Career prospects and industry links
The career aims of students taking the MSc have changed considerably during the 20 years that the course has been running, so this summary will concentrate on the students who have taken the course in recent years.
Most students taking this MSc have a BSc in a life science subject (90% of students). In recent years we have found the most students wish to follow an academic career by taking a PhD, and this course provides a valuable qualification and sound training for a further career in scientific research. Some will go on to register for a PhD, or become Research Assistants, in one of the many university departments nationally which carry out research in reproduction and developmental biology, or in related fields. About 50% of recent students have obtained such posts.
Increasing numbers of students are using this course as a stepping-stone to medical school, taking graduate or undergraduate courses. This has only happened in the last few years, with perhaps 20% of students entering such training.
A small number of students enter Assisted Reproduction / IVF units as technicians. Recent changes in the training for embryologist or andrologist posts in the UK (involving a 3-year programme) mean that this MSc no longer provides the appropriate training, and students cannot progress to such posts in the UK directly after the MSc.
Perhaps 10% of students on the course are clinically qualified. Clinicians with an interest in all aspects of Reproduction and Development gain greatly from this course because it provides the background knowledge usually absent in most specialist training programmes; indeed some student have progressed directly to such programmes after the MSc course. It also provides training in laboratory-based research, which is rarely available to clinicians, and can start an interest in research that leads to an MD project or a PhD.
This course has no formal links with industry, but our students have a consistent record of success in entering the next stage of their careers – even though the careers are quite disparate.