Stem Cell Technology and Regenerative Medicine MSc

 
  

Fact file

Qualification
MSc Stem Cell Technology and Regenerative Medicine
Duration
1 year full-time
Entry requirements
Candidates must normally be graduates of an approved university, or other institution of higher education. The minimum requirement for entry is a 2(i) degree or equivalent.
Other requirements
Candidates with a 2(ii) degree or equivalent will be considered if they can demonstrate practical skills through, for example, working in industry or academia for at least 6 months. Completion of a previous degree studied in the English language does not automatically exempt applicants from requiring one of the above English qualifications. Candidates without a biology-based first degree must have A level biology (or equivalent) at Grade B or above
IELTS
6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
October
Campus
University Park
School/department
Tuition fees
You can find fee information on our fees table.
 

Overview

This pioneering course combines taught modules with a high level of practical lab-based research. 
Read full overview

 

Aim

This pioneering course aims to maximise the employability of students. Our track record shows 90% of graduates secure stem cell technology-related posts including PhDs, positions in industry and government-funded agencies (e.g. stem cell banks).

The course content has been designed in consultation with stem cell experts and potential employers in biotechnology, academia, industry and bodies regulating stem cells, to provide the necessary expertise to compete in an ever changing world.

 

Key Facts

  • This is the original and longest-running MSc Stem Cell Technology course in the UK; since 2007 it has been providing a unique blend of interdisciplinary expertise to students.
  • The course is 12 months full-time study from October to September, of which 40% is lab-based.
  • Taught modules comprise cell and molecular biology, embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells, adult stem cells, clinically-relevant regenerative medicine, ethics of stem cell technology, and new for 2013, translational technologies for stem cells.
  • Nottingham is in the top 1% of world universities 
  • The University is set in a beautiful campus, and its eco-friendly credentials mean it is ranked first in the world (UI Greenmetric World University 2011.) A safe and attractive setting with very low crime statistics when compared with large city centre campuses.
 

Highlights

  • Teaching is by leading research scientists who are working at the cutting edge of new developments, ensuring the most recent research is integrated into the course.
  • Teaching also incorporates guest speakers recognised as international experts in the stem cell technology field, including clinicians who want to use stem cells in regenerative medicine.
  • Student feedback indicates that a highlight is the individual full-time three-month lab-based project. This provides insight into current high quality research, and is undertaken in world-class facilities within the Wolfson Centre for Stem Cells, Tissue Engineering and Modelling (STEM).
  • Students learn a broad range of transferrable skills including critical analysis, data handling, oral and written skills. A highlight is the business plan competition, which concludes in a Dragon’s Den-style pitch.
  • A maximum of 16 students gives excellent staff/student ratios, small tutor groups and a supportive learning environment.
 

Testimonials

This course is internationally leading in the field. There are other courses in the UK in this area but based on its curriculum and quality of teaching this one leads.
 

- Professor Neil Hanley, External Examiner 2007-2011

Find out what our past students say

See where our students have come from

 

Who can apply?

This intensive but highly interdisciplinary course is suitable for those with a science related background, for example from biology, physical science or bioengineering degrees. In addition, it is suitable for business, mathematics, and medicine graduates who wish to continue in their chosen disciplines with stem cell specialisations.

Candidates must normally be graduates of an approved university, or other institution of higher education with at least a 2:1 degree or equivalent preferred but a high 2:2 with additional experience (eg science-related work) may be considered acceptable.  English Language minimum requirement: 6.5 in the IELTS exam (no less than 6.0 in any element) or 87 in the TOEFL IBT with no less than 21 in listening, 22 in reading, 23 in speaking and 21 in writing.

 

 

 

Course details

 

Structure

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.

Content

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.

 

Clinical Applications

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.

 

 

 
 

Modules

 

This course comprises five taught modules:

Cell, Developmental and Molecular Biology

The introductory module has been specifically designed to cover the basic underlying biology required for a clear understanding of stem cell types and their function.

Contact time: 148 hours (33h lectures, 18 hours tutorials, 97 hours laboratory)

Private study time: 102 hours

Embryonic Stem Cells

The purpose of this module is to provide students with a detailed understanding of the biology, culture, derivation, differentiation ethics and commercialization of human and mouse embryonic stem cells. The practical sessions within the course will provide laboratory experience of the range of the range of techniques in current use for culture, differentiation and transfection of these cells. The tutorial sessions are designed to explore the legislation, clinical application and current obstacles to commercialization of these cells, in addition to covering critical evaluation of embryonic stem cell experimental design.

