Postgraduate study
This is a highly-specialised laboratory-based course designed for graduates pursuing a career in clinical embryology, assisted conception or research in assisted reproduction technology.
MMedSci Assisted Reproduction Technology
1 year full-time
Entry requirements
An appropriate degree (science, nursing, medicine) from an accredited centre of higher education
6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses may be available
Start date
UK/EU fees
£12,330 - Terms apply
International fees
£31,410 - Terms apply
Queen's Medical Centre



Key facts

Is this for you?

This is for scientists and clinicians looking to further their careers in:

  • Clinical embryology and/or andrology
  • Assisted conception and reproductive medicine (mainly for clinically qualified graduates)
  • PhD or research position in reproductive sciences
What you will get from this course
  • Theoretical and practical training in Assisted Reproduction Technology, backed by more than 25 years of experience training graduates in the field
  • Opportunity to obtain training in and perform all laboratory aspects of assisted conception including
    • Andrology: semen evaluation and preparation
    • Embryology: IVF, IVM, ICSI, PGD and cryopreservation

 utilising human or mammalian (mice, sheep, cattle) gametes and embryos

  • Opportunity to design, implement and write up research in an area of Assisted Reproduction Technology
  • Teaching by leading research-active experts in reproductive medicine and physiology, research methods, clinical embryology and clinical medicine
What our students say

"I found the course extremely helpful, it gave me an in-depth knowledge of ART and has enabled me to find work within the field. It was a hard year but it is well worth it!" -- Nadia De Rosa (2014 graduate)

"This course is one of the best courses available world-wide which focus on the field of assisted reproduction with hands-on training throughout the course duration. It also enhances our research skills and opens the door for us to join one of the most competitive careers in medicine." -- Mohsen Attia (2009 graduate)

More student profiles




Full course details


The MMedSci in Assisted Reproduction Technology is taught on a full-time basis over one academic year (October to September).


The course deliberately integrates – through lectures and practical sessions – the theoretical basis of mammalian reproductive physiology with its foundations in the field of human assisted conception research. Much of the emphasis of the practical work concentrates on the manipulation of mammalian gametes and embryos.

Our students are also given the opportunity to carry out observation sessions at Nurture Fertility where they rotate through the different areas such as embryology, andrology, clinical consultations, nursing and ultrasound.

See more details of modules below.


The overall degree is assessed by the student's performance in coursework, research project and examinations.

  • Examinations

There is an examination per taught module at the end of each semester, covering material taught in that semester. This will consist of 2 x 2 hour short answer/short essay papers per semester. 

  • Coursework

Includes experience in writing a series of essays, practical reports, oral presentations, journal clubs as well as the research projects.

Research project and dissertation

During the summer period each student will undertake a research project which will be presented for assessment at the end of the year as a written dissertation of no more than 10,000 words

You will complete your project on an individual basis with the guidance, supervision and direction of a designated academic supervisor from within the University.  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.

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

Degree classes and diploma

The M.Med.Sci.(ART) is awarded to students who successfully complete the entire course and is awarded at three levels:

  1. Pass: an overall mark between 50-59%
  2. Merit: an overall mark between 60-69% in both the taught and research dissertation components of the course
  3. Distinction: an overall mark of greater than 70% in both the taught and research dissertation components of the course

A student will only receive a Masters award if they have successfully completed both the taught and dissertation/project stages of their course.  A student who does not successfully complete the dissertation/project stage will be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate if they have gained a pass mark of 50% or more in modules worth 120 credits (60 credits for the Postgraduate Certificate), or satisfy the requirements of Regulations 10 and 11 unless PSRB or local government regulations preclude this. For the purposes of award of the Postgraduate Diploma the dissertation mark will count.  

Course staff and contributors

The majority of the lecture and practical courses are given by members of the School of Medicine, Division of Child Health, Obstetrics and Gynaecology within the Queens Medical Centre (QMC) although there is also a substantial input from the School of Biosciences, based at the Sutton Bonington campus 12 miles to the south of the city.

