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Course content

This programme offers a fascinating range of subjects, including molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry, microbiology, immunology, tissue engineering, clinical medicine, laboratory management and statistics.

It is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science and is based at one of the largest transfusion centres in the world, enabling visits to manufacturing, testing and tissue typing sections. You will learn from specialist lecturers based at the University, NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), and NHS hospitals, and have an opportunity to become fully embedded in an NHS environment while you develop your knowledge.

The programme will give you extensive practical experience of transfusion and transplantation, allowing you to gain skills that directly relate to your future career. As well as being academically interesting, this continually developing area of healthcare science has a major impact on patients' quality of life.

The programme:
-Is one of just two specialist full-time courses in transfusion and transplantation, and is a recommended course at level seven in the Career Framework for Health.
-Gives you the opportunity to carry out your MSc project with NHSBT research staff within the transfusion centre.
-Has high contact hours, with teaching each day and practical classes.
-Includes a large skills component (eg writing in different formats, conference and publication skills, assignments with specific study aims).
-Includes laboratory management, a key skill required at level seven.
-Attracts a diverse range of students (about 50 per cent overseas students), including new graduates, those working in blood centres or blood transfusion/haematology in hospitals, or training to lecture in transfusion.

Programme structure

The programme comprises eight taught units that run from September to March and a research project that begins in May and runs until August. Example project topics have included:
-A study on red cell antibody formation in trauma patients
-Optimisation of platelet antigen detection using recombinant proteins
-Expression of red cell membrane proteins during large-scale red cell culture
-A comparison of stem cell mobilisation drugs for stem cell transplantation

Taught units
-Transfusion and Transplantation Science:
-Pathology of Transfusion and Transplantation Science
-Provision of Blood, Cells, Tissues and Organs
-Clinical Transfusion and Transplantation
-Transfusion and Transplantation in Practice (two units)
-Research and Laboratory Management

Assessments are designed to teach skills such as comprehension, scientific writing in different formats and conference skills, and to further knowledge in subject areas not covered in the lectures. Students must pass the taught component to be able to progress to the project.

Part-time students complete the Postgraduate Certificate components in their first year and the Postgraduate Diploma in the second. The project is usually taken during year three to complete the MSc.


Some of the career paths that graduates have followed include: blood transfusion and fetal medicine research, working for a bone marrow donor laboratory or bone marrow registry, biostatistics, graduate entry to medical school, NHS Clinical Scientist Training programme, and progression to PhD study in several areas including cancer biology and stem cell regeneration.

Visit the Transfusion and Transplantation Sciences MSc/PGDip/PGCert page on the University of Bristol website for more details!





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