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Masters Degrees (Evolutionary Biology)

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Goal of the pro­gramme. Ecology and evolutionary biology offer a perspective on biology from the level of genes to communities of species. Read more

Goal of the pro­gramme

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:

  • Have mastered the main theories and methods in ecology and evolutionary biology and be able to apply them to practical problems
  • Be able to plan and carry out a scientific research project
  • Have read the relevant scientific literature and be able to utilise your expertise in different types of work
  • Be able to work as an expert in your field
  • Be able to to write good scientific English
  • Be able to work in research projects and groups
  • Be able to continue on to doctoral studies

Further information about the studies on the Master's programme website.

Pro­gramme con­tents

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:

  • Ecology studies the abundance and distribution of species (animals, plants, microbes) and the interactions among them and with the environment. The perspective ranges from the molecular to the ecosystem level. In ecology, a central question is: Why are some species able to invade new habitats and displace native species? Which species are able to adapt to environmental change or migrate with the changing climate, and which species will become extinct?
  • Evolutionary biology examines the processes which support biodiversity on its various levels (genes – individuals – populations – species – ecosystems). You will learn about the theory of evolution and how to use population genetics and genomics methods in researching evolutionary issues.
  • Conservation Biology studies the depletion of biodiversity, its causes and consequences. You will learn to apply ecological theory to the problems of environmental conservation, to assess the effectiveness of methods of conservation, as well as to resolve the problems relating to conservation e.g. by modelling and computational methods. The training emphasizes the importance of interdisciplinary education in the area of conservation.


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The Top Programme Evolutionary Biology is embedded in the Master's programme in Ecology and Evolution. The Top Programme Evolutionary Biology explores the interface between ecology and evolution. Read more
The Top Programme Evolutionary Biology is embedded in the Master's programme in Ecology and Evolution. The Top Programme Evolutionary Biology explores the interface between ecology and evolution.

The hallmark is to explore the interface between ecology and evolution. You will benefit from a wide spectrum of national and international expertise in these fields. You will acquire top quality research competences. The programme is specifically designed to acquire the right research competences and prepare you for conducting top quality research.

The Top Programme is administered by the Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Studies (CEES), a centre of excellence in ecological and evolutionary research and the lead partner in the national Research School Functional Ecology and Biodiversity. This central position ensures that students can benefit from a wide spectrum of national and international expertise across the fields of ecology and evolution. Via advanced theoretical and practical training you will become highly attractive for research positions in the area of Evolutionary Biology.

We also offer an Erasmus Mundus programme in Evolutionary Biology: A joint project between four European universities. Students will start the programme at one of these universities and will spend at least one semester at a partner university.

Why in Groningen?

- Acquire Top Quality Research Competences
- Coaching by Personal Mentor
- CHE Excellence Ranking in Biology since 2007

Job perspectives

These programmes are specifically designed to prepare you for conducting top quality research. Often you continue your career by starting PhD research.

Job examples

- PhD research position

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Sussex has long been a centre of excellence for evolutionary biology, counting John Maynard Smith among its founding members. By studying with us you’ll develop into a researcher capable of contributing to the grand challenges of antibiotic resistance, cancer and environmental change. Read more
Sussex has long been a centre of excellence for evolutionary biology, counting John Maynard Smith among its founding members. By studying with us you’ll develop into a researcher capable of contributing to the grand challenges of antibiotic resistance, cancer and environmental change.

This research-focused degree is based on our strengths in evolutionary biology, from the evolution of sociality, symbioses and sexual conflict to the process and effect of mutations. You’ll study how and why organisms are the way they are, and how this affects fundamental parts of our lives.

How will I study?
In the autumn and spring terms, you’ll have access to a variety of taught modules, including our unique field modules in tropical rainforest and Mediterranean regions.

From the spring term onwards, you’ll be researching real-world problems in close contact with your supervisor. This forms part of the in-depth research project that forms a core part of this course, and ultimately aims to produce a scientific publication.

Taught modules are assessed via:
-Essays
-Reports
-Presentations

The project is assessed with 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

USA Friends Scholarships (2017)
-A scholarship of an amount equivalent to $10,000 for nationals or residents of the USA on a one year taught Masters degree course.
-Application deadline: 3 April 2017

Faculty
The degree is delivered primarily by faculty in the Evolution, Behaviour and Environment subject group in the School of Life Sciences.