  • Dr Walid Maalouf, Course Director, Assistant Professor in Embryology
  • Dr Juan Heberth Hernández-Medrano, Assistant Professor in Reproductive Physiology
  • Dr Adam Watkins, Assistant Professor in Reproductive Biology
  • Mr Kannamannadiar Jayprakasan, Associate Professor (Hon) in Reproductive Medicine, and Director of Fertility Services and Consultant in Reproductive Medicine, Royal Derby Hospitals
  • Dr Mathew Tomlinson, Assistant Professor (Hon) in Clinical Andrology and Consultant in Clinical Andrology, Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham
  • Professor Kevin Sinclair, Professor of Developmental Biology, School of Biosciences, Faculty of Science
  • Professor Bruce K Campbell, Emeritus Professor of Reproductive Physiology
  • Mr Nick Raine-Fenning, Clinical Associate Professor & Reader in Reproductive Medicine and Surgery, Medical Director at Nurture Fertility
  • Mr James Hopkisson, Clinical Associate Professor, Medical Director at Nurture Fertility
  • Dr Peter Marsters, Associate Professor (Hon) in Molecular Cell Biology
  • Dr Ioannis Sfontouris, Assistant Professor (Hon) in Clinical Embryology and Senior Clinical Embryologist, Eugonia Assisted Reproduction Unit
  • Mrs Nicky Baker, Senior Technician
  • Ms Steph Barnard-Khan, Technician
  • Mrs Catherine Pincott-Allen, Technician

Associated staff

  • Professor Jim Thornton, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Dr Ian Todd, Associate Professor and Reader in Cellular Immunopathology, School of Molecular Medical Sciences
  • Dr Ramiro Alberio, Lecturer in Developmental Epigenetics, School of Biosciences, Faculty of Science
  • Dr George Mann, Associate Professor and Reader in Reproductive Endocrinology, School of Biosciences, Faculty of Science

Within the Queen's Medical Centre are a dedicated and fully equipped teaching laboratory, lecture theatre and student common room with computers, wifi, and a small kitchen/seating area. 

The course is located within the Division of Child Health, Obstetrics and Gynaecology where there are many active research labs where students could work during the projects.

Course background

The M.Med.Sci in ART is the longest running taught Masters in the UK providing full-time training in ART and since it began in 1993, the course has produced hundreds of graduates who have gone on to establish successful careers in this discipline.

There are, worldwide, a large number of clinics, centres and practitioners offering Assisted Reproduction Technology (ART) to infertile couples.

As the discipline has developed the need for treatment of certain causes of infertility has required practitioners to become specialised in many associated disciplines, such as techniques of cell culture, embryology, andrology, endocrinology, immunology, infertility, gynaecology and specialised laboratory practice.

Research and therapeutic procedures involving human subjects and human material are very much in the public eye and practitioners also require a commitment to ethical debate and familiarity with the regulatory bodies, such as the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) within the UK, that have been set up to oversee this discipline.

The growth of ART also means that there continues to be a growing demand for trainees and practitioners in this discipline. Clinical embryology, in particular, is perceived as both a personally and financially rewarding career choice (see Careers and testimonials), and thus demand is strong amongst new graduates for trainee positions.

The M.Med.Sci. in ART course therefore answers the real need of providing a theoretical and practical background for potential practitioners in this area with a view to improving the quality of both clinical practice and research in reproductive medicine.


Student intake

The course intake is limited to 36 students per year due to the need to provide personalised tuition during practical classes.

Although the details of the course intake vary slightly from year to year, generally around two thirds of the student intake are science graduates with the other third being clinically trained.

Similarly, around half the student intake are home/EU whereas the other half are international with students coming from all over the world. 

Since 1993, we have had students coming from over 40 different countries.

See where our students come from





A34AR1 Assisted Reproduction Technology Part 1

  • 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

A34REP Reproductive Biology (Male and Female) and Comparative Reproductive Anatomy and Mechanisms

This module covers:

  • General Reproductive Biology
  • Comparative Reproductive Anatomy
  • Folliculogenesis, oogenesis and spermatogenesis
  • Reproductive processes in humans and other species
  • Epigenetics

A34AR2 Assisted Reproduction Technology Part 2

This module covers:

  • 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 it.

A34BIO Biomolecular analysis for PGD and Research, and Biological Statistics

This module covers:

  • Cell biology
  • Reproductive Biology
  • Immunology
  • Neuroendocrinology
  • Implantation.

