Ecology and evolutionary biology offer a perspective on biology from the level of genes to communities of species.
In the master's degree program, you can become familiar with a wide variety of topics in three areas: ecology, evolutionary biology and conservation biology. You can choose studies from any of these areas, as well as from other master's degree programmes. The programme is diverse and multidisciplinary: teaching is done with lectures, laboratory and computer training courses, interactive seminars, study tours and field courses. The field courses range from the northern subarctic region to tropical rainforests.
Our wide expertise extends from molecular ecology to population and community biology. The Centres of Excellence of Metapopulation Biology and Biological Interactions are located in our department.
Our programme offers you a wide range of options: evolutionary biology or genetics for those interested in ecological genetics and genomics, as well as the ability to take advantage of the high-quality molecular ecology and systematics laboratory; conservation biology for those interested in regional or global environmental problems; and ecological modelling skills for those interested in computational biology. Our training also offers Behavioural Ecology.
Ecology, evolutionary biology and conservation biology are not only fascinating topics for basic research, they also have a key role in addressing global environmental challenges.
Upon graduating from the Master's degree in ecology and evolutionary biology programme, you will:
Further information about the studies on the Master's programme website.
The Master's degree program includes studies of ecology, evolutionary biology and conservation biology. The studies are organised in modules. You can affect the content of the studies by planning your personal curriculum. You can study the following themes:
The taught Infection Biology MSc will help you to develop your knowledge and understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which bacteria, viruses and parasites cause disease in humans and in domesticated animals, and the immune responses generated by these hosts to such pathogens. You can choose to specialise in virology, microbiology (bacteriology) or parasitology.
The MSc programme will consist of five taught courses and a project or dissertation, spread over 11-12 months. Three courses are compulsory, and two are chosen from a series of options.
The PgDip programme will consist of five taught courses, spread over 7-8 months, with three compulsory courses and two chosen from a series of options.
The PgCert programme consists one core taught course over 3-4 months.
Teaching and learning methods
A variety of methods are used, including lectures, tutorials, workshops, laboratories and problem-based learning. These are supplemented by a wide range of course specific electronic resources for additional learning and self assessment. As a result, you will develop a wide range of skills relevant to careers in infection biology research, diagnostics or drug development. These skills include team-working, data interpretation and experimental design. You will use primary scientific literature as an information resource.
Our online resources were voted the best in the United Kingdom in the International Student Barometer in 2012, and include
About half of our MSc students enter a research career, mainly by undertaking further postgraduate research studies towards a PhD, or by working in research laboratories in clinical or academic settings, including national government laboratories.
Other students go on to work in the pharmaceutical, diagnostic or biotechnological industries.
This MRes programme aims to train students in the fast-growing area of synthetic biology, a discipline which takes the knowledge and understanding we now have of the individual parts of biological systems and uses them in a defined way to design and build novel artificial biological systems.
Students develop an understanding of the areas involved in synthetic biology, including engineering principles, mathematical modelling, advanced molecular biology, microbiology, biochemical engineering and necessary chemistry. Modules also provide the necessary skills for acquisition and critical analysis of the primary scientific literature and transferable research development skills. The programme includes a major research project that will provide in-depth training in synthetic biology research methods.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of three core modules (60 credits) and an extended research project (120 credits).
There are no optional modules for this programme.
All students undertake an independent laboratory-based extended research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000–18,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through lectures, seminars and tutorials, combining research-led and skills-based modules. The taught modules are assessed by assignments and coursework. The research project is assessed by an oral presentation, submission of a dissertation and is subject to oral examination.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Synthetic Biology MRes
The Synthetic Biology MRes will qualify students to go on to work in the growing number of small companies engaged in synthetic biology both here in London and across the UK and the world. There are many large companies that are building their own synthetic biology potential and some of our students are already working with these groups. Our students often go on to do further research in PhDs and EngDs globally. Our graduates have practical experience of generating novel research with our unique facilities that makes them of great value to employers and collaborators.
Recent career destinations for this degree
Synthetic biology is a fast growing area of research and will have a major economic and social impact on the global economy in the coming decades. The involvement of molecular biologists, biochemists, engineers, physical scientists, chemists and biologists can create designed cells, enzymes and biological modules that can be combined in a defined manner. These could be used to make complex metabolic pathways for pharmaceuticals, novel hybrid biosensors or novel routes to biofuels. A future integration of biological devices and hybrid devices as components in the electronics industry might lead to a whole new high value industry for structured biological entities.
