Key Facts

Course Title: Cell and Tissue Engineering
Course type: MSc, Postgraduate Diploma
Mode of Study:Full Time or Part Time
Contact Details:Hildegarde Wright - 01782 734938
Website: Go to School homepage
Faculty: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Subject Area: Medicine


Located within a European Centre of Excellence for Tissue engineering, and based on Keele University’s local hospital campus at the Guy Hilton Research Centre, the MSc in Cell and Tissue Engineering provides support and development to enhance your career within this rapidly expanding field. The research centre is also an EPSRC Doctoral Training Centre for Regenerative Medicine, an Arthritis UK Centre and a UK Regenerative Medicine Platform Research Hub.  This multidisciplinary environment enables close interaction with leading academics and clinicians involved in cutting-edge, and clinically transformative research.

Course Director: Dr Adam Sharples (

Studying Cell and Tissue Engineering at Keele

Our MSc Cell and Tissue Engineering programme has tracked alongside the strongly emergent global Regenerative Medicine industry and will prepare you for an exciting future within a range of medical engineering areas, be that in academic or industrial research, medical materials, devices, or therapeutics sectors, or in the clinical arena. The modular structure to the course enables flexibility and personalisation to suit your career aspirations, build upon strengths and interests and develop new understanding in key topics. 

Graduate destinations for our students could include: undertaking further postgraduate study and research (PhD); pursuing a university-based, academic research career; providing technical consultancy for marketing and sales departments within industry; working within biomedical, biomaterials, therapeutic, life science and regenerative medicine industries or working for a governmental regulatory agency for healthcare services and products.

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‌The course provides support from the basics of human anatomy and physiology, through to development of novel nanotechnologies for healthcare. Due to the teaching and research involvement of clinical academic staff within the department, there are exciting opportunities to be exposed to current clinical challenges and state-of-the-art developments. Clinical visits and specialist seminars are offered and students will be able to select dissertation projects that span fundamental research to clinical translation of technologies – a truly ‘bench to bedside’ approach.  Learning and teaching methods include lectures and demonstrations from medical and engineering specialists, practical classes using state-of-the-art facilities and seminars with leading national and international researchers. Full-time study will see the course completed in 12 months; part-time study will allow you to complete it over two years.

About the department

Delivered through the Keele School of Medicine and the Research Institute for Science and Technology in Medicine (ISTM), the course dates as far back as 1999, when it was established in partnership with Biomedical Engineering and Medical Physics at the University Hospital. Most teaching now takes place in the Guy Hilton Research Centre, a dedicated research facility located on the hospital campus. The medical school is one of the top-ranked in the UK, and the research institute has an international reputation for world-leading research.

The centre was opened in 2006 and offers state-of-the-art equipment for translational research including newly-developed diagnostic instruments, advanced imaging modalities and additive manufacturing facilities. Its location adjacent to the university hospital ensures that students experience real-world patient care and the role that technology plays in that. Students also have access to advanced equipment for physiological measurement, motion analysis and functional assessment in other hospital and campus-based laboratories. The School embraces specialists working in UHNM and RJAH Orthopaedic Hospital Oswestry, covering key medical and surgical subspecialties.

The course runs alongside its sister course, the MSc in Biomedical Engineering, and an EPSRC-MRC funded Centre for Doctoral Training, ensuring a stimulating academic environment for students and many opportunities for engaging with further study and research.

Aims of the Course

The aim of the course is to provide multidisciplinary Masters level postgraduate training in Cell and Tissue Engineering to prepare students for future employment in healthcare, industrial and academic environments. This involves building on existing undergraduate knowledge in basic science or engineering and applying it to core principles and current issues in medicine and healthcare.

Specifically, the objectives of the course are to:

  • provide postgraduate-level education leading to professional careers in Cell and Tissue Engineering in industry, academia and a wide range of healthcare establishments such as medical organisations, medical research institutions and hospitals;
  • provide an opportunity for in-depth research into specialist and novel areas of Biomaterials, and Cell and Tissue Engineering;
  • expose students to the clinically translational environment within an active medical research environment with hands-on practical ability and supporting knowledge of up-to-date technological developments at the forefront of the field;
  • introduce students to exciting new fields such as regenerative medicine, nanotechnology, cutting edge molecular techniques in cell and tissue engineering.

