Master of Clinical Embryology - 2018

Postgraduate - Course

Commencement year

This course entry applies to students commencing this course in 2018 and should be read in conjunction with information provided in the 'Faculty information' section of this Handbook by the Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.

Other commencement years for this course: 2017

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

Course code


Credit points


Abbreviated title




Managing faculty

Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Admission and fees


Course type

Master by coursework

Standard duration

1 year FT, 2 years PT

This is an intensive course requiring on-campus students to overload and complete in one year; off-campus students can complete the course part-time over two years. Study is between February and November.

You have a minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 4 years to complete this course including any periods of intermission and suspension, and must be continuously enrolled throughout.

Mode and location

On-campus (Clayton, Monash Medical Centre)

Off-campus (Monash Medical Centre)

This course requires some off-campus site visits for on-campus students. Off-campus students will be required to attend some on-campus workshops.


Master of Clinical Embryology

Alternative exit

Graduate Diploma in Clinical Embryology

Refer to 'Alternative exits' entry below for further requirements and details.


This 12-month, intensive course provides you with the essential postgraduate knowledge and practical skills necessary to contribute competently to human infertility clinical services. Theoretical and practical skills are presented in the broad context of the regulations and the ethical considerations that 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. In addition to attending lectures and self-directed study, you are required to undertake continual practical skills training and also a minor research project. You will not only be equipped with practical skills required for work in an IVF laboratory but also gain a greater understanding of research applications within the field of reproductive or developmental biology. Research-related tasks contribute to the overall assessment for specific coursework units.

Lectures are delivered by experts from all disciplines in, and related to, the IVF field. The Master of Clinical Embryology is a laboratory-based training course, with no patient contact. Mouse and ovine IVF are used as models for practical work. Mid-year, you are given the opportunity to visit an Australian or New Zealand IVF clinic, or a clinic may be selected from overseas. 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.

This course is recognised by most IVF clinics, with entry-level embryology positions often given to graduating students, and may be used for career progression to lab manager in IVF clinics.


These course outcomes are aligned with the Australian Qualifications Framework level 9 and Monash Graduate AttributesAustralian Qualifications Framework level 9 and Monash Graduate Attributes (

Upon successful completion of this course it is expected that students will be able to:

  1. recognise and identify various aspects of human gamete biology, embryology and developmental biology from a cellular, genetic and molecular perspective
  2. critically examine the theoretical background of all aspects related to the field of clinical embryology
  3. analyse and categorise new developments in human infertility treatments and effectively communicate this knowledge orally and in writing
  4. interpret and classify, from a theoretical understanding and practical field experience, the operations and management of IVF clinics and the regulations under which they operate, including the issues of donation, surrogacy, genetic manipulation and stem cell therapies
  5. appreciate 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 construct a clear individual position on these issues
  6. identify and show competence in techniques used in: the preparation of male and female gametes for IVF and ICSI; embryo culture; cryopreservation of gametes and embryos from all stages of culture; embryo biopsy
  7. critically review a particular area involving current reproductive techniques, identify areas for further investigation and plan and conduct a research project in the area
  8. 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 to peers your research findings
  9. explain competently the quality assurance procedures that are essential for the reliable operation of an embryology laboratory and an IVF clinic
  10. recognise and identify methods used for pre-implantation genetic diagnosis and compare old technologies (e.g. karyotyping and fluorescent in situ hybridisation (FISH)) with more recent technologies such as microarray and next generation sequencing technologies.


The course consists of eight units. You will learn clinical animal and human IVF program theory including basic embryological knowledge, infertility and treatment strategies, embryo production and cryopreservation techniques. You will also gain a detailed understanding of the molecular biology and genetic techniques that are required and an understanding of the laboratory environment including quality control and quality assurance practices.

Your theoretical learning is supported by extensive practical laboratory training in IVF processes including embryo handling, cryopreservation techniques, semen analysis, preimplantation genetic diagnosis, as well as a 'work experience' visit to an IVF laboratory.

Theoretical and practical skills are presented in the context of the guidelines, protocols and regulations that control IVF services as well as the ethical considerations that apply for human IVF.

You will extend your learning and understanding, both practically and theoretically, with the completion of a minor research project.


The course comprises 72 points structured in eight units, completed in study periods of four to six weeks duration, comprising theoretical and practical work.

Units are 6 credit points unless otherwise stated.

Students complete:

  • MCE5100 Introduction to mammalian embryology
  • MCE5101 Infertility and treatment strategies (12 points)
  • MCE5103 IVF processes: Embryo production and cryopreservation techniques (theory) (12 points)
  • MCE5112 IVF processes: Embryo production and cryopreservation techniques (practical) (12 points)
  • MCE5200 Total quality management in assisted reproductive technologies
  • MCE5201 ICSI and research methods (12 points)
  • MCE5212 Preimplantation genetic diagnosis
  • MCE5213 Regulation and ethics in assisted reproductive technologies

Alternative exits

You may exit this course early and apply to graduate with the following award, provided you have satisfied the requirements for that award during your enrolment in this master's course:

  • Graduate Diploma in Clinical Embryology after successful completion of 48 points of study, including MCE5100, MCE5101, MCE5103, MCE5112 and one additional unit from this course.

Progression to further studies

If you pass all units for this course and achieve a minimum of a distinction average (70 per cent) you may qualify for admission into higher degrees by research including course 3438 Master of Philosophy and 0047 Doctor of Philosophy, among others.