Postgraduate study

Reproductive Sciences MScR

Awards: MScR

Study modes: Full-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Reproductive Sciences

I chose this programme because I'm really interested in reproductive sciences but I also love being in the lab. When I found this Masters I thought it was perfect because it combined my two greatest passions.

Cristina Peralta MScR Reproductive Sciences graduate 2018
Cristina Peralta               MScR Reproductive Sciences graduate 2018

This one-year, full-time MSc by Research programme aims to introduce you to modern, up-to-date molecular and cellular biological research in the field of:

  • reproductive sciences
  • reproductive health
  • reproductive medicine

You will study in a stimulating, challenging and vibrant research atmosphere, at the interface between basic science and clinical patient care.

Who this programme is for

The programme is intended for high-calibre students with biological science, medical or veterinary backgrounds.

It is advised that you contact the Programme Director, Dr Richard Smith, prior to making your application to ensure this programme meets your academic aims.

Research topics and themes

The main components of the programme are two 20-week research projects, performed on a very wide range of research fields within the reproductive sciences.

Topics that can be offered include using a wide range of models and in human, studying a number of important problems associated with human reproductive health and disease in:

  • testis
  • ovary
  • the uterus during the menstrual cycle and throughout pregnancy and labour
  • the fetus and neonate
  • fetal programming resulting in increased risk of chronic disease in adulthood

The MRC Centre for Reproductive Health has arranged its research under four themes:

  1. Reproductive resilience, proliferation, differentiation, repair
  2. Reproductive system cancers: aetiology, pathogenesis and therapy
  3. Optimising lifelong health through pregnancy and perinatal interventions
  4. Immune-endocrine interactions in reproductive health

These theme titles illustrate some of the remarkable properties that make reproductive systems such relevant and powerful models for translational studies across a wide spectrum of human diseases and pathologies in other systems.

Links with other research centres

The MRC Centre for Reproductive Health (CRH) has close links with other internationally recognised research centres in the Queen’s Medical Research Institute (QMRI) and elsewhere in Edinburgh, namely:

  • the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary
  • the Veterinary School
  • the University of Edinburgh science campus
  • the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland

Many student projects are organised with and between these centres, reflecting the interdisciplinary research environment, where students and trainees are regarded as the ‘lifeblood’ for the future.

The programme provides a core grounding in basic science and interlinked medical aspects of reproductive sciences.

It is delivered by undertaking a two-week basic core laboratory skills training course, followed by gaining practical experience by performing two 20-week laboratory-based research projects.

Research projects

These research projects provide you with hands-on laboratory experience and training in a wide range of up-to-date techniques in molecular and cellular biology.

Skills development

You also gain a wide range of generic professional and scientific skills such as developing effective communication skills, and scientific writing through project reports and a grant application.

Lectures and seminars

Alongside the project work there is a series of lecture modules and seminars delivered by internationally-recognised experts in the field, together with both staff- and student-led small group tutorials.

Covid-19 impact

While we anticipate that the programme will run as described, restrictions currently in place at the Edinburgh Bioquarter as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic may extend to the 2021-2022 academic year.

Arrangements will need to be reconsidered if restrictions affect this programme's structure. We will communicate detailed information on this to applicants if necessary.

This programme is the ideal route for those wishing to embark on a PhD, or explore a PhD as a career option, or in a technical laboratory role, in the field of reproductive sciences and health, or spanning the biosciences, clinical and veterinary fields.

The broad range of skills gained is also readily transferable into careers at the clinical-laboratory interface and in the broader biosciences industry opportunities.

This programme does not amount to specific training to become a clinical embryologist.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a relevant biological, medicine or veterinary medicine discipline.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

For 2021 entry we will accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each section. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • CAE and CPE: total 176 with at least 169 in each paper.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScR1 YearFull-timeTuition fees

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments.

The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on:

  • your programme
  • the duration of your studies
  • your residency status

Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • MRC Centre for Reproductive Health
  • Queen's Medical Research Institute, Room C1.17
  • 47 Little France Crescent
  • Little France
  • Edinburgh
  • EH16 4JT
Programme start date Application deadline
13 September 2021 30 July 2021

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application.

If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

You must submit two references with your application.

When completing the online application form you are not required to complete a research proposal. You will select your first research project at the beginning of the programme. (Please ignore any automatically generated emails requesting this information from you during the application process.)

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • MRC Centre for Reproductive Health
  • Queen's Medical Research Institute, Room C1.17
  • 47 Little France Crescent
  • Little France
  • Edinburgh
  • EH16 4JT