Adult and Foetal Stem Cells

This module provides coverage of a broad range of adult and fetal stem cell types, including haematopoeitic, mesenchymal, neural and cord blood cells, with emphasis on both basic biology and clinical applications. Laboratory training in culture and differentiation of adult stem cells is provided. Tutorial sessions cover ethical issues, the clinical facilites required for human stem cell transplantation and criticial analysis of high profile stem cell papers. 



Contact time: 112.5 hours (29h lectures, 11.5 hours tutorials, 72 hours laboratory)

Private study time: 137.5 hours

Research Skills and Stem Cell Technology Exploitation

In addition to providing the presentation and analytical skills required to assess and pursue further stem cell opportunities, students will undertake a group-based Business Plan project, within which they will gain experience in business development, intellectual property exploitation and the ethical and legal frameworks that govern stem cell developments. 



Contact time: 44 hours (4.5h lectures, 39.5 hours tutorials)

Private study time: 133.5 hours

Translational Technologies for Stem Cells 

As stem cell technologies develop further, there is a need to translate their use towards biomedical and clinical applications. 

This module will cover four core areas: 

1) Clinical and experimental applications for stem cells. Students will gain an appreciation of how stem cells can be used in drug development and understanding genetic disease, through to how stem cells are prepared for clinical use. It will also consider the challenges facing these tasks; 

2) Scalability and application of stem cells will convey the challenges of using automation and bioreactors to produce the quantities of cells required for clinical and biomedical use; 

3) Tissue engineering approaches for stem cells will focus of this module is on the challenges of delivering stem cells for clinical transplantation. Studies of the 3D culture of cells in bioreactor systems and the use of engineered scaffolds for optimal stem cell culture and tissue growth illustrate the application of cutting edge technologies to biological applications; 4) Interdisciplinary research will expose the students to state-of-the-art advances of the interface between stem cell biology and physical science techniques. This growing field is needed to overcome the engineering challenges required to translate stem cells into biomedical applications.



Contact time: 67 hours (Lectures / tutorials = 27 hours; Practicals = 40 hours); Private study time = 140 hours

and a research project:

Regenerative Medicine Research Project

Summer projects offer real experience.  During the summer semester, you will undertake a three-month, 60-credit research project and produce a dissertation.  From May to August all our students work on real projects that are aligned with academics working at the cutting edge of research.

Project Options

Each year, our students have a choice of around 21 different projects. We've listed a few of the titles below to give you an idea of what might be available.

  • Generating a hepatoblast cell line to make liver cells from human pluripotent stem cells.
  • Improving the epigenetic stability of human pluripotent stem cells.
  • Genetic modification to direct differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells
  • Recreating tissue micro-architectures for developmental biology models and tissue engineering.
  • Characterization of epithelial cell differentiation on electrosplun scaffolds
  • Engineering a biomimetic model of human artery.
  • Tissue engineering in hostile environments: how inflammation effects bone repair.
  • Understanding heart disease using human induced pluripotent stem cell lines.
  • The influence of epigenetics in neural stem cells and brain tissue
  • Dissecting the genetic and hormonal regulation of the root stem cell niche.
 

 

The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.

 
 

Funding

 

UK/EU Students

Home students are advised to contact their local Training and Enterprise Council about career development loans. 

The Graduate School at The University of Nottingham also provides more information on internal and external sources of postgraduate funding.

International Students

The University of Nottingham International Office provides information of a variety of scholarships available on a competitive basis to international students. In addition,  students from eligible developing countries of the Commonwealth can apply for scholarships under the Developing Solutions International Scholarship Programme

EU and International students are also advised to examine funding opportunities arising from their own countries. 

See more information regarding Student Fees and Finance.

 
 

Careers

Stem Cell Technology MSc

The MSc in Stem Cell Technology will provide you with a diverse range of practical skills and vocational knowledge. Students who have completed the course are in the position to use the expertise gained to follow a number of varied career paths. 

Career possibilities include: 

  • Further academic studies (i.e. PhD)
  • Biotechnology sector research/sales
  • Stem cell business development
  • Stem cell banking
  • Stem cell patents
  • Stem cell clinical translation
  • Charity research development
  • Pharmaceutical industry
  • Stem cell regulatory bodies

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2016, 94.5% of postgraduates from the school who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £34,871 with the highest being £76,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates, 2015/16. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

 

 

Career prospects and employability

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers* and can offer you a head-start when it comes to your career.

Our Careers and Employability Service offers a range of services including advice sessions, employer events, recruitment fairs and skills workshops – and once you have graduated, you will have access to the service for life.

* The Graduate Market 2013-2016, High Fliers Research

 
 
 
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Disclaimer
This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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