Fundamentals of Biology: Molecular and Cell Biology - Online biology courses | Arts and Science ONLINE

Fundamentals of Biology: Molecular & Cell Biology

BIOL 102/3.0

The essential biochemistry, genetics, cell biology, and metabolic pathways underlying the survival and success of all living organisms. Themes and case studies could range from the application of genetic engineering in biotechnology to the role of cellular dysregulation in inheritable diseases. 

Please note: This course is typically offered in the summer and/or winter term 

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course, you should be able to:

  • explain and interpret how major macromolecules of living organisms interrelate to create cellular function, diversity and evolution
  • explain and interpret how cells function normally, respond to environmental signals and propagate the next generation
  • explain and interpret how genes work to facilitate life and inheritance and apply this knowledge to scientific experimentation and molecular biotechnologies


  • Biology and the Tree of Life
  • Water and Carbon: The Chemical Basis of Life
  • Protein Structure and Function
  • Nucleic Acids and the RNA World and an Introduction to Carbohydrates
  • Lipids and Membranes
  • Cell Ultrastructure and Cell Communication
  • Cell Respiration and Fermentation
  • Photosynthesis
  • The Cell Cycle Mitosis and Meiosis
  • Mendel and the Gene
  • DNA and the Gene: Synthesis and Repair
  • How Genes Work
  • Translation and Transcription
  • Control of Gene Expression in Bacteria
  • Control of Gene Expression in Eukaryotes
  • Genetic Technologies


The essential biochemistry, genetics, cell biology, and metabolic pathways underlying the survival and success of all living organisms. Themes and case studies could range from the application of genetic engineering in biotechnology to the role of cellular dysregulation in inheritable diseases.


Winter 2023
Course Dates: 
Jan. 09 - April 10, 2023
Exam Dates: 
April 14 - 27, 2023


Virtual Research Lab 20%
Case Study Integration Assignment20%
Two Quizzes15%
Three Round Table Assignments15%
Final Proctored Exam30%

**Evaluation Subject to Change**


  • On-campus courses (or course sections) will hold their proctored final exams in-person and on-campus. These final exams will be administered* through the central Exams Office.
  • Remote or online courses (or course sections) that require remote proctoring will have their exams proctored using Examity.


Selected assessments in this course will use remote proctoring provided by Examity, which is a third-party, cloud-based service that enables the completion of a proctored exam or test from an off-campus location, through onQ. This cloud-based proctoring solution was chosen as part of the approach to maintaining academic integrity when remote proctoring is required.

Queen’s has conducted an extensive privacy and security review of Examity and has entered into a binding agreement with terms that address the appropriate collection, use and disclosure of personal information in accordance with Ontario’s privacy legislation. You should also take measures yourself to protect your information by keeping your NetID password and challenge questions private, closing all applications prior to starting an exam/test, and ensuring your device is updated and safeguarded against malware. For more information about remote proctoring, please see

The ASO Exams team will contact you with more information regarding the use of Examity and the technical requirements that you will need to meet. You will also be asked to provide the time zone in which you will be located at the time of your exam.You will also be offered an opportunity to practice logging into Examity in order to familiarize yourself with the online proctoring experience.


Once the exam schedule has been finalized the exam date will be posted on your SOLUS account. The exam dates for each Term are listed on the Faculty of Arts and Science webpage under "Important Dates." Student exam schedules for the Fall Term are posted via SOLUS immediately prior to the Thanksgiving holiday; for the Winter Term they are posted on the Friday before Reading Week, and for the Summer Term they are individually noted on the Arts and Science Online syllabi. Students should delay finalizing any travel plans until after the examination schedule has been posted. Exams will not be moved or deferred to accommodate employment, travel/holiday plans or flight reservations.


Professor Kenton Ko (

Instructor message

I am a Professor in the Department of Biology at Queen’s University. I have been teaching a variety of courses here at Queen’s for over 20 years, from introductory biology to the commercialization of biological research at the graduate level. I tend to be experim
ental in my teaching approaches and have taught in many ways, from traditional lectures to lectures as study sessions. I also offer a course on the business of science where we study various aspects of the plant biotechnology industry using experiential approaches. For me, this online course represents an opportunity to develop online approaches that build on my experiences acquired from the different courses.

As a scientist, I have 30 years of experience conducting research on various molecular problems using a range of organisms, from bacteria to plants. My main research focus is on protein transport mechanisms and rhomboid proteins. I have expertise from gene characterization to protein engineering. My team routinely manipulates genes for these research endeavors. I also have expertise in conducting applied research and have considerable experience in commercialization and the business of science.

Time Commitment

To complete the readings, assignments, and course activities, students can expect to spend on average, about 111 hours on the course.

Additional Information

NOTE Also offered online. Consult Arts and Science Online. NOTE Also offered at the Bader International Study Centre, Herstmonceux. Learning Hours may vary.

Course Resources


SOLUS is Queen’s Student On-Line University System. You’ll have access to a SOLUS account once you become a Queen’s student. You’ll use SOLUS to register for courses, add and drop courses, update your contact information, view financial and academic information, and pay your tuition.

About OnQ

onQ is Queen's online learning platform. You'll log into onQ to access your course. All materials related to your course—notes, readings, videos, recordings, discussion forums, assignments, quizzes, groupwork, tutorials, and help—will be on the onQ site.

About Credit Units

Queen’s courses are weighted in credit units. A typical one-term course is worth 3.0 units, and a typical two-term course is worth 6.0 units. You combine these units to create your degree. A general (three-year) BA or BSc requires a total of 90 credit units.

Computer Requirements

To take an online course, you’ll need a high speed internet connection as well as a microphone and speakers to be able to watch videos, hear sounds, and participate in interactive online activities. A webcam is recommended but not necessary.

System Requirements:

Computer Specifications

  • Windows 8.1 or newer
  • OSX 10.13 (High Sierra) or newer
  • Dual Core 2 GHz processor
  • 4 GB RAM
  • Soundcard
  • USB Headset
  • Webcam

Supported Browsers

  • Chrome (preferred - latest version)
  • Firefox (latest version)
  • Safari is not recommended as it causes several known issues in onQ
  • Edge is not recommended as it causes several known issues in onQ

Internet Connection

  • Wired high speed access: Cable or better
  • Wifi is not recommended


  • Latest version

Media Player

  • Flash (latest version)

Adobe Reader

  • Latest Version


The deadlines for new applications to Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are in our Upcoming Application Dates section.

Grading Scheme

The information below is intended for undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Academic Regulations in other Faculties may differ.

Letter Grade Grade Point

GPA Calculators
Have your SOLUS grade report handy and then follow the link to the Arts and Science GPA calculators.

How does this affect my academics?
See the GPA and Academic Standing page.

Follow the link above for an explanation of how the GPA system affects such things as the Dean’s Honour List, requirements to graduate, and academic progression.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Grading Scheme
Please follow this link to the FAQ's

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees vary depending when you start, your year, faculty, and program. Fees for Summer Term 2018 first-year Distance Career Arts & Science Domestic students are as follows: for a 3.0-unit course, $685.90; for a 6.0-unit course, $1371.80 See also Tuition and Fees.

Campus Bookstore

All textbooks, if required, can be purchased at Queen’s Campus Bookstore.

Non-Queen’s Students

All Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are open to students at other universities. Before applying as a visiting student, request a Letter of Permission from your home university that states that you have permission to take the course and apply it to your degree. See also Apply.

Academic Integrity

Please see Queen’s policy statement on academic integrity for information on how to complete an online course honestly.