Sperm and egg

Learn more about BSc Reproductive and Developmental Sciences

Key Information

Start Date:

Monday 26th September 2022

Campus:

Hammersmith Hospital Campus

Course Spaces:

11 places for non-Imperial students

Introduction

The BSc in Medical Sciences with Reproductive and Developmental Sciences is designed to provide a thorough understanding of human reproductive and developmental biology. The programme has a strong emphasis on research and aims to create clinicians and academics with the ability to interpret and inform best practice. Topics covered include:

  • Reproduction and early pregnancy
  • Fertility and assisted conception
  • Complications in pregnancy
  • Reproductive cancers
  • Paediatric disease and allergies

This programme will take students through a research journey, culminating in a 15-week research project. It will enable students to grow into competent clinicians and clinical researchers that could lead to postgraduate research studies.


Course Structure and Term Dates

The programme is comprised of three modules. Module 1 is a 12-week teaching block where the students gain specialism-specific knowledge and skills, alongside their core research training. Module 2 involves self-directed learning, including a group literature review and clinical case study. In Module 3 students undertake a 15-week research project.

The Reproductive and Developmental Sciences term dates can be found in the downloadable BSc dates and course structure 2022-23 (PDF)

Course structure and term dates

Module 1

Module 1 - The Taught Module

Module 1 is a 12-week teaching block. Students will receive interactive, engaging sessions from leading experts in the field of reproductive and developmental research. Topics covered in this module include:

  • The hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axes
  • Ovarian, cervical and endometrial cancers
  • Ovulation, spermatogeneis and embryonic development
  • Fertility, PCOS and IVF
  • Human pregnancy and its major complications
  • Paediatric diseases, including tuberculosis, meningitis and COVID-19
  • Paediatric allergy and prevention

Module 1 Assessment

Module 1 is assessed via three pieces of in-course assessment which account for 30% of the overall BSc mark:

Written Task (15% of Module 1)
Students will write a 1,000-word 'Letter to the Editor' article which will address topical or controversial area of reproductive research.

Oral Task (15% of Module 1)
Students will give a 10-minute poster presentation critically evaluating an area of reproductive and developmental science followed by 5-minutes of questions from assessors.

Data Management and Interpretation (70% of Module 1)
Students will undertake laboratory research and produce a results compendium analysing and interpreting the data, along with a scientific abstract and a lay summary.


How is this Module Taught?

Module 1 provides a blend of face to face teaching on campus, lab work and online teaching. We aim to make our teaching as interactive as possible to promote student engagement and cohort building.

The module includes 3 consolidation weeks without teaching, where students can work on assessments, associated self-directed learning, on-line modules and group work. The consolidation weeks will also provide an opportunity to meet with the Course Lead to discuss progress, issues and receive feedback on course work and progression.

Module 2

Module 2 - Self-Directed Learning

Module 2 is a 5-week block which provides students with a collaborative experience of working with their peers to provide a critical synthesis of a scientific problem. Students will also work independently on a clinical case study involving a virtual patient, where they will investigate the science underpinning the patient's diagnosis and treatment.


Module 2 Assessment

Module 2 is assessed via two pieces of in-course assessment which account for 25% of the overall BSc mark:

Group Literature Review (25% of Module 2)

Students will work in groups of 4-5 to develop their team working, communication, critical appraisal and clinical translation skills through a literature review assignment that focuses on topics that flow from some of the material from module 1.

This assignment is submitted in 3 stages and is designed to mirror the process of submitting research to a scientific journal:

  • Each group will produce a 3,500-word critical summary of a cutting-edge area of reproductive research
  • They will then produce a 1,000-word review of another group's critical summary
  • Finally, groups will produce a revised critical summary addressing the peer referee group’s comments, and a letter describing their responses to the review. 

Science in Context (10% of Module 2)
Students will work independently on a 1,500-word report summarising a real-life clinical case and providing an in-depth critique of the current and emerging evidence for either the underlying cause of the disorder or current treatment options.


How is this Module Taught?

Module 2 is self-directed learning so there are guidance sessions but no taught sessions. For both pieces of Module 2 assessment, all students will be supported by an academic supervisor who is an expert in the field of study.

Module 3

Module 3 - Research Project

In Module 3 students will conduct a 14-week supervised research project resulting in a project write-up in the style of an academic research paper. Students will have opportunity for critical reflection on design of research, validation of approach, and robustness of data interpretation.

Students will choose from a range of current and topical research projects. Examples of past projects include:

Clinical Projects

  • Determining the potential link between maternal prematurity and insufficient glandular tissue
  • Improving the safety of immunotherapy for children with persistent milk allergy
  • Thresholds for intervention in late onset fetal growth restriction

Laboratory Projects

  • Cardiovascular function during fresh and frozen IVF cycles
  • Gonadotrophin hormone receptor signalling in endometrial cancer
  • Androgen action on gonadotropin signalling pathways in human granulosa cells


Module 3 Assessment

Module 3 is assessed via two pieces of in-course assessment which account for 45% of the overall BSc mark:

Project Report (78% of Module 3)
Students will produce a 5,000-word project report.

Oral Presentation of Project (22% of Module 3)
Students will give a 10-minute oral presentation reflecting on their individual research journey and future research directions, followed by 5-minutes of questions.


How is this Module Taught?

All students will have a dedicated project supervisor who will be a senior academic at Imperial. The supervisor will guide support the student throughout their research journey.

Additional support will be provided by the Module Lead and the Course Lead, who will run regular project support sessions. Students will give project progress presentations with their BSc Reproductive and Developmental Sciences cohort at regular intervals.

Meet the Team

Mojiba Khanum

Mojiba Khanum

Mojiba Khanum
Course Administrator

Student Support

Students chattingWe know that joining a new university can be daunting so we will do all we can to make you feel welcome at Imperial and help you to integrate within your cohort.

Our Imperial School of Medicine Student Union (ICSMSU) run fantastic welcome events for new intercalating students and the Reproductive and Developmental Sciences Team will run activities to help support students in getting to know one another. We also run a BSc Buddy Scheme which you can join to be matched with internal Imperial students on your BSc or on one of our other iBScs.

Each student will also be assigned an Academic Tutor who can support on both academic and pastoral matters throughout the BSc. We have a wide range of student support provisions, systems and services designed to assist you throughout your studies. Please find further information in the Imperial Student Support Zone