Clinical Embryology and Assisted Reproduction Technology MSc

Year of entry

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Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
1 year full time
Entry requirements
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in an appropriate biological, biomedical or veterinary science subject, medicine or healthcare sciences, or equivalent qualification.
Full entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in in any component
UK fees
£18,500 (Total)
International fees
£38,500 (Total)

Course overview

The university of leeds offers both a masters and postgraduate diploma for our clinical embryology and assisted reproduction technology course

There have been some changes to the programme structure. Course Search was revised on 2 February 2024 to reflect these changes.

The MSc in Clinical Embryology and Assisted Reproduction Technology (CEART) is a full-time, specialised vocational course. With class sizes set at 24 students per module, students can prepare for a rewarding career in a dynamic field and transform lives.

The programme is designed to appeal to recent graduates in biology, biomedical science, biochemistry, and medical, nursing, healthcare sciences or veterinary disciplines.

The programme covers:

  • the theory of human reproduction and infertility
  • clinical andrology
  • clinical embryology
  • laboratory management
  • ethics and law
  • micromanipulation
  • fertility cryopreservation

It has a strong laboratory focus which will expose you to the specialist laboratory techniques used in reproductive research and in human and animal embryology, andrology and ART.

The course culminates with the development of a research project portfolio.

Practical mastery and applied learning: One of the flagship elements of our CEART programme is its strong emphasis on hands-on, laboratory-based learning experiences. Our state-of-the-art teaching and research laboratory facilities provide an unparalleled setting for students to apply theoretical concepts in a practical context.

These opportunities not only help solidify foundational knowledge, but also offer invaluable exposure to - and experience of - the methodologies and technologies currently shaping the field of reproductive science and assisted conception treatments. Whether it is honing techniques used in IVF, ICSI, gamete handling or cryopreservation, students are able to acquire and refine the practical skills that are directly applicable in a professional setting.

This unique blend of theory and practice sets our programme apart and ensures our graduates are well-prepared for their future career in reproductive science, clinical embryology, clinical andrology and assisted reproduction technology.

Interdisciplinary collaboration: The CEART programme is hosted by the Leeds Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine within the School of Medicine, which fosters a rich, interdisciplinary teaching and research environment. Our students have the unique opportunity to work alongside and learn from world-renowned reproductive scientists, senior embryology practitioners, and reproductive medicine clinicians. They can, drawing from thiseir varied expertise to gain a comprehensive understanding of the field.

Ground-breaking research: Our faculty members are involved in world-leading research in areas including gamete and embryo biology, imprinting and epigenetics, the in vitro growth and maturation of oocytes, fertility preservation, and uterine and placental biology. This pioneering academic environment, will help position you at the forefront of advancements in the field of reproductive science, embryology and ART.

International community: A further highlight of our programme is the international network opportunity it offers. Our students connect with existing practitioners who are fellow learners worldwide, fostering an enriching exchange of ideas and perspectives and allowing mutual sharing of expertise. This global network can be instrumental in shaping your career path and broadening your understanding of international practices in clinical embryology, clinical andrology and ART.

Real-world impact: Unlike many academic courses, the work you will do on the CEART course has the potential to have a direct and profound effect on people's lives. This course is designed for those who not only wish to excel in their scientific pursuits, but who also yearn to make a tangible difference in the world.

You will gain an unparalleled learning experience at the University of Leeds.

Specialist facilities - Clinical Embryology and Assisted Reproduction Technology (CEART)

The CEART programme is delivered using an impressive suite of classroom and specialist laboratory-based teaching and research facilities. These are specifically designed to support the delivery of our cutting-edge curriculum and facilitate a top-tier learning experience.

State-of-the-art laboratories: Our teaching laboratories are equipped with the latest technologies and instruments necessary for studying reproductive sciences and ARTs. These labs are the venues for extensive practical training sessions, where you will apply your theoretical knowledge.

You will gain hands-on experience of an extensive range of assisted reproduction technologies, including:

  • oocyte recovery, maturation and denudation

  • sperm preparation and counting

  • IVF

  • intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)

  • embryo culture and grading

  • gamete and embryo cryopreservation

  • research methods such as microscopy, cDNA library preparation, and real time PCR

Digital learning resources: Our students are given University IT accounts and you will have access to our advanced Virtual Learning Environment (MINERVA). This digital platform, designed to foster dynamic learning and communication within the programme, will serve as an essential tool throughout your academic journey.