A34RES Research Training

During the summer period each student will undertake a research project which will be presented for assessment at the end of the year as a written dissertation of no more than 15,000 words. Guidance, supervision and direction for these projects would be available from project supervisors. Examples of the types of project that could be undertaken 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

The above is a sample of the typical modules that 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. Due to the passage of time between commencement of the course and subsequent years of the course, modules may change due to developments in the curriculum and information is provided for indicative purposes only.


Fees and funding

Home/EU students

The Graduate School at The University of Nottingham provides more information on internal and external sources of postgraduate funding.

Government loans for masters courses

The Government offers postgraduate student loans for students studying a taught or research masters course. Applicants must ordinarily live in England or the EU. Student loans are also available for students from Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

International and EU students

Masters scholarships are available for international students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure your course application is submitted in good time.

Information and advice on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study is available on our website, as well as country-specific resources.


Careers and professional development

The highly specialised and applied nature of this degree makes it a unique qualification for those wishing to pursue a career in the field of Assisted Reproduction. 

The course is designed to equip graduates with the theoretical knowledge and practical training necessary for three main career paths:

(i) Clinical embryology

A career in clinical embryology is perceived as a rewarding career choice both at a personal and a financial level, and thus demand is strong amongst new science graduates for trainee positions.

Various paths exist to start a career in clinical embryology which could depend on the local or national requirements in the country where the candidate is aiming to work.  The normal progression is from trainee, to clinical, to senior clinical and then to a manager or consultant level in clinical embryology.

Although a Masters degree is not a requirement to start this career path, it is an enormous advantage and a number of employers prefer that you do hold one. Graduates from our M.Med.Sci. (ART) course have been exceptionally successful in going on to this career path although applicants should be aware that from 2013-2014 changes to training programmes for Clinical Embryology mean that students need to gain access to the NHS Scientist Training Programme (STP) for Healthcare Scientists.

(ii) Assisted conception

For the clinician, the M.Med.Sci (ART) provides the theoretical and technical basis to pursue a career in this speciality.

The primary advantage of the course for the clinician is that it provides a total view of the process of assisted conception. This is particularly important in terms of the laboratory procedures and quality assurance required to run an assisted conception unit as it clear that this aspect of ART is the primary determinant of achieving high success rates in assisted conception.

Thus the ART course is particularly useful for clinical graduates who wish to return to their country of origin and work in or establish an assisted conception unit and this career path is taken by the majority of our clinically qualified ART graduates.

Alternatively, a small but significant number of our graduates wish to remain and practice in the UK and after obtaining the necessary qualifications to do so, the normal career path is to obtain a position in an IVF unit in which direct contact with patients and tuition in gynaecological/surgical procedures can be obtained.


(iii) Research in ART

A primary aim of the course is to provide graduates with the necessary skills to go on to undertake a higher research degree (PhD, MD).

Therefore a large amount of time is devoted to the development of professional, practical and transferable skills in terms of the ability to collect, analyse and present data in a scientific format. This is achieved through journal clubs, specific tutorials, essays and the third semester research project which has to be presented in written, poster and oral forms.

The development of effective communication skills is therefore a primary learning outcome and each year the module convenors and external examiners are gratified by the high standard achieved by the M.Med.Sci (ART) students when these skills are assessed at these presentations.

A small but significant number of graduates from the M.Med.Sci. (ART) course go on to do higher research degrees each year and there are often opportunities within the academic unit of Child Health, Obstetrics and Gynaecology or elsewhere within the University of Nottingham to undertake these degrees.


Although the MMedSci (ART) is aimed at preparing individuals for the aforementioned career opportunities, a  number of individuals have decided to use the course as a platform for alternative career paths where the theoretical and practical knowledge in ART have been a major advantage.  This includes careers in industry and manufacturing, law and politics, medical and journal writing, Animal breeding and conservation centres (including zoos), transgenic core facilities, and genetic screening and diagnosis services.

See what our students say


Average starting salary and career progression

In 2017, 95.7% of postgraduates from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The median starting salary was £28,625 with the highest being £76,001.*

* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates, 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Career prospects and employability

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers* and can offer you a head-start when it comes to your career.

Our Careers and Employability Service offers a range of services including advice sessions, employer events, recruitment fairs and skills workshops – and once you have graduated, you will have access to the service for life.

The Graduate Market 2013–2019, High Fliers Research




This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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