Master of Clinical Embryology - 2019

Postgraduate - Course

Commencement year

This course entry applies to students commencing this course in 2019 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.

Other commencement years for this course: 2018 and 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 progression map

M6010 (pdf)

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 of 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 you will be able to:

  1. Discuss key aspects of human gamete biology, embryology and developmental biology from a cellular, genetic and molecular perspective
  2. Integrate theoretical and practical knowledge of embryology and andrology processes in a contemporary and historical context
  3. Explain how to optimise the environment and Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) processes for maximising and recognising gamete and embryo growth potential
  4. Demonstrate technical competence in ART laboratory processes, including diagnosis of sperm parameters, gamete preparation for IVF and ICSI, embryo culture, cryopreservation, ICSI and biopsy
  5. Compare infertility treatment strategies involving both medical and non-medical intervention
  6. Justify the quality assurance procedures that are essential for the reliable management of ART clinics and the regulations under which they operate, including laboratory design, troubleshooting and procedure implementation
  7. Design a research project, analyse and validate the findings using appropriate statistical methods and prepare a report to communicate their findings
  8. Critically evaluate invasive and non-invasive methods used for pre-implantation genetic testing
  9. Reflect on arguments for and against the social, moral and ethical implications of ART.


The course consists of ten units. On completion of this course, you will have developed the specialised knowledge and practical skills needed to work in, and manage, human assisted reproductive technology (ART) clinics.

Your studies will include the foundations of mammalian embryology, detailed assessment of all infertility treatment strategies and the theoretical basis behind all ART laboratory processes (andrology and embryology). You will also study units dedicated to ART laboratory operations and management, genetic testing in ART and ethics and regulation.

Throughout the course you will acquire all the practical skills required of andrologists and embryologists, including sperm and embryo handling and assessment, in vitro fertilisation techniques and cryopreservation techniques, including vitrification of gametes and embryos. You will finish the year learning ICSI and biopsy procedures.

While learning the practical skills, you are also given opportunities to visit ART clinics and attend ART industry conferences within Australia and internationally. You will engage in research projects that are designed to enhance your practical and research skills, while assessments throughout the year are designed to measure your competency in theoretical, practical and research disciplines.


The course comprises 72 points structured in ten units comprising theoretical and practical work which is completed in study period blocks.

The course progression mapcourse progression map ( provides guidance on unit enrolment for each semester of study.

Units are 6 credit points unless otherwise stated.

You must complete:

  • MCE5100 Biology of reproduction
  • MCE5101 Infertility treatment strategies
  • MCE5103 Theory: ART laboratory processes (embryology)
  • MCE5105 Theory: ART laboratory processes (andrology)
  • MCE5112 Practical: ART laboratory processes (embryology/andrology) (12 points)
  • MCE5200 ART laboratory operations and management
  • MCE5201 Practical: ART laboratory processes (advanced embryology) (12 points)
  • MCE5205 Research in ART (designing and applying)
  • MCE5212 Genetic testing in ART
  • MCE5213 Ethics and regulation in ART

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 of Clinical Embryology after successful completion of 48 points of study, including MCE5100, MCE5101, MCE5103, MCE5112 and 12 additional credit points from this course.

Progression to further studies

Successful completion of this course may provide a pathway to a higher degree by research. You must achieve at least distinction (70%) average to qualify for admission.