Catalogue of Modules, University of Nottingham

A34ESC Embryonic Stem Cells
(Last Updated:06 September 2017)

Year  17/18

Total Credits: 30

Level: Level 4

Target Students:  Only available to M.Sc. Stem Cell Technology students There is a limited number of places on this module. Students are reminded that enrolments which are not agreed by the Offering School in advance may be cancelled without notice.  Available to JYA/Erasmus students.

Taught Semesters:

Autumn Assessed by end of Autumn Semester 

Prerequisites: None.

Corequisites:  None.

Summary of Content:  This module focuses on the stem cell lines derived from both mouse and human preimplantation embryos, covering their derivation, culture and differentiation, the regulation of pluripotency and the widely variable international regulatory systems that govern their use. Contact time: 119 hours (28h lectures, 12 hours tutorials, 79 hours laboratory) Private study time: 131 hours

Method and Frequency of Class:

ActivityNumber Of WeeksNumber of sessionsDuration of a session
Lecture 11 weeks5 per week1 hour
Tutorial 11 weeks1 per week1 hour
Practical 11 weeks2 per week5 hours

Activities may take place every teaching week of the Semester or only in specified weeks. It is usually specified above if an activity only takes place in some weeks of a Semester

Method of Assessment: 

Assessment TypeWeightRequirements
Exam 1 10 Rogo MCQ exam - 50 questions in 60 minutes 
Coursework 1 20 Lab performance, tutor assessment of lab skills 
Report 30 Lab Report - 4,000 words 
Exam 2 20 Short answer question exam - 5 questions based on scenarios/ diagrams/ brief questions in 60 minutes 
Exam 3 20 1 hour Essay exam - Essay from choice of two 

Dr A Thompson

Education Aims:  The purpose of this module is to provide students with a detailed understanding of the biology, culture, derivation, differentiation ethics and commercialization of human and mouse embryonic stem cells. The practical sessions within the course will provide laboratory experience of the range of the range of techniques in current use for culture, differentiation and transfection of these cells. The tutorial sessions are designed to explore the legislation, clinical application and current obstacles to commercialization of these cells, in addition to covering critical evaluation of embryonic stem cell experimental design.

Learning Outcomes:  This module will contribute to the following M.Sc. in Stem Cell Technology course learning outcomes: Knowledge and understanding A student who completes this course successfully will know and understand: Aspects of basic molecular and developmental biology relevant to stem cell science Origins and diversity of embryonic stem cell types. The current role of stem cells in clinical applications, tissue engineering, commerce and basic research Principles of embryonic and adult stem cell derivation, culture, differentiation, transfection, tissue engineering and exploitation The current international legislative, social, ethical, legal and commercial frameworks relevant to stem cell technologies Principles of experimental design, research methods and critical data analysis; Good Laboratory Practice The curriculum provides purpose-designed lectures to ensure appropriate coverage of the topic, with many features reinforced and further explored in the practical classes. The assessed practical reports and essay will encourage the students to undertake private research into the relevant topics, providing further knowledge Intellectual skills A student who completes this course successfully will be able to: Demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of essential facts, concepts, principles and theories relating to each course module. Collate and critically analyse scientific data / arguments to enable clear and correct oral or written presentation to both lay and specialist audiences. Debate the socio-ethical issues surrounding stem cell technologies The essay, practical reports and discussion/critique sessions will enable the students to express research findings in three different formats. Practical Skills A student who completes this course successfully will be able to: Apply numeracy and calculative skills to enable experimental design and data analysis / interpretation. Aseptically culture and differentiate embryonic stem cells in the absence of antibiotics Perform molecular and cell-based assays to determine cell identity and function The practical component of the curriculum is designed to provide experience in state of the art techniques of embryonic stem cell culture. The application of these methods will be described in both the practical classes and in relevant lectures. Understanding of theory will be tested by the multiple choice and short answer exam questions, as well as in the assessed practical reports Transferable (key) skills A student who completes this course successfully will be able to: Communicate effectively both with scientific professionals and the public using a variety of formats, including technical writing, oral and poster presentations, and discussions. Effectively time-manage, as evidenced by the ability to plan, self motivate and implement efficient modes of working. Exploit a range of information sources to enable effective problem solving, research implementation and research reporting. Show an ethical attitude to research Demonstrate information technology skills, including word processing, bibliography management and internet communication. Display evidence-based critical learning Research for the essay and practical reports will encourage the use of a wide range of available resources and the feedback on these assessments will ensure continued development. Students will undertake an online ENDNOTE tutorial as part of module 5 (A34RTS) and will be expected to practice use of this in all assignments within the current module. Students will be encouraged to practice the presentation skills learned in Module 5 (A34RTS) within the essay and practical reports within the current module. Discussion sessions in tutorials will encourage critical thinking. Written feedback given in the essay/ lab reports and oral feedback given in the tutorial sessions will assist in understanding of skill development.

Offering School:  Medicine

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