Taught course

Human Clinical Embryology and Assisted Conception

University of Dundee · School of Medicine

Entry requirements

1st or upper second class hours degree (lower class honours degrees will be considered under exceptional circumstances ) in the field of biological, biochemical or biomedical sciences. Doctors will also be accepted with an MBChB (or equivalent). Please check our website for English language requirements.

Months of entry


Course content

This is a unique course in collaboration with the ART centre in NHS Tayside. The emphasis is on humans and clinical ART/Embryology with a very strong practical component. The course is aimed at people who primarily want a career in ART either clinical or non-clinical.

It offers students the chance of exposure to an NHS IVF clinic (NHS Tayside). Through this direct exposure students will observe the practice and management of a working IVF clinic and benefit from teaching by staff involved in ART (assisted reproductive technology).

Additionally the high level of practical work (carried out in UoD teaching not NHS labs) ensures the student is equipped with an unrivalled experience in handling and preparing HUMAN gametes.

A primary delivery of the course is taught. This consists of traditional seminars/lectures/essays/assignments/case reports/presentations/ self-directed study. It will provide a robust and wide ranging education in human clinical embryology and ART. Students would be marked on essays, practical work, a dissertation, a research project and an examination (practical and theory).

Skills that students will acquire include:

  • In-depth understanding of basic reproductive physiology and a detailed knowledge of human ART;
  • Semen analysis training to ABA standards including undertaking 2 of the modules (diagnostic semen analysis; sperm preparation for diagnosis and therapeutic intervention);
  • Training in ICSI (intra cytoplasmic sperm injection)
  • Sperm preparation and cryopreservation;
  • Recruitment of patients and donors for research;
  • Preparation of ethical approvals and appreciation for the ethical issues in ART;
  • Detailed work with human eggs and sperm (including assessment of gamete quality);
  • Time lapse imaging of human embryos;
  • Business planning for running an ART laboratory and clinical service;
  • QA and QC in the ART laboratory;
  • Troubleshooting in an ART lab;
  • The role of media and marketing in the development of an ART service;
  • Detailed and practical knowledge of the HFEA and legislative and regulatory framework;
  • Knowledge of basic IVF laboratory techniques e.g. preparation of dishes, witnessing;
  • Appreciation of the clinical diagnostic and pathways in ART.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months

Course contact details

Professor Chris Barratt
+44 (0)1382 383398