BSc Materials Science and Engineering

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Stem Cell & Tissue Engineering

Course unit fact file
Unit code MATS32302
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Department of Materials
Available as a free choice unit? No


The unit will demonstrate various types of stem cells: adult, embryonic, induced pluripotent and their specialised culture methods.


The unit aims to:

  • Introduce students to various types of stem cells, their differentiation capabilities and their potential applications.
  • Discuss how we can use stem cells combined with biomaterials for in vitro and in vivo applications.
  • Develop an understanding of the principles of tissue engineering, the biomaterials commonly used and discuss some specific examples of engineered tissues.

Learning outcomes

A greater depth of the learning outcomes will be covered in the following sections:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Intellectual skills
  • Practical skills
  • Transferable skills and personal qualities

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, group tutorials (problem sessions), recommended textbooks, web resources, past exam papers, electronic supporting information (Blackboard).


Knowledge and understanding

  • Recognise the differences between stem cell types.
  • Describe how to engineer materials to support directed differentiation.
  • Define the various material properties that can be exploited to control stem cell differentiation.
  • Recognise the principles of tissue engineering.
  • Explain how biomaterials can be used to fabricate 3D scaffolds.
  • Be able to give specific tissue and organ examples.
  • Discuss the importance of mimicking structures of tissues and organs.

Intellectual skills

  • Ability to understand, digest and reproduce information in a concise format.
  • Be able to design a scaffold to direct differentiation.
  • Be able to apply the correct (stem) cell type for a particular application.

Practical skills

  • Team work.
  • Ability to reproduce work in a suitable format for a lay audience.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Presentation and communication skills.
  • Team working.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 70%
Written assignment (inc essay) 30%

Feedback methods

Written and verbal

Recommended reading


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 22
Practical classes & workshops 6
Tutorials 3
Independent study hours
Independent study 69

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Julie Gough Unit coordinator

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