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Masters Degrees (Assisted Conception)

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Infertility is a common problem with approximately 1 in 7 couples of reproductive age being diagnosed as infertile - equating to 72.5 million people globally - and there is an increasing demand for assisted reproductive technology (ART). Read more
Infertility is a common problem with approximately 1 in 7 couples of reproductive age being diagnosed as infertile - equating to 72.5 million people globally - and there is an increasing demand for assisted reproductive technology (ART). This course will provide a robust and wide ranging education in human clinical embryology and ART.

Professor Barratt, Programme Director of the new programme MSc Human Clinical Embryology and Assisted Conception has been confirmed as one of the lecturers at the forthcoming Campus Workshop "From gametes to blastocysts – a continuous dialogue" to be held in Apex City Quay Hotel, Dundee, 7-8th November 2014. This programme is organised by the ESHRE Special Interest Group Embryology.

Why study Human Clinical Embryology and Assisted Conception at Dundee?

The MSc in Human Clinical Embryology and Assisted Conception is a new taught master’s programme which has been designed to provide a robust and wide ranging education in human clinical embryology and ART (assisted reproductive technology). Students will gain a systematic understanding of clinical embryology and ART whilst developing high level laboratory skills in various aspects of clinical embryology, andrology and ART.

The emphasis of the course is on humans and clinical ART/embryology and offers practical experience in handling and preparing HUMAN gametes.

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The University of Dundee has excellent clinical links and a close working relationship with the NHS and students will benefit from a scientifically rigorous programme with teaching drawn from experienced embryologists, scientists and clinicians.

A key benefit of the programme is that it offers a unique opportunity to gain substantial exposure to an NHS IVF clinic (NHS Tayside). This will allow students to observe the practice and management of a working IVF clinic and benefit from teaching by staff involved in ART, and will be of considerable benefit for those wanting a clinical based career. The NHS Tayside IVF clinic has recently benefitted from a substantial investment in its facilities which has created a high quality clinical environment.

The blend of scientific, practical skills and the integration with an NHS facility giving students first hand experience and exposure to the workings of an NHS IVF clinic will provide students with an excellent base to enter a career in ART either in a clinical or research setting.

How you will be taught

The MSc is full time programme (September to August) and will consist of 5 taught modules and a research project. The course consists of a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, discussion and journal clubs as well as self-directed study. The research project will be carried out under either in the research laboratory or in the IVF clinic.

What you will study

The course is divided into 6 modules:

Module 1: Fundamental science (Semester1)
Module 2 Advanced Applied laboratory skills in ART (Semester 1 and 2)
Module 3: Statistics (Semester 1)
Module 4: Running a successful ART laboratory and clinical service (Semester 2).
Module 5: Clinical Issues and Controversies in ART (Semester 2)
Module 6: Research Project (Semester 3)

How you will be assessed

The programme is assessed using a variety of traditional and more innovative approaches. We use essays, portfolios, folders of evidence, research proposals, learning contracts, exams, OSCEs, and assessed online activities such as debates and team work.

Careers

Due to the increased demand for infertility treatment there has been a substantial growth in the demand for high quality laboratory and clinical staff in this area.

Approximately 1:7 couples are infertile and IVF is the predominant treatment for infertility contributing ~2% of the births in the UK and up to 5% in some EU countries. IVF is a rapidly growing field and as an example of this the number of cycles treated in the UK has increased by almost 30% in the last 4 years (http://www.hfea.gov.uk).

Following successful completion of the MSc students could apply for a training position in ART e.g. in embryology and/or andrology. Alternatively the MSc would be an ideal preparation for undertaking a PhD or applying for a research position. Clinically qualified graduates would gain valuable skills to enable them to specialise in reproductive medicine and assume responsibility within an ART clinic.

Skills that students will acquire include:

* In-depth understanding of basic reproductive physiology and a detailed knowledge of human ART;
* Sperm preparation and cryopreservation
* Recruitment of patients and donors for research
* Preparation of ethical approvals and appreciation for the ethical issues in ART
* Detailed work with human eggs and sperm (including assessment of gamete quality)
* Time lapse imaging of human embryos
* Business planning for running an ART laboratory and clinical service.
* QA and QC in the ART laboratory
* Troubleshooting in an ART lab
* The role of media and marketing in the development of an ART service.
* Detailed and practical knowledge of the HFEA and legislative and regulatory framework.
* Knowledge of basic IVF laboratory techniques e.g. preparation of dishes, witnessing
* Appreciation of the clinical diagnostic and pathways in ART

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This a one year (academic) full time course which, upon completion of a course of study leads to an M.Med.Sci Degree in Assisted Reproduction Technology. Read more

Overview

This a one year (academic) full time course which, upon completion of a course of study leads to an M.Med.Sci Degree in Assisted Reproduction Technology. This course provides an avenue for both scientists and clinicians to enter the field of reproductive biology; and for those already familiar with this area, an opportunity to gain greater appreciation of the biological processes of mammalian reproduction that are relevant to the manipulation of fertility and the treatment of reproductive disease.

