MSc by Research Biological Sciences

Duration Full time 2 years
Part time 3 years
Discipline
  • Biosciences
LocationCornwall (Penryn)
Start date September, January or April See note

Overview

The University of Exeter offers a Masters by Research in Biological Sciences in an outstanding international research-active environment.

On our Penryn Campus, our MSc by Research offers you the opportunity to study in the Centre for Ecology and Conservation: a vibrant and internationally research-active environment focused on whole-organism biology, with leading research groups in:

The degree provides the opportunity to carry out a supervised research project leading to a formal postgraduate qualification, without the longer-term commitment of a PhD. It is ideal if you are interested in pursuing a specific shorter-term research project, perhaps whilst working. The programme offers you the flexibility to shape your research in an area of particular interest to you.

The MbyRes programmes are two years full time or three years part time. There is no minimum registration period and students may complete their studies within a shorter time scale. However, students who are accessing financial support through the Student Loan Company Postgraduate Research Loan should be aware that funding payments are scheduled across two years of the defined full time programme duration, or three years for part-time equivalents.

A wide range of training is available to our Masters by Research students from academic staff in Biosciences as well as via the University’s Research Development Programme, which is exclusively designed for our postgraduate research students.

If you are interested in pursuing the MSc by Research with us, you will first need to agree on a research project and identify a staff member for potential supervision.

Learning and assessment

The programme gives you the flexibility to shape your own research in an area of particular interest to you. Like other research degrees you will be required to work independently, but with the support and guidance of an appropriate supervisor.

We are committed to ensuring that its research students are given the training and support to develop high-level professional skills required for careers in academia, commercial or public sectors.

A wide range of training is available to Masters by Research students, including traditional, transferable skills and research specific training. This is either provided by Biosciences staff, or by colleagues from the University's Researcher Development Programme, which offers an extensive choice of training and development events exclusively designed for our PhD students.

There are a number of events, workshops and sessions available every year. These include quantitative biology and statistics, demonstrator training and various aspects of safety, research management, personal effectiveness, communication skills, networking, teamworking, and career management. Research seminars featuring internal and external speakers are organised each week during term time. You will be encouraged to attend additional optional courses, graduate schools and conferences and these are arranged through discussion with supervisors on an individual basis.

Assessment

You will be assessed by a written thesis or scientific paper of up to 40,000 words in length.

Careers

We are committed to ensuring you receive high quality research supervision to maximise your scientific potential and prepare you for a rewarding career. Some of our Masters by Research graduates have progressed to further study, but many have sought employment on graduation.

Below are a few examples of initial jobs undertaken by graduates of University of Exeter Biosciences research programmes in Cornwall. This information has been taken from the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) Survey 2012/13 and 2011/12. Please note that, due to data protection, the job titles and organisations are listed independently and do not necessarily correspond.

Job TitleOrganisation
Associate Research Fellow
Biology Research Fellow
Bioinformatics Officer
Programmes manager
Post Doctoral Research Associate
Postdoctoral Researcher
Healthcare Assistant
Research Fellow
Associate Lecturer
Lab Technician
Darwin Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
Researcher
Development Biologist
Field Ecologist
Science Lab Assistant
Ecologist
Ascension Island Government Conservation Department
Dow AgroSciences
Food and Environment Research Agency
Panama Wildlife Conservation
Peninsula Community Healthcare
ProDelphinus
Riverside School
Sera
The Institute of Cancer Research
University of Cincinnati
University of East Anglia
University of Exeter
University of Pretoria
University of Sussex

Entry requirements 2018

Applicants will typically hold (or be expected to attain) a first class or upper second class degree in biology or a related subject (or equivalent qualifications from other countries). However, specific requirements may vary and prospective applicants should contact the team on pgr-cles-admissions@exeter.ac.uk, or by calling +44 (0)1392 723310.

Requirements for international students

If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

Overall score 6.5. No less than 6.0 in any section.

TOEFL IBT*

Overall score 90 with minimum scores of 21 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking.

Pearson Test of English (Academic)

58 with no less than 55 in all communicative skills.

Other accepted tests

Information about other acceptable tests of linguistic ability can be found on our English language requirements page.

Pre-sessional English

Applicants with lower English language test scores may be able to take pre-sessional English at INTO University of Exeter prior to commencing their programme. See our English language requirements page for more information.

Start date

You can start in September, January or April but we strongly encourage a you to enrol in Term 1 in September as induction events are focused around this start date. However, we do permit MSc by Research/MPhil/PhD students to enrol either at the start of Term 1, Term 2 or Term 3 (see the University's term dates), or on the 1st of any other month except August, September and October.

Finance: fees and funding

Tuition fees per year 2018/19

  • UK/EU: £4,500 full-time; £2,250 part-time
  • International: £21,600 full-time

Fee information

Fees can normally be paid by two termly instalments and may be paid online. For further information about paying fees see our Student Fees pages.

Funding

Our Postgraduate Funding webpage provides links to further information.

Funding opportunities

Find out about current funding opportunities for our Biosciences research programmes.

Contact us

We welcome enquiries about the degree, for further information contact:

Email: pgr-cles-admissions@exeter.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0) 1392 723310

Potential applicants should first identify a member of academic staff who may be a suitable supervisor, and contact them by email to discuss possible directions for a research proposal. The research proposal must be agreed by the supervisor before an application to study can be made.

Learning and assessment

The programme gives you the flexibility to shape your own research in an area of particular interest to you. Like other research degrees you will be required to work independently, but with the support and guidance of an appropriate supervisor.

We are committed to ensuring that its research students are given the training and support to develop high-level professional skills required for careers in academia, commercial or public sectors.

A wide range of training is available to Masters by Research students, including traditional, transferable skills and research specific training. This is either provided by Biosciences staff, or by colleagues from the University's Researcher Development Programme, which offers an extensive choice of training and development events exclusively designed for our PhD students.

There are a number of events, workshops and sessions available every year. These include quantitative biology and statistics, demonstrator training and various aspects of safety, research management, personal effectiveness, communication skills, networking, teamworking, and career management. Research seminars featuring internal and external speakers are organised each week during term time. You will be encouraged to attend additional optional courses, graduate schools and conferences and these are arranged through discussion with supervisors on an individual basis.

Assessment

You will be assessed by a written thesis or scientific paper of up to 40,000 words in length.

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