Dr Virgine Sottile, Division of Cancer and Stem Cells, School of Medicine
The MSc Stem Cell Technology is taught on a full-time basis over one year (usually from October through to September).
The taught sections of the course occur in the autumn and spring semesters, during which you will be required to undertake five compulsory modules worth 120 credits in total.
During the summer semester, you will undertake a three-month, 60-credit research project and produce a dissertation.
Assessment is based on coursework assignments, essays and laboratory reports, as well as a business plan e-portfolio and written examinations.
You can expect to spend approximately 40% of the taught course practically based in the laboratory.
Research, IT and presentation skills courses have been purpose-designed for the MSc Stem Cell technology by the University's Graduate School.
The course content covers the following key areas:
Stem Cell Laboratory Techniques
Stem cell culture and the specialist analytical skills to evaluate stem cells form a significant part of the MSc course.
You will be given state of the art practical training in the following areas of stem cell research:
- Mouse and human embryonic stem cell culture
- Culture of various adult stem cell types
- Stem Cell Tissue Engineering
- Differentiation of stem cells
- Evaluation by PCR, FACS, imaging and cytogenetics
- Transfection and genetic modification
The skills and techniques you will learn are used throughout the entire MSc programme and you will have access to the modern facilities used by researchers in the Wolfson Centre for Stem Cells, Tissue Engineering and Modelling.
Legal/ Regulatory Frameworks and Business Opportunities
The future of stem cell technology is dependent on the complex regulatory frameworks being developed within individual countries to govern the use, patenting and commercialisation of stem cells. As such, the course places considerable emphasis on the latest developments and on highlighting the current issues.
You will have the opportunities to examine the wide range of varying policies in the UK and other countries. Through both tutor-led tutorials and student-led sessions, the key issues will be debated with experts in stem cell ethics, law and patenting.
The challenges of delivering stem cells to the clinic are explored at several levels during the course. Relevant to clinical translation, you will acquire skills and knowledge in the following areas:
- Growing cells in bioreactors and on scaffolds to enhance patient delivery
- The regulations governing clinical transplantation
- The production of clinical quality stem cells
- The principles of clinical trials
- Stem cell banking
Throughout the entire MSc course, emphasis is placed on the applications of the stem cell culture expertise gained in the research laboratory. Examples of clinical use of stem cell types will be discussed by leading clinicians.
The attention to experimental design, conducting research and analysing/presenting data is aimed to provide an insight into the nature of high quality research and allow you the opportunity to develop a specific area of current relevance.