Monash University

Postgraduate - Course

Students who commenced study in 2013 should refer to this course entry for direction on the requirements; to check which units are currently available for enrolment, refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course.

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This course entry applies to students commencing this course in 2013 and 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 titleMRepSc
CRICOS code001468M
Total credit points required96
Standard duration of study (years)2 years FT, 4 years PT
Study mode and locationOn-campus (Clayton, Monash Medical Centre, Prince Henry's Institute)
Off-campus (Clayton, Monash Medical Centre, Prince Henry's Institute)
Admission, fee and application details
Contact details

Research Degrees Office: telephone +61 3 9594 5680; email or visit

Course coordinator

Associate Professor Peter Temple-Smith


  • Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the Handbook are not available for study in the current year.


The Master of Reproductive Sciences is a research degree offered by the Education Program in Reproduction and Development, a joint venture of the Monash Institute of Medical Research, Prince Henry's Institute and Monash University departments of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and those within the School of Biomedical Sciences.

The course provides medical and health professionals with advanced theoretical understanding and research training in the applications of reproductive biology, including emerging biotechnologies, to clinical human and veterinary medicine. It provides detailed training in current theories and principles of reproductive biology and medicine, including instruction and experience in various practical skills currently in use. It also offers knowledge and understanding of recent advances in reproductive technologies and their implications for professionals in various fields as well as advanced training in areas of specific interest.

Graduates obtain suitable training for those concerned with:

  • research and development projects involving reproduction
  • IVF programs
  • medical and paramedical areas
  • development and implementation of policy on reproductive and population issues
  • developing areas of agriculture and veterinary science where skills in new reproductive technologies are assuming considerable importance
  • biological areas such as wildlife conservation, pest control and preservation of endangered species.

Candidates conduct a prescribed program of research for a specified period under the direct supervision of a member of the academic staff. The supervisor, in consultation with the candidate, is responsible for developing the research program to be followed by the candidate, and for reporting at regular intervals on the candidate's progress. Candidates submit a thesis in addition to a prescribed coursework component. The work undertaken as part of this degree must constitute a significant contribution to the knowledge and understanding of the chosen research field, and must demonstrate the capacity of the candidate to carry out independent research. Research may be undertaken in areas of reproductive science. For information about research in the faculty visit


Students who have completed the course will demonstrate a thorough understanding of relevant research techniques in their field through a review of the relevant literature. They will demonstrate their ability, under supervision, to apply relevant research techniques to their chosen field of study. Students will be able to present high-quality written work suitable for publication in appropriate scholarly journals, and be able to critically evaluate both their own and others' written work in their chosen field.

Students will also be able to:

  • identify and define research questions
  • identify the appropriate research methods to address the research questions
  • demonstrate mastery of their chosen research methodology/methodologies
  • demonstrate theoretical knowledge at master's level in their chosen field of reproductive science
  • communicate their research findings in a format appropriate to their academic discipline
  • write up their research into a high quality thesis
  • contribute new information or new ways of understanding information in the field of reproductive science.

Credit for prior studies

Students who have successfully completed course 0101 Graduate Diploma in Reproductive Sciences at Monash University may be granted credit. Credit will not be given for work completed more than 10 years prior to admission to candidature.

Research component

70 per cent

Conditions of candidature

Duration of candidature

The total permissible period of candidature is two years full-time, or its equivalent in part-time candidature up to a maximum of four years part-time, after which the candidature will lapse. The minimum period of candidature is one year (two years part-time). Candidates are encouraged to complete their theses as quickly as possible.


Throughout their candidature, all candidates must regularly attend their academic unit and participate fully in the intellectual and research activities of the unit. Full-time candidates must be able to devote the equivalent of a minimum of four days a week to the pursuit of their research project; all part-time candidates must devote at least two full days a week to their studies. In the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, part-time candidates in laboratory disciplines must undertake at least one and a half of their study days during normal working hours/week days. For those part-time students in non-laboratory disciplines, at least one of their study days must be a week day.

Employment guidelines

Full-time candidates are permitted, with the approval of their main supervisor, to undertake a strictly limited amount of paid employment throughout the year, being no more than 15 hours of work per week on average. Up to a maximum of six hours only on average of this employment may be undertaken during normal working hours (9 am to 5 pm, Mondays to Fridays). However, this may be extended to a maximum of eight hours if the employment is limited to one weekday. The candidate's supervisors must be satisfied that any part-time work undertaken does not interfere with the candidate's study program and progress. International students need to be aware that the employment restrictions outlined above apply even if their visa permits them to work up to 15 hours a week. Part-time candidates may engage in full-time or substantially full-time employment provided their employer confirms that sufficient time is available to comply with conditions of part-time candidature, and they have the support of their supervisors.

Confirmation of candidature

All master's by research candidates are required to present their work in progress to a review panel and submit a confirmation of candidature report at the end of their 6 months (full-time) or 12 months (part-time) probationary period. The academic unit may lodge a request for deferral of the confirmation process where it is anticipated that a master's by research candidate will upgrade to doctoral candidature following 12 months full-time or 24-months part-time candidature.


All HDR candidates are required to re-enrol for the next year of candidature in their research program. Candidates must complete an annual questionnaire in order to re-enrol. The questionnaire provides an opportunity for a candidate to identify any issues that may be affecting their candidature as well as fulfilling legislative requirements.


This course consists of five coursework units (30 per cent) and research, culminating in a major thesis (70 per cent) of approximately 50,000 words


Assessment is by thesis, written examinations, oral presentations, poster presentations, literature reviews and practical reports.


Students submit a thesis of approximately 50,000 words. The word length for a thesis does not include footnotes, references or appendices, nor does it include equations, tables, diagrams or other illustrations. The thesis may be in the form of a traditional monograph or as a thesis by publication.

The thesis should embody the results of the candidate's investigation, which demonstrates independence of thought and the candidate's ability to carry out research in that discipline.

The work presented for examination must be the original work of the candidate, except where due reference is made in the text. A candidate may include published work which is directly relevant to the argument of the thesis, provided such work has been written during the period of candidature. Candidates may not present in, or in support of, a thesis any work which the candidate has presented for any other degree or diploma at this University, or any other institution, except with the permission of the faculty's Research Degrees Committee.

Coursework units

The coursework lectures cover a wide range of topics including an introduction to reproductive endocrinology, gonadal development and function, pregnancy and parturition, reproductive health, fertility regulation, domestic and wild animal reproduction and conservation sciences, and assisted reproductive and genetic technologies. Students must complete the following units:

  • MRS0001 Coursework - core lecture
  • MRS0002 Coursework, semester 1, stream 1 - lectures
  • MRS0003 Coursework, semester 1, stream 2 - lectures
  • MRS0004 Coursework, semester 2, stream 1 - lectures
  • MRS0005 Coursework, semester 2, stream 2 - lectures

Progression to further studies

Students may apply to upgrade to PhD candidature after 12 months candidature (full-time or equivalent), provided that satisfactory progress has been made and certain conditions are met.


Master of Reproductive Sciences