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The program will provide students with the opportunity to gain a first-hand laboratory experience of the structure, function, and development of the reproductive organs, including selected aspects of the endocrine, neuroendocrine and environmental control of reproduction, fertilisation, pregnancy, parturition and lactation in mammals. Students will gain experience in experimental design, cutting-edge research techniques, data analysis, and scientific report writing and will be introduced to the practicalities of reproductive manipulation and assisted reproductive technologies.
This subject aims to give students of science and biomedical science a solid foundation in laboratory practise in reproductive biology. Students will be provided with an opportunity to engage in an authentic experience of scientific research: addressing questions in reproductive physiology to generate a hypothesis; designing an experiment; hands-on experience in the use of experimental animals; working in a group to complete the experiments and collect and analyse the data; writing up an individual final report in the format of a scientific manuscript; and peer-review.
Intended learning outcomes
By the completion of this subject students should:
- understand the modern experimental approaches of reproductive physiology and assisted reproductive techniques;
- be aware of the ethical issues in using animals for experimental studies;
- understand and be able to apply selected methods used in reproductive physiology research;
- understand the structure and function of male and female reproductive systems;
- understand neuroendocrine and endocrine control systems and their role in the regulation of reproductive processes; and
- understand the process by which scientists move from an original idea to a final published paper.
This subject builds upon existing generic skills, and on completion of this subject students should have:
- developed an ability to approach and assimilate new knowledge from observation and the literature, and to use that knowledge to evaluate and communicate results;
- acquired the basic skills required to make and record scientific observations, and to evaluate data in an objective manner as part of practical class report writing;
- developed an ability to access information from the primary scientific literature, through both electronic and traditional sources;
- developed the skills needed to produce scientific reports that are succinct, clear and completed on time;
- developed the abilities to evaluate scientific evidence critically, to formulate hypotheses, and be alert to alternative explanations;
- gained first-hand experience in the ethical use of animals in experimentation; and
- refined their skills in cooperative teamwork through small group based practical work.
Last updated: 11 February 2021