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  Reproductive and Developmental Biology - MSc/PGCert

Imperial College London    Medicine

Full time October PGCert, MSc 1 year full-time (MSc), 4 months full-time (PGCert)
Biological Sciences (4)

FindAMasters summary

Are you passionate about reproductive and developmental biology? Our MSc/PGCert programme in Reproductive and Developmental Biology is designed for scientists and clinicians who want to specialize in this fascinating field. Gain in-depth theoretical knowledge and practical skills in a vibrant research environment. The MSc option offers an integrated programme of academic learning, while the PG Cert option allows you to focus on core modules such as 'Gonads to gametes' and choose an additional module on 'Eggs to embryos' or 'Bumps to babies'. With a 2.1 degree in biological sciences, biomedical sciences, medicine, or veterinary studies, you can embark on this exciting journey to advance your career in scientific research or assisted reproduction.

About the course

This course enabled scientists and clinicians to specialise in reproductive and developmental biology. You will gain detailed theoretical knowledge of reproductive and developmental biology while gaining experience of academic and transferable skills, as well as practical skills within a vibrant research environment.

You will focus on the basic sciences and their application to selected clinical aspects of the subject. You will gain a valuable qualification and sound training for a further career in scientific research or in assisted reproduction.

Whether you are from a scientific or clinical background, you will be provided with an in-depth knowledge of molecular and cellular aspects of reproduction and development.

Read more about this course

Entry Requirements

Our minimum requirement is a 2.1 degree in a biological sciences, biomedical sciences, medical or veterinary degree (MBBS medical degree or DVS veterinary degree).

 Course Content

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Student Profiles


What were you doing before coming to Imperial?
Worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow.

Why did you choose Imperial?
It offered a PG Certificate at the Master's level in Reproductive and Developmental Biology.

What is/was most enjoyable about the programme?
The taught material and Prof Kate Hardy.

What do/did you most appreciate about the Faculty or College?
Many good quality lecturer and nice facilities, especially at South Kensington.

What do you plan to do after you graduate?
Continuing my fellowship.

Do you have any tips for future applicants and students?
Visit the college and talk to the faculty to get a better idea of what the program involves and its focus.

Thomas Hopkins

My project title:
Role of physical forces in regulating preantral follicle development

Current role:
PhD Student; Imperial College London.

My main areas of interest:
Bioengineering of the ovarian environment.

The most beneficial things about the programme:
The taught component gave a thorough grounding in reproductive sciences. I also gained fantastic exposure into a wide range of techniques during the project which prepared me for work as a PhD student.

The things enjoyed the most about the programme/Imperial College London/London:
The taught component gave us varied access to experts within their fields as well as guest lecturers from industry. A broad teaching was very beneficial for me to work out where I would like to continue research. I also really enjoyed being involved in an active research team within the project. Equally going to university in London is fantastic with lots of different things to do.

Since getting my Master’s, here are some of the things I’ve done:
• Started a PhD within Imperial College.
• Attended scientific conferences.

Next, I’d like to:
Write up a fellowship application for an interdisciplinary research project focusing on the effects of perinatal mental health on placental development and consequential effects on child development.

Lauren Emma Capron

My project title:
Maternal Anxiety & Depression and Placental Function

Current role:
Postdoctoral Research Associate at King’s College London

My main areas of interest:
Maternal Mental Health and Fetal Programming

The most beneficial things about the programme:
This MSc allowed me to not only develop my passion for reproductive biology, but also gave me insight into a laboratory environment and what a PhD would entail.

The things enjoyed the most about the programme/Imperial College London/London:
I really enjoyed the broad range of topics covered within the taught section of the course. Within the research project section of the course, I enjoyed the wide range of projects on offer as well as the opportunity to experience a laboratory environment and get a feel for how a laboratory based PhD would be.

Since getting my Master’s, here are some of the things I’ve done:
• Completed a PhD at Imperial (2012-2016) in the Centre for Mental Health. Thesis title - The impact of maternal antenatal depression and anxiety on child development: examining underlying mechanisms.
• Presented at several national and international conferences
• Won awards and prizes at international conferences
• Published papers and abstracts with key researchers in the field of Perinatal Psychobiology and Psychiatry
• Had the opportunity to work within multidisciplinary teams including research scientists, nurses and clinicians

Next, I’d like to:
Write up a fellowship application for an interdisciplinary research project focusing on the effects of perinatal mental health on placental development and consequential effects on child development.

Georgina Bartl - PGCert student

Current Role:
Lab Intern for Prof Kate Hardy and Prof Steve Franks lab, IRDB
NHS STP Reproductive Sciences Trainee

My main areas of interest:
PCOS and its associated pre-diabetic state disrupting the fine balance of the female endocrine axis, genomic imprinting disorders and the potential for stem cell research to abrogate infertility. Also, improving patient pathways along their ART journey and progressive treatments for infertility and embryo culture, as well as recent progress in CRISPR/Cas9 technologies and their potential application in IVF.

Most beneficial things about the programme:
The diversity of topics provided real scope to the course: from cell signalling to anatomy, conception to embryo development to birth, and addressing the ethical dilemmas in reproductive medicine. I enjoyed every lecture, and each was delivered to a high standard by an expert in the field, with passion and to a high standard. It was great to have the opportunity to talk with lecturers to discuss and problem solve more complex concepts, as the set up in the IRDB is quite intimate and relaxed.

Most enjoyable aspect of the programme/Imperial:
Having a tour around the IVF and andrology labs, speaking directly to a HCPC registered embryologist about their experiences and learn about the strict regulation and management side of running a busy and successful IVF lab. Watching the egg collection, ICSI and embryo transfer procedures, and the invaluable work, support and expertise provided by the clinical embryology team to patients along their ART journey was incredible.
I also really enjoyed the range of guest speakers. Standout speakers included Sir Robert Winston, Nessa Carey, and Stuart Lavery.
Make the most of the other benefits that Imperial has to offer: the excellent careers advisors for CV and application advice, talks for postgraduates and discounted extra-curricular classes.

Since the PGCert I’ve:
I have been interning in Kate Hardy’s and Steve Franks’ lab working with the team on prenatally androgenised ovarian tissue, using immunostaining to visualise protein co-expression in growing follicles. I also travelled around Japan for a month, the flexibility of the PG Cert allowing me to do so.

I have been accepted onto the NHS STP for Reproductive Medicine in Manchester. It perseverance to get there, and I believe persistence and the specialist knowledge acquired during the course helped broaden my unders

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