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Unit information: Introduction to Stem Cells and Regeneration in 2020/21

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


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
  • Peer to peer learning via group discussion

Assessment Details

Summative Assessment:

  • Coursework (contributing a total of 100% to the unit).
  • 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 7% to module giving a total of 35%.
  • 1x essay contributing 35% to unit
  • 2x short answer question sets one of which will be based around group work. The group task will contribute 20% to the Unit and the second short answer question will contribute 10%, giving a total of 30%.

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

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.