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Masters Degrees (Animal Behaviour And Evolution)

We have 33 Masters Degrees (Animal Behaviour And Evolution)

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Our Animal Behaviour MRes is a research-based course with a taught component that is equivalent to an MSc. It provides a springboard into a career that involves a working knowledge of scientific research. Read more

Our Animal Behaviour MRes is a research-based course with a taught component that is equivalent to an MSc. It provides a springboard into a career that involves a working knowledge of scientific research.

The study of animal behaviour is an exciting and theoretically rigorous area of the biological sciences with possible applications in conservation, animal welfare, biomedical science and agriculture. The Centre for Behaviour and Evolution at Newcastle University brings together world experts in Behavioural Ecology, Comparative Cognition, Neuroethology and Animal Welfare.

Experts at Newcastle have discovered, among other things, that bees learn better when exposed to caffeine; that starlings who were hungry as babies become heavier as adults; and that mice have pain faces. You too can be part of this exciting research community.

The course is designed for graduates with a BSc in the life sciences, psychology or anthropology. It can be taken either as a stand-alone qualification or as an entry route onto a PhD.

The taught component of the course includes training in research approaches relevant to the area of animal behaviour. You have the flexibility to develop your own bespoke course by selecting a set of three complementary modules. The modules Comparative Cognition (MMB8043), Applied Ethology (ACE8074) and Sensory Systems (MMB8019) in particular are recommended for this course. You will also participate in training in general research principles, and other professional and key skills.

The core module on the biological study of behaviour introduces the central questions related to animal behaviour research (adaptive consequences, proximate mechanisms, development, and evolutionary history) and the research methods associated with each. Other relevant modules focus on comparative cognition, on sensory systems (including neuroethology) and on applied ethology for animal welfare. Research-led seminars, delivered by members of the Centre for Behaviour and Evolution cover a wide range of taxa (insects to humans), topics (olfaction to cooperation), and methodologies. 

Your research project comprises the major element of the course. This project will involve 24 weeks of research in an area of animal behaviour under the supervision of an expert academic researcher in the field.

The course allows you to experience an internationally competitive research area, predominantly in academia but also potentially in industry. Graduates from our programme have gone on to competitive PhD studentships, as well as jobs in research and in zoos.

Animal Behaviour MRes is closely linked to a suite of MRes courses that you may also be interested in. See Programme information in our online Prospectus for full details.

Graduates from our programme have gone on to competitive PhD studentships, as well as jobs in research and in zoos.

Faculty of Medical Sciences Graduate School

Our Medical Sciences Graduate School is dedicated to providing you with information, support and advice throughout your research degree studies. We can help and advise you on a variety of queries relating to your studies, funding or welfare.

Our Research Student Development Programme supports and complements your research whilst developing your professional skills and confidence.

You will make an on-going assessment of your own development and training needs through personal development planning (PDP) in the ePortfolio system. Our organised external events and development programme have been mapped against the Vitae Researcher Development Framework to help you identify how best to meet your training and development needs.



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Understand the causes, effects and ultimate explanations for the evolution of animal behaviour. On this course, you’ll learn to apply that understanding to conserve and manage species. Read more
Understand the causes, effects and ultimate explanations for the evolution of animal behaviour. On this course, you’ll learn to apply that understanding to conserve and manage species.

You’ll develop an advanced knowledge and practical experience of research skills in animal behaviour, putting you in a strong position to move on to a PhD or a research career.

How will I study?
You’ll choose from a variety of options including exciting field modules in the tropical rainforest and the Mediterranean.

The in-depth research project forms a core part of this course. You’ll study real problems as part of a research group in close contact with your supervisor, with the ultimate aim of producing a scientific publication.

You’ll be assessed with a variety of methods including:
-Essays
-Reports
-Presentations
-A dissertation

Scholarships
Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.

Chancellor's International Scholarship (2017)
-25 scholarships of a 50% tuition fee waiver
-Application deadline: 1 May 2017

Geoff Lockwood Scholarship (2017)
-1 scholarship for Postgraduate (taught) of £3,000 fee waive
-Application deadline: 24 July 2017

HESPAL Scholarship (Higher Education Scholarships Scheme for the Palestinian Territories) (2017)
-Two full fee waivers in conjuction with maintenance support from the British Council
-Application deadline: 1 January 2017

Faculty

Animal behaviour research at Sussex is carried out in the School of Life Sciences and the School of Psychology, and encompasses both the proximate mechanisms and ultimate causes of animal behaviour. From ants, bees and cuttlefish to white sharks and lions, we work with a wide range of animals in our research.