The course was established in 1993, making it the longest running taught masters in the UK providing full-time training in human ART, and aims to furnish graduates with the theoretical and practical training within this highly specialised discipline. Designed to broaden knowledge of the underlying scientific principles and to enhance appreciation of the clinical management of infertility, it aims to encourage independent thought and a research oriented approach to the practice of assisted conception.

A major feature and strength of this course is that the primary components, in terms of reproductive physiology, research methods, clinical embryology, and clinical medicine are all provided by experts who are highly active within their own areas of expertise, giving the information provided to the students an immediacy and relevance that it would be impossible to achieve using a more static and established teaching base.

The course is studied over a period of one year, full time, and has three basic components:
1) Theoretical and Practical Training modules (95 Credits)
2) Development of Research and Presentation skills and Observation (25 Credits)
3) Research project & dissertation (60 Credits)

Delivery method

The taught component of the course is delivered in the Autumn and Spring semesters through a combination of lectures, practicals, seminars, tutorials and other associated activities, such as journal club and guest speakers.

Approximately one third of the total course duration is dedicated to the construction, preparation and investigation of a laboratory-based research project of up to 15,000 words. This is written up in thesis presentation form.

IMPORTANT NOTE

ALL applicants, especially those from a predominantly clinical background, please note:

• This is a laboratory-based, science degree course and not a clinically based infertility treatment course.
• There is no direct contact with patients or tuition in gynaecological/surgical procedures.
• That although training is given in all laboratory aspects of assisted conception (including semen evaluation, IVF, IVM, ICSI and cryopreservation) in the time available, this training can only represent an introduction to these techniques and those graduates wishing to become clinical embryologists will need further training to become competent in those highly specialised techniques.

Course aims

• To encourage independent thought and a research oriented approach to the practice of assisted conception
• To provide theoretical and practical training in Assisted Reproduction Technology
• To broaden the students knowledge of the underlying scientific basis of ART and clinical management of infertility
• To equip graduates with the ability to pursue a career in assisted conception (e.g. clinical embryology, infertility treatment) and/or research in reproductive biology

Course objectives

• To provide successful candidates with a career path within one of the many disciplines that encompass modern assisted reproduction technology and to this end, students are taught by and given the opportunity to interact with, both full-time reproductive biologists and the consultants, clinical embryologists, andrologists and counsellors.

Requirements

Candidates must normally be graduates of an approved university, or other institution of higher education in medicine, nursing or the biological sciences. Normally the minimum requirement for entry is a 2(ii) degree or equivalent, although candidates with a third class degree may be considered at the Course Directors discretion in special circumstances. If you are not sure if you qualify, please do not hesitate to contact the Course Administrator

Candidates will be required to follow a prescribed course of study for one academic year (two 15-week semesters and summer period)

All candidates will be required to undertake a theoretical and practical training programme. Candidates will also be required to submit a dissertation of not more that 15,000 words on a topic relating to an aspect of Assisted Reproduction agreed by the Director of the Course.

English Language Requirements

International students whose first language is not English must achieve an appropriate level in an approved test in English before they can register.

The requirements for this course are above the University minimum standards and are as follows:

• IELTS minimum score of 6.5 (with no less than 6.0 in any element)
or
• TOEFL iBT 87 (minimum 19 in listening, 20 in speaking and 21 in reading and writing)

Examinations should be taken within two years of registering to study at Nottingham. Completion of a previous degree studied in the English language does not exempt applicants from requiring one of the above English qualifications, unless the degree was taken in a country where the first language is English.

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This Masters degree is delivered in partnership between Edge Hill University and Liverpool Women’s Hospital. It bridges the theory of fertility and assisted conception with practice related to the assessment, investigation and treatment of the infertile/sub fertile couple. Read more
This Masters degree is delivered in partnership between Edge Hill University and Liverpool Women’s Hospital. It bridges the theory of fertility and assisted conception with practice related to the assessment, investigation and treatment of the infertile/sub fertile couple.

The programme is designed to ensure you will be able to plan and implement a treatment pathway for infertile couples, whilst providing opportunities to focus on areas such as ultrasound scanning for reproductive medicine, embryo transfer, oocyte retrieval and clinical andrology. There are practice competencies to achieve that will allow you to develop and enhance your clinical skills, underpinned by exploration of the evidence base that supports fertility practice.

The overall aim is to ensure that on completion of the programme you will meet and exceed the standards of an advanced practitioner in fertility and assisted conception.

What will I study?

You will study the clinical assessment and diagnostics that relate to practice within assisted conception. Modules cover topics centred round the anatomy, physiology and pathology of the male and female reproductive systems, alongside the therapeutic and pharmacological interventions aimed at assisting conception and the medico-legal aspects of fertility practice.

You will be able to choose from a range of clinical practice modules which are designed to develop specific clinical skills relating to embryo transfer, oocyte retrieval and ultrasound scanning in reproductive medicine. In addition, you may choose to complete a non-medical prescribing module or undertake negotiated learning around a specific topic of interest within reproductive medicine.

