Academic year 2019/20
Owning department Department of Biology & Biochemistry
Credits (ECTS) 15
Notional study hours 300
Level FHEQ level 7
Period Weeks 1-31
Availability Optional unit on MSc Molecular Biosciences (Medical Biosciences)


This optional unit is for students interested in understanding the molecular genetics of animal development, stem cell biology and its applications in regenerative medicine.

Topics covered include gametogenesis and fertilisation, mammalian preimplantation development, stem cells, iPSCs, imprinting, cell adhesion, cell movement, morphogenesis and gastrulation, systems development, epithelial-mesenchymal interaction, cell polarity, limb development and regeneration, and developmental defects and wound healing.


You'll learn through:

  • lectures on the basic principles underlying development and organogenesis in vertebrate and invertebrate organisms, and underpinning the complexity of gene regulatory networks
  • evaluation of the diverse experimental approaches in the study of developmental genetics, including over-expression, transgenic and other models
  • laboratory-based practical sessions
  • presenting at research seminars, critically evaluating the applications and implications of research in developmental biology to human developmental defects.


After successfully completing this unit, you should be able to:

  • apply a good understanding and critical awareness of the core molecular genetics underpinning animal development and cellular reprogramming events, such as stem cells and iPSCs
  • critically evaluate and communicate the findings from cutting-edge research publications through formal presentation
  • demonstrate an integrative and critically evaluative approach to the applications of developmental biology in understanding and treating human diseases.

Find out more about this and other important University terms and conditions.