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MRes Reproduction and Pregnancy

Year of entry: 2020

Overview

Degree awarded
Master of Research
Duration
1 year full time
Entry requirements

We require a BSc (First or Upper Second) or MBChB or equivalent from a British university (or overseas equivalent ) in an appropriate biological or medical subject.

This course is also available for intercalating medical students, both from the University of Manchester and other UK universities. For intercalating MBChB students, we require satisfactory achievement in Years 1-3 or 1-4, with normally no failure at any examination, as well as research motivation.

We will consider applicants with other professional (including midwifery) or research-related experience.

We do not require applicants to develop a research proposal or have any research experience.

Full entry requirements

How to apply

Please apply via our online application form . See the application and selection section for details of the supporting documents we require.

We recommend that you apply as early as possible. We reserve the right to close applications if the course is full.

Course options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning
MRes Y N N N

Course overview

  • Develop the skills needed to go into research into pregnancy or related disciplines and solve problems with fertility and childbearing.
  • Take part in research work at Europe's largest pregnancy research centre - the Manchester Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre- at an early stage in your career.
  • Contribute to public-domain research output and conduct an in-depth analysis of specific pregnancy research.
  • Study at a university ranked 8th in the UK and among the top 35 in the world for Medicine (QS World University Rankings 2020).

Open days

Attending an open day is a great way to find out what studying at Manchester is like. Find out about our  upcoming open days .

Fees

For entry in the academic year beginning September 2020, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • MRes (full-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): £11,000
    International students (per annum): £25,000

The fees quoted above will be fully inclusive for the course tuition, administration and computational costs during your studies.

All fees for entry will be subject to yearly review and incremental rises per annum are also likely over the duration of courses lasting more than a year for UK/EU students (fees are typically fixed for International students, for the course duration at the year of entry). For general fees information please visit: postgraduate fees . Always contact the department if you are unsure which fee applies to your qualification award and method of attendance.

Self-funded international applicants for this course will be required to pay a deposit of £1,000 towards their tuition fees or provide a sponsor letter (which we must first confirm), before a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) is issued. This deposit will only be refunded if immigration permission is refused. We will notify you about how and when to make this payment.

Policy on additional costs

All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).

Scholarships/sponsorships

Intercalation Bursary

The Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health offers an intercalation bursary of £1000 towards tuition fees for successful applicants who are commencing certain MRes courses in 2020.

The bursary is available to students who:

  • are The University of Manchester's medical students intercalating on MRes Cardiovascular Health and Disease, MRes Medical Sciences or MRes Reproduction and Pregnancy;
  • have home fee status;
  • are self-funded and not in receipt of any other funding support.

The bursary will be applied as a fee reduction automatically for those students who meet the criteria.

Tommy's Bursary

A £1,000 bursary from Tommy's the baby charity is available for one MRes students undertaking stillbirth research.

Alumni bursary

The Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health offers an alumni bursary of £1,000 towards tuition fees for successful applicants who are recent University of Manchester graduates and who are commencing one of our postgraduate taught master's programmes in 2020.

The bursary is available to students or alumni who:

  • graduated in 2019 or are graduating in 2020;
  • hold a first class honours degree;
  • have home or overseas fee status;
  • are applying for full- or part-time study;
  • are self-funded and not in receipt of any other funding support.

The bursary will be applied as a fee reduction automatically for those students and alumni who meet the alumni bursary criteria.

Contact details

School/Faculty
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health
Contact name
Postgraduate Admissions Team
Telephone
+44 (0)161 275 5220
Email
Website
https://www.bmh.manchester.ac.uk/medicine/
School/Faculty
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

Courses in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of courses in related subject areas.

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

We require a BSc (First or Upper Second) or MBChB or equivalent from a British university (or overseas equivalent ) in an appropriate biological or medical subject.

This course is also available for intercalating medical students, both from the University of Manchester and other UK universities. For intercalating MBChB students, we require satisfactory achievement in Years 1-3 or 1-4, with normally no failure at any examination, as well as research motivation.

We will consider applicants with other professional (including midwifery) or research-related experience.

We do not require applicants to develop a research proposal or have any research experience.

English language

International students must demonstrate English proficiency through a secure and approved testing system.

We ask for English language proof if you are from non-majority English speaking countries (a list of majority English speaking countries, as defined by the UK Home Office, can be found here ).

Specifically, we require a minimum of:

  • IELTS : 6.5 overall with 6.5 in all components
  • TOEFL: 90 internet-based (with no less than 22 in all components)

See further information about requirements for your country .

We may also accept evidence of a confirmed place on a University Pre-sessional English language course . If you wish to be considered for a pre-sessional course, please contact the Admissions Team pgtaught.medicine@manchester.ac.uk .

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Application and selection

How to apply

Please apply via our online application form . See the application and selection section for details of the supporting documents we require.

We recommend that you apply as early as possible. We reserve the right to close applications if the course is full.

Advice to applicants

Your application form must have the following documents.

