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Masters Degrees (Human Ecology)

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Contemporary concerns with environment and development require a combination of biological and social anthropological approaches to examine the ecology of resource use in developing societies. Read more

Contemporary concerns with environment and development require a combination of biological and social anthropological approaches to examine the ecology of resource use in developing societies. This MSc evaluates the environmental implications and outcomes of these activities in terms of human subsistence and welfare via a systematic, theoretical and methodological training.

About this degree

Drawing on the strengths of our broad-based department and expertise in human ecology, social anthropology and demography, key areas of investigation include: the implications of changing environments for production systems and human welfare, the sustainable use of natural resources in developing countries and the environmental and welfare impacts of changing patterns of resource use with development.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of three core modules (60 credits), two optional modules (30 credits) and a research dissertation (90 credits).

Core modules

  • Resource Use and Impacts
  • Anthropological Research Methods
  • Statistics

Optional modules

Choose two options from within the department - and in some cases outside the department - including at least one of the following that have been designed specifically for this programme:

  • The Ecology of Human Groups
  • Population and Development
  • Anthropology of Development
  • Biosocial Anthropology, Health and Environment
  • Social Construction of the Landscape
  • Anthropology of the Built Environment

Dissertation/report

All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through lectures, seminars, group presentations, tutorials, interactive teamwork, video, and film and web based courses. It includes a non-examined weekly seminar series with both internal and invited speakers. Assessment is through essays, seen and unseen examinations, and the research dissertation.

Fieldwork

The third term is given over to the dissertation project. Students conduct fieldwork for approximately two months. Fieldwork is self-funded and it is usual for students to find their own fieldwork site. 

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Anthropology, Environment and Development MSc

Careers

Graduates of this programme have gone on to a wide range of relevant careers in research, teaching, consultancy, policy and advocacy work in universities, governmental bodies, national and international NGOs and international research organisations such as the CGIAR.

Employability

The Master's integrates both natural and social science approaches and combines this with training in the methodological and practical dimensions of field work. The interdisciplinary perspective and demonstrable research skills obtained are an ideal training ground for students wishing to work with government, national or international NGOs or conduct further PhD research in the fields of environment and/or development. In addition to specialist knowledge and fieldwork experience, other skills graduates acquire include presentation and IT, research design and development, qualitative and quantitative analysis, project management, team building and leadership, fundraising and critical analysis and evaluation

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL Anthropology is one of the largest anthropology departments in the UK offering an exceptional breadth of expertise. Our results in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise and 2014 Research Excellence Framework show that we are the leading broad-based anthropology department in the UK.

Teaching staff are all actively engaged in research or consultancy work in the area of environment and development. A strong alumni network within the Human Ecology Research Group and dedicated programmes of invited speakers allow for significant networking opportunities.

Students are also encouraged to take advantage of the wider anthropological community in London.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Anthropology

68% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.



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The programme includes the following profiles. Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences . This profile introduces students into the study of animal and plant development, microbiology, cell signaling pathways, cytoskeleton dynamics, cancer biology, virology and immunology. Read more

The programme includes the following profiles:

Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences 

This profile introduces students into the study of animal and plant development, microbiology, cell signaling pathways, cytoskeleton dynamics, cancer biology, virology and immunology. Courses of this profile span multiple levels of biological organization, from whole organisms down to the molecular level. Students choosing this profile not only receive up-to-date knowledge on these topics but also acquire the laboratory skills required to engage in cutting-edge research.

Ecology and Biodiversity 

This profile allows students to gain experience in the research methods used to study the evolution and ecology of organisms found in terrestrial, freshwater and coastal ecosystems. A staff of experts teaches up-to-date knowledge on individual organisms, populations, species communities and ecosystems, backed up by their active research experience in taxonomy and phylogeny, vertebrate and invertebrate ecology, evolutionary ecology, biogeography, plant ecology, plant-animal interactions, and nature management. In addition, students are introduced into ecological research by means of practical field training and excursions in Belgium and abroad.

Herpetology

This unique profile addresses biology students with a passion for amphibians and reptiles. An international team of visiting scientists organizes lectures on diversity, ecology, physiology, behavior, evolution and conservation biology and prepares students for a professional career in herpetology. Ecological and herpetological field courses in European and tropical countries form an important part of this programme. As a student, you will be in a stimulating environment, with fellow students and top-experts sharing your passion. For more information, have a look at http://www.herpetology.be.

Human Ecology

This profile focuses on the interaction between humans and their natural environment. The increasing impact of the human population on ecosystems worldwide stresses the urgent need for researchers with a multidisciplinary background, that engage in developmental plans for a durable use and management of natural resources. The profile Human Ecology addresses an international audience of students and offers a course programme that, besides scientific topics, also addresses technological, socio-economical and political aspects. For more information, have a look at http://www.humanecology.be.

EMMC Tropical Biodiversity and Ecosystems

The world faces a crisis risking extinction of species through global warming. Due to impact of e.g., changes in land use and destruction of habitats, tropical rain forests, mangrove forests and coral reefs are disappearing and with them ecosystem functions, goods and services on which human populations are dependent. In order to conserve nature, to manage or even to restore tropical biodiversity and ecosystems, we must understand patterns of tropical biodiversity, study how organisms interact with their environment and how they respond to perturbations and change. Next to research, this is dealt with in this unique masters programme. http://www.tropimundo.eu



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Explore human-environment interaction through the ages. This course offers a unique perspective on landscape archaeology, focusing on human ecology and the interactions of people with their environments. Read more
Explore human-environment interaction through the ages.

