Master of Medical Sciences in Clinical Embryology and Assisted Reproduction

Programme Description

The curriculum for the Assisted Reproduction and Clinical Embryology Master’s Program offers progression from the Postgraduate Diploma Programme. The programme is designed to provide graduate students, scientists and clinicians with highly advanced theoretical and practical understanding of human reproductive biology, embryology, infertility and assisted reproductive technology (ART) along with intensive hands-on practical training in essential laboratory skills required to competently handle human ART laboratory. Another aspect of the program is to impart best practices for the ART laboratory with special emphasis on design, workflow, quality control and assurance, and current regulations. Upon completion these students can undertake employment as a clinical embryologist in diverse field of reproductive medicine.

Programme Mission Statement

The mission of the Master of Medical Sciences in Clinical Embryology and Assisted Reproductive Technology (M. MedSc CEART) programme is to provide an educational programme dedicated to academic excellence that provides the essential knowledge and skills to produce competent clinical embryologists and andrologists working in laboratories dedicated to the management of infertility.

Programme Goals

This programme has been developed to provide graduates from either a scientific or clinical background with advanced theoretical and practical understanding of human reproductive biology, embryology, infertility and assisted reproductive technology. This will equip the graduates with sufficient knowledge and skills for active employment or further training within the clinical embryology/ART sector or a research career in reproductive science.

Programme Objectives

The M. MedSc in CEART programme is a theoretical and laboratory-based science degree course and not a clinically based infertility treatment course. Therefore, the specific objectives of the programme are:

  • To deliver intensive teaching for students in both fundamental and applied aspects of subject areas directly related to clinical embryology such as human reproductive biology, embryology, infertility and ART.
  • To provide students with dedicated theoretical and practical training in basic laboratory research skills.
  • To ensure students understand and appreciate the ethical and legal issues associated with ART and the treatment of infertility.
  • To provide students with intensive ‘hands-on’ practical training in laboratory skills and ART, particularly gamete micromanipulation, in vitro fertilization (IVF), intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and preimplantation genetic testing (PGT).
  • To encourage student understanding and appreciation of how current molecular technologies (such as the human genome sequencing project, embryonic stem cells, cloning, nuclear transfer and reprogramming) might relate to the future treatment of infertility and the ethical/legal issues involved.
  • To understand how business management skills and quality management procedures are vital in the ART clinic.
  • To build a network of potential leaders in clinical embryology for the future.

Programme Expected Learning Outcomes

On completion of the M. MedSc in CEART programme students should have shown evidence of being able to:

  • Confidently and authoritatively demonstrate specialist knowledge of essential and advanced concepts in the field of reproductive science including: gamete biology, reproductive technology techniques (insemination, fertilization, and embryo transfer), semen analysis, embryo development, cryopreservation and vitrification of oocytes, spermatozoa and zygotes as well as ovarian and testicular biopsies.
  • Apply embryology and assisted reproductive technology protocols to solve complex research problems that meet the ever-changing demands of assisted reproductive medicine.
  • Establish and maintain quality assurance and quality management systems, for the reliable operation of an ART clinic.
  • Comprehend the wider ethical issues involved in infertility treatment and demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the application of ethics to the practices undertaken by embryologists and clinician working in ART.
  • Analyse and validate the findings of the research project using appropriate statistical methods and relate these to current published data. Prepare a written report and present the research findings.

Admission Requirements

  • Admission to the M. MedSc in CEART requires:
    1. A Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in a health or science-related discipline; or
    2. A Bachelor’s degree plus a postgraduate degree in a health or science-related discipline; or
    3. A Bachelor’s degree in a health or science-related discipline plus a minimum of 12 months relevant work experience in sexual and reproductive health; or
    4. Successful completion of an embedded postgraduate diploma degree programme in clinical embryology and Assisted Reproductive Technology
  • In addition to meeting the standard admissions requirements, international applications must meet the requirements below:
    1. Translated Certificate: Transcripts or other supporting documents submitted by international applicants in a language other than English must be translated and certified as copies of the original document(s).
    2. Evidence of English Language proficiency: International students for who English was not a language of instruction during high school, must submit evidence of English language proficiency.
  • In some cases, applicants may be asked to submit a piece of work for assessment in order to confirm that they are able to work comfortably at postgraduate level and demonstrate the requisite clinical and professional knowledge.

Duration of the Programme

The M. MedSc in CEART programme will run for two (2) academic years (approximately 72 weeks) and is composed of three segments that coincide with four semesters (each semester extends over a period of 18 weeks). The first two segments (each 36 weeks in length) form the ‘core’ theoretical and practical component of the course. The final segment (approximately 36 weeks in length) provides the students with an opportunity to undertake a research project that will lead to the submission of a dissertation.

Students who complete the first two segments (equivalent to 32 credit units i.e., first and second semester) and who do not wish to, or are unable to, continue with the master’s program will be offered the opportunity to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma of Clinical Embryology and Assisted Reproductive Technology (PGD CEART).

Mode of Educational Delivery

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to help all students to express their full potential through a combination of formal online teaching and directed student-centred learning.

Some core lectures, tutorials and hands-on practical sessions will be delivered face to face during two to six weeks residential workshops at the Women’s Hospital International and Fertility Centre (WHI), Kampala. Similar workshops may be organized in other partner hospitals and centers or companies in Uganda and outside Uganda