  • One academic reference on letter headed paper, signed and dated or sent from work emails. Professional references can be provided in instances where you have been out of university for more than 3 years. We do not contact referees directly .
  • Official degree certificates (with translations if not in English) if you have already graduated.
  • Official University transcripts (with translations if not in English).
  • A personal statement. This should be a page in length and cover why you want to undertake this course, any relevant past experience and what you can bring to the course, how this course fits into your future career plans, and any other relevant information.
  • Full CV including voluntary experience.
  • A scanned copy of your passport if you require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.
  • If English is not your first language, we require proof of your English language ability. If you have already taken an English language qualification, please include your certificate with your application. We may be willing to consider your application without this document, but if we choose to make you an offer, the conditions will include IELTS (or equivalent qualification).

Supporting documents can be uploaded with the online application form, or sent directly to pgtaught.medicine@manchester.ac.uk . We are unable to consider your application until we have received all of the documents listed above.

Please make sure you include your University ID number on any correspondence and do not send any documents before you have submitted your application.

Overseas (non-UK) applicants

CAS Information

Self-funded international applicants for this course will be required to pay a deposit of £1,000 towards their tuition fees before a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) is issued. This deposit will only be refunded if immigration permission is refused. We will notify you about how and when to make this payment.

Please upload a copy of your current valid passport with your application showing the photograph page with your application. For CAS purposes, this must show your full name, date of birth, nationality, passport number and the date the passport is valid until, which must be later than the date of your planned arrival in the UK, and the start date of your course.

You cannot use your CAS to apply for a visa more than three months before the start date of your course, the Admissions Team will contact you at the appropriate time.

Your CAS number is only valid for one Tier 4 application.

Deferrals

Deferrals are considered on an individual basis. Successful applicants may defer entry to the course for up to one year.

Re-applications

If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful you may apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry. In your new application, you should demonstrate how your application has improved.

We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen course.

Course details

Course description

Our MRes Reproduction and Pregnancy course is designed to train those who wish to pursue a research career in reproductive medicine or pregnancy, or to work in associated areas in health or science.

You will undertake two interrelated research projects on a specific topic in reproduction and pregnancy, alongside taught units providing up-to-date knowledge of reproduction and pregnancy and training in research skills. You do not need any prior research experience before starting the course.

Our course will give you hands-on experience of cutting-edge technologies applicable to reproduction and pregnancy, and transferable to other areas of medical research.

You will also gain training and experience in scientific writing and developing a research proposal and receive a grounding in a wide range of reproductive medicine and pregnancy-related issues by attending seminars in the Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre.

We also give you the opportunity to contribute to public domain research output. Most of our students do so either during or after the course, with output including conference presentations (national and international conferences), published abstracts, published papers (first or co-authored papers), and awards such as RCOG oral presentation and essay prizes and travel grants.

You will graduate with an in-depth knowledge of clinically relevant reproduction and pregnancy research from bench to bedside, as well as advanced research skills and experience of running your own research project.

You will also have a strong understanding of the ethical issues and social implications of research in reproduction and pregnancy and a strong CV for your future research or medical career.

Special features

Manchester Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre

You will be based in the Manchester Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre, the largest pregnancy research group in Europe, and Tommy's Stillbirth Research Centre, working alongside internationally renowned researchers in IVF/early pregnancy, placental biology, pregnancy complications including stillbirth.

You will be an active part of the research centre, together with researchers (with basic science and clinical backgrounds) undertaking research as part of their degrees or training (from undergraduate to PhD and postdoctoral research).

Through the MRes and by attending the MFHRC seminar series, you will learn about our interdisciplinary translational research - 'from bench to bedside' -  from embryo implantation to pregnancy pathologies and developmental programming in the offspring.

You will able be exposed to our pioneering research antenatal clinics for high risk pregnancies. Integration of the research clinics and the research laboratories provides rich opportunities for translation from clinic to laboratory and application of research findings to the clinic.

Additional course information

Our MRes in Reproduction and Pregnancy addresses the causes, diagnosis and treatments of fertility and pregnancy disorders.

Fertility and pregnancy problems are very common. In the UK:

  • infertility affects one in seven couples;
  • miscarriage affects 15% to 20% of recognised pregnancies;
  • fetal growth restriction (FGR) affects 5% to 8% of pregnancies;
  • pre-eclampsia affects 3% to 5% of pregnancies;
  • stillbirth affects one in 250 pregnancies, or around 4,000 per year;
  • pre-term labour affects 8% of pregnancies.

There is also growing recognition that the health of the fetus dictates adult health. Research into solving pregnancy problems therefore has the potential to reduce the lifelong disease burden.

Diseases of pregnancy are major causes of mortality and morbidity in mothers and infants. Knowledge of causative mechanisms is poor, while treatments are conspicuously lacking.

The Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre aims to find solutions to problems like these through a holistic approach to understanding, managing and treating diseases affecting mothers and babies, and through training the next generation of researchers in an interdisciplinary research environment.

