MEDSCI 730 : Reproductive Science

Medical and Health Sciences

2021 Semester One (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Molecular regulation and coordination of normal reproduction. The reproductive disorders that arise when normal biological processes are disrupted. Recent molecular methods have enabled us to study these processes and to understand how they can go wrong. Genomic and proteomic approaches to the understanding of reproduction and reproductive disorders will be presented. Examination of the new technologies that allow us to overcome some of these reproductive problems.

Course Overview

MedSci 730 focuses on recent advances in human reproductive biology. The course involves a combination of traditional lectures, with interactive sessions and discussions particularly around the ethical and social responsibilities related to reproductive medicine. We therefore encourage our students to participate in small group discussions.  
Specific topics taught on the course include how to prevent the transmission of a group of genetic diseases, fertility, gynaecological cancers, imprinting, the placenta and pregnancy disorders, and extracellular vesicles and their role during pregnancy. These sessions are taught by lecturers who research in these areas, meaning we're able to directly discuss our novel research and discover answers to questions you may well be wondering about!

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

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 

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

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the processes of normal and pathological aspects of human reproductive biology (Capability 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 3.2, 5.1 and 5.2)
  2. Develop the ability to analyse data, assess literature and engage in peer discussions around controversial topics to present insights into the social and ethical considerations in human reproductive medicine (Capability 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1, 5.2, 6.1 and 6.2)
  3. Communicate and explain aspects of reproductive biology to peers and discipline-based experts (Capability 1.1, 1.2, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1 and 4.2)
  4. Demonstrate your ability to critically evaluate scientific research in the field of human reproduction (Capability 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 4.1 and 4.2)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Essay 20% Individual Coursework
Presentation 20% Individual Coursework
Final Exam 60% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4
Final Exam

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 2 hours of lectures, and 4 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 4 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is required at scheduled activities including lectures and presentations to complete components of the course.
Lectures will be available as recordings.
The course will not include live online events including group discussions/tutorials.
Attendance on campus is required for the exam.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable delivery.

Learning Resources

A Talis reading list has been set up for this course. The reading list provides details of the recommended texts for the course as a whole, as well as direct links to additional literature that individual lecturers recommend for their lectures. Students are encouraged to read widely.

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.

Note: specific SET's for this course were not available for this course in 2020 due to Covid. 
Overall those who responded to SET evaluations for this course in 2019 were  highly satisfied  with  the  quality  of  MEDSCI  730  (100%  were  satisfied with  the  quality  of  this  course).    
There were several strong points highlighted from this evaluation.    
You felt that the organisation of the course was good (100%), you appreciated the feedback provided (100%) and found the course intellectually stimulating (100%).    
The overall course score (all questions considered) was 4.80 which is higher than the Academic Unit (Medical Sciences) which had a score of 4.47, the Faculty (Medical & Health Sciences) sore of 4.13 and the University as a whole (4.12). Open-ended comments highlighted several things you found helpful for your learning: that the lectures were not too intensive and lecturers enthusiastic about their topics and that you learned valuable critical analysis skills during the literature review.  

Here’s what respondents would like to see improved and how we will make changes for the next delivery of the course: The suggestion was made that there should be clearer learning objectives for some lectures, and that it is made clear to the students whenever content is not examinable, but included for their information only.  This feedback has been discussed with the teaching team and will be implemented in 2020.  
In addition you liked the discussions on controversial topics at the end of some lectures and have suggested that these could be incorporated into some other lectures. This has been discussed with the teaching team, who are happy to provide opportunities for discussion. 

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.