We are an enthusiastic and dynamic group of researchers, working with a diverse range of organisms, from plants, social insects and fruit flies, to Trinidadian guppies and humans.

Some of our research topics include:
-Understanding the evolutionary biology of sociality
-Rates of adaptive evolution and mutation in genomes
-Links between genotype, phenotype and selection
-Evolution of symbiosis and host-parasite relationships
-Evolutionary neuroscience
-Evolutionary genetics of sexual conflicts and sexually antagonistic selection

Careers
This degree will provide you with the high-quality learning experience necessary to place you in a strong position to move on to a PhD in evolutionary biology, or a research career in associated areas.

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The MRes in Evolutionary Biology involves the study of adaptation of organisms to their environment, at the whole organism and molecular scales. Read more
The MRes in Evolutionary Biology involves the study of adaptation of organisms to their environment, at the whole organism and molecular scales. Studies available include the evolutionary and behavioural ecology of insects and mammals and other species, genetic variation in wild populations of fungi, ecological genetics, and the interface between evolution and development. In addition, a number of researchers are interested in estimation of the deep phylogeny of major groups of organisms, such as pulmonate molluscs and protists. One of our staff members, Angus Davidson, uses an evolutionary approach to attempt to understand the origin of the use of 'sex' darts during courtship in slugs and worms.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

After identifying which Masters you wish to pursue please complete an on-line application form
https://pgapps.nottingham.ac.uk/
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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Discover the origins of organisms, their genes and how they interact with the environment. Train in the specialist area of evolution and biodiversity. Read more

Discover the origins of organisms, their genes and how they interact with the environment. Train in the specialist area of evolution and biodiversity.

This course is ideal for you if you want to go into a research career or study for a PhD in the field of Evolutionary Biology. You’ll learn about the beginnings and development of species, their genes and genomes. You’ll study practical evolutionary problems with model organisms, such as the fruit fly, as well as theoretical explorations of evolution using modelling and bioinformatics.

The MRes provides a unique mix of taught components, extended laboratory projects, literature reviews and preparation of a grant proposal based on a research dissertation. You’ll gain an insight into a range of research activities and techniques, gaining the transferable skills training needed for all early stage researchers. You’ll also address the scientific, ethical and commercial context within which the research takes place.

All of the MRes courses can be studied as the first year of our Integrated PhD course.

Visit the website http://www.bath.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate-2018/taught-postgraduate-master-s-courses/mres-evolutionary-biology/

If you are interested in applying for one of our master's courses and you would like to find out more about your job prospects, then there is a webinar for you on Friday 24 November at 1pm GMT.

Join us from around the world without leaving your house.

During the webinar you will be able to find about:

• the current job market

• what our graduates go to on to do after their master's

• how the careers service and the Faculty's careers adviser can help you with finding a job. You will also have the opportunity to put your questions to staff during a live question and answer session.

Find out more and register for the webinar.      

Why study Biology and Biochemistry with us?

- 90% of our research judged to be internationally recognised, excellent or world-leading

- Our current research funding portfolio stands at £14 million, supporting internationally excellent research in the biosciences

Career opportunities

Our graduates have gone on to further research in Lausanne, Berlin, Brussels, Frankfurt, and academic posts in Malaysia, Sweden, Germany, Canada, the US and in the UK. Recent employers of Bath graduates include:

British Aerospace

Network Rail

Powergen

Barclays Capital

BNP Paribas

Pfizer

AstraZenaca

MBDA UK Ltd

ATASS

Find out more about the department here - http://www.bath.ac.uk/bio-sci/

Find out how to apply here - http://www.bath.ac.uk/science/graduate-school/taught-programmes/how-to-apply/



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The programme will focus on concepts and theory essential to understanding global ecological change, including. state of the art techniques for environmental process research, invasive species ecology and conservation genetics. Read more
The programme will focus on concepts and theory essential to understanding global ecological change, including: state of the art techniques for environmental process research, invasive species ecology and conservation genetics. Students will learn how to convert science to policy or management, and how to consult with stakeholders. Students will also spend time shadowing our multidisciplinary research teams before conducting a substantive six-month project. These projects may be jointly supervised by colleagues at related institutes or within industry. We will equip science graduates with the essential skills to proceed to further research via PhD or careers in consultancy and industry.