Our research interests include:
-The behavioural ecology of social insects and other social organisms
-Understanding the causes and consequences of ‘animal personalities’
-The neurobiology of behaviour, self-organisation and robot models of animal behaviour
-Chemical communication and vocal communication
-Vision and navigation
-Sexual selection and sexual conflict

Careers
Our MRes gives you the skills and understanding to carry out scientific research in your chosen area of study. It will place you in a strong position to move on to a PhD in animal behaviour or a research career in associated areas.

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The scientific study of animal behaviour tells us how animals interact with both the physical and the social worlds that they live within. Read more
The scientific study of animal behaviour tells us how animals interact with both the physical and the social worlds that they live within. This MSc provides a rigorous scientific training in the study of animal behaviour to students aiming to continue to PhD research or for careers in animal biology, ecological and behavioural research, scientific communication, and wildlife management and conservation.

You will be taught by world-leading researchers, giving you the opportunity to learn about the latest, cutting-edge developments in animal behaviour, including behavioural ecology and evolution, optimisation and life history theory, sensory biology, decision-making, neural/physiological mechanisms of behaviour, social biology, and sexual selection.

This programme will enhance your skills in both theory and experimentation, as well as helping you to develop transferable skills including statistics, data handling, scientific writing, and research methods. It focuses on critical thought and the scientific method as well as on subject-specific knowledge.

Postgraduate Administrator, School of Biological Sciences
University of Bristol
Woodland Road
Bristol
BS8 1UG

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We start with a semester of formal lectures (2 x 5 week blocks) and assocaiated assignments covering. Read more
We start with a semester of formal lectures (2 x 5 week blocks) and assocaiated assignments covering: Behavioural development; Motivation and sensory systems; Evolution and behaviour; Pain, stress and welfare; Navigation; Cognition; Endocrines and pheromones; Communication and Welfare of farm, companion and zoo animals; Behaviour and conservation; Fear and sterotypies and Practical measures for enhancing welfare. We also have visits to Belfast Zoological Gardens, Castle Espie Wildfowl Centre and Farms. In semester two we cover practical topics that include defining and recording behaviour, experimental design and analyses, presentation of results in various formats and getting to grips with primary literature. That is a period in which students also focus on preparing for the project and they give a seminar onhow they intend to approach the research project. The latter is a 5-month, fully-supervised Research Project that can involve field work abroad, field work on UK farms, exerimental work in the labortaory or field. It can involve welfare or fundamental animal behaviour. We have a team of ten that currently offer diverse projects for this course and nine of these are involved in the delivery of lectures (check our web site). Project supervisors will also supervise a literature review in the broad area of the project. Knowledge gained form the course can be applied to fundamental scientific research and to practical areas such as conservation, animal husbandry and zoo environments. Formal teaching is on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, one year full time two years part time.

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About the course. Our MRes Evolution and Behaviour provides a unique opportunity to learn from leaders in the field about evolutionary, genetic and functional bases of behaviour, adaptation and speciation, applied to a range of study systems from birds to fish, insects to snails. Read more

About the course

Our MRes Evolution and Behaviour provides a unique opportunity to learn from leaders in the field about evolutionary, genetic and functional bases of behaviour, adaptation and speciation, applied to a range of study systems from birds to fish, insects to snails.

Where your masters can take you

Our MRes programme will provide you with an excellent foundation for a career in research or industry. It is ideal preparation for a PhD degree, whilst also providing advanced level skills in research methods, data analysis, and clear communication of research findings, all of which are in high demand from employers.

Tailor your masters to your own research interests

Our MRes programme is uniquely research-focused. You will be assigned to a research supervisor on the basis of your particular research interests. You’ll be embedded within a research group, working alongside PhD students, postdoctoral researchers, and academic staff who are at the forefront of their research field. You will conduct an extended research project over several months, with the aim of producing original work of publishable quality.

Course structure

Each programme has a common element where you will learn about the most recent developments in your research area and discuss them with research leaders from the UK and around the world. You will gain advanced skills in experimental design, data analysis and presentation, as you learn how to become a research leader yourself.

Core modules

Advanced Trends in Biology

Advanced Biological Analysis

Research and Study Skills in Biology

Tutorials

Literature Review

Research Project (accounts for half of your final grade)

Teaching and assessment

Teaching is via working in a research laboratory or on a field-based research project, tutorials, discussion groups, attendance at seminars, and statistics and other workshops.

Assessment includes, but is not limited to, project report, literature review, critiques, short reports and essays, oral presentations including a viva.



