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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2010 Postgraduate - Course

This course entry should be read in conjunction with information provided in the 'Faculty information' section of this Handbook by the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Managing facultyMedicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Abbreviated titleMClinEmbryol
CRICOS code028955G
Total credit points required72
Standard duration of study (years)1 year FT, 2 years PT
Study mode and locationOn-campus (Clayton)
Off-campus (Clayton)
Contact details

Postgraduate course administrator: telephone +61 3 9594 7360; email or visit

Course coordinator

Dr Sally Catt


  • This is an intensive course requiring on-campus students to overload and complete in one year. Study commences in February and continues until the end of November. Off-campus students can elect to complete the course part-time over two years.
  • This course requires some off-campus clinical placements and site visits for on-campus students. Off-campus students will be required to attend some on-campus workshops.


This course is offered by the Monash Insitute of Medical Rearch through the Education Program in Reproduction and Development. It provides candidates with the essential postgraduate knowledge and practical skills necessary to contribute competently to the human infertility clinical services. Theoretical and practical skills are presented in the broader context of the regulations and the ethical considerations which apply to human IVF, both nationally and internationally, along with the quality control procedures required to ensure maximum success for IVF patients. The guidelines, protocols and regulations that steer and control human infertility services are also presented.


On completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • understand and describe human gamete biology, embryology and developmental biology from a cellular, genetic and molecular perspective
  • apply critically their knowledge of clinical embryology to research, understand and discuss new developments in human infertility treatments
  • critically examine and evaluate new infertility treatments, and accurately and effectively communicate this knowledge orally and in writing
  • interpret and classify from a theoretical understanding and practical field experience, the operations and management of IVF clinics and the regluations under which they operate, including the isses of genetic manipulation and stem cell therapies
  • understand and effectively articulate the arguments for and against the social, moral and ethical implications of IVF technologies, as they apply nationally and internationally to humans and develop a clear individual position on these issues
  • understand and appropriately use statistical methods to analyse human infertility research data and prepare and deliver a presentation to peers on methods, findings and conclusions of one such analysis
  • demonstrate an understanding of and competence in techniques used in the preparation of male and female gametes for IVF and ICSI and subsequent embryo culture, and the cryopreservation of gametes and embryos from all stages of culture
  • have demonstrated a capacity to take a leadership role in laboratory skills activities and to collaborate effectively with peers and laboratory staff
  • conduct competently the quality assurance procedures that are essential to the reliable operation of an IVF clinic
  • trouble-shoot a wide range of potential problems in an embryology laboratory
  • develop skills required to biopsy embryos in order to apply genetic and molecular diagnositc tests
  • outline the techniques used in and discuss the uses of karyotyping and fluorescent in situ hybridisation (FISH) and demonstrate ability to asses the developmental competence of an embryo prior to its transfer in clinical IVF.


Assessment is via journal review presentations, 2500 and 3000-word essays, written examinations and tests for practical competence.


This course comprises eight compulsory sequential units (4-6 weeks long), each consisting of a mix of some or all the following scheduled activities: lectures, tutorials, seminars, journal reviews, poster presentations, quizzes, discussion groups, clinical visits and practical work.

Off-campus students will follow similar timelines and assessments as the on-campus students, except that practical experience will largely be acquired in the student's workplace, with occasional on-campus workshops.


Semester 1

  • MCE1100 Introduction to mammalian embryology
  • MCE1101 Infertility and treatment strategies
  • MCE1103 IVF processes: embryo production
  • MCE1112 IVF processes: cryopreservation

Semester 2

  • MCE1200 Total quality management in assisted reproductive technologies
  • MCE1201 Micromanipulation, molecular embryology and stem cells
  • MCE1212 Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis and embryo gene expression
  • MCE1213 Regulation and ethics in assisted reproductive technologies

Alternative exit(s)

Students who complete 48 credit points after completing all semester one units and one six-credit-point unit in the second semester and who do not wish to, or are unable to continue with the masters program will be offered the opportunity to exit with a Graduate Diploma of Clinical Embryology.


Master of Clinical Embryology