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Unit information: Introduction to Stem Cells and Regeneration in 2021/22

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 Professor. Whittington
Open unit status Not open




School/department Bristol Medical School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

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 encourage the student to consider the differences between types of stem cells. The use of stem cells has a range of complex ethical and legal considerations and students will explore and discuss their views of this. In addition, this unit will introduce basic laboratory culturing techniques relevant to stem cells.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students successfully completing this module will:

  • Gain a thorough understanding of basic stem cell biology and be able to compare and contrast the characteristics of different stem cell types.
  • Understand the basic concept of regenerative medicine and how endogenous and exogenous mechanisms contribute to this.
  • Critically evaluate research in the field of stem cells and be able to articulate views on the use of stem cells for research and treatment within broad legal and ethical contexts.
  • Be able to describe laboratory techniques of relevance to the culturing of stem cells and consider their potential uses and limitations.

Teaching Information

  • Web-based audio lectures and practicals
  • Self-directed study
  • On-line discussion forums
  • Peer to peer learning via groupwork
  • Online synchronous discussion sessions

Assessment Information

Coursework will contribute 100% to the summative assessment for this Unit:

  • 1 group task including online discussion and group writing (45%)
  • 1x essay (2000 words) contributing 55% unit.

Formative assessment

  • Sets of multiple-choice questions (MCQ) to support students engagement with asynchronous material
  • critical paper review to help students understand how to read papers prior to the completion of the summative essay.

Online synchronous sessions will provide support through the Unit including for the coursework tasks. Students will be given formative feedback on all written assessments to aid their learning.

The pass-mark for the unit is 50%.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. CSSBM1011).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.