An introduction to research methods and approaches will engage you with the evidence base that supports practice and prepare you for the final dissertation. This is an advanced practice project that allows you to make use of your newly developed skills and immerse yourself in a specific area of fertility practice.

How will I study?

The theoretical component of the course is delivered 50% online (via the virtual learning environment) and 50% through attendance at taught sessions at Liverpool Women’s Hospital and Edge Hill University.

The taught sessions typically run on Saturdays so that attendance can be incorporated with clinical work. Online delivery includes podcasts and lectures by consultants working with reproductive medicine and also incorporates interactive sessions relating to anatomy, physiology and pathology.

Several modules contain practice competencies that need to be met so a significant amount of time for learning is allocated to this work in practice supported by a clinical mentor.

How will I be assessed?

There are a range of practice competencies to be met in clinical practice. Case studies, reflections and presentations will also be assessed to allow you to demonstrate your engagement with the evidence base that supports practice and the application of best practice guidance to your clinical work.

Who will be teaching me?

The programme will be delivered by consultant gynaecologists, obstetricians and andrologists from the field of reproductive medicine, together with specialist nurses, councillors and sonographers.

What are my career prospects?

This programme will develop and enhance your skills and knowledge in reproductive medicine and is designed to provide a strong foundation to progress your career within this discipline.

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The MSc/Diploma has been developed by the Division of Reproduction and Early Development within the Leeds Institute of Genetics, Health and Therapeutics in association with the Leeds Centre of Reproductive Medicine in the NHS Trust. Read more

Introduction

The MSc/Diploma has been developed by the Division of Reproduction and Early Development within the Leeds Institute of Genetics, Health and Therapeutics in association with the Leeds Centre of Reproductive Medicine in the NHS Trust. The course aims to provide a high standard of education in clinical embryology and to provide enhanced academic and professional development for embryologists, clinical scientists and clinicians working in the field through provision of a recognised qualification which will contribute to uniformity of knowledge in the theory and practise of clinical embryology. The part-time, distance learning format allows applicants in full-time employment to acquire an MSc degree.

Course History

The course was established in 2000, as the first web-based MSc degree course in Clinical Embryology. The course celebrated its 15th year in 2014. Over 250 students from over 40 countries have attended the course to date.

Course Objectives

The programme will provide a depth of knowledge and understanding of topics and issues within and related to clinical embryology. By the end of the MSc course students should be able to:
• Understand the molecular and endocrinological control of human reproduction, gametogenesis, fertilisation & early embryonic development, embryonic stem cells, epigenetics, and the causes and management of infertility
• Use laboratory techniques in molecular biology and genetics
• Understand assisted fertilisation techniques including micromanipulation and establish and maintain quality assurance and quality management systems, for the reliable operation of an IVF clinic. Understand the selection of the best oocyte and embryo. Undertake a lab design project
• Evaluate the latest developments in cryopreservation and vitrification of oocytes, spermatozoa, zygotes and cleavage and blastocyst stage embryos as well as ovarian and testicular biopsies
• Assess the HFEA act and code of practice and discuss the wider ethical issues of infertility treatments
• Submit a research project proposal carried out within the field of Assisted Reproduction Technology

Course Content

The course will comprise the following compulsory modules:
Module 1: Fundamentals of Clinical Embryology
Module 2: IVF and Embryo Culture
Module 3: Micromanipulation
Module 4: Cryobiology and Cryopreservation
Module 5: Ethics and Law for Embryologists
Module 6: Research Project Proposal

Course Delivery

This is a distance learning course that is delivered primarily by a dedicated course website and by the provision of printed versions of five of the course modules. Additional material is available online. Student-tutor communication is by e-mail.

There are three separate, week long workshops in Leeds during the course at which students meet the academic team for lectures, tuition and assessment.

Find us on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/MScClinicalEmbryologyUniversityofLeeds

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This new and exciting course focuses on conception from gamete formation through early embryo development to implantation and early pregnancy. Read more
This new and exciting course focuses on conception from gamete formation through early embryo development to implantation and early pregnancy.

Our world-leading researchers provide state of the art knowledge on the main problems in reproductive medicine.

Around one in seven couples is unable to conceive naturally wihtin two years. Nearly a quarter of a million babies have been born in the UK as a result of IVF since 1991. Now they account for 2.2% of all births annually.

This course will enable you to improve your understanding of the clinical and scientific aspects of assisted reproduction and initiation of early pregnancy. The university-based course takes place partly in a clinical setting, offering first hand opportunities to observe clinical procedures and question those at the forefront of patient care, working across a range of professional disciplines.

This course provides continuing professional development for people already working in the field, and a theoretical and practical grounding for those seeking entry to reproductive medicine as a career direction.

Teaching methods

Teaching comprises lectures, seminars, discussion sessions and practical sessions based at the University Hospital site in Coventry, supplemented with approximately 340 hours of self-directed learning. The two modules will be run over a three week period in May 2016. ART will run for the first week, then Implantation and Early Pregnancy will run over the following two weeks. Both modules are also available as standalone Postgraduate Awards (PGAs).

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