MCE5103 - Theory: ART laboratory processes (embryology) - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Sally Catt


Emma Lingham

Unit guides


Monash Medical Centre

  • First semester (extended) 2019 (On-campus)
  • First semester (extended) 2019 (Online)


Must be enrolled in the following course code: 2309, M6010


This unit will focus on key embryology procedures and how to critical analyse procedures to ensure optimisation. The theory behind embryo culture systems, embryo assessment, oocyte pick-up (OPU), embryo transfer and cryopreservation techniques will be taught. Students will learn the methods needed to accurately evaluate embryo quality and develop the ability to micro-manage IVF processes to maximise embryo growth potential and minimise stress.

This unit also provides students with a detailed understanding of cryopreservation techniques and the ability to critically discuss and evaluate these techniques and cryo-banking systems for oocytes, sperm, ovarian and testicular tissue and embryos in human IVF programs.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Identify and assess the key components of an embryo culture system.
  2. Critically analyse strategies for optimising embryo development and ART laboratory outcomes.
  3. Explain key ART processes (egg collection, embryo culture, embryo transfer and cryopreservation), their chronological order and how to optimise for ART success.
  4. Use oocyte maturation and embryo grading criteria for all stages of preimplantation embryo development.
  5. Analyse the physiological requirements of gametes, cleavage embryos and blastocysts and how these are addressed in ART culture systems.
  6. Critically review contemporary scientific papers on ART laboratory processes.


  • Written examination (2 hours) (40%) (hurdle)
  • Written literature review for research project (2,000 words) (30%)
  • Written media assignment (1,500 words) (15%)
  • Oral journal presentation (individual) (10 minutes) (15%)

Workload requirements

For on-campus students, this unit is conducted over six weeks in Semester 1. It is expected that students attended all lectures and tutorials associated with this unit.

For off-campus students, the unit can be completed in Semester 1, with all material accessible online during semester.

Expect 24 hours per week of directed and self-directed learning over a six week block.

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: