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University of Birmingham: Stem Cell Biology and Application

Institution University of Birmingham View institution profile
Department School of Biomedical Science
Study type Taught


Stem cell science, ranging from basic biology to practical application, is a large and diverse subject. A full appreciation of it requires an understanding of cell and molecular biology, tissue structure and physiology, the practicalities of tissue engineering and bioprocessing, the pathways to implementation in medical and veterinary practice and industry, and ethical and regulatory considerations.

The MSc Stem Cell Biology and Application will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of these unique cells, highlighting key areas of research and technologies, and encompassing vertebrate, invertebrate and plant aspects of stem cell biology. Emphasis will be placed on cutting-edge technologies used in stem cell science, such as bioinformatics and gene editing, and on existing or potential stem cell applications, both in medicine and economically relevant animals and plants.

Modules in the first semester will provide a foundation of understanding of basic principles of stem cells and the methods used to study them, especially bioinformatics, and will cover molecular and cellular aspects of the way in which stem cells are controlled, emphasising how diseases can arise when the normal balance is disturbed. During the second part of the first semester and the first part of the second semester, you will be given a perspective on the range of stem cell types, including their involvement in the development of organisms and their diversity across the animal and plant kingdoms. Emphasis will be placed on the current and potential applications of stem cells, particularly in a clinical context, and you will gain an appreciation of the multidisciplinary approaches that are required in order to make this possible. A thread of legal, ethical, and social implications will run throughout the programme.

Across the full year, you will engage in a research project, using a stem cell-based platform to achieve gene editing in order to create your own model of a genetic disease or to explore the function of a particular gene.

Why study this course? - We're ranked in the world top 100 for Medicine (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021)

  • Our academics are actively researching stem cell issues and developing new therapies

  • As a leading UK university for bioinformatics, with expertise in gene editing, you will benefit from high-quality practical training


University of Birmingham


The University of Birmingham is a truly vibrant, global community of staff, students and researchers. As a founding Russell Group member and consistent top 100 university, Birmingham is recognised internationally for excellence in teaching and research and provides the best possible teaching, research facilities and support services to ensure postgraduates reach the peak of their potential.

With over 600 taught programmes and a wealth of research opportunities to choose from, Birmingham has one of the most extensive postgraduate course portfolios in the UK enabling you to work and study alongside world-leading academics in a diverse, multicultural community …

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