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Research projects in this area will centre on adaptive decision-making in animals in a range of contexts, including (a) trade-offs between social and sexual… Read more
Research projects in this area will centre on adaptive decision-making in animals in a range of contexts, including (a) trade-offs between social and sexual behaviour, learning and other components of life history, such as immune function and disease resistance, (b) associative and higher order learning in invertebrates, (c) effects of genetic differences in social behaviour on population dynamics in nematodes, (d) the evolution of insect pollinator systems.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

After identifying which Masters you wish to pursue please complete an on-line application form
http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/pgstudy/apply/apply-online.aspx

Mark clearly on this form your choice of course title, give a brief outline of your proposed research and follow the automated prompts to provide documentation. Once the School has your application and accompanying documents (eg referees reports, transcripts/certificates) your application will be matched to an appropriate academic supervisor and considered for an offer of admission.

COURSE STRUCTURE
The MRes degree course consists of two elements:
160 credits of assessed work. The assessed work will normally be based entirely on a research project and will be the equivalent of around 10 ½ months full-time research work. AND
20 credits of non-assessed generic training. Credits can be accumulated from any of the courses offered by the Graduate School. http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/gradschool/research-training/index.phtml The generic courses should be chosen by the student in consultation with the supervisor(s).

ASSESSMENT
The research project will normally be assessed by a dissertation of a maximum of 30,000 to 35,000 words, or equivalent as appropriate*. The examiners may if they so wish require the student to attend a viva.
*In consultation with the supervisor it maybe possible for students to elect to do a shorter research project and take a maximum of 40 credits of assessed modules.

The School of Life Sciences will provide each postgraduate research student with a laptop for their exclusive use for the duration of their studies in the School.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/studywithus/international-applicants/scholarships-fees-and-finance/scholarships/masters-scholarships.aspx

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Why study at Roehampton. The course offers an opportunity to carry out a substantial research project in primatology, and is an ideal qualification for those wishing to pursue a PhD in this field. Read more

Why study at Roehampton

  • The course offers an opportunity to carry out a substantial research project in primatology, and is an ideal qualification for those wishing to pursue a PhD in this field.
  • Many MRes students publish their dissertation research in international scientific journals.
  • We have well established networks with field sites such as Gashaka Primate Project (Nigeria), Berenty Reserve (Madagascar) and Trentham Monkey Forest (UK).
  • We are the most research-intensive modern university in the UK (Research Excellence Framework 2014).

Course summary

Embark on an incredible journey with a course that focuses on studying the biology, behaviour and conservation of primates. You will gain the skills required to carry out theoretical and field research in primatology, to advance your career or further study.

Primatology is a discipline that has its roots in anatomy, biology, anthropology and psychology. This course covers a comprehensive range of topics within primatology and combines theoretical investigation with fieldwork and laboratory sessions. It also offers intensive training in research methods and statistics.

Recent examples of topics covered include social behaviour, cognition, endocrinology, ranging and habitat use, social networks, human-wildlife conflict, morphology and brain size evolution.

The University of Roehampton has established networks with leading institutions and field sites including the Zoological Society of London , German Primate Centre, Gashaka Primate Project (Nigeria), Trentham Monkey Forest (UK), and Berenty Reserve (Madagascar).

You will be taught by leading experts in the field who carry out their own world-leading research.

Content

You will begin the year by studying an in-depth a range of topics in primatology, as well as learning the theory and practice of primatological research. After your first semester, the emphasis will be on independent study, where you will be undertaking a substantial piece of original research. You will develop your intellectual, practical and analytical skills to devise a viable project proposal. You will carry out your project and produce both a dissertation and a paper suitable for submission to a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Many of our graduates have subsequently published their work in international journals such as Biology LettersAmerican Journal of PrimatologyInternational Journal of PrimatologyAnimal Behaviour and Biological Conservation.

Students’ field work lasts for three months, usually from March to May. You will have the support of your supervisor in arranging data collection for your research project. In the laboratory, students have used geographic information systems to explore ranging behaviour, analysed parasites from wild primates and performed non-invasive hormone analysis.

Modules

  • Primatology: Theory and Practice
  • Primate Biology, Behaviour and Conservation
  • Research Methods in Biology

Career options

Careers in conservation projects, research institutions, animal welfare groups or agencies, zoos, parks, environmental and animal charities; in roles such as researcher, conservation biologist and ecologist.

