN 978-1-4511-8742-7


    Mescher, AL (2013) Junqueira's Basic Histology 13 Ed. McGraw Hill, New York. ISBN 978-0-0717-8033-9

    (Recent, earlier editions of both books are also suitable.)

    Recommended Resources
    Histology Text

    Kerr JB (2010) Functional Histology, 2nd Ed. Mosby Elsevier, Sydney
    Kierszenbaum AL & Tres L. (2012) Histology and Cell Biology, 3rd Ed. Mosby Elsevier, Philadelphia
    Young B, Woodford P & O’Dowd G (2014) Wheater’s Functional Histology, 6th Ed. Churchill Livingstone, London.

    Other Reference Textbooks and Sources

    • Textbooks on Cellular Biology (e.g. Molecular Biology of the Cell, Alberts et al)
    • Anatomy and Physiology texts (e.g. Principles of Anatomy and Physiology, Tortora and Derrickson)
    • Physiology texts (eg. Human Physiology, Sherwood) etc. will also be very helpful BUT will not be a complete replacement for the recommended texts.

    It is assumed that students will also obtain information from scientific journals and specialised books online or from the Barr Smith Library.

    Online Learning
    The following items are available online via MyUni to all students enrolled in the course:
    • All learning and teaching resources for face-to-face classes, e.g. prepared notes, links to animations, video clips, external websites and databases, activity worksheets, additional images for practicals.
    • Mymedia recordings of most lectures. Discussions from practical and tutorial classes will not be recorded. Students are expected to attend and actively participate in these classes.
    • Assessment items, e.g. quizzes, student seminar guidelines, slide description task.
    • Feedback on assessment, e.g. quiz answers, marking rubrics and written comments on assignments.
    • Revision materials including answers to tutorials and practical questions, and question papers for previous year's exams and mid-semester tests.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Cells and Tissues is presented via lecture, tutorial, practical class, and workshop formats. Attendance at practicals, workshops and tutorials is compulsory and these classes require prior preparation.

    During practicals, students have access to ‘virtual microscopes’ to examine nanozoomed images of histological slides on computers as well as digital images, scanned microscopic images, copies of diagrams, drawings, and micrographs. Practical notes with questions guide students in self-directed learning, and students have the opportunity to discuss their findings with peers and staff. Emphasis is placed on investigating relationships between microstructure and function. Some practicals are structured as workshops with students interacting with each other in small groups to complete set tasks.

    Most tutorials require completion of quiz and short answers questions that are submitted online a few days prior to the class and are part of the summative assessment. Tutorial activities include examination and analysis of micrographs, discussion of answers to set questions, presentation of short talks, and review or extension of selected activities from practical classes. The ongoing feed-back provided to students in the assessment of tutorials assists their learning skills and understanding.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.


     Time per Activity

    Total Hours

    Contact Hours




    33 hours of lectures

    22 hours of practicals

    12 hours of tutorials (includes student seminars)



    67 hours




    30 mins mid semester test

    150 mins theory exam

    30 mins practical exam



    3.5 hours

    Non-Contact Hours



    Independent reading & revision

    3 hours/week x 12 weeks

    36 hours

    Assessment tasks

    16 hours to complete seminar talk and written summary

    2 hours to complete slide description project

    1.5 hours/week x 12 weeks = 18 hours to complete tutorial/ practical quizzes and assignments




    36 hours

    Total workload for semester (12 teaching & 1 non-teaching weeks)

    142.5 hours

    Workload per week for 12 week-semester*

    12 hours/wk


    * Expected workload for 3-unit course is 12 hours per week.

    Learning Activities Summary
    Topics covered in the Cells and Tiassues course are outlined below. The sequence of topics may vary from year to year, according to timetabling and staff constraints. All lecture topics are reinforced by a practical and/or tutorial class.


    1. Histological Techniques and Basic Structure of Cells (3 lectures)

    Techniques of tissue preparation for light and electron microscopy. Principles of microscopy.
    Brief review of membrane structure. Distribution and significance of cellular membranes.
    Histological features of interphase, dying, and dividing nuclei.
    Relationship between nuclear appearance, cellular activity and cellular identity.
    Relationship between cytoplasmic ultrastructure and cellular function.

