Skip to main content

Unit information: Introduction to Stem Cells and Regeneration in 2015/16

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Introduction to Stem Cells and Regeneration
Unit code CSSBM1011
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Caldwell
Open unit status Not open




School/department Bristol Medical School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences


The aim of this unit is to introduce the general concept and rationale of stem cell research and regenerative medicine to the student. Content will cover the basic biology of stem cells and regeneration leading onto examples of current research and clinical practice. In addition this unit will introduce general research principles, experimental design and will begin with a welcome lecture describing the course, the course web-site and access to University resources.

Intended learning outcomes

Students successfully completing this module will:

  • Be able to navigate the course website, access the University’s electronic resources, submit their coursework via Blackboard and contribute to on-line discussion forums.
  • Be able to discuss the important issues for consideration in research methodology for this field and be aware of the statistically methods available for data analysis.
  • Gain a good understanding of basic stem cell biology, how these can be manipulated and used in research.
  • Be aware of biological and ethical differences between adult, foetal and embryonic stem cells.
  • Understand the basic concept of regenerative medicine and how endogenous and exogenous mechanisms contribute to this.
  • Be aware of the current limitations of these approaches in the basic and clinical setting.
  • Be able to describe the techniques required to capture light and confocal microscopic images of immunostained samples

Teaching details

  • Web-based Audio Lectures and Seminars
  • Web-based tutorials and practicals
  • Self-directed study
  • On-line discussion forums

Assessment Details

Summative Assessment:

  • Coursework (contributing a total of 60% to the module).
  • 5 sets of multiple choice questions (MCQ) of a simple format (e.g. select an answer from a short number of options, true/false) each contributing 5% to module giving a total of 25%.
  • 1x essay contributing 20% to module
  • 3x short answer question sets or extended MCQs each contributing 5% to module giving a total of 15%

Please note that students will be given formative feedback on all coursework assessment where appropriate.

  • Written Exams (contributing a total of 40% to the module and taken in Bristol)
  • Essay paper - contributing 27%
  • MCQ paper – contributing 13%

Contribution reflects time spent in each exam (2hrs essay, 1hr MCQ).

The pass-mark for the module will be 50%. However students will be required to reach a minimum standard in both their coursework and their written exam. As such only 5% compensation between the total coursework element and the total exam element will be allowed.

Reading and References

General background information on stem cells and regenerative medicine can be found at: For each lecture, seminar, tutorial students will be given a reading list composed of journal and review articles, websites and book chapters. Due to the novelty of this field and the postgraduate nature of this programme we do not feel there are suitable textbooks to recommend for this module.