Stem Cell Biology and Ageing

The details
Life Sciences (School of)
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 13 December 2024
04 July 2024


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

The module describes the fundamental principles of stem cell biology and molecular mechanisms and factors that define their `stemness` as well as the processes that govern their differentiation into specific cell types. This will be explored in the in the context of development, health, ageing, and disease. The module aims to provide students with the necessary knowledge, and understanding of the principles that drive research into stem cells and their utility in new treatment approaches, and to provide them with skills and hands-on experience in analysing and interpreting information pertinent to stem cell biology and function in health, disease and the ageing process.

Module aims

No information available.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Explain the principles of stem cell biology and discuss the different regulatory levels of differentiation and other processes as exemplified by embryonic and different adult stem cells

  2. Discuss examples of diseases, which can be caused by defects in stem cells

  3. Discuss treatment strategies that utilise stem cells as well as other uses of stem cells

  4. Explain the molecular biology behind ageing;5. demonstrate  knowledge of the range of techniques used in stem cell research

  5. Demonstrate competence in the analysis and interpretation of data and in the written communication of information

Employability and transferable skills:

  1. Advanced knowledge in stem cell biology and related areas

  2. Data Analysis and Interpretation (DAI)

  3. Online information retrieval services (e.g. Pubmed)

  4. Read and analyse scientific literature

  5. Scientific essay writing

  6. Time management – self-directed study – prioritising

Module information

Listen Again:

The School has a policy which ensures all lecturers opt-in to making lectures available via Listen Again. Therefore, in teaching rooms where the facility is available, lectures will be recorded via this service.


Plagiarism is a serious offence and all students suspected of plagiarism will be subject to an investigation. If found guilty, penalties range from a formal warning to permanent withdrawal from the university (see Academic offences procedures).
If you are uncertain about how to reference your work take a look at the Moodle course on Academic Integrity and Plagiarism or speak to your Module Supervisor or Tutor.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • Lectures - 18 h
  • Revision workshop - 2 h


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Exam  Main exam: In-Person, Closed Book, 180 minutes during Summer (Main Period) 
Exam  Reassessment Main exam: In-Person, Closed Book, 180 minutes during September (Reassessment Period) 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
0% 100%


Coursework Exam
0% 100%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Ralf Zwacka, email:
Dr Ralf Zwacka
School Undergraduate Office, email: bsugoffice (Non essex users should add to create the full email address)



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.


Further information
Life Sciences (School of)

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

Disclaimer: The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its Module Directory is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to programmes, modules, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to modules may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery or assessment of modules and other services, to discontinue modules and other services and to merge or combine modules. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications and module directory.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.