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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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This degree programme provides an exciting opportunity for advanced study in Evolutionary Psychology, ie psychological science informed by explicit consideration of the fact that the human mind, like the human body, is a product of evolutionary processes. Read more
This degree programme provides an exciting opportunity for advanced study in Evolutionary Psychology, ie psychological science informed by explicit consideration of the fact that the human mind, like the human body, is a product of evolutionary processes. It is taught in association with the Centre for Culture and Evolutionary Psychology (C-CEP), and the Centre for Cognition and Neuroimaging (CCNI) at Brunel.

The degree programme aims to provide students with an understanding of how evolutionary theory can provide a framework for the study of human psychology and behaviour. Students will acquire comprehensive knowledge of important theoretical issues, research findings and recent advances in evolutionary psychology. You will study concepts, findings and recent advances in evolutionary biology, animal behaviour and behavioural ecology that are critical for research in evolutionary psychology. Moreover there will be the opportunity to take an optional module in either Cognitive Neuroscience or Cross-Cultural Psychology.

The programme team includes, Nicholas Pound PhD (McMaster), Andrew Clark PhD (McMaster), Michael Price PhD (UCSB) and Achim Schützwohl PhD (University of Bielefeld). In addition, there are opportunities for dissertation research projects to be co-supervised by psychologists with expertise in other areas of Psychology (eg cognitive neuroscience, social psychology).

At Brunel we have extensive facilities for human subjects research (including EEG, fMRI, motion capture and 3D body scanning).

Who is this Degree For?
This course is particularly suited to students in the life sciences or social sciences who are interested in finding out how principles from evolutionary biology can provide a framework for the scientific study of human psychology and behaviour.

Course Content
Modules are subject to variation and students are advised to check with the School on whether a particular module of interest will be running in their year of entry. At the time of printing, planned modules are as follows:
Core modules: Evolutionary Biology and Research Methods; Evolutionary Psychology; Animal Behaviour and Behavioural Ecology
Optional modules: Cognitive Neuroscience; Cross-Cultural Variations in Psychological Findings. Check the web for the latest updates.

Assessment
Assessment is by coursework (including term papers and oral presentations), examinations and a dissertation of up to 15,000 words.

Careers
The MSc will provide students with the knowledge and skills required to go on to do PhD research not just in Evolutionary Psychology, but also in other areas of Psychology and the Biological and Social Sciences. Moreover, students will acquire analytic and research skills that will be useful in diverse areas of employment including governmental and non-government research organisations, and the private sector.

Here is what one of our past students says:

Gillian: "I enjoyed studying for my BSc in Zoology with Evolutionary Psychology at Liverpool University and missed my studies after I graduated. So I took on the Brunel MSc in Evolutionary Psychology part-time alongside my job as a Communications Manager for the Department of Health. The course has deepened my understanding of the subject and I am now considering taking on a PhD. I have also found the learning useful in my work. Many strategic communications campaigns aim to change behaviour – for example to improve hygiene in hospitals or encourage people to eat healthier foods. Such campaigns often use insights from psychology in order to make them more powerful and the MSc has given me a good insight into how and why they work."

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Biodiversity, evolution and conservation are of growing importance due to climate change, extinction, and habitat destruction. Read more
Biodiversity, evolution and conservation are of growing importance due to climate change, extinction, and habitat destruction. This new research-led programme is run in collaboration with the Institute of Zoology and the Natural History Museum, providing a rigorous training and unparalleled opportunities across the full breadth of pure and applied research in evolutionary, ecological, and conservation science.

Degree information

Taught modules will focus on cutting-edge quantitative tools in ecology, evolutionary biology, genetics, bioinformatics, systematics, palaeobiology, conservation, biogeography and environmental biology. Seminars, journal clubs and the two research projects will provide students with diverse opportunities for experience at UCL Genetics, Evolution and Environment & Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research, the Natural History Museum and the Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. There are no optional modules for this programme. The programme consists of three core taught modules (60 credits) and two 16-week research projects (120 credits).

Core modules
-Research Skills (15 credits)
-Current Topics in Biodiversity, Evolution & Conservation Research (15 credits)
-Analytical Tools in Biodiversity, Evolutionary and Conservation Research (30 credits)

Dissertation/report
All students undertake two 16-week research projects, which each culminate in a written dissertation, and poster or oral presentation.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of seminars, presentations, assigned papers, as well as data analysis and interpretation. The seminar series includes mandatory seminars at UCL, the Natural History Museum and the Institute of Zoology (Zoological Society of London). Assessment is through essays, project reports, presentations and practicals. The two research projects are assessed by dissertation, and poster or oral presentation.

