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Masters Degrees (Clinical Andrology)

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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 vocational training programme has been developed to appeal to recent biology, biomedical, biochemistry and medical graduates who aspire to develop a career in the field of clinical embryology and assisted reproductive technology (ART) and/or the associated reproductive sciences. Read more

Introduction and Course Objectives

This vocational training programme has been developed to appeal to recent biology, biomedical, biochemistry and medical graduates who aspire to develop a career in the field of clinical embryology and assisted reproductive technology (ART) and/or the associated reproductive sciences. The programme has been developed by the Division of Reproduction and Early Development within the Leeds Institute of Genetics, Health and Therapeutics in association with the clinicians and embryologists working at the Leeds Centre of Reproductive Medicine in the Leeds NHS Trust. The programme leaders have over 20 years of experience of training clinical embryologists, reproductive medicine practitioners and reproductive scientists.

This is a laboratory-based science degree not a clinically- based infertility treatment course. The programme will provide students with a detailed knowledge of the theory and practices that underpin human clinical embryology and ART. The curriculum covers: the cell and molecular biology of human reproduction, fertility, andrology and embryology; the management and efficient running of an ART laboratory; the practices, genetic and epigenetic concepts of micromanipulation and techniques such as intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD); advances in cryobiology and its application to gamete and embryo freezing and fertility preservation. It will also provide graduates with valuable insights into the theory underpinning clinical treatments and the ethical and legal controversies surrounding assisted reproduction in humans. The programme will equip graduates to pursue a career in human assisted reproduction (e.g. clinical embryology, infertility treatment) and/or research in the reproductive sciences.

The programme places a strong emphasis on all aspects of practical training for clinical embryology and assisted reproduction technology. Masters students will be tutored in research methods. They will receive hands-on training from specialist practitioners in andrology, gamete handling, IVF, ICSI, embryo culture, gamete and embryo freezing, vitrification, biopsy. Students will interact with established, clinical embryologists and reproductive medicine specialists.

Course Content:

The course will comprise the following compulsory modules:

• Fundamentals of Clinical Embryology;
• IVF and Embryo Culture;
• Micromanipulation;
• Cryobiology and Cryopreservation;
• Ethics and Law for Embryologists;
• Research in Reproduction, Embryology and Assisted Reproduction Technology

Course Delivery

This programme is delivered using a blended learning approach which combines lectures, seminars, tutorials, interactive group discussions, presentations and problem based learning sessions /case studies with self directed learning. The theoretical training is complimented by the conduct of original research and by laboratory-based practical sessions. The course content is further enhanced by an extensive array of online resources and by the provision of printed versions of all module workbooks. Course assessments will include essays, presentations, projects, practical log books, a research dissertation and examinations.

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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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This Masters degree has been designed to assist qualified doctors, working in obstetrics or gynaecology and seeking a career in fertility medicine, to enhance their knowledge and skills in relation to general subfertility problems. Read more
This Masters degree has been designed to assist qualified doctors, working in obstetrics or gynaecology and seeking a career in fertility medicine, to enhance their knowledge and skills in relation to general subfertility problems. The programme provides a strong link between theory and practice and is delivered in partnership with the Hewitt Fertility Centre at Liverpool Women’s Hospital.

A key aim is to enhance your ability to provide interventions suitable to individual patient’s needs. You will develop expertise in synthesising findings from an individual’s history, combined with the results of any patient examinations and investigations undertaken, to autonomously devise an appropriate, tailored and justified treatment plan. The programme will guide you in how to select and order clinical investigations, how to interpret their results, and how to evaluate the local, national and international drivers that impact upon the development of advanced reproductive medicine.

Consideration will also be given to the systems and approaches required to manage risk as well as the professional, legal and ethical demands of working within reproductive medicine. You will develop expertise in clinical reflection and be able to recognise potential professional limitations and challenges in practice, gain a systematic and critical understanding of research governance within reproductive medicine and demonstrate a critical understanding of pharmo-therapeutics related to fertility management.

What will I study?

You will gain a comprehensive working knowledge of best practice in reproductive medicine, develop the ability to interpret and synthesise clinical and investigative information, and discover how to formulate a treatment strategy for disorders of the male and female reproductive system.

Gaining clinical competency in the use of ultrasound scanning in the investigation, diagnosis and management of infertility, you will also develop an advanced understanding of clinical andrology and oocyte retrieval.

An introduction to research methods and approaches will engage you with the evidence base that supports practice. This will prepare you for the completion of a dissertation that will enable you to plan, manage and implement a significant piece of investigative enquiry related to your professional practice.

How will I study?

The programme uses a diverse array of teaching methods. Some modules are delivered via blended learning which is underpinned by the University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) while other modules require face-to-face sessions.

Across the course as a whole, you will learn through a combination of lectures, workshops, seminars, individual tutorials, group work and critical debates. The aim is to provide a framework to underpin the development of critical thinking and encourage sharing in the learning process.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment methods vary according to the requirements of each module but can be through assignments, Objective Structured Clinical Examinations, portfolios, seminar presentations, work-based learning and a small investigative research.

Who will be teaching me?

The programme team is drawn from a wide range of clinical backgrounds relating to fertility practice. It includes consultant medics, sonographers, senior embryologists, senior fertility nurse specialists and counsellors.

Members of the programme team publish in international journals and present at national and international conferences on a regular basis.

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This two-year part-time masters programme, taught entirely online, is offered by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and the University of Edinburgh, and leads to the degree of Master of Surgery (ChM). Read more

Programme description

This two-year part-time masters programme, taught entirely online, is offered by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and the University of Edinburgh, and leads to the degree of Master of Surgery (ChM).

Based on the UK Intercollegiate Surgical Curriculum, it provides the opportunity for trainees in urology to select those advanced modules relevant to their declared specialty and supports learning for the Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS) examinations.

The programme is designed to run alongside clinical training and complement in-the-workplace assessment.

Online learning

Our online learning technology is fully interactive, award-winning and enables you to communicate with our highly qualified teaching staff from the comfort of your own home or workplace.

Our online students not only have access to Edinburgh’s excellent resources, but also become part of a supportive online community, bringing together students and tutors from around the world.

Programme structure

The programme runs on a semester basis over two years and involves approximately 10 hours of study each week, in a flexible modular manner. It is anticipated that some of this study would receive credit or mirror 'in-the-workplace' activities.

The online distance learning nature of this programme is perfect for doctors working unsociable shift patterns. You will have access to high-quality, interactive online resources, e-journals and online textbooks, as well as dedicated technological support.

Year 1

Compulsory modules will cover the basic elements of the specialty of urology, including oncology, andrology, stone disease, reconstructive urology, paediatric urology and renal transplantation. Each module is based around relevant surgical cases and includes discussion board and video master classes.

Year 2

Academic modules will explore research and teaching methodology, whilst enabling students to develop the ability to analyse published evidence and enhance their interactive and written clinical communication skills. Students will also have the opportunity to complete an academic research project in Year 2 e.g. Original research or a Systematic Review in a relevant area of work. Following completion of the programme, students are encouraged to seek publication of their study in a peer-reviewed journal.

Students are supported throughout the programme through asynchronous discussions with e-tutors who are all leading clinicians in their field. Students also have access to a large learning resource, including subscriptions to key online books and journals. A written examination (MCQ) is held in the second year, following completion of core modules.

Career opportunities

Graduates will be able to demonstrate in-depth knowledge of their chosen surgical subspecialty and to apply this knowledge to the systematic assessment and management of surgical patients in the elective, urgent and emergency clinical setting.

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