Making Babies in the 21st Century

Online Course

Future Learn
Making Babies in the 21st Century

What is the course about?

Making Babies in the 21st Century
The course Making Babies in the 21st Century is an online class provided by UCL (University College London) through Future Learn. It may be possible to receive a verified certification or use the course to prepare for a degree.
Explore new reproductive technologies and discover the opportunities they provide and the profound social challenges they pose.
Course description
  • 6 weeks
  • This course looks at six different areas of assisted reproduction and explores both the science and the impact they are having. The course is structured as a journey, taking as its starting point a person or couple who might make use of technology in order to conceive. The course also looks at the powerful new genetic techniques that are creating new opportunities i the field of reproduction. Understand the choices that surround assisted reproduction: A person or a couple might go through assisted fertility using their own sperm and eggs, and in that case the journey would be quite straightforward. This course covers those cases where the choices might be more difficult, and where more thought is required. These choices include whether: to access fertility online, to freeze eggs to preserve fertility, to choose a known or an anonymous donor, to use a surrogate (and, if so, in an ethical way), to test the embryo or baby for genetic abnormalities whether to allow future development in human genome editing.
  • Regulation of donor gametes (egg and sperm)
  • Fertility preservation (egg freezing)
  • Donor anonymity and parental disclosure
  • International surrogacy agreements, including surrogacy
  • Genetic testing of embryos and early in pregnancy
  • The prospect of human genome editing
  • Following the course, learners will be able to synthesise information from a number of different fields.
  • Critically assess the accuracy and value of information about assisted fertility that is provided in the public domain (i.e., on the internet).
  • Be able to confidently contribute to the vital societal conversation around the use of reproductive and genetic technologies.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the science and ethics-legal aspects of assisted fertility.
  • Develop a deeper understanding of the ways in which fertility medicine is changing the way babies are born and the way families are constructed.
  • Be able to explain how each of the technologies covered in the course are changing the way people think about fertility and families.
  • Be able to reflect critically on the advantages and disadvantages of the new reproductive technologies.
  • Making Babies in the 21st Century is intended for anyone interested to learn more about reproductive technology, including medical and healthcare students; clinicians and nurses working in women’s health; scientists and biotechnologists involved in reproductive medicine, and couples and individuals seeking advice and information about fertility.
  • Healthcare professionals might find the the Certificate of Achievement for this course useful for providing evidence of Continuing Professional Development (CPD), or commitment to their career.
  • UCL (University College London)
  • UCL was founded in 1826. It was the first English university established after Oxford and Cambridge, and the first to open up university education to those previously excluded from it.

Prerequisites & Facts

Making Babies in the 21st Century

Course Topic

Fertility & Birth, Healthcare & Medicine, Medical Technology, Politics & Society, Social Issues

University, College, Institution

UCL (University College London)

Course Skill Level

Course Language


Place of class

Online, self-paced (see curriculum for more information)



Degree & Cost

Making Babies in the 21st Century

To obtain a verified certificate from Future Learn / UCL (University College London) you have to finish this course or the latest version of it, if there is a new edition. The class may be free of charge, but there could be some cost to receive a verified certificate or to access the learning materials. The specifics of the course may have been changed, please consult the provider to get the latest quotes and news.
UCL (University College London)
Making Babies in the 21st Century
provided by Future Learn


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Making Babies in the 21st Century
UCL (University College London) Future Learn
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School: UCL (University College London)
Topic: Fertility & Birth, Healthcare & Medicine, Medical Technology, Politics & Society, Social Issues
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