Careers

This programme offers students a strong foundation with which to pursue careers in academic research, environmental policy and management, applied conservation, public health, or scientific journalism.

Top career destinations for this degree
-Intern, ZSL Institute of Zoology
-PhD in Evolutionary Biology, Queen Mary University of London (QMUL)
-PhD Researcher (Evolutionary Biology), University of Edinburgh a

Employability
This programme provides students with a strong foundation to pursue careers in academic research, environmental policy and management, applied conservation, public health, or scientific journalism.

Why study this degree at UCL?

This programme is an innovative collaboration between three globally renowned organisations: UCL Genetics, Evolution and Environment & Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research, the Natural History Museum and the Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London.

By consolidating research expertise across these three organisations, students will gain a unique and exceptionally broad understanding of ties among different fields of research relating to the generation and conservation of biodiversity.

The MRes offers diverse research opportunities; these include the possibility of engaging actively in fundamental and applied research and participating in the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (based at the Natural History Museum) or the EDGE of Existence programme (based at the Zoological Society of London).

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Goal of the pro­gramme. Life Sciences.  is one of the strategic research fields at the University of Helsinki. The multidisciplinary Master’s Programme in Life Science Informatics (LSI) integrates research excellence and research infrastructures in the Helsinki Institute of Life Sciences (. Read more

Goal of the pro­gramme

Life Sciences is one of the strategic research fields at the University of Helsinki. The multidisciplinary Master’s Programme in Life Science Informatics (LSI) integrates research excellence and research infrastructures in the Helsinki Institute of Life Sciences (HiLIFE).

The Master's Programme is offered by the Faculty of Science. Teaching is offered in co-operation with the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences. As a student, you will gain access to active research communities on three campuses: Kumpula, Viikki, and Meilahti. The unique combination of study opportunities tailored from the offering of the three campuses provides an attractive educational profile. The LSI programme is designed for students with a background in mathematics, computer science and statistics, as well as for students with these disciplines as a minor in their bachelor’s degree, with their major being, for example, ecology, evolutionary biology or genetics. As a graduate of the LSI programme you will:

  • Have first class knowledge and capabilities for a career in life science research and in expert duties in the public and private sectors
  • Competence to work as a member of a group of experts
  • Have understanding of the regulatory and ethical aspects of scientific research
  • Have excellent communication and interpersonal skills for employment in an international and interdisciplinary professional setting
  • Understand the general principles of mathematical modelling, computational, probabilistic and statistical analysis of biological data, and be an expert in one specific specialisation area of the LSI programme
  • Understand the logical reasoning behind experimental sciences and be able to critically assess research-based information
  • Have mastered scientific research, making systematic use of investigation or experimentation to discover new knowledge
  • Have the ability to report results in a clear and understandable manner for different target groups
  • Have good opportunities to continue your studies for a doctoral degree

Further information about the studies on the Master's programme website.

Pro­gramme con­tents

The Life Science Informatics Master’s Programme has six specialisation areas, each anchored in its own research group or groups.

Algorithmic bioinformatics with the Genome-scale algorithmicsCombinatorial Pattern Matching, and Practical Algorithms and Data Structures on Strings research groups. This specialisation area educates you to be an algorithm expert who can turn biological questions into appropriate challenges for computational data analysis. In addition to the tailored algorithm studies for analysing molecular biology measurement data, the curriculum includes general algorithm and machine learning studies offered by the Master's Programmes in Computer Science and Data Science.

Applied bioinformaticsjointly with The Institute of Biotechnology and genetics.Bioinformatics has become an integral part of biological research, where innovative computational approaches are often required to achieve high-impact findings in an increasingly data-dense environment. Studies in applied bioinformatics prepare you for a post as a bioinformatics expert in a genomics research lab, working with processing, analysing and interpreting Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) data, and working with integrated analysis of genomic and other biological data, and population genetics.

Biomathematics with the Biomathematics research group, focusing on mathematical modelling and analysis of biological phenomena and processes. The research covers a wide spectrum of topics ranging from problems at the molecular level to the structure of populations. To tackle these problems, the research group uses a variety of modelling approaches, most importantly ordinary and partial differential equations, integral equations and stochastic processes. A successful analysis of the models requires the study of pure research in, for instance, the theory of infinite dimensional dynamical systems; such research is also carried out by the group. 

