There is no better way of learning about our MSc programme than hearing directly from MSc students own experience. Course alumni Tanita Sira, Domhnall McGowan, Gregor Skeldon and Martha Lopez Yrigoyen share their experience.
Tanita completed her Masters in 2015, and is now working as a Business Development Analyst at the Cell Therapy Catapult, London.
I definitely wouldn't have been able to make the transition into such a great job without the master’s course. In addition to the content of the course the organiser also makes it something special. When I was offered an interview for the Catapult, Dr Travers took the time to have one-on-one in-depth discussions on how we both perceived the cell therapy industry and future developments. This gave me the confidence to go into the interview and absolutely kill it (excuse my English), so I really have a lot to thank him for. In addition to this master’s course, I would advise anyone to make the most of the time at university by getting any unpaid/paid experience that comes their way in their relevant sector, as it really makes a big difference when it comes to getting a job.
Domnhall completed his Masters in 2014 and is now working in clinical stem cell production at Roslin Cells.
Rachel completed her Masters in 2014 and is now working at the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS).
After graduating, I went to visit a few different universities across the UK but was highly attracted to the MSc in Regenerative Medicine due to the content of the programme which included more than just the fundamentals of stem cell biology but also looking at the translational applications of cells within industry and the clinic. I was also drawn to this MSc in particular due to the inclusion of a 3 month academic or industrial laboratory placement.
The taught component of the masters covered a wide range of topics in stem cell biology delivered by experts in the field. The teaching and course work is very fast paced and challenging; however the course organiser is extremely enthusiastic and supportive, and the professors provide plenty of materials to utilize. The course also promoted creativity and innovative ideas through one core unit in which we did a Dragon’s Den competition for a ‘regenerative medicine product’. Students were then allocated into groups to research the business development required to commercialise such products.
The Masters programme really gave me the opportunity to set off down my dream career path. Other students in my year also went straight into PhDs, lab-based industry positions, and jobs within the business and regulations side of biomedical companies; so I would definitely recommend this course for a stepping stone into a broad range of career opportunities.
Martha Lopez Yrigoyen
Martha completed her Masters in 2015 and is now studying for a PhD in regenerative medicine.
Gregor completed his Masters in 2015 and is now studying for a PhD in regenerative medicine.
Initially selecting which Masters subject to pursue was a difficult decision but ultimately I chose the Regenerative Medicine MSc because of how the field of regeneration research was so varied, seemed to be developing rapidly and that I personally had a strong interest in stem cells and tissue regeneration.
The first semester of the MSc introduced the theory of different classes of stem cells, tissue engineering, regenerative research and therapies already utilising this research. It was incredibly informative, with the basic biology and function of various different stem cells from throughout the body being covered. We received lectures from different researchers from the Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine from many fields on cutting edge stem cell and regenerative research. The primary form of assessment through this semester was individually researched written essays on various topics introduced in the course, and definitely improved my own independent literature research and analysis skills.
The second semester introduced the process of clinical and industrial translation of stem cell and regenerative research. This involved less biological theory and more focus on practical delivery of breakthroughs in the fields of tissue engineering, stem cell biology etc. While initially apprehensive at the break from scientific theory to aspects such as regulation, safety concerns, clinical trial design, I soon found myself deeply interested and slightly surprised at how naïve I had been to the process of translation beforehand. This semester entailed group presentations on the practicalities of translating new research and technology, guest speakers of innovation and entrepreneurship expertise, and was overarched by our “Dragon’s Den” project. While I was tentative in beginning the business plan project, it turned out to be the most memorable and my favourite piece of work that I produced over the year. The most surprising result from it was that while I had always believed I was on a sure track to an academic career, the exposure to industry and entrepreneurship during the Masters made me complete rethink my options, and very much broadened my horizons.
Dr Paul Travers was the course organiser, the primary lecturer and also the primary contact for any troubles throughout. He is incredibly experienced in the field of stem cells, regenerative research and immunology and this was clear during his lectures. He was always a great laugh and available if there were any problems in the course, or just for a chat about future prospects.
Overall I would definitely recommend this Master’s program it may well change your outlook on your future career in science, it certainly changed mine!
After completing their MSc progrmmes our students continued their career in different areas. Majority of our students have gone onto further study at Postgraduate level.