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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Deanery of Clinical Sciences : Stem Cells and Translational Neurology

Postgraduate Course: Key Research Skills to explore the Central Nervous System and Stem Cells (STEM11001)

Course Outline
SchoolDeanery of Clinical Sciences CollegeCollege of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis core course will provide students with an introduction to the central nervous system, before leading into a critical understanding of stem cells and our growing understanding of their endogenous development, sources and how we can generate and manipulate them. Furthermore students will be introduced to the key basic research skills required throughout this programme including introductory statistics, understanding scientific manuscripts and scientific writing.
Course description This core course will cover:
- Basic CNS structure and function
- CNS cells including neurones, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes and microglia
- Neurodevelopment
- Endogenous Stem cells
- Manipulation of stem cells
Students will be introduced to and assessed on their basic scientific key skills that are generated from reading, discussing and analysing scientific manuscripts, basic statistical techniques for biology and scientific writing. These key concepts will be introduced and via assessment and feedback students will be able to demonstrate their progress of these critical skills using the significant range of specialist knowledge based around the CNS and Stem cells.
Likely assessments will be:
a) Group presentations (a poster) that may be based on the development/ functions/ uses and applications of stem cells or related scientific paper. Students would be offered formative feedback on an outline prior to the assessment, which could also incorporate peer assessment
b) Individual written piece critiquing scientific paper. Students would be offered formative feedback prior to the final assessment on a test paper which would also be feedback on their writing skills and thus feedback for their essay
c) Essay from a series of questions based around the key learning outcomes for the topics of neurodevelopment, cells of the CNS and stem cells to test students understanding of the key concepts
Students will learn about the various different schools of thought regarding potential uses of stem cells such as manipulating endogenous stem cells versus ex vivo manipulations with a view to developing students┬┐ critical understanding of these cutting edge technologies.
Students will be taught by lecture material that will be made available online as the course progresses,. Discussion boards and other online activities such as quizzes and puzzles will be used to keep students engaged and to reiterate the key learning outcomes for specific material. Therefore students would have a weekly block of material consisting of 1-2 hours of lectures (block material dependent) alongside ongoing discussion boards and reading students should be studying and researching independently and continuously.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start MVM Online Learning Block 1
Course Start Date 18/09/2023
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 25, Online Activities 5, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 10, Formative Assessment Hours 5, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 151 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100% Coursework
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the development and functions of the central nervous system as a system as well as at a cellular level
  2. Evaluate and critically compare multiple stem cell types and their development, functions and roles
  3. Evaluate, criticise and appraise the literature around this topic
  4. Demonstrate their advancement in the basic research skills vital for scientific understanding using the core topics of this course
  5. Communicate and engage with the course┬┐s concepts and principles with others outwith their own field
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills 1. Via group and peer assessment students will evaluate and improve their communication abilities
2. Students will also learn to critically assess their own and others work as well as their roles and responsibilities via group and peer assessments
3. Critically review their own and others work via discussion boards and other assessments
4. Due to being an online course students must show autonomy, individual drive and determination to engage with the course content and develop their skills
KeywordsCentral Nervous system,Stem cells,neurodevelopment,astrocytes,neurones,oligodendrocytes
Course organiserDr David Hampton
Tel: (0131) 242 9421
Course secretaryMiss Ana-Maria Lungu
Tel: 0131 242 7355
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