MSc Transfusion and Transplantation Sciences

A specialised course taught by experts covering the science underpinning transfusion and transplantation

Why study this MSc?

Programme details

For key details, including programme units, fees and entry requirements, please vist the prospectus.

Application notes

See an example personal statement (PDF, 7kB) written by a previous applicant.


International applicants from qualifying countries can be nominated for the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme (CSSS).

Why study transfusion and transplantation?

The course includes a fascinating range of subject areas such as molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry, microbiology, immunology, tissue engineering, clinical medicine and statistics all of which are involved in the practice of transfusion or transplantation. Apart from being academically interesting, this continually developing area of healthcare science impacts greatly on the quality of life of patients.

The course has several qualities:

  • One of a few specialist courses in transfusion and transplantation.
  • Accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science.
  • Uniquely, based at a one of the largest transfusion centres in the world, enabling visits to the manufacturing, testing and tissue typing sections.
  • Has modern lecture rooms and laboratories.
  • High contact hours with teaching each day and includes practical classes.
  • Has a large array of UK specialist lecturers from within the University, NHS Blood and Transplant and NHS hospitals.
  • Students can carry out their MSc projects with NHSBT research staff within the transfusion centre.
  • Attracts students from many countries and includes new graduates, those working in blood centres and in blood transfusion/haematology in hospitals or training to lecture in transfusion.
  • Has a large skills component such as writing in different formats, conference and publication skills and assignments with specific study aims.

Career opportunities

Below are examples of careers that graduates have followed:

  • Progression to PhD in several areas including cancer as the course gives a broad foundation.
  • Research in blood transfusion.
  • Working for a bone marrow donor laboratory.
  • Entry to NHS Cinical Scientist Trainee scheme
  • Graduate entry to medical school.
  • NHSBT Statistician

Taught units

  1. Transfusion and Transplantation Science
    This arms students with the basics of haemopoiesis, blood group molecular genetics, the structure and function of platelets, haemostasis and the HLA genes and proteins.
  2. Pathology of Transfusion and Transplantation Science
    This aims to explain the basis of haematological diseases such as sickle cell disease and haemophilia where transfusion support is required. It also covers a grounding in immunology, followed by the effect of red cell and platelet antibodies on the adult and fetus and their identification.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Transfusion and Transplantation in Practice (2 units)
    These units comprise practical classes designed to expose students to many different types of technology used in transfusion and transplantation laboratories.
  6. Biostatistics
    This unit 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 the statistical analysis of results. 
  7. 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 licencing 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, conference skills and to further knowledge in subject areas not covered in the lectures.

Contact us

Dr Tricia Denning-Kendall
500 Northway
North Bristol Park
BS34 7QH


This course targets high-quality graduates in medicine, or biomedical science/clinical laboratory science or related subjects such as biochemistry and microbiology. Lower second-class honours or non-degree qualifications may be considered if relevant laboratory experience or other academic achievement has been achieved.

Overseas applicants from qualifying countries can be nominated for Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme (CSSS) support.

The course has been fascinating and opened up an area of science that I had not previously covered. It is a challenging and very rewarding course which has consisted of many fun and well organised practicals which have been very helpful to reinforce and extend the content taught in lectures. I particularly enjoyed the statistics element of the course which, in combination with the scientific knowledge I’ve gained throughout the year, has enabled me to get a job in the statistics department at the NHS Organ Donation and Transplant Centre and begin a career related to transfusion and transplantation science, that without doing this course would not have been possible!"

Chloe Brown

Of the many great things about the course, the unique opportunity to study within an NHSBT centre, and be lectured by members of staff who are world-experts in their field is one of the highlights. There are many opportunities to learn laboratory techniques currently used within transfusion and transplantation science. In particular, the three-month research project is a great chance to develop and enhance your research skills, as well as experience life in a research lab. Although studying towards a Master’s is challenging, the staff are incredibly supportive and are always striving to improve your experience on the course. Having been fully integrated into the working life of the centre during my studies I was inspired to apply for the NHS STP programme in Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics. I have successfully been given a position at NHSBT, Tooting in order to pursue a career in Clinical Sciences"

Emma Rowe
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