Entry Requirements

We welcome applications from people with a first or second-class degree (or equivalent) in engineering, physical or life sciences, medicine, or professions allied to medicine. We also welcome enquiries from people with other professional qualifications acceptable to the University.

For international applicants, an English language IELTS score of 6.5 is required.

Course Content

For the MSc route, students are required to successfully complete 120 credits of Core and Elective modules and a 60-credit research dissertation.

Core modules

Human Anatomy and Physiology*

This module gives students the fundamental knowledge in human physiology and anatomy allowing them to understand structure and function of major tissue types and organs. Students from differing backgrounds will be brought up to a basic level of understanding such that they can progress onto more advanced topics in future studies. The module is intended to set the foundation in a biological context to support the advanced topics in other modules.

*Students may be able to gain a waiver if a sufficient level of prior learning can be evidenced.


This module encompasses a multidisciplinary approach to the field of biomaterials, with a view of materials from their physical and chemical properties to how they interact with biological tissues during implantation. Students will learn how assessment of materials is made within the clinic and how material properties can be altered/ engineered to produce biomaterials with enhanced abilities. The module explains each of the fundamental aspects of biomaterials from a materials perspective, but with particular focus on their use and potential wear within a biological host.

Stem Cells: Types, Characteristics & Applications

This module draws upon the research within the field of stem cell biology to build a knowledge-base from basic principles to therapeutic use of stem cells. As this is a fast-paced field with state-of-the-art research being competitively conducted worldwide, the module brings in the most recent up-to-date information being supported by basic concepts. The lecture series is delivered by leading academic researchers, with practical laboratory work cementing the delivery of taught elements.

Bioreactors and Growth Environments

The Bioreactors and Growth Environments Module is delivered as an intensive course over 3-4 days. The course covers the design and functionality of all bioreactor aspects for use in regenerative medicine. This includes the construction and different methods used to assess different sorts of tissue types grown within the bioreactors. Students will be informed about the growth environments for engineering tissues for transplantation, as well as being introduced to the subject of quality standards for growth environments in tissue production. Leading researchers from around the world are invited to present their cutting edge research, with industrial leaders also presenting key technologies relating to bioreactors.

Cell and Tissue Engineering

In a rapidly expanding area of research and industrial interest, cell and tissue engineering promises to change the way clinicians deliver therapies and treat disorders of various kinds. Students will gain evidence based knowledge in cell and tissue engineering concepts, and learn current techniques for applying and evaluating stimulus to cells. They will be introduced to current concepts and methods in cell and tissue engineering.

Experimental Research Methodology

The Experimental Research Methodology Module gives students the skill set that is required for their development in a scientific career; from learning how to take notes in research seminars allowing them to write a comprehensive literature review in that area, to making sure they are efficient with their time in written examinations by giving them the chance to mark practice questions and decide where the marks should be given. The module brings together elements of professional development that should not be overlooked. A range of seminars, workshops and taught classes are timetabled during which students will have the opportunity to learn first-hand a range of skills necessary for them to achieve their best in their Masters programme. Classes on statistics will further support students in other theoretical and practical aspects of their course.


Engineering for Medical Applications

This module will cover the fundamentals of mechanics, electronics and electromagnetism necessary to understand the application of engineering principles to medicine and biology. This will enable students from varying backgrounds and career paths to transition into the advanced topics covered in the core and specialist modules in biomedical engineering. In addition to the lectures, students will take part in a workshop-based project to apply the theory they have learned to practical measurement.


This module offers students an applied perspective on biomechanics at an advanced level. To support the theoretical concepts taught within the module across a number of different tissue types, a practical understanding is also given through an experimental workshop. Assessment is taken through a write-up of the practical session and a final unseen written examination.