Biostatistics and bioinformatics is offered jointly by the statistics curriculum, the Master´s Programme in Mathematics and Statistics and the research groups Statistical and Translational GeneticsComputational Genomics and Computational Systems Medicine in FIMM. Topics and themes include statistical, especially Bayesian methodologies for the life sciences, with research focusing on modelling and analysis of biological phenomena and processes. The research covers a wide spectrum of collaborative topics in various biomedical disciplines. In particular, research and teaching address questions of population genetics, phylogenetic inference, genome-wide association studies and epidemiology of complex diseases.  

Eco-evolutionary Informatics with ecology and evolutionary biology, in which several researchers and teachers have a background in mathematics, statistics and computer science. Ecology studies the distribution and abundance of species, and their interactions with other species and the environment. Evolutionary biology studies processes supporting biodiversity on different levels from genes to populations and ecosystems. These sciences have a key role in responding to global environmental challenges. Mathematical and statistical modelling, computer science and bioinformatics have an important role in research and teaching.

Systems biology and medicine with the Genome-scale Biology Research Program in BiomedicumThe focus is to understand and find effective means to overcome drug resistance in cancers. The approach is to use systems biology, i.e., integration of large and complex molecular and clinical data (big data) from cancer patients with computational methods and wet lab experiments, to identify efficient patient-specific therapeutic targets. Particular interest is focused on developing and applying machine learning based methods that enable integration of various types of molecular data (DNA, RNA, proteomics, etc.) to clinical information.



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visit course pages for more information about the next Open Day at NHM on Wednesday 7 June 2017. Taxonomy and systematics provide the foundation for studying the great diversity of the living world. Read more

Open Day

visit course pages for more information about the next Open Day at NHM on Wednesday 7 June 2017.

Course Overview

Taxonomy and systematics provide the foundation for studying the great diversity of the living world. These fields are rapidly changing through new digital and molecular technologies. There is ever greater urgency for species identification and monitoring in virtually all the environmental sciences, and evolutionary ‘tree thinking’ is now applied widely in most areas of the life sciences.

This course provides in-depth training in the study of biodiversity based on the principles of phylogenetics, evolutionary biology, palaeobiology and taxonomy. The emphasis is on quantitative approaches and current methods in DNA-based phylogenetics, bioinformatics, and the use of digital collections.

Location

This course is a collaboration of Imperial College London (Silwood Park) with the Natural History Museum. This provides an exciting scientific environment of two institutions at the forefront of taxonomic and evolutionary research.

The MSc in Taxonomy and Biodiversity comprises two terms of taught modules, mostly based at the Natural History Museum, and covers core areas in biodiversity, palaeobiology, phylogenetics, molecular systematics, phylogenomics and taxonomic principles. This is followed by a 16-week laboratory or field-based research project at the NHM or Imperial College’s Silwood Park or South Kensington campuses.

Modules

• Taxonomy of major groups and the Tree-of-Life: An introduction of major branches of the Tree, including identification exercises, presented by NHM experts
• Statistics and Computing: A two-week intensive course at Silwood Park
• Field course: trapping and collecting techniques for terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems
• Phylogenetic Reconstruction: the principles of building phylogenetic trees
• Molecular Systematics: generating and analysing molecular data; model-based phylogenetics
• Phylogenomics: Genomic techniques for studying evolutionary processes and biodiversity
• Biodiversity (Concepts): speciation, radiation, macroevolution
•Biodiversity (Applied): Measuring biodiversity, geospatial analysis, collection management and biodiversity informatics
• Palaeobiology: Studying the fossil record and what we can learn for biodiversity

Post Study

Students on the course will become the new generation of taxonomists in the broadest sense. They will be familiar with these new tools, as well as the wider concepts of biodiversity science, evolutionary biology and genomics. Most importantly, students gain the abilities to work as an independent scientist and researcher, to be able to solve questions about the future of biodiversity and to communicate them to peers and the public.
Students have many options for future employment in evolutionary and ecological research labs in industry, government and non-governmental organisations, conservation, and scientific publishing and the media. The courses are an excellent starting point for PhD level careers, feeding into various Doctoral Training Programmes available at NHM and Imperial, or elsewhere.