Through MINERVA, your classroom and practical learning, will be enhanced by a wealth of digital resources, including access to our library of recorded lectures.

All resources are accessible remotely (electronically), offering you the utmost flexibility in furthering your learning.

Student Support Services: A comprehensive range of support services is offered by the University to help and support your journey as a student at Leeds.

These state-of-the-art facilities ensure our students have every opportunity to learn, explore, and develop the skills required to thrive in their future careers. Studying the CEART MSc at Leeds provides not just theoretical knowledge, but also the practical expertise that makes our graduates stand out in the field of reproductive sciences, clinical embryology, andrology and ART.

Course details

The CEART MSc is a full-time, 12-month programme that combines an in-depth theoretical knowledge with practical experience in the field of reproductive science, embryology and ART.

Semester 1: This semester is devoted to establishing an in-depth understanding of the core reproductive sciences that underpin human reproduction, fertility, andrology and embryology. The programme will explore the routine laboratory practices of clinical andrology and embryology, as well as the design, management and efficient running of an ART laboratory. You will start your laboratory training in reproductive science methods and the technologies of assisted reproduction.

Semester 2: In the second half of the programme, you will delve into the more advanced theoretical topics and laboratory procedures, including micromanipulation techniques such as Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) and Pre-implantation Genetic Testing (PGT). You will explore the latest advancements in cryobiology and its applications to gamete and embryo freezing and fertility preservation. Alongside this, you will gain valuable insights into the ethical and legal frameworks and controversies surrounding assisted reproduction in humans. You will continue your laboratory and research skills training.

Semester 3: The final segment of the CEART programme is devoted to completion of your laboratory training and collation of a research project portfolio that includes the conduct of an independent, theoretical, research project of your own design.

The project experience will bring everything you have learnt together by providing you with the opportunity to integrate, develop and apply the theoretical knowledge and research and laboratory training gained during the course to a research problem related to the advancement of reproductive science, embryology or ART. In so doing, your project brings reflection, focus and purpose to the whole of your MSc degree experience.

You will use your MSc experience to conduct an extensive literature review, formulate a hypothesis to address a key research question relevant to reproductive biology, embryology or ART. You will then design experiments in theory to address your hypothesis and analyse potential data outcomes.

Your project portfolio will be the pinnacle of your Masters programme. It and will not only showcase your knowledge of the field and skills to future employers, but it will also demonstrate your abilities to critically evaluate, interpret and communicate scientific data. Throughout this process, you will be mentored by a specialist project tutor, who will help you navigate the complexities of scientific research and ensure you produce a high-quality research project portfolio.

Upon completion of the CEART MSc programme, students will have:

  • A comprehensive understanding of reproductive science and the theoretical principles and practical applications of clinical embryology, andrology and assisted reproduction technologies.
  • Developed a solid skill set in relevant laboratory practices such as gamete handling, IVF and ICSI, embryo culture, and gamete and embryo cryopreservation.
  • The opportunity to engage with the ethical issues of the discipline and to demonstrate how, more generally, to behave responsibly (professionally), and be ethically aware, self-aware and to make informed decisions.
  • Qualitative and quantitative skills in data interpretation and scientific presentation.
  • Global and cultural insights to acknowledge and appreciate diversity and to engage with social, political, economic, legal, environmental, and technological perspectives.
  • An awareness of the skills needed to be employable in the fields of clinical embryology, clinical andrology, reproductive medicine and/or reproductive science. This will be achieved by provision of evidence of demonstrable transferable generic skills, as well as academic achievements. In so doing, graduating students will be able to develop and demonstrate the attributes that will make them employable.

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 and Assisted Reproduction Technology MSc in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Research in Reproduction, Embryology & Assisted Reproduction Technology 60
Fundamentals of Clinical Embryology 45
IVF and Embryo Culture 35
Micromanipulation 15
Cryobiology and Cryopreservation 15
Ethics and Law for Embryologists 15

All modules below are compulsory with full-time delivery:

Fundamentals of Clinical Embryology (45 Credits): This module builds a firm foundation in reproductive biology and the science of human reproduction that is fundamental to clinical embryology and assisted conception. The module covers the physiology, cellular and molecular biology and genetics of the processes of gametogenesis, fertilisation, embryo preimplantation development, implantation and pregnancy.

Additionally, the module covers reproductive endocrinology and discusses the causes and treatments of male and female subfertility and associated reproductive pathologies.

