Liver Transplant: the Ins and Outs Course - University of Birmingham


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Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description


Learn about the science behind having a liver transplant with this free online course from the Centre for Liver Research.

Learn about the fascinating field of liver transplantation

This course covers the history of liver transplantation, from early experiments in the late 1960s to exciting new technological advances in organ preservation happening today. You will find out why there is such an increasing global need for liver transplants, and look at the science behind the operation and the drugs used to prevent organ rejection. We will look at the unique biology of the liver, explaining how one donor organ can help two patients in need, and how some people can eventually manage without any anti-rejection medication.

The Educators won’t be able to join the discussions or respond to individual comments in this course run, but the course encourages a strong learning community. Discussion is an important part of this course – supporting other learners, sharing your own experience and knowledge, and listening to new perspectives. We hope that you will enjoy interacting with and learning from each other in this way. Don’t forget to comment, reply to other learners and ‘like’ comments.

What topics will you cover?

Explore the major issues surrounding liver transplant

You will hear from the surgeons who perform the liver transplant operation; the clinical staff who care for the patients; the liver transplant coordinators who help to source and allocate donor organs; and patients themselves about their experiences of a liver transplant.

During this course, we explore the major issues that fascinate us:

  • How is it possible to take an organ like the liver from one person and have it survive inside another?
  • Have you ever wondered about the ethics of organ donation, and how organs should be allocated?
  • Why is there such an increasing demand for donor livers for transplantation?
  • And how can new advances increase the numbers of organs that are available for a liver transplant?

Learn with experts from one of Europe’s largest liver transplant centres

The course is created by experts from the Centre for Liver Research at the University of Birmingham and the nearby Queen Elizabeth Hospital. This is one of Europe’s largest liver transplant centres, performing over 200 liver transplantations each year.

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. 

  • Available now

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to:

  • Apply new knowledge of the structure and function of the liver to understand the signs of disease.
  • Assess the major reasons for liver transplantation.
  • Compare the stages of the operation to remove a diseased liver and insert a new one.
  • Collect information about the history of liver transplantation and key transplant pioneers.
  • Apply knowledge to understand how patients are cared for after the operation.
  • Assess future alternatives to transplantation.

Who is the course for?

The course will be of interest to anyone who is captivated by human biology, transplantation, surgery or your immune system.

Who will you learn with?

Patricia Lalor

Trish Lalor is a Senior Lecturer and research scientist in the Centre for Liver Research at The University of Birmingham.

Zania Stamataki

Zania Stamataki is a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow at the University of Birmingham School of Immunity and Infection.

Who developed the course?

University of Birmingham

The University of Birmingham is a public research university, consistently listed as a leading UK university and ranked among the top 100 in the world.

Join this course



$259.99 for one year

Join free and you will get:

  • Access to this course for 5 weeks

Upgrade this course and you will get:

  • Access to this course for as long as it’s on FutureLearn
  • Access to this course’s tests as well as a print and digital Certificate of Achievement once you’re eligible

Buy Unlimited and you will get:

  • Access to this course, and hundreds of other FutureLearn short courses and tests for a year
  • A printable digital Certificate of Achievement on all short courses once you’re eligible
  • The freedom to keep access to any course you've achieved a digital Certificate of Achievement on, for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn
  • The flexibility to complete your choice of short courses in your own time within the year
Last updated Sep 2020

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About the School

Learn 100% online with world-class universities and industry experts. Develop your career, learn a new skill, or pursue your hobbies with flexible online courses.

Learn 100% online with world-class universities and industry experts. Develop your career, learn a new skill, or pursue your hobbies with flexible online courses. Read less
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