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This programme is for students who are passionate about early life, dinosaurs, mass extinctions, macroevolution, fossil preservation and understanding the palaeobiology of extinct organisms. Read more
This programme is for students who are passionate about early life, dinosaurs, mass extinctions, macroevolution, fossil preservation and understanding the palaeobiology of extinct organisms. It examines quantitative aspects of the fossil record and the history of life. The research-oriented MSc bridges the biology-geology divide and will provide you with a strong background for independent research to PhD level or for a career in museums, libraries, management or the media.

This interdisciplinary programme is taught mainly in the School of Earth Sciences, along with some archaeology and biology units. You will engage in current debates in evolutionary biology, systematics and palaeobiology.

You will learn how to analyse problems quantitatively, and design experimental approaches to resolving questions in macroevolution and in the study of ancient organisms. First-hand training in research methods in palaeobiology involves laboratory techniques. In addition, you will learn a range of advanced skills throughout the programme, such as computer software use, numeracy, planning research, problem-solving and communication skills. You will learn multimedia techniques, including presentation of palaeontological data through talks, posters and formal written reports. A key aspect of the programme is preparing your projects for publication, and we provide continuing support to ensure as many projects as possible are published in leading international journals.

Programme structure

The first half of the programme consists of lectures, practical classes, tutorials and visiting speakers, designed to provide a firm foundation in the theory and methodology of the subject.

The programme comprises five core units which all students take, and a number of optional units of which students choose four. We recommend that biologists take some of the more geologically-orientated optional units, and that geologists take some of the biological optional units.

Core units
-Current Controversies in Palaeobiology and Macroevolution
-Scientific Communication
-Phylogenetic Methods in Palaeobiology
-Literature Review
-Research Methods in Palaeobiology

Optional units
-Biomechanics and Functional Morphology
-The Cambrian Explosion: the origin of animal body plans
-Early Human Origins
-Evolutionary Biology*
-Evolution of the Biosphere
-Geology for Research Palaeobiologists**
-Micropalaeontology
-Tree of Life
-Vertebrate Palaeobiology and Evolution

*Mandatory for non-biologists
**Mandatory for non-geologists

Careers

The degree is research-based, and about half the graduates go on to academic careers, usually starting with a PhD. The MSc is focused on methods, and you will learn the latest techniques in phylogenetics, biomechanics, and macroevolution training, which is highly sought after by PhD supervisors across the world.

The training in professional skills, including writing scientific papers, is also highly regarded. Some students have used the MSc as a means to go on to careers in museums, the media and education and now hold senior positions as curators and collection managers in national and regional museums. Graduates also work in making scientific documentaries, or are involved in science education at all levels.

Finally, some graduates have gone into commercial work in marketing, the oil industry and computing, where their practical skills in palaeobiology and communication have proved invaluable.

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Medical Life Sciences is an English-taught two-year Master’s programme in molecular disease research and bridges the gap between the sciences and medical studies. Read more
Medical Life Sciences is an English-taught two-year Master’s programme in molecular disease research and bridges the gap between the sciences and medical studies. You will get to know clinical research from scratch; you will learn how to investigate diseases/disease mechanisms both in ancient and contemporary populations, how to translate research results into prevention, diagnosis and therapies of diseases.
From the basics of medical science to lab experiments for the Master’s thesis, individual scientific training takes first priority. Experimental work in state-of-the-art research labs is essential in Medical Life Sciences; clinical internships, data analysis, lectures, seminars and electives complement the Medical Life Sciences curriculum.
Evolutionary biology will train you in thinking from cause to consequence. Molecular paleopathology and ancient DNA research tell you a lot about disease through human history. These insights help to fight disease today, which is why evolutionary medicine is becoming a cutting-edge research field. Whether you want to focus on ancient populations and paleopathology or on specific disease indications nowadays, here you get the tools and skills to do both.
To lay the foundation for working in medical research, Medical Life Sciences includes courses on clinical manifestations of diseases, molecular pathology and immunology. Hands-on courses in molecular biology, bioinformatics, clinical cell biology, medical statistics, and human genetics broaden your knowledge and make the interfaces between medicine and the sciences visible. You will learn how to acquire knowledge, verify and use it.. That biomedicine has many facets to discover is the great thing that keeps students fascinated and well-equipped for finding a job in academia or the industry.