    2. Cells to Tissues, Epithelium (3 lectures)
    Characteristics of the four basic tissues (epithelial, connective, muscle, nervous).
    Structural features of epithelial cells; lateral & free surface modifications, basal laminae.
    Epithelial types & functions.
    Relationship between epithelial ultrastructure & function: eg. absorption, transportation, secretion.
    Features of epithelial secretory cells. Relationship between type of secretion and cellular ultrastructure. Myoepithelial cells.

    3. Connective Tissues (2 lectures)
    Characteristics and function of the components of connective tissue.
    Characteristics and function of different connective tissue types.

    4. Nervous and Muscular Systems (4 lectures)
    Divisions of N.S.; neurones and support cells of the nervous system, myelination, structure of nerve fibres, nerves, ganglia, sensory & motor nerve endings.
    Introduction to the autonomic nervous system.
    Characteristics of contractile tissue, particularly skeletal muscle.

    5. Blood Cells (2 lectures)
    Life history of red blood cell, characteristics of anaemia
    Life history of leukocytes and platelets, characteristics of anaemia

    6. Vascular System (1 lecture)
    Functional histology of vascular tissue.

    7. Lymphoid System (2 lectures)
    Lymph circulation, structure-function relationships of lymph nodes.
    T and B lymphocytes, features of the thymus, structure-function relationships of the spleen.

    8. Digestive System (3 lectures)
    Generic structure of the gastrointestinal tract,
    Structural basis of digestion, absorption, barrier/immunity and the regulation and integration of these processes; cellular differentiation and division.
    Functional histology of the liver.

    9. Respiratory System (2 lectures)
    Microstructure and function of upper respiratory tract.
    Functional microstructure of lungs.

    10. Kidneys/Renal System (1 lecture)
    Overview of regions of the kidney; microstructural basis of kidney function.

    11. Cartilage, Bones, Ossification (2 lectures)
    Microarchitecture of cartilage and bone
    Formation and growth of bones.

    12. Skin (2 lectures)
    Structure-function relationships within skin
    Skin colour

    13. Endocrine Cells (2 lectures)
    General structural biology of endocrines; immunocytochemical identification of endocrine cells.
    Characteristics of hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal and pancreatic islets of Langerhans.

    14. Reproductive Systems (4 lectures)
    Spermatogenesis and oogenesis
    Reproductive hormones and control of reproduction
    Ovarian and menstrual cycles

    Specific Course Requirements
    There are no specific requirements.
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    There is no official SGDE in Cells and Tissues, however several opportunities exist whereby students interact in small groups to undertake research or communicate research findings. An example is the student seminar tutorials, for which each student prepares and presents a short talk and associated written summary on a given medical sciences topic that has a focus on normal versus abnormal microstructure and function. Students gain confidence in delivering a short scientific presentation and further develop their research and scientific writing skills from first year. A unique aspect of the student seminars is to promote the importance of being an active, engaged audience member during seminar presentations. Engaged audience members are rewarded for asking questions about the topic at the end of each presentation.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Assessment Type Weighting Learning Outcome(s) being addressed
    Final theory exam Summative 40% 1, 2
    Final practical exam Summative 8% 1, 2
    Tutorial & practical assignments Formative and Summative 26% 1, 2, 3
    Mid-semester test Formative and Summative 6% 1, 2
    Oral and written seminar presentations Formative and Summative 10% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
    Slide description assignment Formative and Summative 10% 1, 2
    For assessment tasks where the assessment type is shown as formative and summative, students have an opportunity to resubmit unsatisfactory work. In the case of the mid-semester test, the assessment is redeemable via the final theory exam.
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Students must meet the following requirements to be awarded a pass grade in Cells and Tissues II:
    1. A  mark of at least 45% (i.e. 21.5/48) must be attained for the combined theory and practical examinations.
    2. Students must attend all student seminar sessions and 90% of tutorial and practical classes (except in cases where valid medical/compassionate documentation for absences is supplied). Attendance at these classes is recorded and participation in class activities is required.
    Students are strongly encouraged to attempt all components of the assessment (exams, tutorial and practical assignments/quizzes, slide description and student seminar) in order to maximise their course grade.

    Assessment Detail
    Final theory exam (40%) & Practical Exam (8%).
    The theory and practical examinations evaluate the individual student’s understanding and knowledge of the contents in the course and frequently reflect the level of engagement with the learning outcomes and the continuous formative and summative assessment tasks during the semester.

