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Masters Degrees (Bms)

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This is a one-year Masters Research degree programme beginning in September. Read more

The programme

This is a one-year Masters Research degree programme beginning in September. It offers students with a good BSc degree in Biochemistry, Biology or related disciplines the opportunity to acquire a wide range of advanced research techniques through carrying out a one-year laboratory based research project under the direction of a member of staff selected by the student. Students will advance their research skills (including data analysis, bioinformatics tools and presentation skills).

This course is designed to equip students with the necessary skills of a researcher in biomedical sciences, ecology, evolution and behaviour or plant molecular sciences.

The aims of this degree programme are:
• to provide training in the key generic skills required to be a scientific researcher;
• to provide advanced training in a specialised branch of biological sciences research;
• to ensure familiarity with a range of transferable, advanced research skills;
• to provide practice in communicating results of research both by oral presentation and by
preparation of a Master thesis.

Students are offered: a major supervised research project lasting approximately eight months, the opportunity to work with a leading scientist in a chosen field, experience of working as part of a research team and development of high level practical research skills in the lab or field.

Teaching, learning and assessment

Although this is a research degree there is a taught component with lectures being delivered throughout the first two terms. As part of this there is a requirement to complete coursework, prepare and present your research to a School audience by means of a poster as well as a 20 minute oral presentation in the summer term. All elements of the programme must be passed in order to be able to submit the final project for assessment in summer.

Students receive regular, scheduled, feedback on their performance in taught modules, their project plan, literature review/draft introduction (autumn term), draft materials and methods write up (spring term), preparatory oral presentation (spring term); oral presentation (summer term); and draft project write up (summer term).


Before applying you will need to peruse and then identify academic staff members whose projects you are interested in. https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/biologicalsciences/prospectivestudents/mastersbyresearch/home.aspx.

The project will be selected from one of three major research areas within the School: Biomedical Sciences (BMS), Plant Molecular Sciences (PMS), and Ecology Evolution and Behaviour (EEB).
Once you have identified your area of interest, you should contact potential supervisors (via e-mail) to discuss details of the projects and availability of placement. Having made contact remember to state at least 2 the supervisors and project names in the 'supporting statement' section of our online application.

Places/projects on our course are limited. In order to secure your place and confirm your acceptance to our programme, it is advisable to pay a tuition fee deposit after you receive our offer.

Further learning and career opportunities

The programme prepares students for future careers in Biological Sciences research, including doctoral degrees, and related areas of employment. Students are provided with training in a range of subject specific and transferable skills.

If you wish to discuss the MSc informally, please contact the MSc Programme Director Dr Pavlos Alifragis () (01784 444988).

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Accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science, this programme is an ideal option if you wish to build a career as an NHS biomedical scientist or within bioscience research. Read more
Accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science, this programme is an ideal option if you wish to build a career as an NHS biomedical scientist or within bioscience research.

About the programme

UWS has an established reputation for delivering advanced biomedical sciences education – utilising our successful links with local NHS and industry laboratories, we provide discipline-specific experts to complement the skills of the University’s School of Science and Sport teaching staff.

The programme aims to give you a balance of theory, practical skills and application of a range of techniques relevant to the biomedical sciences such as medical genetics, immunobiology, and disease pathology. Two optional modules are offered, which allow you to specialise in either blood sciences, infection or pathology. The research-orientated nature of the programme will also offer an additional option for those wishing to retrain for a career in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries.

Practical experience

Work-based learning modules are available to part-time students completing the IBMS specialist portfolio as an alternative to the discipline-specific modules.

Your learning

The exit award of MSc is dependent on successful completion of 180 credits. Full-time students study three 20 credit modules in both Trimester 1 and 2 and a 60 credit research project in Trimester 3.

Core modules include:
• Genetic Analysis and Cancer
• Clinical Immunology
• Research Advances in BMS
• Disease, Detection, Monitoring and Therapy
• Research Design

You will also study a module in your chosen specialist discipline from:
• Blood Sciences
• Cell & Tissue Pathology

A taught module in the chosen discipline offers advanced understanding of the major systems and diseases with particular emphasis on laboratory diagnosis and research advances.


Upon successful completion of the taught modules you will undertake the MSc research project.

Professional recognition

Accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science.

Our Careers Adviser says

The MSc is a good qualification for careers in bioscience research, or for those wishing to progress to further study (PhD). However, it is primarily aimed at those wishing to work or already working as biomedical scientists in the NHS, where an accredited MSc is integral to career progression.

Note: To obtain the MSc, students will usually take 9 months to gain the Postgraduate Diploma and then normally an additional 3 months of study to gain the MSc, from the date of commencement of the project.

Please note a February intake is available for students studying on a part-time basis

First-class facilities

Get the hands on experience you need to succeed. We have excellent specialist facilities which support our research students and staff. These include an advanced chemical analysis lab: with state-of-theart chemical analysis for isotopic and elemental analysis at trace concentrations using ICPMS/OES and the identification of organic compounds using LCMS; and the Spatial and Pattern Analysis (SPAR) lab: providing high specification workstations, geographical information system (GIS) software, geochemical and image processing facilities to support data management in science research.

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