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Course overview

As the longest running course of its kind, Assisted Reproduction Technology (ART) has produced graduates leading the field across the globe in:

  • clinical embryology and andrology
  • assisted conception and reproduction technology
  • research in reproductive sciences

At Nottingham, you'll receive comprehensive practical and theoretical training in the different aspects of the field like:

  • cellular biology, physiology and anatomy
  • andrology with a focus on semen evaluation and preparation
  • embryology with a focus on IVF, IVM, ICSI, PGT and cryopreservation

With a dedicated training lab and teaching room, you'll benefit from our very thorough training in all lab aspects of assisted reproduction.

Thanks to our academics and their collaborations across the globe in clinical medicine, research, and in industry, you'll also get the opportunity to learn and use new methods and technologies that are sometimes still in development. 

Our goal is to help you to succeed in the field of assisted reproduction technology, whether you want to become a clinical embryologist or andrologist, want to continue your career in reproductive medicine or go on to further research in the discipline.

Why choose this course?

Ready for work

You will gain a comprehensive experience in ART technical skills through hands-on practical teaching in our dedicated training lab.

Research excellence

Our actively research-focused staff and students have led to a number of major contributions to the field of ART.

Practical approach

You will be introduced to the IVF technology and protocols used daily in fertility clinics through practical teaching in our dedicated training lab.

New technologies

You'll have the opportunity to learn and use new technologies like pre-implantation genetic testing (PGT) and time-lapse technology (TLT), including some that are still in development. 

Longest running

Since 1993, our course has produced hundreds of graduates who are leading the field of ART today.

Course content

You'll study across a number of compulsory modules designed to teach you the basis of reproduction technology reproduction technology. This will include areas like:

  • reproductive anatomy and physiology
  • andrology and semen analysis
  • IVF (in vitro fertilisation)
  • IVM (in vitro maturation)
  • ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection)
  • PGT (pre-implantation genetic diagnosis testing)
  • cryopreservation of gametes, embryos and tissues
  • gamete and embryo micro-manipulation

Most students will also complete one further module in Reproductive Genetics and Biomolecular Analysis, however clinical students will have a choice between that and Reproductive Medicine. Please check with the course director on your eligibility for these modules.

Study takes place over two semesters and a summer period. Typically taught modules are delivered in the autumn and spring semesters with the summer entirely focused on your research project, though this is dependent on your mode of study.

Part time students will spread their modules across their study period and will most likely carry out their research project in their final year.

Students must take all of the compulsory modules and one further module for a total of 180 credits.

Modules

Compulsory modules

Comparative Reproductive Anatomy and Physiology 30 credits

This course is aimed at providing the students with the essential knowledge and understanding  required in reproductive anatomy, biology, endocrinology and physiology,  and to acquaint the students with the crucial elements of male and female reproductive biology including the process of folliculogenesis, oogenesis, spermatogenesis and epigenetic programming in the oocyte and early embryo.

Assisted Reproduction Technology Part 1 30 credits
  • IVF laboratory risk management and quality assurance
  • Oocyte retrieval and, oocyte and embryo morphology and assessment
  • Embryo development and in vitro culture requirements
  • Fertility preservation including cryopreservation of sperm and ovarian tissue
  • Andrology laboratory risk management and quality assurance
  • Sperm handling from donor to evaluation including estimating sperm concentration, motility and viability
Assisted Reproduction Technology Part 2 30 credits
  • Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and micromanipulation in assisted reproduction
  • Embryo biopsy and assisted hatching
  • Cryopreservation of oocytes and embryos
  • Reproductive failure and evaluation and management of sub-fertility
  • Ovulation induction and manipulation of the reproductive cycles
  • Ultrasound in infertility
  • Regulations, the HFEA
Research Training and Project 60 credits

You will undertake a research project which will be presented for assessment at the end of your final year as a written dissertation of up to 10,000 words.

The majority of projects are conducted within the University and opportunities also exist both nationally and internationally in collaboration with other IVF clinics and research institutions.

Guidance, supervision and direction for these projects is available from project supervisors.

A number of specific projects are offered each year. Previous projects have been presented in national and international conferences or published in peer-reviewed high-impact medical or scientific journals. Examples of previous projects include:

  • Investigation of the presence of collagen within the human oocyte
  • Effect of endometrial development and structural uterine anomalies on IVF and ICSI outcome
  • The impact of delaying administration of hCG on oocyte maturity, fertilisation, cleavage and implantation rates in IVF and ICSI cycles
  • The role of extracellular matrix proteins in human endometrial stromal cell decidualisation

Optional modules

Reproductive Genetics and Biomolecular Analysis 30 credits

The course aims to:

  • Acquaint the students with the molecular cell biology which underlies biomolecular and genetic diagnosis of disease, and a focused range of biomolecular analysis techniques associated with Pre-implantation Genetic Testing (PGT, formerly known as PGD and PGS) and research in the fields of embryology, andrology/seminology and assisted reproduction and in the wider field of reproductive biology.
  • Acquaint the students with the biological statistical analysis techniques relevant to the fields of embryology, andrology/semenology and assisted reproduction and the wider field of reproductive biology, and with the basis and use of fundamental mass, concentration and volume calculations.

