Clinical Embryology MSc

Year of entry

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Start date
September 2023
Delivery type
Online exclusive
24 months part time
Entry requirements
A bachelor degree with a 2:2 (hons) in a biological or related science.
Full entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in in any component
UK fees
£19,500 (total)
International fees
£19,500 (total)

Course overview

The university of leeds distance learning clinical embryology course has a reputation for training students to advanced their clinical embryology careers to senior roles within the sector.

Designed to bolster the careers of those already working in the field our Clinical Embryology MSc is an internationally recognised qualification providing superb academic and professional development. As part of your Masters, you will undertake a significant research project proposal in your chosen area, highlighting your expertise and providing a key point of differentiation in future applications.

Delivered by distance learning and typically through short workshops in Leeds, the course allows you to remain in full-time employment while you study and connects you to an international network of professionals.

An international community

Our academic staff have 20 years of experience in helping distance-learning students achieve their goals, while also fostering a sense of community for those on the course. This means that not only will you enhance your understanding of clinical embryology, but you’ll also gain access to leading practitioners from the wider international Leeds community whose insights can help you progress.

Course highlights

The course:

  • Provides a detailed education in clinical embryology.

  • Enhances academic and professional development for clinical scientists and clinicians working in the field.

  • Offers a recognised qualification in the theory and practice of clinical embryology that clearly illustrates advanced knowledge and skills in the field

  • Offers unique networking opportunities with practitioners from around the world

  • Our innovative team was the first to offer distance-learning MSc course in clinical embryology and our experience in delivering this mode of teaching ensures you’ll have a great on-course experience

The course leader is Dr John Huntriss. Course lecturers include staff from the University of Leeds, and a variety of external speaksers have been involved with the programme including speakers from: Bourn Hall Clinic in Cambridge, Leeds Centre for Reproductive Medicine, University College London, Jessop Fertility Centre, Sheffield and the University of Sheffield.

The Leeds experience

Our course was the first distance-learning postgraduate course in clinical embryology, established in 2000. Since then several hundred students from many countries have attended.

Course details

Building on your existing knowledge and experience, the course offers advanced learning and establishes good practice in clinical embryology and the field of assisted reproductive technologies.

Through a series of compulsory modules, you’ll develop your knowledge of both the theory and practice of clinical embryology. You’ll develop scientific and procedural insights that you can take straight into your day-to-day practice in the laboratory.

For your research project propsal (Module 6), you’ll write a persuasive research proposal in a subject area relevant to clinical embryology. The subject is chosen by you and will focus on an original area of investigation. We know from previous course graduates that the research project proposal provides a superb springboard to advance your career, demonstrating your value to employing institutions.

This research module aims to give you useful experience of hypothesis-driven research, including:

  • critical evaluation of published literature in the chosen field of study

  • collation and justification of the project itself

  • research methodology and resources needed

  • statistical methods

  • report writing and scientific presentation

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Clinical Embryology MSc in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Fundamentals of Clinical Embryology 45
IVF and Embryo Culture 35

Year 2 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Micromanipulation 15
Cryobiology and Cryopreservation 15
Ethics and Law for Embryologists 10
Research Project in Clinical Embryology 60

Learning and teaching

You’ll learn through a combination of:

  • “core” lectures, tutorials and other teaching sessions delivered face to face at workshops

  • self-directed learning, using web-based resources and the University library.

There are two compulsory one-week residential workshops in the UK over the two years of the programme. In the first of these workshops you’ll take part in seminars, discussion groups, lectures and tutorials that cover Modules 1 and 2.

You’ll be assigned a tutor and will meet the teaching staff and your fellow students. There are also social events. You’ll receive a comprehensive package of induction sessions that introduce you to University systems and resources so that on your return home after the first workshop, you will feel confident in embarking upon your studies as a student of the University of Leeds.

In the second workshop in Leeds, teaching sessions relevant to Modules 3,4,5 and 6 are delivered. Please note there are only a small number of practical sessions on this programme due to time restrictions at the workshops. The programme does not offer practical training in clinical embryology.