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You will benefit from the expertise of our leading researchers in evolutionary psychology, who have particular interests in cultural evolution and language, social learning, and mate choice. Read more

Introduction

You will benefit from the expertise of our leading researchers in evolutionary psychology, who have particular interests in cultural evolution and language, social learning, and mate choice. Our staff are also at the forefront of new developments in applying evolutionary principles to address real world issue. Students interested in comparative approaches and animal behaviour will benefit from other members of our Behaviour and Evolution Research Group whose world-leading research on behaviour and cognition in primates, dogs and elephants are also being applied to real world problems, including conservation, human-animal interaction, and animal welfare. Under the group's expert guidance you will undertake specialists modules, a research placement and a research project. You will also be able to take advantage of our on-site and overseas labs, field sites and links with industrial partners. For example, the University works closely with the Living Links to Human Evolution Research Centre at Edinburgh Zoo.

Key information

- Degree type: MSc, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma
- Study methods: Full-time, Part-time
- Start date: September
- Course Director: Professor Craig Roberts

Bursaries are available: http://www.stir.ac.uk/scholarships/.

Course objectives

The course provides advanced training as a preparation for a research career in Psychology, primarily for those intending to proceed to a PhD in the area of evolutionary psychology, comparative cognition or animal behaviour. It may also be suitable for meeting continuing professional development needs for those working in related applied contexts.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:
- IELTS: 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
- Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
- Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
- IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

For more information go to English language requirements https://www.stir.ac.uk/study-in-the-uk/entry-requirements/english/

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View the range of pre-sessional courses http://www.intohigher.com/uk/en-gb/our-centres/into-university-of-stirling/studying/our-courses/course-list/pre-sessional-english.aspx .

Delivery and assessment

Teaching is delivered using a variety of methods including tutorials, demonstrations and practical classes, but the majority is seminar-based. Students are typically taught within small groups in specialist classes, with first-year PhD students or other postgraduate students (for example, in modules from other MSc courses).
Both taught and research postgraduates are integral to our research group and expected to participate in our regular meetings. All students allocated a peer mentor are provided with appropriate office space and equipment. In addition, each student is associated with an academic from Psychology.
The individual modules contribute towards 60 percent of the MSc grade, with the research dissertation contributing the remaining 40 percent.

Why Stirling?

REF2014
In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.

- Strengths
Psychology at Stirling is one of the leading psychology departments in the UK. It ranked in the top 20 in the recent research assessment (REF 2014) and is one of only seven non-Russell group universities to do so (Birkbeck, Royal Holloway, Sussex, Essex, St Andrews and Bangor; source Times Higher Education magazine). Its quality of research publications ranked third in Scotland after Aberdeen and Glasgow. Furthermore, the relevance of its research activity to society received the highest possible rating which only four other psychology departments in the UK achieved (REF 2014 results).

Psychology at Stirling University is small enough to fully involve MSc students in our lively and collegial community of research excellence.

Your three month full-time dissertation is supervised by leading UK academics.

Career opportunities

This course provides advanced training to prepare you for a research career in evolutionary approaches to behaviour, especially for those intending to proceed to a PhD. You will become an integral member of our lively and active research group and we will support you in making the complex transition towards being an independent research scientist. The placement also allows considerable scope for those interested in more applied areas to develop relevant skills for these careers. The course also seeks to meet the continuing professional development needs of those already working in related applied contexts.

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Our MSc by Research in Life Sciences is a dedicated programme which is designed to enable students to further develop their research skills by focusing on a specialist project. Read more
Our MSc by Research in Life Sciences is a dedicated programme which is designed to enable students to further develop their research skills by focusing on a specialist project.

This course provides an opportunity for students from biological subjects to begin research in life sciences. Research may be conducted in a broad range of topics in biology and life sciences and as a researcher in the School, you will have the opportunity to collaborate with academics working on studies and projects.

The School undertakes research at molecular, cellular, organism and population levels in order to answer fundamental questions in molecular biology and biomedical science, forensic science and microbiology, animal and plant biology, and evolution and ecology.

Research Areas, Projects & Topics

Research is conducted within six substantial research groups. Scientists in Animal Behaviour, Cognition and Welfare explore the causes, functions and evolution of animal behaviour and the impact this has on animal welfare.

Those in Evolution and Ecology examine population dynamics and evolutionary processes at all levels of biological organisation. Researchers in Drug Design and Delivery focus on the application and efficacy of novel therapeutics, while academics working in Molecular Basis of Disease aim to understand disease at a molecular level in order to improve diagnosis and treatment.

Example Research Areas:
-Management of Native River Fish
-Forensic Analysis of Burnt Bones
-Public Perception of Dog Breed Types.

