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2020/21 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

REPR5210M Fundamentals of Clinical Embryology

45 creditsClass Size: 35

Module manager: Dr John Huntriss

Taught: 1 Jan to 30 Sep, 1 Jan to 31 May View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

Pre-requisite qualifications

Normally a second or first class honours degree in a biological or related science. Students with appropriate or accredited prior experience within an embryological laboratory will also be considered.


REPR5160MResearch in Reproduction, Embryology & Assisted Reproduction
REPR5240MCryobiology & Cryopreservation
REPR5250MEthics & Law for Embryologists
REPR5260MRes. Proj: Clinical Embryology


REPR5220MIVF and Embryo Culture

This module is not approved as an Elective


On completion of this module, students should be able to
- critically discuss the origin of gametes and gametogenesis in both the male and female;
- critically discuss the origin of embryos and embryogenesis;
- describe and evaluate the latest developments in our understanding of the endocrinological control of human reproduction, gametogenesis, fertilisation and generation of the zygote;
- understand the principles of the routinely used laboratory techniques in molecular biology, cell biology and genetics e.g. PCR, rtPCR, RACE, FISH;
- discuss the causes of subfertility in both the male and female, and be able to critically assess new developments in the treatment of human subfertility.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this core module students should be able to:
- Confidently and authoritatively discuss essential and advanced concepts in reproductive biology and medicine.
- Analytically and critically scrutinise the clinical and laboratory assessment of male and female reproductive function.
- Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of and be able to distinguish between the purposes and methodologies underpinning preimplantation screening and diagnosis and prenatal screening and diagnosis
- Provide evidence for the role of genetics male and female infertility, aberrations of fetal development and sex determination and differentiation.

Skills outcomes
At the end of this module students should have a deeper understanding of molecular, cellular and endocrinological aspects of reproductive function and dysfunction. Students will appreciate how rapid advances in screening, diagnostics and accompanying technologies are impacting on treatment methods for female and male factor infertility which they encounter in their daily work in reproductive medicine.


This core module will introduce some of the basic and related sciences and technologies to the students. It will provide students with knowledge of the background science which is crucial to the understanding of the basis of embryology, in particular the process of male and female gametogenesis and the endocrinological control of the human reproductive process. More recent advances in both science and technology will be included to introduce students to new developments in treatment of infertility and to laboratory techniques in molecular biology.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
On-line Learning1001.00100.00
In Course Assessment361.0036.00
Private study hours294.00
Total Contact hours156.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)450.00

Private study

Students will be expected to work in their own time researching online coursework and building their knowledge from the online materials.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Personal tutors are in regular, frequent contact with students by email, internet and telephone. Students have face-to-face tutorials to discuss topical issues and questions, to review progress and assessment feedback, with early identification and support for students who are not achieving at a satisfactory level.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Written Work1 piece 1,000 - 1500 words25.00
Essay1 piece 1,000 - 1500 words25.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online Time-Limited assessment3 hr 25.00
Online Time-Limited assessment3 hr 25.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

The format of this assessment is subject to change due to restrictions imposed by Covid-19; the assessment will continue to meet the learning outcomes and the PSRB requirements

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 10/08/2020 08:42:43


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