UCL is recognised as one of the world's best research environments within the field of biochemical engineering and synthetic biology as well as biological and biomedical science.
UCL Biochemical Engineering is in a unique position to offer tuition and research opportunities in internationally recognised laboratories that carry out synthetic biology research, and an appreciation of the multidisciplinary nature of synthetic biology research.
Students on this MRes programme undertake a major research project where topics can be chosen spanning the expertise in six departments across UCL.
The Biology PGCE prepares students to develop the professional knowledge and skills they need to teach all aspects of science to pupils up to age 16, as well as teaching Biology to pupils aged 11-16. We are committed to creative and interactive approaches to teaching science to promote student learning.
Students on the Biology PGCE will acquire a critical understanding of current debates and issues relating to science education, and will be guided and supported in developing their subject knowledge. We expect students to engage with reading and research into science education and to regularly reflect upon their own progress, towards meeting the Teachers’ Standards across the 11–16 age range.
Students undertake two level 7 (Master’s-level) modules of 30 credits each, totaling 60 credits. These can be carried forward onto full Master’s programmes at the IOE.
The Secondary PGCE consists of three core modules: two Master’s-level (level 7) modules, which are assessed through written assignments, and the Professional Practice module, which is assessed by the observation of practical teaching in placement schools.
Completion of the Professional Practice module and the two level 7 (Master’s level) modules (60 credits) will result in the award of a Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE). Completion of the Professional Practice module and one or two level 6 (undergraduate/Bachelor’s level) modules, will lead to the Professional Graduate Certificate of Education (PgCE).
Student teachers undertake at least two placements (totaling 120 days) at a school or college, during which time their teaching practice will be supported by a school subject tutor and mentor. The Professional Practice module is assessed through these placements, associated tasks and a portfolio.
Students may teach:
Key Stage 3: Science (including elements of Physics, Chemistry and Biology)
Key Stage 4: Science (all areas) and/or Biology (depending on school placement)
Key Stage 5: AS/A2 level Biology
Teaching and learning
The Biology PGCE is delivered via keynote lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials and directed study days at the IOE, as well as time spent in placement schools or colleges. Assessment is by the observation of practical teaching, assignments and a portfolio (which links with continuing professional development in the induction year).
Further information on modules and programme structure is available on the department website: PGCE Biology
Bursaries are available for some subject programmes to students who meet the eligibility criteria. To find out what funding may be available to you, please visit the Department for Education funding page.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the UCL Scholarships and Funding website.
Graduates of this programme are currently working across a broad range of areas. Some are working as school leaders, while others have posts as biology teachers, science teachers and heads of department (both in UK and abroad). They can also be found working as lecturers in science education and in various informal educational roles.
Graduates of the Secondary PGCE programme are highly employable and sought after by schools and colleges in London and beyond. Almost all graduates secure their first teaching post by the time they finish the PGCE programme. Graduates of the programme also have great career prospects, with many becoming Head of Department or a Head of Year within 2-5 years, often acting, in their schools, as mentors to new PGCE student teachers. Many of our graduates become senior teachers (such as Assistant Headteachers or Head of a Faculty) in 5-8 years of graduating, and some are now Headteachers. Others have developed their careers as subject specialist teachers and educators, both becoming lead teachers in the classroom and researching, writing and advising other teachers themselves. The Secondary PGCE Programme is a springboard into a rewarding career, not just as a skilled teacher, but as an educational leader.
Students on the Biology PGCE work with a team of expert subject tutors who have all previously been classroom teachers and are actively involved with science education research, curriculum development and consultancy. During teaching practice, student teachers benefit from the support of subject specialist mentors within our network of over 200 schools throughout Greater London and beyond, ensuring each has the opportunity to become a skilled and confident teacher.
The Biology PGCE offers unique opportunities including teaching sessions at museums and Kew Gardens, and residential trips, developing students’ understanding of learning science outside the classroom.
Students who successfully complete this programme will be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
This course enables you to study cutting edge molecular methods employed for the understanding of molecular mechanisms of diseases and for their diagnosis and treatment. Your studies will be underpinned by essential knowledge in genetics, cell signalling and molecular medicine.
You will be offered the flexibility to select option modules that reflect your own interest in molecular biology and these will be combined with core modules and an independent research project. The course is suitable for newly qualified graduates, those employed in related work and those with medical qualifications.