Example Research Projects:
-Peptide-guided drug delivery
-Cognitive phylogenetics in parrots
-Sexual selection dynamics in humans
-Protein Biochemistry with the development of cardiovascular disease
-Reconstruction of patterns of habitat colonisation using genetic methods.

How You Study

Due to the nature of postgraduate research programmes, the vast majority of your time will be spent in independent study and research. You will have meetings with your academic supervisor, however the regularity of these will vary depending on your own individual requirements, subject area, staff availability and the stage of your programme.

Facilities

Students have the chance to develop their professional and technical skills in specialist laboratories equipped for research in biomedical, forensic and pharmaceutical science, chemistry, microbiology, molecular biology and animal and plant biology.

Minster House, adjacent to the laboratories, provides specialist facilities for the study of animal behaviour. Our links with local, national and international partners may provide postgraduate students with opportunities for further collaboration with scientists in industry, government and academia.

Career and Personal Development

Postgraduate-level research provides you with the opportunity to advance your knowledge and develop your practical and intellectual skills. Graduates may pursue careers in research and science-related roles, while others may choose to move on to research at doctoral level.

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The Master in Conservation Biology, with specialization in Behavioural Ecology and Wildlife Management, aims at providing a critical and conceptually-based understanding of animal behaviour and evolutionary ecology, in the framework of conservation biology and wildlife management. Read more

The Master in Conservation Biology, with specialization in Behavioural Ecology and Wildlife Management, aims at providing a critical and conceptually-based understanding of animal behaviour and evolutionary ecology, in the framework of conservation biology and wildlife management. This two-year master program consists in both lessons and fieldtrips, while half of the second year is devoted to a personal research project conducted by students in an international research team.

OUR MASTER PROGRAM

The Master program has a two-year span, with most of the courses taught in english. Our teaching philosophy is based on the idea that biodiversity conservation must be grounded in a multi-level knowledge approach, mixing key disciplines in ecology and evolution with recent technical advances in the fields of biometry, molecular ecology and management tools. The teaching content is rooted in our established strengths in behavioural ecology, evolutionary biology, conservation biology, quantitative ecology and research design. The master program is enriched by input from professional conservationists and managers, to put courses in the broader context of project management and decision-making policies.

The specific teaching objectives aim at developing and improving students’ skills to:

  • engage with concepts and theory in behavioural ecology, conservation biology and wildlife management from interdisciplinary perspectives at an advanced scientific level.
  • assess the ability of organisms to react, cope with and adjust to environmental change occurring over different spatial and time scales.
  • appreciate the opportunities offered by new technological developments for the future of research on animal behaviour and wildlife management
  • combine theory, hypotheses, methods, data and fieldwork so as to identify and develop innovative research questions and design.

Half of the second year is devoted to conducting a personal research project and writing a thesis of 12,000 words. Research projects are conducted within an international team previously selected by the students, and led with the support of an expert supervisor.

TEACHING & FIELDTRIPS

Teaching consists of lectures, seminars by international researchers, class tutorials and practical training in the laboratory and in the field, providing in-depth exploration of key issues. Our teaching philosophy is to stimulate balanced and evidence-based discussions and debates between academic staff and students. Such interactions provide efficient training to identify and explore theory, methods and practice in an academic environment.

Field courses allow students to apply the methods and ideas developed in the classroom to practical use in the field. Each year, you will attend at least one week-long fieldtrip, and several one-day field sessions. The "Camargue field course" provides the opportunity to work on a model species for wildlife management in the Camargue Natural Regional Park (CNRP): the greater flamingo. Fieldwork will be grounded on extensive research on wildlife populations in the context of the various activities taking place in the CNRP. Other field courses address the quantitative analysis of animal behaviour, the monitoring of wildlife, and ex-situ conservation. The “Parc Polaire fieldtrip”, in the Jura mountains, allows students to experience the role of and, stakes faced by, a park dedicated to the conservation of European wild species such as the European bison and deer species.

CAREER PROSPECTS

The aim of our master program is to train future scientific leaders in animal behaviour and conservation biology, as well as future managers and policy officers in biodiversity, conservation and wildlife management.

Therefore, our program aims at providing both a diversified and specialized expertise in the general fields of animal behaviour and wildlife management. It also combines behavioural ecology and conservation biology as major disciplines with some other relevant topics – ethics and deontology, epistemology, socioeconomics of conservation, structure and management of environmental organizations, in addition to the hard science of biodiversity.

The master's Alumni Office helps alumni keep in touch with each other and organises alumni events.

