Dementia (including a raft of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease) has recently become the leading cause of death in the UK. Stem cells are a novel and relatively young branch of scientific research that hold the potential for not only therapies but to be able to accurately model these distinctly human diseases.
This unique programme will offer students real-world perspectives from patients, carers, scientists and a range of health care professionals including world-leading experts on the impact of neurological diseases.
This programme offers cutting edge translational neuroscience focused on stem cells, neurodegenerative diseases, regeneration and models (both animal and cell). Furthermore the inclusion of patients and importantly their carers and the real-life impacts of these diseases on individuals will be a common thread running throughout this programme making it truly unique and exceptionally novel.
This programme is designed for medical and/or scientific professionals and aims to introduce students to the fields of neurodegenerative diseases, stem cells, industry and emerging therapeutic opportunities in regenerative / translational neurology. Overall students will gain the knowledge and understanding of the clinical, real-life impact and scientific realities of these fields and thus advance their own learning and be able to carry this forward into their future careers.
Therefore students will be introduced to a range of topics as they progress through the programme from introducing the basic anatomy, structure and development of the central nervous system, a critical understanding of stem cells including sources, locations and roles, an introduction to multiple neurodegenerative diseases (such as Alzheimer’s, Motor Neurone Disease and Parkinson’s disease), from both clinical and patient angles, before being introduced to in vitro and in vivo modelling of these diseases, neuroimaging techniques, stem cells and industry.
This part-time, fully online programme will support the need for up-to-date knowledge, skills and theory in a wide variety by the use of not only world leading clinical and scientific experts but also by using the real-life impacts as viewed by patients, the people who care for them and the frontline health professionals. All of this expertise will be presented utilising a range of techniques including: online lectures, practical studies, directed readings and other video and audio resources.
Discussion boards will provide directed assessment tasks while input from expert guest lecturers and tutors offer students opportunity for collaborative critical discourse and debate of current issues.
Within the programme, students can progress from Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits), to Postgraduate Diploma (120credits) and to Master of Science degrees (180 credits) as they successfully complete the required number of credits for each level and can therefore stop at any stage or continue onwards depending on their situation.
Composed of 4 core courses to provide the fundamental foundations for the Diploma and MSc but can also be taken as a self-contained PGCert. It will cover fundamental areas including key basic research skills (such as how to critically evaluate scientific manuscripts, as well as a basic understanding of statistics) whilst introducing students to the central nervous system, its basic anatomy and development and stem cells. In parallel students would cover an introduction to neurodegenerative diseases (that would include Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease and Motor Neurone Disease) before being introduced to in vitro and in vivo modelling of these diseases. Finally students would also learn about neuroimaging and its potential roles for scientific research.
Expands on the PGCert courses as well as introducing greater depth to novel areas such as the roles of pharma and industry with respect to stem cells. A proportion of the Diploma credits are elective and students will be assisted in choosing appropriate options from across the broad spectrum available from Edinburgh University that are relevant to their own situation, employment and career goals.
Students have the opportunity to explore a specialist area from within the broad spectrum of stem cells, regeneration and translational neuroscience in the form of either a dissertation, or, a structured project (the student would themselves have to source this if desired), which would aim to deliver a ‘real world’ project with a direct impact for an employer, organisation or personal goal. A third option available for students is a choice of 60 fully taught credits.
The minimum recommended time for completion of the full Masters programme is three years, and the maximum time for completion is six years. The Certificate and Diploma can be completed on a pro rata basis.
Postgraduate Professional Development (PPD)
Postgraduate Professional Development (PPD) is aimed at working professionals who want to advance their knowledge through a postgraduate-level course(s), without the time or financial commitment of a full Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate.
You may take a maximum of 50 credits worth of courses over two years through our PPD scheme. These lead to a University of Edinburgh postgraduate award of academic credit. Alternatively, after one year of taking courses you can choose to transfer your credits and continue on to studying towards a higher award on a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme.
Although PPD courses have various start dates throughout a year you may only start a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme in the month of September. Any time spent studying PPD will be deducted from the amount of time you will have left to complete a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme.
Potential career paths, exits routes and employers are very diverse and depend on the students chosen carer. For students working in a clinical environment this programme would offer them career advancement/specialism within their clinical setting.
For students coming from a scientific background there is the opportunity to improve carer prospects in laboratory research settings or alternatively to help in progressing to a PhD.
If you have a background in biomedical science, biology, medicine and life sciences, this course allows you to develop your knowledge in selected areas of biomedical science.
You gain advanced knowledge and understanding of the scientific basis of disease, with focus on the underlying cellular processes that lead to disease. You also learn about the current methods used in disease diagnosis and develop practical skills in our well-equipped teaching laboratories.
As well as studying the fundamentals of pathology, you can choose one specialist subject from • cellular pathology • microbiology and immunology • blood sciences. Your work focuses on the in vitro diagnosis of disease. You develop the professional skills needed to further your career. These skills include • research methods and statistics • problem solving • the role of professional bodies and accreditation • regulation and communication.
This course is taught by active researchers in the biomedical sciences who have on-going programmes of research in the Biomolecular Sciences Research Centre together with experts from hospital pathology laboratories.
Most of your practical work is carried out in our teaching laboratories which contain industry standard equipment for cell culture, quantitative nucleic acid and protein analysis and a sophisticated suite of analytical equipment such as HPLC and gas chromatography.
Many of our research facilities including flow cytometry, confocal microscopy and mass spectrometry are also used in taught modules and projects and our tutors are experts in these techniques.
The teaching on the course is split between formal lectures and tutorials, and laboratory-based work. A third of the course is a laboratory-based research project, where full-time students are assigned to a tutor who is an active research in the biomedical research centre. Part-time students carry out their research project within the workplace under the guidance of a workplace and university supervisor.
Three core modules each have two full-day laboratory sessions and the optional module applied biomedical techniques is almost entirely lab-based. Typically taught modules have a mixture of lectures and tutorials. The research methods and statistics modules are tutorial-led with considerable input from the course leader who acts as personal tutor.
The course content is underpinned by relevant high quality research. Our teaching staff regularly publish research articles in international peer-reviewed journals and are actively engaged in research into • cancer • musculoskeletal diseases • human reproduction • neurological disease • hospital acquired infection • immunological basis of disease.
This course is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) who commended us on
The masters (MSc) award is achieved by successfully completing 180 credits.
The postgraduate certificate (PgCert) is achieved by successfully completing 60 credits.
The postgraduate diploma (PgDip) is achieved by successfully completing 120 credits.
Assessment methods include written examinations and coursework such as
Research project assessment includes a written report, presentation and portfolio.
This course enables you to start to develop your career in various applications of biomedical science including pathology, government funded research labs or the life sciences industry. It is also for scientists working in hospital or bioscience-related laboratories particularly as biomedical scientists who want to expand their knowledge and expertise in this area.