MEDSCI 313 : Reproductive Biology

Medical and Health Sciences

2021 Semester One (1213) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Aspects of reproductive biology including: regulation of gonadal function, the menstrual and oestrus cycles, ovulation, spermatogenesis, feto-maternal physiology including placental function, animal reproduction and assisted reproductive technologies.

Course Overview

This course is based upon a multi-disciplinary approach to the study of the biology of reproduction. You will learn aspects of anatomy, biochemistry, and physiology that are involved in the processes that contribute to, and control, normal reproductive function in the human and in other animal species. You will also learn about the disorders of reproduction resulting in infertility, how they are investigated, and how they are treated.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: 15 points from BIOSCI 107, 203, MEDSCI 142

Course Contacts

Course Director  
Dr. Lynsey Cree  
Room 502-201H  
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology  
Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences  
Ph. 373 7599 ext. 81695  
Course Coordinator  
Dr. Andrew Dubovyi  
Professional Teaching Fellow  
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology  
Building 501, Ground Level, Room 002  
Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences  

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the processes governing reproduction in the human and other animal species (Capability 1 and 2)
  2. Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the technical methods used for manipulating reproduction in the human and other species (Capability 1 and 2)
  3. Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the technical approaches to investigate and treat disorders of reproductive function (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  4. Demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the ethical principles in reproductive medicine (Capability 1, 2 and 6)
  5. Demonstrate their ability to communicate information (written- peer review, poster presentation and oral- poster presentation) to peers and discipline-based experts (Capability 1, 4 and 5)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Test 10% Individual Test
Presentation 10% Group & Individual Coursework
Draft of the report 5% Individual Coursework
Two lab reports 10% Individual Coursework
Quizzes 4% Individual Coursework
Lecture contribution 1% Individual Coursework
Final Exam 60% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5
Draft of the report
Two lab reports
Lecture contribution
Final Exam
You must achieve a pass in the coursework and test components combined to pass the course as a whole, i.e. at least 20% out 0f 40% possible for test and coursework. 

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 37h of contact time and 113h of personal study: 

Lectures: 22 x 1h = 22h 

Labs: 3 x 3h = 9h 

Tutorial: 1 x 3h = 3h 

Presentation: 1 x 3h = 3h 

Reading for lectures: 22 x 1h = 22h 

Lab reports, draft and a poster: 4 x 8h = 32h 

Test preparation: 1 x 12h = 12h 

Pre-lab quizzes: 3 x 1h = 3h 

Final exam preparation: 1 x 44h = 44h

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is expected at scheduled activities including labs/tutorials/poster presentation/lectures to complete components of the course.
Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including tutorials/labs/poster presentations will not be available as recordings.
The course will not include live online events.
Attendance on campus is required for the test/exam.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable/block delivery.

Learning Resources

The main learning resources for this course are lectures, including lecture recordings, and laboratories.  
Two recommended textbooks are:  
1) Johnson, M. H., and ProQuest. Essential Reproduction. 7th ed. Essentials. Chichester, West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons, 2013. 
2) Jones, Richard E. Human Reproductive Biology. 3rd ed. Burlington, MA : Oxford: Elsevier Academic Press ; Academic, 2006. 
A Talis reading list has been set up for this course. This reading list provides details of the recommended texts for the course as a whole, as well as direct links to additional literature that some lecturers have recommended for specific lectures in the course.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

Overall those who responded to SET evaluations for this course (14/42 students) were satisfied with the quality of MEDSCI 313 (100% were satisfied with the quality of this course). There were several strong points highlighted from this evaluation.  
Students felt that the organisation of the course was good (92.9%), and they appreciated the resources provided in this course (100%). Students appreciated the small-group teaching (e.g. tutorials, laboratories) (100% felt so) and found the course intellectually stimulating (100%). A highlight for us was that students found the course helped develop critical analysis and problem-solving skills (100%). This is extremely useful to know, and will allow us to build upon these strengths in future years.  
The overall course score was 4.57 which is higher than the Academic Unit (Medical Sciences) which had a score of 4.24, the Faculty (Medical & Health Sciences) sore of 4.13 and the University as a whole (4.12).  
Open-ended comments highlighted several things students found helpful for their learning: the approachability of the teaching team, opportunities for feedback, small working teams and the poster presentation.  
Improvements  we have made based on feedback
The suggestion was made that there should be a further clarification around our expectations for the poster project. We will provide further details around our expectations for this session both in the course guide and as an online video next year.  
There was also a suggestion that the course guide requires some modification as some of the figures are too small. While we accept this may be challenging for some students, we aim to achieve a balance between providing these figures for students that like them, with the fact that we don’t want the course manual to be too large, as we are aware that students are taking multiple papers and often need to carry many course manuals on a particular day! In addition, lecture slides with high-resolution diagrams are provided for every lecture.  
There was also the suggestion that further information regarding the lab report write ups should be included. We have decided that these changes will be incorporated into the manual for the next cohort. In addition we will include questions regarding the report structure in the pre-lab quiz, to confirm the student’s understanding of these concepts.  

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and your assessment is fair, and not compromised. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the University Website for information about how to proceed.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.