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 Simon Riley, 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.
This vocational training programme is for recent biology, biomedical, biochemistry and medical graduates who want to develop a career in the field of clinical embryology and assisted reproductive technology (ART) and/or the associated reproductive sciences. It provides a detailed knowledge of the underpinning theory and practices and is a laboratory-based science degree not a clinically-based infertility treatment course.
The programme emphasises all aspects of practical training for clinical embryology and assisted reproduction technology. You’ll receive hands-on training from specialist practitioners in andrology, gamete handling, IVF, ICSI, embryo culture, gamete and embryo freezing, vitrification and biopsy and will interact with established, clinical embryologists and reproductive medicine specialists. You’ll also be trained in research methods.
You will be part of a world-renowned School, being taught by and working with internationally recognised scholars.
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.
You can also study this subject at Postgraduate Diploma level.
Through a series of compulsory modules you’ll learn about:
The programme also gives you valuable insights into the theory underpinning clinical treatments and the ethical and legal controversies surrounding assisted reproduction in humans.
The programme is delivered using a blended learning approach, which combines lectures, seminars, tutorials, interactive group discussions, presentations and problem-based-learning sessions or case studies, with self-directed learning.
Theoretical training is complemented by the original research conducted by the student and by an extensive series of laboratory-based ART practical and skills training sessions.
The course content is enhanced by extensive online resources and the provision of printed versions of all module workbooks, as appropriate.
Course assessments will include essays, presentations, projects, practical log books, a research dissertation and examinations.
The Clinical Embryology and Associated Reproductive Technology MSc equips graduates to pursue a career in human assisted reproduction (eg clinical embryology, infertility treatment) and/or research in the reproductive sciences.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
This one-year, full time programme provides an excellent grounding for PhD or other academic study in the Biomedical Sciences. You will learn valuable research skills, biomedical laboratory techniques and a wide range of other transferable skills that will give you an advantage for the rest of your career. You can also choose two themes that best suit your interests and career goals.
The programme includes seminars, taught modules and two research projects in our world-recognised research laboratories. We will also cover a range of valuable transferable skills including critical analysis of research papers, learning how to write a project grant application and literature review, and data presentation and statistical analysis.
The programme includes core skills, seminars, taught modules and laboratory projects in our well-resourced laboratories which are at the cutting-edge of Biomedical research.
Students will carry out two 20-week long research projects selected from the themes available. An assessed research proposal is also required for the second project.
Project 1 (September to February)
Project 2 (April to August)
Students may also be able to undertake projects in Integrative Neuroscience or in other areas of Biomedical Sciences, with the permission of the Programme Director. These students would be required to attend the taught element of one of the above Themes as appropriate.
Students are also required to attend the taught element of another theme as appropriate.
In March, students submit a research proposal based on the work to be performed for Project 2. This takes the form of a grant application, as would be prepared for a research organisation, and is assessed.
This programme is an excellent stepping-stone to a PhD, or a career in Biomedical research or industry.
In addition, every year there are vacancies for PhD studentships in the School of Biomedical Sciences and staff are always on the lookout for the outstanding postgraduate students who are on this Programme to encourage them to apply.
Read testimonials from some of our successful students:
The Clinical Embryology MSc is an internationally recognised qualification that provides academic and professional development for clinical scientists and clinicians working in the field. It is delivered by distance learning, allowing you to remain in full-time employment.
The programme aims to provide a high standard of education in clinical embryology and to provide enhanced academic and professional development for 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 practice of clinical embryology.
It was the first web-based MSc programme in clinical embryology, established in 2000. Since then nearly 300 students, from around 40 countries, have attended. The programme was developed by the Division of Reproduction and Early Development in association with the Leeds Centre for Reproductive Medicine (LCRM) at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.
The programme leader is John Huntriss. Course lecturers include staff from the University of Leeds, Bourn Hall Clinic in Cambridge, Leeds Centre for Reproductive Medicine, University College London and the University of Sheffield.
You can also study this subject at Postgraduate Diploma level (distance learning).
Building on your existing knowledge and experience, the programme offers advanced learning in clinical embryology. It aims to help establish good practice in the field of assisted reproductive technologies.
Through a series of compulsory modules, you’ll develop your knowledge of both the theory and practice of clinical embryology.
For the research project, you’ll write a persuasive research proposal in a subject area relevant to clinical embryology. The subject is chosen by you and comprises an original area of investigation. This research module aims to give you useful experience of hypothesis-driven research, including: critical evaluation of published literature in the chosen field of study, collation and justification of the project itself, research methodology and resources needed, statistical methods, report writing and scientific presentation.
Year 1 Compulsory modules
Year 2 Compulsory modules
You’ll learn through a combination of:
There are three, compulsory, one-week, residential workshops in the UK over two years. In the first of these workshops you’ll be assigned a tutor and will meet the teaching staff and your fellow-students. You’ll take part in practical sessions, seminars and discussion groups and will attend lectures, sometimes by guest speakers. Formal examinations will also take place during the second and third residential workshops.
Contact with your tutors and fellow-students is through email and online discussion rooms.
Student assessment will be split between assessed course work and formal examination.
For the MSc award you are also assessed on the research project proposal you submit as your dissertation.
The programme allows students to gain a wide breadth of knowledge that can give them confidence in their subject and allow skills to be transferred to the workplace.
Enhancing mobility and success in the workplace are engrained in the course. The course intake comprises embryologists, clinicians, reproductive technicians and reproductive scientists, typically working full time. The programmes are designed to fit around these requirements. We aim to uphold the academic excellence and integrity that has made the University of Leeds postgraduate programmes in clinical embryology highly respected in the field, and recognised for their high standards.
The enhancement of academic understanding of clinical embryology gained through the programmes provides good prospects for promotion and mobility in the workplace and for application to other positions. This has allowed many former students to move on to more senior positions, including several laboratory directors. Some former students are now directing policy in the field of ART. Other students have gone on to open their own ART clinics and many have become research active. Students also get the opportunity to network with an international group of ART practitioners, which is important for exchanging ideas on clinical practice and for career networking.