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frequently asked questions

1. What are the specific academic requirements for the course? Applicants are expected to have a first undergraduate degree in a relevant subject graded at either first class or second class upper division (2i) according to the UK classification, or overseas equivalent.  If you are unsure of how your undergraduate degree score compares with the UK system, please contact the Course Administrator. If English is not your first language, then you will also need to obtain English language qualifications above a specified threshold. More information can be found here. No exceptions will be made.


2. How important is it for me to have a degree that is at least equivalent to an upper second class standard on the UK system? Compulsory. If you your degree is not of an appropriate standard, then it is impossible for us to offer you a place on our course.

3. How can I ascertain if my degree grade is eligible for Oxford entry? Please contact the Course Administrator. We have databases that allow us to compare degrees from around the world to the grading system used within the UK.

4. I  hope to join the course in October but will only receive my final degree grade in June/July. Can I still apply? Yes you can. However, if we offer you a place on the course, then it will be on the condition that you provide us with confirmation of a degree result of an appropriate standard by a specified date. If you fail to do this, then the offer will be revoked.

5. I passed my English language qualifications 5 years ago. Do I need to re-take the test to apply for the MSc? Yes. English language qualifications must have been obtained within two years of the start date of your course. If your qualifications are more than 2 years old, you need to re-take them.

6. How strict are the requirements for English language qualifications for overseas students? English is the language of instruction for all courses offered at Oxford and it is mandatory that all theses or examination papers are written in English, except in a small minority of cases where University regulations permit otherwise. The University has approved both a standard and a higher level of required ability in English. For all taught courses the higher level is mandatory. For research courses, the appropriate level is indicated on the individual course page.


7. I do not currently have the appropriate English language qualifications. Can I still apply? Yes you can. You do not need to submit an English language test result before submitting your application. Any offer of a place will be conditional on your supplying your English language test results at the required level. More information can be found here.


 8. I am an overseas student but have lived in the UK for over 10 years. Do I still need to obtain an English language qualification? If your first language is not English, or if your first language is English but you are not a national of the UK, Ireland or a majority English-speaking country recognised by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), you must supply suitable evidence that you have reached the relevant higher or standard level. 


9. Are there any sponsorships/grants available to help fund students on the course? Please check your eligibility for University grants and fellowships available to students wishing to study at Oxford. Read further details.


10. Have students of the MSc in Clinical Embryology been offered full scholarships from the University of Oxford? Yes, our students have been very successful in obtaining funding from the following highly prestigious schemes: Rhodes Foundation, Clarendon Fund, Wiedenfeld Leadership Foundation, Hill Foundation, and Felix Scholarship Scheme. Part Funding has also been obtained from the Santander Graduate Award Scheme.

11. In addition to tuition fees, what other expenses do I need to cover? You will also need to cover college fees, accomodation, and normal living expenses. The University currently recommends that a single postgraduate student registered on a one year residential taught course, will require additional funds of approximately £12,000.

12. Can I study for the MSc on a part-time basis? No. The MSc course is a one year residential course and requires registered students to be resident in Oxford for the duration of the course. 

13. Once I have the MSc qualification, am I considered a qualified clinical embryologist?No. If you wanted a career as a clinical embryologist, you would then need to apply for a post at an IVF clinic for further training and to obtain an appropriate license to practice.


14. As part of the course, will I personally get to meet and treat patients? IVF treatment is a very emotive and traumatic experience for patients. You will be allowed to attend patient consultations with a Senior Clinician as long as the patients have provided appropriate consent. However, you will not be allowed to treat patients yourself.


15. As part of the course, will I get to spend time in the clinical IVF unit? Yes. You will spend at least one full day in the IVF unit as an observer. In addition, you will spend time shadowing a senior medical doctor in his/her daily duties.

16. What has happened to your previous graduates? Please refer to the students where are they now?  section of this website for the latest whereabouts of our graduates.

17. Do I get to select a laboratory research project? What research topics are available?We aim to allow you to study a project of your choice. Consequently, you will be given a list of project titles to choose from. Previous projects have concerned various aspects of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, the role of the sperm at egg activation, sperm DNA fragmentation, ovarian physiology and the role of the oocyte in infertility, implantation, reproductive immunology, 3-dimensional embryo modelling, the role of cytoplasmic movements in the egg at fertilization, the use of harmonic generation microscopy in evaluating embryo quality, endometriosis, and the effects of routine ART procedures upon sperm physiology.

18. You offer several deadlines for application. When is the best time to apply? You can apply using any of our deadlines but note that the later you leave your application, the less places we will have available on the course. We would encourage you to apply to the earlier deadline in January if at all possible as this will allow you plenty of time to organise college places, accommodation and Visas (if required).

19. I have submitted my application. What happens next? Once the application deadline has closed, your documents are passed to our selection committee which compiles a 'short-list' of candidates to interview. The short-list is normally compiled within 1 - 2 weeks of the deadline. We will contact short-listed candidates within this time-frame. We interview ALL short-listed candidates, either in person, or by video-conference (Skype). The interview lasts approximately 30 minutes and is conducted by a panel of departmental staff.

20. Should the proposed changes to clinical embryology accreditation in the UK affect my decision to pursue the Oxford MSc? The Department of Health is currently modernising scientific careers within the health industry in the UK. The details are still being finalised and therefore the impact on careers in embryology within the UK (in both the private and public sectors) remains unclear. However, it is important to note that in order for candidates to pursue embryology accrediation in the UK, irrespective of the training format adopted in future, they must first secure an appropriate position within an IVF unit. We strongly believe that the Oxford MSc in Clinical Embryology provides students with the appropriate training and experience to be highly competitive within the IVF sector, irrespective of potential changes to recruitment and training in NHS-funded units.  


21. How many students have graduated from the MSc in Clinical Embryology and which countries did they originate from?  We currently have 108 graduates from a total of 37 countries including: Argentina, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, China, Cyprus, Darussalam, Egypt, France, Ghana, Greece, Iceland, India, Iran, Italy, Lithuania, Malaysia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, United Kingdom, Vietnam.