Topics include:

  • Cell biology
  • Reproductive immunology
  • Molecular biology and techniques
  • Biochemical principles and assays
  • Biological statistics
Reproductive Medicine 30 credits

This module has been designed specifically for the MMedSci Assisted Reproduction Technology with a clinical or nursing background mainly to allow them to gain more in depth knowledge on the reproductive medicine aspects in ART.

Topics include:

  • Investigation of the infertile couple
  • Reproductive endocrinology
  • Ultrasound application in IVF
  • ART treatment pathways
  • Follicular tracking and aspiration
  • Embryo transfer
The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Monday 09 November 2020.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

  • Lectures
  • Lab sessions
  • Journal club
  • Computer workshops
  • Research projects
  • Self-study

How you will be assessed

  • Exams
  • Lab reports
  • Essays
  • Presentations
  • Case studies
  • Dissertation

Your work will be assessed during and at the end of each module through a variety of means.

To complete a module and gain its credits you will need to make sure you attend your timetabled sessions and get over the 50% pass mark.

In order to achieve the MMedSci, you will need a total of 180 credits.

Contact time and study hours

We encourage our students to think of the course like they would a full-time job and spend around 37 hours on it per week including teaching time. Part time students should consider it similar to a part-time job.

You are expected to work roughly 10 hours for each credit on the course including teaching and independent study, so a 20 credit module should take around 200 hours to complete or around a total of 25 eight-hour days.

Full Time

Full time students learn over a period of two semesters and a summer period totalling around 12 months.

Teaching is usually delivered daily during the semesters, and Wednesdays are kept free whenever possible. Typically students are learning in groups for practical teaching on different days. You'll have an average of 15 hours of contact time each week, however time and days of teaching will depend on your modules and the availability of our guest speakers.

Non-teaching days are intended for private study and research.

Part Time

Part time students can learn the same course content over a period of 24 months.

You will typically attend teaching one day a week per module or about 8 hours per week per module.

We try wherever possible to be flexible to help you manage your timetable.

You're expected to devote around one and a half days per week to the course including attending teaching, private study, and research.

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2021 entry.

Undergraduate degree2:2 in a relevant degree subject like Science, Nursing, or Medicine.
Additional information

If you hold an appropriate higher degree like a Masters or a PhD then lower pass grades may be accepted given additional experience and evidence of a high level of motivation for this career path.

Applying

If you have any questions about applying to the course or studying at the University of Nottingham, please use our enquiry form

You can also contact the course director, Dr Walid Maalouf, if you have any questions about the course content.

Our step-by-step guide covers everything you need to know about applying.

How to apply

Fees

Qualification MMedSci
Home / UK £13,000
International £36,000

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland starting your course in the 2021/22 academic year, you will pay international tuition fees.

This does not apply to Irish students, who will be charged tuition fees at the same rate as UK students. UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will also continue to be eligible for ‘home’ fee status at UK universities until 31 December 2027.

For further guidance, check our Brexit information for future students.

Additional costs

As a student on this course, you should factor some additional costs into your budget, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses such as travel and accommodation.

You should be able to access the books and resources you need for the course through our libraries, however you may wish to purchase your own copies or get specific books which may cost up to £80 each.

Funding

There are many ways to fund your postgraduate course, from scholarships to government loans.

The University also offers masters scholarships for international and EU students. Our step-by-step guide contains everything you need to know about funding postgraduate study.

Postgraduate funding

Careers

We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students.

Expert staff can help you research career options and job vacancies, build your CV or résumé, develop your interview skills and meet employers.

More than 1,500 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.

Graduate destinations

Our graduates go on to a wide range of careers. The majority of them go on to succeed in:

  • clinical and research embryology
  • assisted conception
  • reproductive medicine

Others have utilised their skills to find roles in sectors like:

  • industry and manufacturing
  • law and politics
  • animal breeding and conservation centres (including zoos)
  • transgenic core facilities
  • genetic screening and diagnosis services.

Career progression

90.3% of postgraduates from the School of Medicine secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary for these graduates was £38,889.*

*HESA Graduate Outcomes 2020. The Graduate Outcomes % is derived using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

We collaborate with the Association of Reproductive and Clinical Scientists (ARCS) and the British Fertility Society (BFS) to deliver targeted training workshops.

Two masters graduates proudly holding their certificates
" This is a highly specialised lab-based course, designed for those seeking a career in clinical or research embryology, reproductive medicine and infertility. We are always introducing cutting edge technologies in the teaching and our students particularly love the research module. Their projects are often published in national and international scientific and medical journals. "
Dr Walid Maalouf, Course Director

Related courses

The University has been awarded Gold for outstanding teaching and learning (2017/18). Our teaching is of the highest quality found in the UK.

The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is a national grading system, introduced by the government in England. It assesses the quality of teaching at universities and how well they ensure excellent outcomes for their students in terms of graduate-level employment or further study.

This content was last updated on Monday 09 November 2020. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur given the interval between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.