LIFE IN DIJON, CAPITAL CITY OF BURGUNDY (FRANCE)

The whole of the program takes place at the University of Burgundy-Franche Comté, located in the scenic city of Dijon. The former capital city of the Duchy of Burgundy, Dijon is now a medium-size French city, where you can enjoy a vibrant and active cultural life, as well as quick getaways to the countryside and the world famous neighbouring vineyards of the so-called “Golden coast”.

Life in Dijon is very affordable and accommodation easily accessible. The city is well-equipped with modern tramway and bus lines, making commuting between any place in Dijon and the University easy and convenient.

Showing marks of its medieval past, Dijon has excelled in making any subsequent architectural revolution his own. Dijon possesses a fair number of outstanding museums and remarkable monuments, and is also internationally known as the hometown of the notorious French gastronomy. Dijon has a vibrant cultural life with music and food festivals all over the year. Cultural and leisure attractions are widespread, from classical music concerts to jazz festivals, food fairs, cinemas… Dijon is also host of several top-level professional sports teams (football, basketball, handball, rugby…), while also offering a large diversity of sports facilities for the amateur. From beach-volley fields to suburban hiking and cycling paths, urban parks and the much appreciated Lake Kir, incentives to jump in a pair of trainers will be everywhere.

GRANTS

Up to five fellowship grants (800 € per month, during up to 10 months) will be awarded each year to high quality foreign students, with a particular attention to applications coming from Mediterranean countries and Caribbean island nations and territories.

APPLICATIONS

During the first year, students take examinations associated with the Master in Conservation Biology, specialized in Behavioural Ecology and Wildlife Management. Examinations must be successfully passed (i.e. obtain 60 ECTS credits) in order to proceed to the second year. In the second year, the thesis following your research project accounts for half the marks of the second year.

For further information about how to apply, please directly contact the head of the master program, Professor Frank Cézilly ().

Please also visit our dedicated webpage (http://www.nature-conservation-ubfc.com/bewm/fr/), and like our facebook page (“Master BEWM – UBFC Dijon”) to stay up to date with the life of and the latest news about our program!



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Researchers in the School of Biological Sciences conduct cutting-edge research across a broad range of biological disciplines. genomics, biotechnology, cell biology, sensory biology, animal behaviour and evolution, population biology, host-disease interactions and ecosystem services, to name but a few. Read more
Researchers in the School of Biological Sciences conduct cutting-edge research across a broad range of biological disciplines: genomics, biotechnology, cell biology, sensory biology, animal behaviour and evolution, population biology, host-disease interactions and ecosystem services, to name but a few.

In 2014 the school relocated to a new £54 million, state-of-the-art Life Sciences building. Our new laboratory facilities are among the best in the world, with critical '-omics' technologies and associated computing capacity (bioinformatics) a core component. The new building is designed to foster our already strong collaborative and convivial environment, and includes a world-leading centre for evolutionary biology research in collaboration with key researchers from earth sciences, biochemistry, social medicine, chemistry and computer sciences. The school has strong links with local industry, including BBC Bristol, Bristol Zoo and the Botanic Gardens. We have a lively, international postgraduate community of about 150 research students. Our stimulating environment and excellent graduate school training and support provide excellent opportunities to develop future careers.

Research groups

The underlying theme of our research is the search for an understanding of the function, evolution, development and regulation of complex systems, pursued using the latest technologies, from '-omics' to nanoscience, and mathematical modelling tools. Our research is organised around four main themes that reflect our strengths and interests: evolutionary biology; animal behaviour and sensory biology; plant and agricultural sciences; and ecology and environmental change.

Evolutionary Biology
The theme of evolutionary biology runs through all our research in the School of Biological Sciences. Research in this theme seeks to understand organismal evolution and biodiversity using a range of approaches and study systems. We have particular strengths in evolutionary genomics, phylogenetics and phylogenomics, population genetics, and evolutionary theory and computer modelling.

Animal Behaviour and Sensory Biology
Research is aimed at understanding the adaptive significance of behaviour, from underlying neural mechanisms ('how', or proximate, questions) to evolutionary explanations of function ('why', or ultimate, questions). The approach is strongly interdisciplinary, using diverse physiological and biomechanical techniques, behavioural experiments, computer modelling and molecular biology to link from the genetic foundations through to the evolution of behaviour and sensory systems.

Plant and Agricultural Sciences
The global issue of food security unifies research in this theme, which ranges from molecular-based analysis of plant development, signal transduction and disease, to ecological studies of agricultural and livestock production systems. We have particular strengths in functional genomics, bioinformatics, plant developmental biology, plant pathology and parasite biology, livestock parasitology and agricultural systems biology. Our research is helped by the LESARS endowment, which funds research of agricultural relevance.

