About the MSc
Do you want to work with world-leading practitioners and researchers, dedicated to developing and applying new therapies?
The MSc in Reproductive Medicine: Science and Ethics has been designed for students who wish to gain an advanced education and practical training within the context of a medical issue that affects 1 in 6 couples wishing to start a family.
As the average age of parents increases, the call for increasingly novel treatments to aid reproduction is similarly on the increase. In particular, around 1-2% of all babies in the UK are born by IVF, with varying figures in many other countries.
Reproductive medicine generally, and IVF in particular, is an area in which the UK is world-leading. This course will aim to answer fundamental questions such as:
- What is the scientific basis of development and infertility?
- What are the legal and ethical implications of the work that is done?
The course provides training in the modern practical, academic and research skills that are used in academia and the clinic. Through a combination of lectures, small-group seminars and practical classes, you will apply this training and learn how it is applied towards the development of new therapies. The programme culminates with an individual research project or dissertation on a specific aspect of reproductive medicine research that interests you most.
The MSc in Reproductive Medicine involves studying for 125 credits of taught modules, as indicated below. The taught component takes place during the Autumn and Spring terms, while a 60-credit research project takes place over the Summer months.
The assessment of the course will involve a mixture of practical classes, innovative continuous assessment to gain maximise transferable and professional skills, and examinations. In additional to traditional scientific laboratory reports, experience will be gained in a range of scientific writing styles relevant to future employment, such as literature reviews, patent applications, regulatory documents, and patient information suitable for a non-scientific readership.
Career paths for students undertaking this programme, include:
- Clinical Embryology
- Academic research in human reproduction and embryology.
Enquiries and applications for trainee clinical embryology positions vastly outweigh those for trained positions despite there being more trained positions available. A relevant Master’s level qualification serves to both improve the selection process for trainees and improves the quality of the successful trainee leading to improved standards overall.
In addition, further professional development for clinical embryologists also involves obtaining State Registration as a Clinical Scientist with the Health Professions Council and can now lead to membership of the Royal College of Pathologists. To achieve these higher professional grades requires a deeper understanding of scientific versus technical aspects of clinical embryology an important cornerstone of the proposed Master’s course. Academic research into human reproduction and embryology is very popular as witnessed by the increased numbers of related congresses and journals covering this topic. Although the proposed course does not aim to address the specific goal of training prospective clinical embryologists in how to perform their operational tasks, (such training is provided in-house in a highly regulated clinical environment and leads to a vocational qualification), the need exists to provide an academic qualification to underpin this popular career path.
Students must have, or expect to have, a First class or 2:1 degree in a subject related to biosciences, or a medical degree. Applications will be considered throughout the year and places filled on a competitive basis on the strength of the applications received.
This course has been designed for:
- Prospective clinical embryologists (prior to obtaining a clinical trainee position in the UK or overseas)
- Clinical scientists (including existing clinical embryologists) seeking an academic underpinning to their career to aid further development.
- Individuals wishing to enter a career as a practicing research or clinical scientist in other areas of reproductive medicine.
- Individuals seeking a research career (e.g. leading to a PhD) in reproductive medicine.
- Those of you for whom reproductive medicine is simply an academic area that you are passionate about
- Overseas students who may fulfil any of the above criteria.
Please note that the School of Biosciences has a number of funding and scholarship opportunities for master's students. Please visit the funding and scholarships page to review eligibility criteria and the application procedure.
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Last updated December 15, 2016