IVF and Embryo Culture (35 Credits): This module will provide the student with a wide-ranging overview of the topics which are fundamental to embryology. The intention will be to build on students' knowledge to provide an extensive and detailed comprehension of the running of an IVF laboratory and service.

Micromanipulation (15 Credits): This module focuses on the practices and genetic and epigenetic concepts of micromanipulation techniques, such as intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and pre-implantation genetic testing (PGT). It provides students with the theoretical knowledge of the principles underpinning these intricate procedures, which are instrumental in treating many forms of infertility.

Cryobiology and Cryopreservation (15 Credits): This module provides a comprehensive overview of the principles and practices of cryobiology and cryopreservation as applied to gametes, embryos and gonadal tissues. Students will explore the science behind these techniques and their use during assisted conception and for fertility preservation in patients at risk of fertility loss as a result of exposure to gonadotoxic treatments or from genetic causes.

Ethics and Law for Embryologists (10 Credits): This module will explore the issues surrounding assisted conception in terms of the law and ethics of the technologies available. The importance of the HFEA and the HFE Act (1990) will be emphasised as will the implications of the Code of Practice for embryologists. Patient issues will be explored such as confidentiality, patient contact, counselling and informed consent. Ethical, cultural and religious aspects and reactions to infertility treatments will also be discussed.

Project in Reproduction, Embryology & Assisted Reproduction Technology (60 Credits): This module provides a deep dive into research and provides laboratory training in reproductive science, embryology, andrology and assisted reproduction technology (ART). The cornerstone of this module is the production and presentation of a unique research project portfolio.

The project portfolio provides students with the opportunity to integrate their accumulated theoretical knowledge with reflections on their research training and acquired technical skill sets.

You will develop an original, theoretical research proposal that addresses a key research question in reproductive science, embryology, andrology or ART. You will conduct an extensive literature review and design experiments in theory to address their research hypothesis and analyse potential data outcomes.

The project portfolio showcases your knowledge of research and ART, their skills in critical analysis, and their ability to evaluate, interpret and communicate scientific data. Projects will be mentored by a specialist project tutor who will help you navigate the complexities of scientific research and so ensure production of a high-quality research project portfolio.

Learning and teaching

The CEART MSc programme is delivered using a dynamic blend of teaching strategies that provide an engaging and inclusive learning environment, while fostering a strong sense of community among students. We incorporate sector-leading teaching methods that are driven by the latest research advances in our field, and we prioritise hands-on and face-to-face interactions while also leveraging innovative, digital teaching platforms.

Your learning journey will be guided by our team of expert academics, lecturers and professors, as well as reproductive medicine consultants and specialist clinical embryology and andrology practitioners - each of whom adds unique insights to the course content.

In addition, we collaborate with experienced industry professionals and trained postgraduate researchers. We will connect you to a wealth of knowledge from some of the leading minds working in clinical embryology and assisted reproduction technology, both nationally and internationally.

We are proud to offer a learning environment that uses a variety of formats and includes a backbone of traditional face-to-face lectures, tutorials and seminars combined with innovative digital technologies. This delivers an inclusive, engaging, and active approach to learning.

We encourage active learning through personalised interactions, group discussions and team working opportunities, as well as problem-based learning sessions and case studies. This approach will equip you with the skills needed to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world situations.

We recognise the importance of practical skills and research in the field of reproductive science, embryology and assisted reproduction technology. A significant part of your learning experience will therefore involve research training and laboratory-based ART practical sessions. Reflections on your laboratory and research sessions, coupled with the development of a theoretical research proposal, will form your research project portfolio.

Your unique project portfolio offers you the opportunity to use your theoretical and technical knowledge to address a key research question that will impact on clinical or research practice. This will, in turn, showcase your abilities to future employers.

Finally, we place emphasis on self-directed learning and provide you with extensive online resources. To aid your independent study we provide you with access to our library of recorded lectures and electronic journals, as well as electronic versions of all module workbooks and textbooks in our digital learning environment. This allows you the flexibility to delve deeper into topics that pique your interest, and hone your skills at your own pace.

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.


A range of assessments are used including essays, presentations, team and individual projects and reflective logs. The assessments used require students to critically evaluate topics and form and express evidence-based opinions across a range of subjects.

The variety of assessments used are fair and inclusive and will test different aspects of your ability to draw from both your practical experience and academic knowledge, which will help you to develop and demonstrate your transferable skills and build confidence in your ability to communicate on defined subject areas.