Ecology and Environmental Change
Research seeks to understand ecological relations between organisms (plant, animal or microbe) at individual, population and community levels, as well as between organisms and their environments. Assessing the effect of climate change on these ecological processes is also fundamental to our research. Key research areas within this theme include community ecology, restoration ecology, conservation, evolutionary responses to climate change and freshwater ecology. Our research has many applied angles, such as ecosystem management, wildlife conservation, environmental and biological control, agricultural practice and informing policy.

Careers

Many postgraduate students choose a higher degree because they enjoy their subject and subsequently go on to work in a related area. An Office of Science and Technology survey found that around three-quarters of BBSRC- and NERC-funded postgraduates went on to a job related to their study subject.

Postgraduate study is often a requirement for becoming a researcher, scientist, academic journal editor and for work in some public bodies or private companies. Around 60 per cent of biological sciences doctoral graduates continue in research. Academic research tends to be contract-based with few permanent posts, but the school has a strong track record in supporting the careers of young researchers by helping them to find postdoctoral positions or develop fellowship applications.

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The Institute for Neuroscience has clinicians and scientists working together to understand the brain and behaviour. Read more
The Institute for Neuroscience has clinicians and scientists working together to understand the brain and behaviour. From the basic biology of neurons through to complex processes of perception and decision-making behaviour, we address how the mind, brain, and body work together and translate this knowledge into clinical applications for patient benefit.

We offer MPhil supervision in the following research areas:

Motor systems development, plasticity and function

We conduct clinical and preclinical studies of normal and abnormal development and plasticity of the motor system. We run functional studies and computer modelling of motor system activity throughout the neuraxis. We also research the development and assessment of novel therapies for motor disorders/lesions including stem cell and brain-machine interface.

Visual system development, plasticity and repair]]
We research the development and assessment of novel neuro-technological approaches to retinal dystrophy repair including brain-machine interface and stem cells. We use in vitro approaches to look at retinal development and visual system wiring.

[[Neural computation and network systems
We conduct experimental and theoretical (computational) studies aimed at understanding how neurones throughout the brain interact in localised networks to compute complex tasks. Our research looks at the role of network activity in a wide range of neurological, neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders.

Auditory neuroscience

We conduct clinical and preclinical studies aimed at understanding the brain mechanisms involved in detection, discrimination and perception of sound. We are interested in how these mechanisms are affected in individuals with brain disorders, including dementia, autism and stroke.

Pain

Our research focuses on:
-Understanding mechanisms underlying pain, analgesia, and anaesthesia
-The development of methods to assess pain and to alleviate pain in animals and humans

Psychobiology

We conduct studies in laboratory animals, healthy volunteers and patient populations investigating the mechanisms underlying mood, anxiety and addiction disorders and their treatment. Allied research looks at normal neuropsychology, and the physiology and pharmacology of neurotransmitter and endocrine systems implicated in psychiatric disorders.

Neurotoxicology

Our research focuses on delineating the effects and understanding the mechanisms of action of established and putative neurotoxins, including environmental and endogenous chemicals, and naturally occurring toxins.

Forensic psychiatry and clinical psychology

Our research covers:
-The assessment, treatment and management of sex offender risk
-Development and assessment of cognitive models
-Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) treatment for bipolar disorder, psychosis, anxiety and developmental disorders
-Developmental disorders of perception and cognition

Systems and computational neuroscience

We conduct theoretical (computational) and experimental studies aimed at understanding the neuroanatomy, neuropharmacology of vision, visual attention and episodic memory.

Behaviour and evolution

Many research groups take an evolutionary and comparative approach to the study of brain and/or behaviour, comparing brain function and behaviour among such disparate groups as insects, birds and mammals, and studying the ecological and evolutionary functions of behaviour. Much of our work is at the forefront of the fields of neuroethology, behavioural ecology and comparative cognition, and has important implications for the study and practice of animal welfare.

Visual perception and human cognition

We research:
-Colour and depth perception - perception of natural scenes
-Psychophysics and attention - memory
-Word learning in children
-Body image dysfunction
-Visual social cognition and face processing
-Advertising and consumer behaviour

Pharmacy

Our new School of Pharmacy has scientists and clinicians working together on all aspects of pharmaceutical sciences and clinical pharmacy.

