MSc in Experimental Physiology

About this Programme

The School of Medicine employs physiology demonstrators to support our teaching across a number of undergraduate degree programmes.  These demonstrators register for a research MSc or PhD.  

The aim of this new taught MSc is to provide a one year training period that will be offered to incoming demonstrators.  The compontent modules will teach fundamental experimental techniques in a research environment but will focus on mastery of the technique rather than acquisition of research data.  After one year students will exit with a taught MSc in Experimental Physiology.  It is anticipated that some students may then progress to Doctoral Research studies the school.

We envisage that this new programme will attract high calibre students that are interested in academic careers as well as those who want to move into industry with an expanded skill set.

What Will I Learn

Knowledge and Understanding

Successful completion of this programme will require students to demonstrate specialized knowledge in the area of experimental physiology.  This includes details of experimental design and various methodological processes related to assessing physiological functions at the molecular, cellular, tissue, and/or organismal level.  Students will acquire advanced theoretical and conceptual knowledge relating to various laboratory techniques that are used in the research environment to assess physiological function.  Students will consider how current laboratory techniques have been developed and be required to understand the theory behind such techniques.   Students will develop an understanding of the importance of experimental design and technical rigour as they relate to current debates, such as the challenges of scientific reproducibility, and see the opportunity for improving practice in the research environment.

Applying Knowledge and Understanding

Students will be required to learn how to successfully conduct various laboratory techniques, and understand their development and optimisation, prior to using these techniques to address basic research questions.  Students should be able to use their problem-solving skills to optimise assays and refine experimental techniques so that they can be successfully used to address questions relating to physiological functions.  Although the emphasis of this programme is not the generation of new knowledge through research there will be some opportunities for students to develop their experimental skills in the context of ongoing research activities.  For example students may help develop or optimise assays that will then be used by other researchers to address specific research questions.

Making Judgements

While developing their skills in specific laboratory techniques students will learn to critically analyse published data in order to judge the validity of current methodologies.  On successful completion of this module students should be able to integrate their technical and theoretical knowledge in order to reflect on wider scientific issues, as well as the social and ethical responsibilities, that are associated with the production of scientific data.

Communications and Working Skills

On successful completion of this module students should be able to communicate their experimental findings, and the knowledge and rationale underpinning these, to specialist and non-specialist audiences clearly and unambiguously.

Learning Skills

Successful completion of this programme will require a high level of self-directed learning.  Students will be required to conduct thorough literature searches, compare published methods and research findings, and develop the skills that are required to autonomously design, develop, and conduct physiological research. 

How Will I Learn

The primary aim of this programme is to provide hands-on laboratory-based teaching so that students become practically competent in a range of experimental techniques that are relevant to physiological and biomedical research careers.  Students will be able to select from a suite of laboratory-based modules in order to build a portfolio of practical skills.  Laboratory-based teaching will normally be in small groups of one to three students per teacher.  These modules will be assessed via the submission of written laboratory reports that cover technique development, evidence of successful execution of the relevant techniques, as well as evidence of data interpretation.  Laboratory-based teaching will be supported by tutorials and workshops.

The core laboratory-based teaching will be complemented by modules that cover fundamental research skills, online research skills, and research integrity.  In addition, students will broaden their background knowledge by attending the Conway Lecture and Seminar Series and learn about translating research activity in a clinical setting by taking part in the Translational Medicine journal clubs.  These modules involve a mixture of small group teaching, online activities, and seminars. 

Given that these students will be involved in demonstrating to undergraduate medicine and science  students and may well be interested in academic careers they will also take core modules in teaching and learning.  These modules involve the preparation of a teaching portfolio and then evaluating performance in response to feedback.

Final optional modules will include several advanced modules on cutting edge technologies, science communication, research ethics and tech transfer.  These modules involve a mixture of small group and online teaching activities and predominantly involve continuous assessment.

Programme Content

Module Reference

Stage

Level

Semester

Credits

 

MDCS41410: Teaching in Higher Education (C)

1

4

Year long

5

 

CNWY40180: Introduction to Core Research (C)

1

4

1&2

5

 

CNWY40010: Conway Lecture & Seminar Series (C)

1

4

1&2

5

 

SCI50010: Online Research Skills (C)

1

5

Year long

5

 

SCI50020: Research Integrity Online (C)

1

5

Year long

5

 

MDSA40200: Translational Medicine. Part A (C)

1

4

Year long

5

 

At least 50 credits from the following:

PHYS40120: Cell culture for physiological research (O)

1

4

1 & 2 & 3

5

 

PHYS40090: Analysis of gene expression (O)

1

4

1 & 2 & 3

15

 

PHYS40110: Analysis of protein expression (O)

1

4

1 & 2 & 3

15

 

PHYS40100: Analysis of protein distribution in cells or tissues (O)

1

4

1 & 2 & 3

15

 

PHYS40150: Molecular Physiology (O)

1

4

1 & 2 & 3

20

 

PHYS40130: Cellular Physiology (O)

1

4

1 & 2 & 3

20

 

PHYS40160: Tissue Physiology (O)

1

4

1 & 2 & 3

20

 

PHYS40140: In vivo Physiology Skills (O)

1

4

1 & 2 & 3

20

 

PHYS40170: Fundamentals of Physiological Research (O)

1

4

1

5

 

Plus 15 credits from:

BMOL50070: Public Science Communication (O)

1

5

1 & 2

5

 

VET40460: TEARAP (O)

1

4

 

 

 

CNWY40090: Intro to Omics (O)

1

4

2 & 3

5

 

CNWY40130: Flow Cytometry (O)

1

4

3

5

 

CNWY40160: Applied Proteomics (O)

1

4

3

5

 

CNWY40120: Advanced Biological Imaging (O)

1

4

1

5

 

CNWY40110: Neuroimmunology (O)

1

4

2

5

 

VET40250: MolCellBiol Current Concepts (O)

1

4

 

5

 

Programme Fees

Student TypeIndicative Fees*
Irish/EU €7,120
Non-EU €13,695

Last Updated: 5th September 2019

*Note: These fees are shown here for indicative purposes only.  Definitive programme fees are available on the University Fees Office website.  Fees are subject to change

Eligibility

  • Undergraduate degree in Physiology or related biomedical discipline.

 

To Apply

Applications are currently being accepted and can be made via the UCD applications page www.ucd.ie/apply