MSc Transfusion and Transplantation Sciences

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Awards available MSc , PG Certificate (Postgraduate Certificate), PG Diploma (Postgraduate Diploma)
Programme length one year full-time;
two to three years part-time
Part-time study available Yes
Part-time study requires attendance during the daytime on weekdays. Students attend the University from Monday to Friday for eight weeks each academic year (in four two-week blocks).
Open to international students Yes
Start date September 2017

Programme overview

This programme offers a fascinating range of subjects, including molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry, microbiology, immunology, tissue engineering, clinical medicine, laboratory management and statistics. 

It is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science and is based at one of the largest transfusion centres in the world, enabling visits to manufacturing, testing and tissue typing sections. You will learn from specialist lecturers from the University, NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), and NHS hospitals, and have an opportunity to become fully embedded in an NHS environment while you develop your knowledge.

The programme will give you extensive practical experience of transfusion and transplantation, allowing you to gain skills that directly relate to your future career. As well as being academically interesting, this continually developing area of healthcare science has a major impact on patients' quality of life.

The programme:

  • is one of just two specialist full-time courses in transfusion and transplantation, and is a recommended course at level seven in the Career Framework for Health
  • is based at NHS Blood and Transplant in Filton
  • gives you the opportunity to carry out your MSc project with NHSBT research staff within the transfusion centre
  • has high contact hours, with teaching each day and practical classes
  • includes a large skills component (eg writing in different formats, conference and publication skills, assignments with specific study aims)
  • includes laboratory management, a key skill required at level seven
  • attracts a diverse range of students (about 50 per cent overseas students), including new graduates, those working in blood centres or blood transfusion/haematology in hospitals, or training to lecture in transfusion

Visit the school web pages to find out more about this programme and watch a video featuring interviews with students.

Fees for 2017/18

Full-time fees


Part-time fees


Fees quoted are per annum and subject to annual increase.

Alumni scholarship

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a ten per cent reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni scholarship.

Funding for 2017/18

Commonwealth Shared Scholarships are available for applicants from developing Commonwealth countries applicants (around January 2017). Students must fulfil the English language requirements for the course before applying for this scholarship. Chevening Scholarships available for many overseas students. Marshall Scholarships are available for US citizens.

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Programme structure

The programme comprises eight taught units that run from September to March and a research project that begins in May and runs until August. Example project topics have included:

  • A study on red cell antibody formation in trauma patients
  • Optimisation of platelet antigen detection using recombinant proteins
  • Expression of red cell membrane proteins during large-scale red cell culture
  • A comparison of stem cell mobilisation drugs for stem cell transplantation

Taught units

  • Transfusion and Transplantation Science: Includes the basics of haemopoiesis, blood group molecular genetics, the structure and function of platelets, haemostasis and HLA genes and proteins.
  • Pathology of Transfusion and Transplantation Science: This covers the basis of haematological diseases such as sickle cell disease and haemophilia  It also covers immunology, followed by the effect of red cell and platelet antibodies on the adult and foetus.
  • Provision of Blood, Cells, Tissues and Organs: Where and how do we get our blood? How and why do we test it? What components can we make and store? Lectures also include product development and how processes can make components safer.
  • Clinical Transfusion and Transplantation: This unit provides insight into organ transplantation, engineered tissues, stem cell transplants and clinical blood transfusion. It also covers laboratory investigation and management of complications associated with these procedures.
  • Transfusion and Transplantation in Practice (two units): These units comprise practical classes designed to expose students to many different types of technology used in transfusion and transplantation laboratories.
  • Biostatistics: This units teaches the principles of experimental design including basic, intermediate and some advanced statistical methods required to interpret published data and to analyse new data generated from clinical and laboratory research. The unit also includes interactive workshop teaching sessions dealing with planning, design of experiments and statistical analysis of results.
  • Research and Laboratory Management: This unit provides an understanding of the manager’s role in maintaining a quality system in a blood bank or blood establishment, how this is applied and its role in accreditation and licensing purposes. The unit will also cover clinical audit and any new UK developments in the structure and management of blood transfusion services. The second part of the unit covers the process of research, writing a grant application, ethics, governance and the actual management of a project.

Assessments are designed to teach skills such as comprehension, scientific writing in different formats and conference skills, and to further knowledge in subject areas not covered in the lectures. Students must pass the taught component to be able to progress to the project.

Part-time students complete the Postgraduate Certificate components in their first year and the Postgraduate Diploma in the second. The project is usually taken during year three to complete the MSc.

Entry requirements

An upper second-class honours degree (or equivalent) in medicine, biomedical science/clinical laboratory science or related subjects. A lower second-class honours or non-degree qualifications may be considered with evidence of laboratory experience and other academic achievement.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Application method Online application form
English language requirements Profile C
Further information about English language requirements
Admissions statement Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.


Some of the career paths that graduates have followed include: blood transfusion and fetal medicine research, working for a bone marrow donor laboratory or bone marrow registry, biostatistics, graduate entry to medical school, NHS Clinical Scientist Training programme, and progression to PhD study in several areas including cancer biology and stem cell regeneration.

How to apply
Application deadline:

31 July 2017

International students

Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, and the support we offer to international students.

I chose Bristol because of its outstanding academic reputation. It's reassuring to be taught by people who truly love their subject - their passion becomes contagious.


REF 2014 results

  • 31% of research is world-leading (4 star)
  • 48% of research is internationally excellent (3 star)
  • 20% of research is recognised internationally (2 star)
  • 1% of research is recognised nationally (1 star)

Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.

Get in touch

Dr Tricia Denning-Kendall Programme Director Phone: +44 (0) 117 921 7344 Email:

Education Administrator Phone: +44 (0) 117 331 1534 Email:

NHSBT Filton
500 Northway
North Bristol Park
Bristol BS34 7QH


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