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Biological Anthropology is the study of evolution and variation in human populations and of the interactions between human biology and environment. Read more
Biological Anthropology is the study of evolution and variation in human populations and of the interactions between human biology and environment. This combines our international reputation for anthropology, archaeology and biology, specifically including studies in primatology, evolutionary anthropology, human osteology, zooarchaeology, but also (paeleo-) ecology and behaviour.

This exciting course gives a core grounding in human evolution, primate behaviour and ecology, the origins of human behaviour and how hominines adapted to their environment, as well as human and animal skeletal analysis. Ultimately this course offers a uniquely wide range of suitable project topics that can prepare you for a career in a variety of aligned fields.

Core units:

Human Evolution
Human Functional Anatomy
Primate Behaviour & Ecology
Principles & Methods in Zooarchaeology
Research Project

Optional units (choose one of):
Principles & Methods in Human Osteology
Techniques of Archaeological Recovery & Recording

And one of:
Archaeology of Human Remains
Bodies of Evidence - Skeletal Changes Before & After Death
Humans, Animals & Diet

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This research-based course has a taught component that is the same as an MSc. It provides a springboard into a career that involves a working knowledge of scientific research. Read more

This research-based course has a taught component that is the same as an MSc. It provides a springboard into a career that involves a working knowledge of scientific research.

The course is designed for graduates with a BSc in the life sciences or other science disciplines, and for intercalating and fully qualified MBBS or BDS students. It can be taken either as a stand-alone qualification or as an entry route onto a PhD or MD.

What you'll learn

The taught component of the course includes subject-specific content in the area of systems biology. You have the flexibility to develop your own bespoke course by selecting additional, complementary modules. You will also participate in training in general research principles, and other professional and key skills.

Subject-based modules aim to develop a new generation of creative, innovative scientists and engineers, whose expertise spans the biological and physical domains. It introduces you to systems biology approaches that enable you to understand and manipulate complex biological systems, particularly the vulnerability of such systems to stress.

Your project

Your research project comprises the major element of the course. This project will involve 24 weeks of research in an area of systems biology under the supervision of an expert academic researcher in the field.

The course allows you to experience an internationally competitive research area, predominantly in academia but also potentially in industry.

Our MRes courses

Systems Biology MRes is closely linked to a suite of MRes courses that you may also be interested in:

Faculty of Medical Sciences Graduate School

Our Medical Sciences Graduate School is dedicated to providing you with information, support and advice throughout your research degree studies. We can help and advise you on a variety of queries relating to your studies, funding or welfare.

Our Research Student Development Programme supports and complements your research whilst developing your professional skills and confidence.

You will make an on-going assessment of your own development and training needs through personal development planning (PDP) in the ePortfolio system. Our organised external events and development programme have been mapped against the Vitae Researcher Development Framework to help you identify how best to meet your training and development needs.



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This research-based course has a taught component that is the same as an MSc. It provides a springboard into a career that involves a working knowledge of scientific research. Read more

This research-based course has a taught component that is the same as an MSc. It provides a springboard into a career that involves a working knowledge of scientific research.

The course is designed for graduates with a BSc in the life sciences or other science disciplines, and for intercalating and fully qualified MBBS or BDS students. It can be taken either as a stand-alone qualification or as an entry route onto a PhD or MD.

What you'll learn

The taught component of the course includes subject-specific content in the area of toxicology. You have the flexibility to develop your own bespoke course by selecting additional, complementary modules. You will also participate in training in general research principles, and other professional and key skills.

The subject-based modules give a broad understanding in toxicology, from basic concepts and molecular mechanisms to a review of target organ toxicities, pre-clinical and clinical pharmaceutical toxicology testing. They provide a broad overview of toxicology as it is applied in the pharmaceutical industries.

Your project

Your research project comprises the major element of the course. This project will involve 24 weeks of research in an area of toxicology under the supervision of an expert academic researcher in the field.

The course allows you to experience an internationally competitive research area, predominantly in academia but also potentially in industry.

Our MRes courses

Toxicology MRes is closely linked to a suite of MRes courses that you may also be interested in:

Faculty of Medical Sciences Graduate School

Our Medical Sciences Graduate School is dedicated to providing you with information, support and advice throughout your research degree studies. We can help and advise you on a variety of queries relating to your studies, funding or welfare.

Our Research Student Development Programme supports and complements your research whilst developing your professional skills and confidence.

You will make an on-going assessment of your own development and training needs through personal development planning (PDP) in the ePortfolio system. Our organised external events and development programme have been mapped against the Vitae Researcher Development Framework to help you identify how best to meet your training and development needs.



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