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MSc Developmental Biology / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course description

Our research-focused MSc Developmental Biology course will give you extensive hands-on experience of conducting research into how fertilised eggs turn into complex multicellular organisms.

You will learn through an interactive approach involving seminars, workshops and small group tutorials rather than traditional lectures.

You will also undertake placements in the labs of leading researchers working on a range of model organisms and diverse areas of developmental biology.

Examples of developmental biology research at Manchester include:

  • studies of gene expression and cell signalling in model organisms, such as Drosophila, Xenopus and mice, which are illuminating the mechanisms by which different cell types and tissues arise during development. Findings obtained from these studies serve as general principles relating to human development;
  • exploring how misregulation of developmental mechanisms leads to human diseases, eg cancer, using various models;
  • research into the mechanisms regulating stem cell maintenance and differentiation to harness the therapeutic potential of stem cells;
  • looking at the healing process to improve wound repair and the longer-term regeneration of organs.

Special features

Extensive research experience

Gain significant laboratory experience through placements with leading developmental biology researchers.

Teaching and learning

We use a range of teaching and learning methods, including tutorials, workshops, seminars and research placements.

Find out more by visiting the postgraduate teaching and learning page.

Coursework and assessment

We will assess your progress using:

  • written reports on your research projects and tutorials
  • oral presentations
  • written assignments
  • posters
  • multiple choice exams
  • critical assessment of literature
  • online statistics exercises.

Course unit details

The course runs for 12 months. You require 180 credits to complete the course, of which:

  • 120 credits are project based
  • 60 credits are from transferable skills units

Transferable skills

60 credits are achieved through completion of activities that develop your transferable skills in essential areas such as laboratory skills, experimental design, statistics, bioethics (included in the tutorial and workshop unit) and science communication.

The Experimental Design and Statistics unit runs at the start of the year to prepare you for your research projects. Elements of the other units run throughout the year alongside your research project.

  • Experimental Design and Statistics(15 credits)
  • Tutorial and Workshop(15 credits)
  • Science Communication (15 credits)
  • Laboratory Skills (15 credits)

Disclaimer

Our units teach the current trends in life sciences.

Consequently, details of our units may vary over time. The University therefore reserves the right to make such alterations to units as are found to be necessary. Before accepting your offer of a course, it is essential that you are aware of the current terms on which the offer is based. This includes the units available to you. If in doubt, please contact us.

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Tutorial and Workshop BIOL60210 15 Mandatory
Scientific Communication BIOL60330 15 Mandatory
Statistics & Experimental Design BIOL65161 15 Mandatory
Research Project 1 BIOL66121 30 Mandatory
Research Project 2 BIOL66132 90 Mandatory
Laboratory Skills Unit MEDN66111 15 Mandatory

Facilities

You will be able to access a range of facilities throughout the University.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service .