This one-year, full-time MSc by Research programme aims to introduce students to modern up-to-date molecular and cellular biological research in the field of reproductive sciences, reproductive health and reproductive medicine in a stimulating, challenging and vibrant research atmosphere, at the interface between basic science and clinical patient care.
The programme is intended for high-calibre students with biological science, medical or veterinary backgrounds.
It is advised that you contact the Programme Director, Dr Richard Smith, prior to making your application to ensure this programme meets your academic aims.
The main components of the programme are two 20-week research projects, performed on a very wide range of research fields within the reproductive sciences.
Topics that can be offered include using a wide range of models and in human, studying a number of important problems associated with human reproductive health and disease in testis, ovary, the uterus during the menstrual cycle and throughout pregnancy and labour, in the fetus and neonate, and in fetal programming resulting in increased risk of chronic disease in adulthood.
The MRC Centre for Reproductive Health has arranged its research under four themes:
These theme titles illustrate some of the remarkable properties that make reproductive systems such relevant and powerful models for translational studies across a wide spectrum of human diseases and pathologies in other systems.
The MRC Centre for Reproductive Health (CRH) has close links with other internationally recognised research centres in the Queen’s Medical Research Institute QMRI and elsewhere in Edinburgh, with the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, the Veterinary School, the University of Edinburgh science campus and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland.
Many student projects are organised with and between these centres, reflecting the interdisciplinary research environment, where students and trainees are regarded as the ‘lifeblood’ for the future.
The programme provides a core grounding in basic science and interlinked medical aspects of reproductive sciences. It is delivered by undertaking a two-week basic core laboratory skills training course, followed by gaining practical experience by performing two 20 week laboratory-based research projects.
These research projects provide you with hands-on laboratory experience and training in a wide range of up-to-date techniques in molecular and cellular biology. Students also gain a wide range of generic professional and scientific skills such as developing effective communication skills, and scientific writing through project reports and a grant application.
Alongside the project work there is a series of lecture modules and seminars delivered by internationally-recognised experts in the field, together with both staff and student-led small group tutorials.
This programme is the ideal route for those wishing to embark on a PhD, or in a technical laboratory role, in the field of Reproductive Health, spanning the biosciences, clinical and veterinary fields.
The broad range of skills gained is also readily transferable into careers at the clinical-laboratory interface and in the broader biosciences industry opportunities.
This programme does not amount to specific training to become a clinical embryologist.
In this program you will:
Our programme aims to improve your theoretical and practical knowledge of human anatomy through an intensive on-campus dissection course, as well as the development and learning of theoretical and practical aspects of teaching anatomy at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
This programme has two main strands. One is the in-depth study of the anatomy of the human body. Anatomical knowledge will be learned to a level to teach undergraduate and postgraduate students and professions allied to medicine. This strand will involve the dissection of a body in groups of three to five students over two semesters. This part of the course is largely self-directed, with regular “surgeries” when teaching staff are present to answer questions and help students with the dissections.
The other is anatomy pedagogy, covering the theoretical and practical aspects of teaching anatomy to undergraduate and postgraduate students. Next to theoretical lectures and workshops the first semester will focus on observing the teaching of anatomy to medical undergraduate students. The second semester will focus on being involved in preparing and carrying out teaching sessions to both small and large groups of students. The learned theoretical material, the observations and practical experiences will be compiled in an end-of year teaching portfolio. The experience that you will gain can be used towards an application as associate fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Complementing these strands will be a lecture-based embryology course providing you with an understanding of normal human development and how normal development can go wrong, manifested in commonly observed congenital abnormalities. You will also study neuroanatomy, the health and safety of embalming procedures and handling bodies, the legal and historical aspects of anatomy in Scotland and the UK, an introduction to the ethics of using bodies in medical education and explore clinical techniques used to image the body.
The programme is made up of six courses plus a summer dissertation project. The courses "Teaching Anatomy" and "Basic Human Anatomy 1 & 2" make up the majority of the degree with 40 credits each. The other courses are 10 credit courses that are spread out over two semesters as follows (10 credits equal 100 hours of work):
Semesters one and two:
Teaching is by lectures, seminars and tutorials. Courses are assessed by either, or a combination of, oral examinations, essays, multiple choice question exams, extended matching question exams, presentations and practical anatomy exams.
You have the option to finish after the second semester graduating with a Diploma in Human Anatomy, or to gain your masters by completing a summer dissertation project that can be either library-, practical- or laboratory-based.
More information on anatomy at the University can be found on our website:
This programme has been designed to help you gain a highly regarded qualification in anatomy and the teaching of anatomy. It will provide you with a set of major transferable skills such as dissecting experience, teaching experience, expertise in health and safety and anatomy law and ethics.
This programme can therefore open up possibilities in for example anatomy teaching, anatomy laboratories, further studies in medical and biomedical sciences, further research leading to a PhD, and many more increasing your long-term career prospects.