Cell Biomechanics

Students on this module will gain systematic knowledge on the interrelationship between mechanics and cell biology, and gain some insight into the application of cell biomechanics in cell/tissue engineering and biomedical engineering. They will have the opportunity to apply constitutive models to experimental data and be given an overview of modern techniques for both clinical and in vitro cell biomechanics.

Molecular Techniques: Applications in Tissue Engineering

This module covers all major aspects of current methods used for the analytical assessment of biological tissues. State-of-the-art techniques are taught, from the basic principles through to a laboratory-based practical for hands-on training. Students will be given advanced training from academic researchers who have links into clinical evaluation of patient samples. This will allow student to appreciate the complexity and diversity of methods used within both research laboratories and clinical pathology.

Nanomagnetics in Nanomedicine

Within the emerging field of nanomedicine a sub-field of nanomagnetics is playing a major role in the development of new technologies for the assessment and therapeutic treatment of biological tissues. This module delivers a series of lectures from multidisciplinary experts working at the interface of physics and biology. Theoretical concepts of nanomagnetism are given, through to the discussion of state-of-the-art research in this field.

Introduction to Medical Imaging

In this module, students will be introduced to a range of medical imaging modalities, and will learn the physical principles underpinning them. They will gain insight into the clinical applications of various imaging modalities, and understand the risks and radiation protection standards applied to them.

Physiological Measurement

This module draws on the basic principles of biological sensing within the research and clinical environments. Demonstrations and hands-on use of devices commonly used within clinical practice for physiological measurement will be included in this module. Students will also gain an appreciation for sensor device and/or biological test selection. A number of anatomical structures will be evaluated focusing on their use to measure physiological properties, such as the heart and lungs. Instrumentation used by medics to assess such systems will be discussed in detail, as well as instruments and technology used for physiological measurement in biomedical research. 

Medical Equipment and Technology Services Management

This module will give students insight into the technology management processes used in clinical settings that allow healthcare provider to make the best use of their resources. They will learn about the role of clinical engineers in ensuring the safe and effective management of medical equipment and the benefits and obligations of the various stakeholders operating within the clinical governance framework.

Medical Device Design Principles

Students will gain an understanding of the systems engineering approach to medical device design, including the role of ergonomics in the design of safe and reliable medical devices. Students will learn the importance of standards and regulations for medical device design and gain an overview of aspects of the mechanical, electrical and software components of medical devices.

Biomedical Signal Processing

In this module students will learn the fundamentals of signal and image processing and learn to apply theory to practical examples of biomedical signals. They will use an advanced software package to assist in the analysis of biomedical signals, and learn to interpret complex signals in the context of physiological function.


Note that elective modules are offered subject to sufficient student demand and in some cases it may be necessary to withdraw a module from the offer.

Project dissertation

The dissertation is an opportunity for students to undertake laboratory based research in their chosen topic and should demonstrate their understanding of the field via applications in healthcare. During the dissertation period, the student will be assigned a project supervisor, having agreed a research project in discussion with research institute staff. The location for the project may be the Research Institute, local hospital or within a collaborating industrial partner location. Projects specifically linked to a collaborating clinical team will also benefit from this interaction.  

Teaching and Assessment

Teaching and Learning Methods

The course is taught through subject-centred lectures and seminars, supported by tutorials and practical exercises. Collaborative learning and student-centred learning are also adopted giving widespread opportunity for group work and individual assignments. Students are required to conduct extensive independent study, and this is supported by full access to two libraries, online journal access and a suite of dedicated computers for exclusive use by MSc students on the course. In addition, students are supported by the guidance of a personal tutor within the department, as well as having access to university-wide support services. This includes English language support where appropriate.



Modules will be assessed by a mixture of assessment methods, including lab reports, essays, and presentations, and final examination. This ensures the development of a range of transferrable employability skills such as time management and planning, written and verbal communication and numeracy as well as technical and subject-specific knowledge. The project dissertation forms a major component of the student’s assessed work.

Additional Costs

Apart from additional costs for text books, inter-library loans and potential overdue library fines we do not anticipate any additional costs for this postgraduate programme.