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Course content

Reproductive and developmental medicine is a wide-ranging discipline concerned with the biological, veterinary, medical and social problems associated with fertility, pregnancy, prenatal development and parturition. Understanding the science behind these reproductive processes is key to diagnosing and developing effective fertility treatments in humans and other animals. Our MSc course has been designed to cover a breadth of reproductive processes from the genesis of sperm and eggs through to fetal development and labour. The course is structured to provide general as well as subject-specific scientific training in these topics, and to provide clinical and social perspectives in the treatment of infertility.


Teaching is mostly research-informed since each topic is delivered by leading scientists and clinicians who are currently active in their field. Occasionally, external speakers from around the UK are invited to provide additional knowledge on the latest advances.

Much of the teaching during the first six months is lecture-based, but also includes seminars, tutorials and practical classes. Class sizes are kept small to encourage interactive learning.  

Teaching is mostly delivered on site in the Jessop Wing, a purpose built facility that houses the Academic Unit of Reproductive and Developmental Medicine. Occasionally classes may be scheduled in the Medical School or main University campus.

During the second 6 months students will be allocated a research project, which involves independent learning supported by one-to-one supervision.


Each module is assessed using a variety of different formats. Learning and teaching activities and assessment tasks have been developed to reflect the content of the module and to develop skills relevant for careers in reproductive medicine.

The following are some examples:

Practical exercises with reflective reports, preparation of research articles, mock ethics committee presentations, systematic review and meta-analysis

The research project is assessed by a poster presentation, short reflective reports, a thesis and a short oral exam based on the written work.

For further details of the assessments for each module please visit the module web pages.


Course structure

The course is run full-time for one year from the end of September. The first half of the programme consists of six taught modules that run through to March. The second half of the programme from March to September encompasses the research project module. Completion of all seven modules are core to requirements for the MSc.

Module 1 : Research Skills in Reproductive Medicine 

(15 credits)

Module 2 : Fundamentals of Reproduction: Gonads to Gametes

(15 credits)

Module 3 : Fertilisation, Implantation and Embryology 

(15 credits)

Module 4 : Fetal Development, Pregnancy and Parturition

(15 credits)

Module 5 : Reproductive Medicine and Assisted Conception

(15 credits)

Module 6 : Law, Ethics and Policy in Reproductive Medicine

(15 credits)

Module 7 : Research Project

(90 credits)