Focus Areas

From the second semester, you additionally specialise in one of the following focus areas:

INFLAMMATION takes you deep into the molecular mechanisms of chronic inflammatory diseases, the causal network between inflammatory processes and disease, genetics and environment. New research results for prevention, diagnosis and therapy will be presented and discussed. An internship in specialised clinics helps to see how “bed to bench side”, i.e. translational medicine, works.

EVOLUTIONARY MEDICINE looks at how interrelations between humans and their environment have led to current disease susceptibility. Why do we suffer from chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity? Is our lifestyle making us sick? Why are certain genetic variants maintained in populations despite their disease risk? Evolutionary medicine focuses on bridging the gap between evolutionary biology and medicine by considering the evolutionary origins of common diseases to help find new biomedical approaches for preventing and treating them.

ONCOLOGY delves deep into molecular research on malignant diseases, the interplay of genetics and environment, cell biology of tumours, and many other aspects. You will achieve a better understanding of unresolved problems and opportunities of current research approaches.

LONGEVITY focuses on molecular mechanisms that seem to counteract the detrimental effect of ageing. The disease resilience and metabolic stability of extraordinarily fit people well over 90 years of age are of special interest. This research is complemented by experiments on model organisms. You will also look at the molecular pathways of ageing, and which role genes and the environment play. How the intricate web of counteracting effects triggering ageing and/or longevity works stands as the central focus of this area.

Scientists and clinicians will make you familiar with these topics in lectures and seminars. You will discuss different research approaches, perspectives and the latest developments in medical research. Lab practicals in state-of-the-art research labs, a lab project, and the experimental Master's thesis will provide ample opportunity to be involved in real-time research projects.

Electives

To widen your perspective, you choose one of three electives designed to complement the focus areas. The schedules are designed so that you can take part in more than one elective if places are available. Tracing Disease through Time looks at disease etiology by analysing biomolecules, diets and pathogens in archaeological specimens. You may opt for Epidemiology to immerse yourself in epidemiological approaches with special emphasis on cardiovascular diseases, one of the greatest health threats in modern societies. Another option is Molecular Imaging, which gives you insight into the world of high-tech imaging in medical research.

Additional electives such as Neurology, Tissue Engineering or Epithelial Barrier Functions and Soft Skills courses such as Project Management, Career Orientation and English Scientific Writing are integrated into the curriculum.

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Will the otter be able to recover? How do plants settle in new areas? Why do geese always travel south at exactly the same time? How do species of plants and animals live together in a habitat?. Read more
Will the otter be able to recover? How do plants settle in new areas? Why do geese always travel south at exactly the same time? How do species of plants and animals live together in a habitat?

During this two-year Master's programme Ecology and Evolution, you will gain insight into the living organism in relation to its environment.

Ecology is an internationally oriented field and the degree programme has a strong focus on research. You will therefore conduct one or two independent research projects in various fields. But as you can design most of the programme yourself, you can specialize in the area of your interest. This programme also offers a Top Programme in Evolutionary Biology.

The Master's degree programme Ecology and Evolution is offered by t he Groningen Institute of Evolutionary Life Sciences (GELIFES), which conducts research in four relevant areas:
* Evolutionary Ecology & Genetics
* Behavioural Ecology & Ecophysiology
* Conservation Biology
* Community Ecology

Why in Groningen?

- Design most of your programme yourself !
- Offers Top programme Evolutionary Biology!
- Research projects possible in various fields!

Job perspectives

As a graduate of this programe you can for example become a researcher at a university or at an institution for applied research. You also have the options of becoming a project officer, consultant or policy officer.

Job examples

- PhD research position
- Project officer
- Consultant

Research Projects in Various Fields

The Master's degree programme is coordinated by the Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences. GELIFES is part of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences and embraces fourteen research groups, which perform research in the fields of:

-Evolutionary Ecology & Genetics
On the importance of genetic variation: how do genetic variation and natural selection result in reproductive systems, adaptation of organisms to their environment and the emergence of new species? We try to answer this question by means of an experimental, molecular approach (genomics) and via model-based studies.

-Behavioural Ecology & Ecophysiology
Both the morphology and physiology of an organism and its behaviour are formed by selection. Behaviour – for example the timing of reproduction, partner choice and time and route of bird migration – and physiology – for example the degree of plasticity to regulate energy use and temperature – are products of evolution. Theoretical models are paired with experimental ones to study these issues, both in the field and in the laboratory.

