MSc Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine
Stem cell and regenerative medicine is at the forefront of future therapies to repair diseased and damaged organs. On this masters course, experts from our Centre for Stem Cell Biology will train you in the latest human embryonic stem cell techniques.
Our researchers are working on challenges such as hearing loss by developing ways to combine auditory stem cells with cochlear implants. A centre for excellence for stem cell research, clinical grade, human stem cell lines developed here at the University of Sheffield are now distributed by the UK Stem Cell bank for potential use in medical therapies and research.
Our department is home to state-of-the-art light microscopy and electron microscopy facilities, drug and RNAi screening facilities, and proteomics and single cell omics facilities. This means we can provide training in the analysis of biological systems from the molecular and cellular level to tissues and whole organisms.
Course Director: Professor Steve Winder
If you have any questions about this course, contact our admissions office.
T: +44 (0)114 222 2319
You can also visit us throughout the year:
|About the course||
This 12-month course has been built around our knowledge of stem cells to offer specialist practical and lecture modules on how they can be applied to new treatments. Possible topics include human embryonic stem cell culture techniques, developmental genetics and tissue engineering – a full list of current modules is given below. You'll also get training in the skills every professional scientist needs, such as research ethics and literature analysis.
The biggest part of your degree will be your research project, which you'll be able to work on based in our Centre for Stem Cell Biology. You'll be working alongside professional scientists, and under the supervision of one of our academic staff, either based here in Biomedical Science or in a related department at the University of Sheffield, depending on your project. They'll train you to use the specialist equipment that you'll need to complete your project, and provide support to help you design your experiments, analyse your results and present your findings.
Throughout your degree, you'll be taught through lectures, practical sessions and lab placements. The course is designed to build on your undergraduate studies or related work experience so that you can gain the specialist knowledge and practical skills required for a great career in regenerative medicine, including further study at PhD level.
Example projects include:
For this course, we usually ask for a good upper second class (2:1) honours degree, or equivalent, in a biomedical or related subject such as biochemistry, genetics, zoology, cell biology or biochemistry. Applicants with relevant work experience and good academic potential are also encouraged to apply.
We can also accept equivalent qualifications from other countries. You can find out which qualifications we accept from your country on the University's webpages for international students.
English Language Requirements
If you have not already studied in a country where English is the majority language, it is likely that you will need to have an English language qualification. We usually ask for:
You can find out whether you need to have an english language qualification, and which other English language qualifications we accept, on the University's webpages for international students.
The English Language Teaching Centre offers English language courses for students who are preparing to study at the University of Sheffield.
|Fees and funding||
Up-to-date fees and funding opportunities can be found on the University of Sheffield's webpages for postgraduate students. These may include scholarships for home and international students and a 10% discount for University of Sheffield graduates.
Compulsory modules – students take all four:
Evaluation of Research Information
Before starting on the laboratory component of their research, project students must undertake an in depth survey of the literature relevant to the project and prepare a research proposal. Students will be required to carry out an exhaustive search of material relevant to their project using the resources of the University, including the web. This will involve primarily private study by the student under the direction of the project supervisor who will meet with the student at regular intervals to ensure satisfactory progress.
|Laboratory Research Project||
The unit aims to provide students with experience of laboratory research and develop their practical and organisational skills required for a career in science. Students undertake a project related to their area of specialization which reflects the research activities in the Department. Projects will run in the laboratories of the research groups and although students will have contact with various staff, each student will have an identified member of staff as their project supervisor. Students will gain experience of experimental design and execution and in the collation, interpretation and presentation of data. Assessment of the project will be based on; a written report, laboratory performance, delivery and defence of an oral presentation, a poster presentation and an oral examination.
|Critical Analysis of Current Science||
This unit is designed to develop the student’s ability to read and understand the scientific literature relating to their own research area and also enable them to integrate their own work into the wider scientific field. The unit consists of three components; a tutorial/seminar programme of up to 16 tutorial sessions designed to develop student skills in reading, understanding and criticising scientific literature; attendance at departmentally organised review lectures covering broad areas of science delivered by internationally recognised scientists; participation in all support sessions provided by the research groups in support of their research programme. Each component would be assessed separately with written reports, some undertaken under formal examination conditions.
|Ethics, Law and Public Awareness of Science||
This unit introduces an outline of the legislative limitations and ethical influences on biomedical science. It will address how these are influenced by public attitudes and explore how these, in turn, are influenced by the scientific community. The unit will contain a factual and objective core, however students will be encouraged to explore, develop and express their own beliefs and value systems.
Practical modules – students take both:
|Human Embryonic Stem Cell Culture Techniques||
The unit will be a practical, laboratory based course in which students will learn to culture human embryonic stem (hES) cells and their malignant equivalent, embryonal carcinoma cells. The course will be an intensive two week program in which students will maintain cultures of hES cells, and carry out experiments to determine the expression of marker antigens and genes used to identify the stem cells and monitor their differentiation. They will learn and apply techniques for genetic manipulation of hES cells, and methods for inducing their differentiation. The practical work will be supplemented by lectures directly linked to specific practical sessions.
|Practical Cell Biology||
The practical unit will provide students with experience of practical cell biology. Students will be given the opportunity to establish and optimise ELISA-based assays for the endocytic pathway and the role of the cytoskeleton will be investigated in aspects of the endocytic process using inhibitors and fluorescence microscopy of fixed cells. Particular emphasis will be placed on the development, execution and interpretation of experimental protocols as is standard practice in a research laboratory.
Numbers of participants may be restricted on practical modules in order to maintain an effective laboratory learning experience.
Lecture modules – students choose two:
|Modelling Human Disease||
This unit aims to provide students with an understanding of the way that post-genomic developmental biology is impacting on our ability to understand, and treat, human disease. Students will be introduced to some of the major0 experimental systems and approaches that are pertinent to disease modelling. These include genetically-tractable animal model systems, in vitro cellular systems, including stem cells, and bioinformatics. The principles involved in establishing how these systems can be exploited to develop new strategies for regeneration, and the prevention of degeneration, will be explored. Lectures will be interspersed with critical evaluations of primary research papers, so that students gain experience of analysing experimental work, data presentation and interpretation of results.
|Stem Cell Biology||
This lecture course will provide a thorough grounding in the biology of stem cells and regenerative medicine, with special reference to the molecular and genetic control of cell fate specification and differentiation. Students will also be encouraged to consider the clinical use of stem cells and their derivatives as well as the ethical issues that these raise. As this is a rapidly developing field, strong emphasis will be placed on understanding the current controversies in the literature.
|Tissue Engineering in Biomedical Science||
The aim of this unit is to equip students with knowledge and understanding of the fundamental principles of tissue engineering. It will also develop their ability to evaluate current and potential tissue engineering applications, and to make suggestions for novel approaches.
The modules listed above are examples from the current academic year. There may be some changes before you start your course.
The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research, funding changes, professional accreditation requirements, student or employer feedback, outcomes of reviews, and variations in staff or student numbers.