    Tutorial and Practical Assignments (26%)
    These frequent tasks form almost half of the semester continuous assessment score. All but the worst two weekly assignment marks contribute to this summative component of the assessment. The assignments encourage the students’ continual learning processes, so that they can understand basic principles introduced early in the course, and progressively incorporate this basic knowledge into more complex concepts as the course progresses. The tutorials provide extensive opportunities for formative assessment where students can reflect on the effectiveness of their learning styles and become aware of other successful methods in responding to problems and questions in assignments. This is also achieved when students self-assess or peer-assess assignments.

    Mid-semester test (6%)

    This evaluates student’s individual learning and understanding of the first half of the course and makes them aware of the expected level of knowledge associated with the course.

    Student Seminar, scientific oral and written presentations (10%)
    This assignment has summative and formative assessment. Students are provided with detailed instructions, guidelines, and copies of the assessment sheet for this component of the assessment. Before the assignment, students attend a presentation and writing skills workshop during which they view and critique several video clips of presentations, analyse examples of very poor and very good written reports and discuss attributes of stimulating oral presentations and strategies for producing them. Following assessment, the completed assessment sheet with comments is returned to the student.

    Slide description assignment (10%).
    The slide description assignment assesses the student’s skills in examining a histological section, identifying its components and distinguishing between what cells and structures are theoretically present in a section of an organ and those that are actually identifiable in a given histological section. Students who achieve low grades in this assessment have the opportunity to repeat the assignment and consolidate their skills.
    Submission Process

    Submission of tutorial and practical assessment activities (e.g. quiz and short answer questions, workshop assignments) is online via MyUni and must be received by the advertised due date. Late submissions will be marked, however penalties (a deduction of 10% of the mark allocated for the assessment/per day or part therof from the submission deadline) will be applied up until 7 days post-deadline where an automatic 0 will apply.

    The Written Summary associated with the Student Seminar Oral Presentation must be submitted online via MyUni in the appropriate Assignment box for the topic group by 4.00pm Wednesday of the week immediately following the in-class presentation.

    The completed worksheet and the microscope slide from the Slide Description Project must be submitted for assessment in person via the Cells and Tissues Assignment box, level 1, Medical School North, by the advertised due date.  [Note: The assignment box is situated on the right hand side of the main east-west corridor, just around the corner from the lifts].

    Submission Deadlines

    All submission deadlines will be prominently displayed in MyUni - Course Information, at the commencement of the course.

    Provision of Feedback/Return of Assignments

    Pre-tutorial quizzes and short answer questions will be marked prior to the class - hence it is imperative that answers are submitted on time. Verbal feedback will be provided at the class and additional comments and/or sample answers will be posted on MyUni during the week following the class.

    The anticipated turn-around for feedback and return of other tutorial and practical activities, and the slide description is 2 weeks from the submission deadline for the activity. While every endeavour will be made to achieve this, delays may occur due to staff workload.

    Written comments on the Student Seminar task will only be available after all students have given their seminar and submitted their written summary. There will however be an opportuity to receive informal feedback following each group of seminar presentations.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

    Primary Examinations

    Semester 1 primary exams will be held from late June to early July. The exam timetable is available mid May from the Examinations website.
    For Cells and Tissues the practical exam will be held on the Thursday of Swot Week in the computer suites, Barr Smith South, (Rooms 1059, 1060 and 1063).
    The theory exam will be held at the Adelaide Showgrounds, Wayville during the examination period.

    Semester 1 Replacement/Additional Assessment

    Details on replacement/additional assessment can be found at:

    Semester 1 replacement/ additional assessments will be held in the last week of the mid-year break.  For Cells and Tissues, the replacement/additional assessment theory exam is held in the morning in the Bonython Hall, North Tce Campus, University of Adelaide and the practical exam is held in the afternoon of the same day in Barr Smith South, Room 1063, unless otherwise advised.

    NB: PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THE REPLACEMENT/ ADDITIONAL ASSESSMENT WILL NOT BE OFFERED AT A VENUE OUTSIDE THE NORTH TERRACE CAMPUS, UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE, OR ON A DIFFERENT DAY. If you are planning holidays or journeys interstate or overseas, ensure you have returned to Adelaide ten days before the start of second semester.


  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

    In response to students’ comments given in SELT surveys, lectures are now recorded and available on MyUni. Images and answers from tutorial and practical assignments are now made available on MyUni. Many practicals have also been revamped in response to students’ suggestions.
  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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