Teaching and learning

You will benefit from individual and small group supervision by experienced academic staff with scientific and clinical backgrounds. Our staff include internationally renowned experts in reproduction and pregnancy.

Coursework and assessment

Assessment is conducted through coursework, including a dissertation and final thesis, marked by the supervisors and an independent MHFRC staff member under the scrutiny of an expert external examiner.

Course unit details

This is a Master of Research (MRes) and has a strong research component. You will undertake four interrelated research projects, supported by taught units providing detailed knowledge of reproduction and pregnancy and training in research skills.

Research Units:

Research Project 1

You will select your research project and supervisory team in the first three weeks of the course. Between October and January, you'll complete an in-depth literature review on your research topic, followed by a research proposal based on a six-month project.

Research Project 2

From February to August, you will undertake a six-month research project focused on a specific aspect of reproduction or pregnancy. All projects are co-supervised, often by a clinical and non-clinical supervisor. Thorough training and supervision is given for all laboratory and clinical methodologies.

Projects are all based on translational medicine research, with a goal of solving clinical problems in reproduction and pregnancy. They range from understanding the basic science of fertility and pregnancy problems, through to the clinical research projects involving patient interaction and sample analysis.

You will write a dissertation at the end of the research project and give a poster presentation based on your findings.

Taught Units

Research Methods Unit

A series of lectures and training workshops that provide an introduction to research and transferable skills such as experimental design and statistical assessment, IT skills, critical analysis of research papers, health and safety, scientific writing and communication and career development.

Laboratory Skills Unit

Training in a range of basic laboratory techniques applicable to medical research. Workshops include cell culture, histology, immunohistochemistry and molecular biology. Training in recording laboratory methods and analysis of results is provided.

Masterclass in Reproduction and Pregnancy

A series of three masterclasses that provide understanding of translational reproductive and obstetrics research and insight into bench to bedside research processes. These include lectures and discussion groups on: (1) Assisted reproductive technologies, (2) Development of new drugs for pregnancy complications (from bench to bedside), (3) Our pioneering research antenatal clinics for high risk pregnancies.

Tutorial Course Unit

You will have an opportunity to learn about and discuss research in reproduction and pregnancy and the clinical problems and basic science areas that are central to the discipline. Tutorials use a range of teaching styles, including taught seminars, debates and critiques of research papers. Assessment will be group oral presentations, leaflets, quizzes or written reports.

Clinical Masterclass Unit (you will take this as a formative unit)

This unit provides training in clinical research, including clinical research design, advanced GCP, research governance and the regulatory framework for research, practical clinical ethics, and patient and public engagement and involvement in research. There is also a training session on the academic career development and pathways for intercalating medical students and qualified clinicians.

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Masterclass in Reproduction & Pregnancy MEDN65522 15 Mandatory
Tutorial Unit MEDN66100 15 Mandatory
Laboratory Skills Unit MEDN66111 15 Mandatory
Research Project 1 MEDN66121 30 Mandatory
Research Project 2 MEDN66132 90 Mandatory

Course collaborators

Programme committee:

  • Dr Mark Dilworth (Programme Co-Director)
  • Professor John Aplin (Programme Co-Director)
  • Dr Ian Crocker
  • Dr Michelle Desforges
  • Dr Elizabeth Cottrell
  • Dr Alexander Heazell

Course advisors:

  • Dr Susan Greenwood
  • Dr Lynda Harris
  • Dr Elizabeth Cottrell
  • Dr Michelle Desforges

Facilities

The course is delivered from a world class integrated laboratory and clinical research and teaching facility in the women's hospital on campus. 

You will also have access to a dedicated study area equipped with Wi-Fi and adjacent staff tea room, where lively informal interaction occurs with academic and research staff.

The University of Manchester offers extensive library and online services to help you get the most out of your studies.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service .

CPD opportunities

This course can be taken by qualified and experienced professionals to update your knowledge of current developments in reproduction and pregnancy, and acquire research skills.

We are developing more CPD opportunities for NHS staff, ranging from one-hour lectures to PGCert and PGDip-level courses. Please contact us for more information.

Careers

Career opportunities

Dr Lynne Warrander - MRes Reproduction and Pregnancy

The MRes opened my eyes to the possibilities of combining a career in clinical medicine with academic research.

I'm now a trainee in obstetrics and gynaecology, but have paused my training to undertake a PhD. I'm planning to continue my career as an academic obstetrician in the future.

Dr Lynne Warrander / Clinical Research Fellow, Tommy's Manchester Research Centre

Our MRes graduates have continued their scientific or medical careers in the following areas.

  • PhD research - 70% of home science graduates and 40% of our international graduates go on to conduct further research.
  • Clinical training - Through the O&G and Academic pathways (Academic Foundation and Academic Clinical Fellows (ACF)).
  • Other clinical/science professions - eg MBChB, midwifery, journal publishing, biotechnology, NHS STP and HIV Clinical Mentor.

Many of our students have stayed in the Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre to undertake further research training.

We keep in contact with our MRes alumni and invite all past students to our annual welcome event for the new intake each October.