In the time between workshops, you will work from home as a distance learner. Day to day contact with your tutors and fellow students is through email and online discussion rooms on the university’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) – Minerva. Lectures from the workshops will be electronically captured for you and available on Minerva alongside other learning material.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


Student assessment will be split between assessed coursework taken from home and online. Other forms of assessment include a group lab design project and presentations for the research project.

For the MSc award you are also assessed on the research project proposal you submit as your dissertation.


Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:2 (hons) in a biological or related science or equivalent qualification.

We will also consider applicants with appropriate or accredited experience within an embryological laboratory.

You should be employed in a laboratory practising clinical embryology and with an employer who supports you in allowing time for study.

You must also have access to email and the internet.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read Language for Science (6 weeks) and Language for Science: General Science (10 weeks)

We also offer online pre-sessionals alongside our on-campus pre-sessionals. You could study a part-time online course starting in January, or a full-time course in summer. Find out more about online pre-sessionals.

You can also study pre-sessionals for longer periods – read about our postgraduate pre-sessional English courses.

How to apply

Applications are considered on the basis of the applicant’s qualifications and experience. Applications may close before the deadline date if numbers accepted reach capacity.

The deadline to submit an application is 30 June 2023

It may be possible to submit an application after this date, please contact the admissions team to discuss this further

You will need:

A reference indicating managerial consent in support of your application including indication that you are employed in a laboratory practising clinical embryology and that you have the appropriate time for study. The reference should be provided on a headed document with either a stamp from the institution or an electronic signature.

You will be asked to submit a minimum of one paragraph outlining your reasons for wishing to undertake the course, and details of relevant experience. You should demonstrate through the supporting statement how the course will be of direct benefit to your personal and professional development.

The ‘Apply’ link at the top of this page takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.

If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

School of Medicine Taught Postgraduate Policy 2023

This course is taught by

School of Medicine

Contact us

School of Medicine Postgraduate Admissions



UK: £19,500 (total)

International: £19,500 (total)

You must pay your fees at the beginning of each year. For sponsored students, the fee is split into two equal payments made at the beginning of each academic year in September. If you are paying your fees personally, you can pay in four equal instalments, if you prefer. This means you would divide the normal two payments in half again so that one quarter of the total fee is paid in September and one quarter in February of the first year, then one quarter in September and in February of the second year. No other instalment arrangements are possible.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Additional cost information

The fees above are for the whole course including all academic costs associated with the workshops and attendance at the workshop dinner. The fees do not include the six nights’ residential accommodation to attend the workshops. (We can send you information about local hotels on request.)

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

There are no scholarships available specifically for this course.

Career opportunities

This course allows students to gain a wide breadth of knowledge that will give them confidence in their subject and skills that can be transferred to the workplace.

Enhancing mobility and success in the workplace are ingrained in the course. The course intake comprises of embryologists, clinicians, reproductive technicians and reproductive scientists, typically working full time. We aim to uphold the academic excellence and integrity that has made the University of Leeds postgraduate programmes in clinical embryology so highly respected in the field.

The enhancement of academic understanding of clinical embryology gained through the course provides good prospects for promotion, mobility in the workplace and for application to other positions. This has allowed many former students to move on to more senior positions, including several laboratory directors. Some former students are now directing policy in the field of ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology). Other students have gone on to open their own ART clinics and many have become research active. Students also get the opportunity to network with an international group of ART practitioners, which is important for exchanging ideas on clinical practice and for career networking.

Students have also gone on to do post graduate research degrees (such as a PhD within our International PhD Academy in Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease).

Alumni profile: Rafiqal Bhuiyan

I am Dr Rafiq from Bangladesh. I am a medical graduate and I completed an MSc in Clinical Embryology (Distance Learning) at the University of Leeds.
Find out more about Rafiqal Bhuiyan's time at Leeds