Reproductive and Developmental Biology

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Local:$ 12.8 k / Year(s) Foreign:$ 36.8 k / Year(s)  
11 place StudyQA ranking:6125 Duration:1 year

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This is a full-time MSc, in which the taught component leads to research projects that help scientists and clinicians develop their knowledge and skills in reproductive & developmental biology. Integrates scientific and clinical perspectives to provide our current understanding of reproduction and development.  Provides the opportunity for scientists and clinicians to be involved in cutting-edge research.  Enhances career prospects for all students, helping progression towards science, clinical training or assisted reproduction (IVF).

Year one Term one: All students attend an introductory programme, which includes an outline of the teaching programme, and transferable skills required for the course. This is followed by specific “Basic” modules on molecular medicine, reproductive endocrinology & signalling, gametogenesis & preimplantation development, and pregnancy. This term includes laboratory practical classes immediately after the molecular medicine module. The final week of term will include opportunities to discuss possible projects with research groups in the host department. Three pieces of coursework are linked to this teaching. Term Two: The first week of term 2 has the Essay-based examination of the material from the “Basic” modules of the course (taught in term 1) (paper I). The combination of 3 pieces of coursework and the examination (Basic Unit) contribute 22.5 ECTS. Term 2 will include specific “Advanced” modules on pregnancy, stem cell biology, fetal development, and reproductive science & medicine. Two further pieces of coursework are linked to this “Advanced” teaching. There are two further written examinations; one essay-based paper and one data handling paper (papers II and III respectively), also linked to the “Advanced” units. The combination of 2 pieces of coursework, and 2 examinations (Advanced Unit) contribute 22.5 ECTS. Term Three: The individual, full-time research project begins a week after the final examination, thus usually running from the middle of March until the beginning of September. The projects are normally conducted at the Hammersmith Campus of Imperial College London (or other Imperial College London sites, such as South Kensington). The themes of the research projects are offered by prospective supervisors at the end of term 1, and detailed discussions of the project and experimental approaches initiate the projects in mid March. This leads immediately into the laboratory work. 

The minimum qualification for admission is normally an upper Second Class Honours degree in a life science, clinical or veterinary subject from an UK academic institution or an equivalent overseas qualification. Where an applicant has a lesser degree qualification but has at least 2 years work experience in an appropriate related discipline, a special case for admission may be submitted to the Graduate School Masters’ Quality Committee.  Information provided by applicants is reviewed by two members of staff who are on the MSc (RDB) Organising Committee, and reach a consensus on whether to offer the applicant a place on the course. The prime consideration is academic ability, so the performance of the applicant at first-degree level is the dominant determinant of the outcome of the application. 

Dean's Master's Scholarships

Home/EU Students

  • Full tuition fees and a stipend of £17,000

  • 5 places are available

Overseas Students

  • Full tuition fees and a stipend of £17,000

  • 4 places are available

Stipends will be paid in monthly instalments, subject to satisfactory progression. Awardees on courses which last more than a year will have their £17,000 stipend spread over the full lengh of the degree. 

The Faculty offers a wide range of Master's degree courses, as well as PG Certificates and Diplomas, and all students will belong to the Graduate School, which provides a comprehensive Transferable Skills Programme. 

 For any queries not covered here, please email James Osborne (PGT Administrator, Faculty of Medicine) at

Please note that there may be other scholarships offered by Schools, Institutes and Departments that make up the Faculty of Medicine. These are separate from the Dean's and Faculty Master's Scholarships described here and entail a different application process. 


General Eligibility

These awards are open to all students who have made an application to the Faculty of Medicine by 30 April 2015 for admission to study for a full time or part time Master's course* at Imperial College London, starting in October 2015 (*or PG Cert for a course where that is the only route to the higher degree).

Please note that these awards can only be given to students who are studying a course run by the Faculty of Medicine. For a full list of these courses, please see our Master's Degree page. 

It is not essential for applicants to have already received an offer of a place on a course, but the initial course application must be made before applying for a scholarship.

Residence Eligibility

Applications are accepted from talented candidates from Imperial College London, the UK and worldwide. There are no restrictions on nationality.