The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course.
The course is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS).
Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Environmental Biology: Conservation & Resource Management at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).
The MSc Environmental Biology: Conservation and Resource Management course focuses on the relationships between living organisms and the terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments, coupled with the interactions that result from natural and anthropogenic processes.
On the Environmental Biology: Conservation and Resource Management course you will benefit from advanced training in the interpretation of local and global environmental issues, field and theoretical aspects of biology and ecology, and in analytical techniques. You will also develop the skills necessary to work confidently in vocational areas such as conservation, environmental impact assessment, environmental management, monitoring and education, and foster an objective, scientific and realistic approach to environmental biological issues that you may have to face in a professional capacity.
Graduates from the Environmental Biology: Conservation and Resource Management course go on to work for government agencies such as CCW, Environment Agency, English Nature, Scottish Heritage, Fisheries Research Services, CEFAS. Other organisations include zoos, wildlife parks and reserves, national parks, environmental departments, research and development of SMEs as well as large companies. Graduates also go on to do postgraduate research.
Modules on the Environmental Biology: Conservation & Resource Management MSc include:
Core Science Skills and Research Methods
Conservation of Aquatic Resources
Term papers in Environmental Biology
Environmental Assessment and Management
Remote sensing of the changing environment
Geographical Information Systems
Please visit our website for a full description of modules for the Environmental Biology: Conservation & Resource Management programme.
As a student on the MSc Environmental Biology: Conservation & Resource Management programme, you will benefit from a range of facilities such as:
Our excellent facilities include a unique built Animal Movement Visualisation Suite (£1.35m), incorporating an electronic wall linked to a computer-tesla cluster for high-speed processing and visualisation of complex accelerometry and magnetometry data derived from animals. Coupled with this facility is the Electronics Lab with capacity for research, development and realisation of animal tags with new capacities (sensors, energy-harvesting systems, miniaturization, 3-D printing of housings etc.); a custom-designed 18m on coastal research vessel; a recent investment of £4.2m on a new suite of state-of-the art Science laboratories; and the £2m unique Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Research (CSAR) with a 750 m2 controlled environment building, with programmable recirculating aquatic systems, unique within the UK’s higher-education sector. These are tailored for research on a diverse range of organisms, ranging from temperate to tropical and marine to freshwater. Coupled with this are nutrient and biochemical analytical capabilities.
“I’ve spent four years as a student at Swansea University, three years as an undergraduate studying Marine Biology and a year as a postgraduate undertaking the MSc in Environmental Biology: Conservation and Resource Management. Whether studying or partying I can honestly say I had a fantastic time the whole way through! It was through my undergraduate study that I realised how amazingly diverse the marine ecosystem is, but also how vulnerable it can be and the level of exploitation it endures. This prompted me to undertake the MSc, which furthered my knowledge in many aspects of conservation and environmental issues around the world on sea and land. With my experience and expertise gained from studying at Swansea I have secured a job working with WWF Cymru in Cardiff as Marine Policy Officer where I am helping work towards a sustainable future for the Welsh marine environment.”
BSc Marine Biology
MSc Environmental Biology: Conservation & Resource Management
Marine Policy Officer, WWF Cymru, Cardiff
We are 7th in the UK and top in Wales for research excellence (REF 2014)
93.8% of our research outputs were regarded as world-leading or internationally excellent and Swansea Biosciences had the highest percentage of publications judged ‘world-leading’ in the sector. This is a great achievement for the Department, for the College of Science and indeed for Swansea University.
All academic staff in Biosciences are active researchers and the department has a thriving research culture.
The MSc Biology programme is a collaboration between the Institute of Biology Leiden, Naturalis Biodiversity Center and the Institute of Environmental Sciences, giving the programme a broad and diverse scope.
The knowledge that you acquire during this programme supplies an important contribution to the overall understanding of life and has a great value to the society. For example, with your knowledge about DNA, you’re able to work on topics, such as upscaling the agricultural yields and developing new antibiotics by the means of fungi and bacteria. The programme offers four research specialisations, which optionally can be combined with a specialisation in communication, education or business.
Biology is the right master’s programme for you if you are interested in biotechnology, cell biology, evolutionary biology or biodiversity. You will be trained for a career in research within or outside academia. You can also choose for a non-research-oriented specialisation where you combine one year of biology research with one year of training in business, communication or education.