-Conservation Biology
Small populations are threatened with extinction because their habitat is fragmented. Their chance of survival depends on their genetic structure, demography, dynamics of distribution, etc. This type of research is important, for example, for the restoration of nature reserves or the development of sustainable fishery. Examples of a research projects include the effects of genetic erosion in fruit flies and the seed dispersal of plants in the Wadden Sea.

-Community Ecology
Species and individuals living in the same area interact with each other and with their environment. Processes of physiological adaptations and restrictions, competition, grazing, predation and succession can change a group of individuals into a community. Combining field observations, laboratory experiments and theoretical models can give us a better understanding of the mechanisms that are active in nature.

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Philosophy, science and religion are three endeavours that shape in far-reaching and fundamental ways how we think, what we value, and how we live. Read more

Philosophy, science and religion are three endeavours that shape in far-reaching and fundamental ways how we think, what we value, and how we live. Public discourse, professional life, politics and culture revolve around the philosophical, scientific and religious ideas of our age; yet they and their relationship to each other are not well understood.

This programme brings together in an authentically interdisciplinary way leaders in the fields of philosophy, science and theology, based both in Edinburgh and across the world.

Students will be brought up to date with the relevant scientific developments – including quantum mechanics, relativity, cosmology, evolutionary biology, neuroscience, and human origins – the relevant theological issues – including the problem of evil, miracles, theological conceptions of creation, theological conceptions of providence, and eschatology – and the philosophical tools in philosophy of science, metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of language required to understand the relationship between them.

Students will develop logical acumen and analytical skills, and the ability to express themselves clearly in writing and in conversation with diverse groups of students from around the world. As well as being a leading research institution in philosophy, theology and the sciences, Edinburgh has lead the way in providing high quality, bespoke and intensive online learning at postgraduate level.

The innovative online format of the programme and the flexibility of study it offers make it accessible to those with family or professional commitments, or who live far from Edinburgh.

This MSc/PGDipl/PGCert in Philosophy, Science and Religion is designed to give you a rigorous grounding in contemporary work in the intersection of philosophy, science and religion.

The programme follows an integrated approach with leading researchers in philosophy, the sciences and theology proving teaching on, respectively, the philosophical, scientific and theological dimensions of the programme.

Students will be brought up to date with the relevant scientific developments – including quantum mechanics, relativity, cosmology, evolutionary biology, neuroscience, and human origins – the relevant theological issues – including the problem of evil, miracles, theological conceptions of creation, theological conceptions of providence, and eschatology – and the philosophical tools in philosophy of science, metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of language required to understand the relationship between them.

Online learning

This is an online only programme that will be taught through a combination of short video lectures, web discussion boards, video conferencing and online exercises.

You will have regular access both to faculty and dedicated teaching assistants, including one-to-one interactions. You will also interact with other students on the programme as part of a dedicated virtual learning environment.

Programme structure

You will take options from a wide range of courses offered by the Department of Philosophy and the School of Divinity both jointly and individually, and will be required to write a dissertation.

All students will be required to take two core courses: Philosophy, Science and Religion 1: The Physical World; and Philosophy, Science and Religion 2: Life and Mind.

Courses will include online lectures, tutorials, quizzes, discussion sessions and personal tutor contact.

At the dissertation stage, you will be assigned a supervisor with whom you will meet, through video conferencing, to plan and discuss your research and writing.

Learning outcomes

The MSc in Philosophy, Science and Religion aims to develop students to:

  • Demonstrate a good understanding of the key areas in the current science-religion interface—including cosmology, evolution, and the psychology—and will be able to engage with them philosophically.
  • Demonstrate strong analytical skills and philosophical acumen in approaching debates between science and theology.
  • Engage critically with key textual sources in the field.
  • Engage constructively in cross-disciplinary conversations.
  • Demonstrate an openness to personal growth through a commitment to dialogue across intellectual and spiritual boundaries.

Career opportunities

This course is designed to prepare you for doctoral work in relevant areas of philosophy and/or theology.

However, the skills of analytical but creative thinking, clear writing, and the abilities to manage projects that require significant research and to engage in constructive conversations across disciplinary and cultural boundaries, are all highly sought after by employers in a diverse range of fields.



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