Academic Eligibility

  • Candidates are expected to be able to provide evidence of outstanding academic ability. This will usually mean being among the highest achievers in their undergraduate cohort and in receipt of, or due to receive, a first class UK Honours degree or equivalent.

  • An applicant who does not meet this requirement (e.g. holds a second class undergraduate degree, is a health professional who did not undertake a degree course, or is from a non-traditional background*), will be considered if they are able to demonstrate that they have outstanding academic potential and substantial experience relevant to their chosen subject area. This should be included in the Personal Statement section of the application form. (*Those applicants without a degree will be required, where available, to pass a Special Qualifying Examination to gain entry to the chosen course).

  • Candidates with degrees from overseas institutions are strongly urged to determine if their scores/grades are equivalent to the relevant eligibility criteria.

  • Candidates who already have a postgraduate qualification should justify their request to have an additional postgraduate course funded by the faculty. This should be included in the Personal Statement section of the application form.

  • Candidates who wish to apply for a Master's course which starts as a PG Cert or PG Dip will only be considered if they are committed to completing the course to Master's level.

  • Scholarships awarded based on predicted grades will be conditional upon final results.

How to Apply
In order to be considered for the Dean's Master's Scholarships, potential candidates will need to have first applied for a place on a Master's course in the Faculty of Medicine. It is not essential to wait for an offer of a place to be made, but the initial course application must be made before submitting a scholarship application. To apply for a Master's course, please use our online admission system. 

Once the application for the course has been submitted, those who wish to apply for a scholarship should complete our online form (Note: the Scholarship award panel will assess candidates on their scholarship application form NOT their course application, so make sure all key information is included in your scholarship application). The form will need to be completed in a single session, so please have the following information prepared:

  • Personal statement (not more than 1000 words).
  • Details of qualifications, achievements, awards, relevant experience and publications.
  • The title/s of the course/s which you have applied for.

Shortlisting will take place in May 2015. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interviews which are currently scheduled for the week commencing Monday 8 June 2015. All interviews will take place via Skype between 9.00 and 17.00 BST. The scholarship application form includes a question regarding your country of residence in June 2015. We will use this information to identify your time zone and try to tailor your interview time accordingly, although we cannot guarantee that the slot allocated to you will be convenient for your time zone. 

All candidates will be informed of the decision by the end of June 2015.


We will use the references that you provide as part of your course application process. Please do not send references to us directly as we will be unable to accept them. It is not essential that we receive your references in time to consider your scholarship application, although their absence may weaken your application. It is therefore recommended that you contact your referees directly to ask that they respond to your course application reference request before Friday 8 May 2015 (one week after scholarship applications close).

Terms and conditions

When applying for Faculty of Medicine Master's Degree Scholarships, candidates must agree to Imperial's terms and conditions regarding scholarships and bursaries. 

Please note, the following conditions override the standard Imperial terms and conditions:

  • Both part time and full time students are eligible to apply.

  • An offer of a place is not required before applying, but candidates must first apply for a Master's course run by the Faculty of Medicine before applying for a scholarship.

  • Candidates who do not apply through the online form will not be considered for the Dean's Master's Scholarships.

  • Successful applicants who receive a Dean's Master's Scholarship will not be allowed to accept any other form of scholarship or bursary provided by Imperial College London for study during the 2015/16 academic year.

  • Scholarship stipends will be paid in monthly instalments over the length of the course, subject to satisfactory progress. Students on courses which are part time or start as a PG Cert will have their stipend paid in equal monthly instalments over the full length of the course.

  • Awardees will be required to participate in a small number of promotional activities during the course of their studies and allow their image to be used by Imperial for publicity purposes. Such activities may include (but are not limited to) attending special events and producing occassional print or web copy.

​Deadline for applications is Midnight 30 April 2015

Applicants will be given a decision by 30 June 2015.

Applications are invited from outstanding candidates from Imperial College London, the UK and worldwide who have the potential to become leaders in their field. 

A Postgraduate Certificates is available on this programme.
We do not provide training in any technologies or techniques of Assisted Reproduction (IVF), although the laboratory projects may provide experience in general techniques that may be of use in such posts.  Students have gained places on the highly competitive 'Scientist Training Programme' that is now obligatory for those who wish to work as embryologists within the NHS.

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