Preparation of an original, research project portfolio will provide you with the opportunity to reflect on the knowledge and technical skills you have acquired across the programme. It will also help you to delve deeper into a chosen area of reproductive science, embryology or assisted reproduction in order to assess your understanding of research methods and experimental technique in your chosen topic of study.

Examinations and OSCEs are used to assess student understanding and application of the knowledge gained throughout the course.

Through this multi-faceted approach to learning, teaching and assessment we aim to develop understanding and practical ability in the field of reproductive science, embryology, andrology and assisted reproduction technology, while fostering an inclusive and active learning environment. We believe this approach will not only equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge for a career in this sector, but also instil a sense of belonging and community among our students.


Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in an appropriate biological, biomedical or veterinary science subject, medicine or healthcare sciences, or equivalent qualification.

Your experience in laboratory related settings will be considered but you do not have to demonstrate any set number of hours or competency.

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. Find out more about our six week online pre-sessional.

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, experience and demonstration of vocational intent. The number of places is limited. Applications may close before the deadline date if numbers accepted reach capacity.

The deadline to submit an application is 1 May 2024.

One reference is required at the point of application from a discipline related to the course you are applying to. If you are a recent graduate, the reference should be an academic referee. 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 short written supporting statement of up to a maximum of 500 words, outlining your reasons for wishing to undertake this vocational programme. You must demonstrate through your supporting statement how the CEART programme will be of direct benefit to your personal and professional development.

Please note the CEART programme is very popular with students. Places are offered on a first come first served basis. Once all of the available places are filled, other suitable applicants will be held on a waiting list in case a place should become available.

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 2024

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School of Medicine

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School of Medicine Postgraduate Admissions



UK: £18,500 (Total)

International: £38,500 (Total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

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

Additional cost information

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 on our living costs and budgeting page.

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.

Career opportunities

Graduates of the CEART MSc programme are well-prepared for a variety of fulfilling careers within the fields of reproductive science, assisted human reproduction, the veterinary embryo transfer industry, tissue banking, and conservation of rare species. The programme’s blend of theoretical and practical training gives students the knowledge and skills to excel in a number of professional environments.

Embryologist, Andrologist and Reproductive Technologist: Students developing a career in these specialisms will be employed either in public or private human infertility clinics , associated satellite industries such as donor tissue banks, or they will work in the veterinary embryo transfer industry. Careers of this nature all involve delivery of different aspects of fertility treatments and assisted reproduction technologies in humans and animal species. This may involve performing tasks such as gamete handling, IVF and ICSI, embryo transfer, cryopreservation of gametes and embryos, and preimplantation genetic testing in humans or animals.

Research Scientist and Laboratory Technician: Those interested in employment in this capacity would expect to conduct and support research delivery in different areas, for example, reproductive sciences and other branches of biology, or cellular and molecular sciences. The rigorous research and laboratory training provided in the program will equip you for these posts, which are based in university research laboratories, research institutions, or within the pharmaceutical industry.

Further Study: Many of our graduates choose to continue their academic journey by enrolling in doctoral research programmes. Our graduates have pursued their PhDs in different branches of reproductive science and reproductive medicine at Leeds University and at other Universities world-wide.

Careers support

Our school maintains strong ties with various organisations within the field. Our Faculty employability contact can assist you in connecting with potential employers and provide you with the latest industry information. Regardless of the path you choose, the CEART MSc offers a robust foundation for your career in the fascinating and rapidly evolving field of reproductive sciences and technologies.

We encourage and support your preparation for your future career from day one through our unique “Step Forward Programme”. This is one of the reasons CEART graduates are so sought after by employers.

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more about Careers support.

Alumni profile: Kevin Leandro Sandi

The course offered by the University of Leeds best condenses the key theoretical and practical hands-on skills required to pursue a post as a clinical embryologist.
Find out more about Kevin Leandro Sandi's time at Leeds

Student profile: Ian Muusha

I got hands-on practical experience in some of the most used ART procedures such as IVF and ICSI. The support and teaching staff were always on hand to help with any problems or challenges.
Find out more about Ian Muusha's time at Leeds

Student profile: Ruth Sutton

I thoroughly enjoyed all of the practical sessions, especially being given a chance to work hands-on with gametes and embryos so I learnt vital embryology and andrology related skills.
Find out more about Ruth Sutton's time at Leeds

Student profile: Jignasha Parmar

The main reasons for selecting the course at Leeds was because of the staff - who are pioneers in the field - and because of the practical aspect of the course, which no other university reciprocates.
Find out more about Jignasha Parmar's time at Leeds