Why choose this course?

This course offers a unique perspective on landscape archaeology, focusing on human ecology and the interactions of people with their environments. It takes you beyond isolated archaeological sites, buildings or artefacts to explore their context in the wider landscape. You will investigate the varying lifeways of humans through the ages, and how people have interacted with the natural world since early prehistory.
-Study landscape archaeology from the perspective of human ecology – from early prehistory to the 19th century
-Explore topical issues ranging from human-environment interaction to rock art in the landscape
-Access the region’s rich natural resources for landscape study in the Yorkshire Moors, Dales and Wolds
-Learn from world-leading researchers in landscape archaeology
-Use the latest techniques to build key practical skills in surveying, GIS, geoarchaeology and aerial photography
-Receive careers and research advice from knowledgeable and experienced staff

What does the course cover?
The course explores the links between landscape theory and practice, and provides a broad foundation in the recognition, recording, interpretation and conservation of archaeological landscapes. The course comprises modules that assess the development of landscape archaeology and the range of approaches and methods employed in this increasingly important field of study. You will examine case studies from many different periods and areas around the world to understand different approaches to the study of landscape change.

Who is it for?
The MA in Prehistoric Landscape Archaeology is designed for students with an interest in how people have engaged with landscapes and the environment during the prehistoric and protohistoric periods. Students with a background in archaeology, physical geography, environmental science or history are particularly suited to this course.

What can it lead to?
This MA opens the door to a variety of archaeological and landscape heritage careers, as well as further research or PhD study.

Careers

Open the door to varied archaeological careers and research. The MA in Prehistoric Landscape Archaeology enables you to:
-Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of research methods appropriate to Landscape Archaeology
-Understand and critically assess the sources of information pertinent to the study of Landscape Archaeology
-Understand the fundamental concepts, techniques and current debates relevant to Landscape Archaeology
-Gather and organise information and arguments in a critical and independent manner through writing essays under various conditions
-Undertake independent research on a topic within the field of Landscape Archaeology
-Develop presentation skills through the delivery of seminar papers on a range of diverse themes

The skills and knowledge gained on the course are applicable to wide range of archaeological and landscape conservation careers, as well as further study, research and academic careers.

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Drawing on the expertise of our biogeography and ecology research group, this MRes programme advances your academic standing and enables you to conduct an original ecological research project. Read more

Drawing on the expertise of our biogeography and ecology research group, this MRes programme advances your academic standing and enables you to conduct an original ecological research project.

It prepares you either for a PhD or for industry-based work, as you gain experience with a host of modern research methods and build on your theoretical knowledge of the subject area.

The research interests of our department include: 

  • wetland ecology and management
  • GIS and landscape ecology
  • conservation biology
  • molecular ecology
  • human-wildlife conflict
  • mammal behaviour, ecology and conservation.

Course structure

The Ecology MRes is typically completed as a full-time, one-year degree. It largely consists of core modules, but also allows you to choose from a host of optional modules as part of the 180-credit MSc requirement. If you choose to opt out of the course early, you can qualify for a PGCert with 60 credits and a PGDip with 120 credits.

Areas of study

The research project is central to the course and allows you to work at the forefront of the discipline as you advance your knowledge of research methods and ecological principles. You design your own project under the supervision of one or more members of the Biogeography and Ecology Research Group.

Modules

  • Research project
  • Research Methods
  • Issues in Ecology and Conservation

Options:

  • Ecology Field Skills
  • Molecular Ecology and Conservation
  • Introduction to GIS
  • GIS in Environmental Applications
  • Water Quality Analysis
  • Work-in-Progress Seminars
  • Introduction to Statistics using Excel and Minitab
  • Advanced Statistical Analysis

Past projects

Examples of past projects include:

  • Pollinator conservation and the value of domestic gardens
  • Social interactions of urban foxes in Brighton and Hove
  • Habitat use of the northern clade pool frog at their reintroduction site in Norfolk, UK
  • Protozoan parasites of bivalve molluscs: appearance and spread of diseases among bivalve molluscs in relation to climate change
  • The impact of dry heathland management techniques on vegetation composition and Coleoptera abundance, species richness and diversity

Careers and Employability

Graduates from this course are thoroughly equipped to enter a PhD programme in ecological science, as well as careers in industry and the public sector. The MRes provides well-rounded and practical training, plus the necessary transferable skills to prepare you for employment.



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The world is experiencing important ecological and environmental challenges. To address them we need to expand and link scientific knowledge with practice, for example in the areas of environmental consultancy, policy implementation and development, and fundamental ecological and environmental research. Read more
The world is experiencing important ecological and environmental challenges. To address them we need to expand and link scientific knowledge with practice, for example in the areas of environmental consultancy, policy implementation and development, and fundamental ecological and environmental research.

The MSc in Applied Ecology and Environmental Management incorporates topics in ecology, environmental sciences and environmental management to explore the relationship between the natural world and society. You will explore, within a scientific and an ecological framework, the impact of human activities on the environment, and will obtain a thorough understanding of environmental management and sustainability issues, including policy and legislation, with the development of practical skills.

Visit the website: https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/study-here/courses/postgraduate/applied-ecology-and-environmental-management.aspx

Course detail

Our programme aims to develop and challenge you at a postgraduate level to develop a deeper and applied understanding of environmental biology and science, its relevance to the impact of human activities on environmental systems, as well as the mitigation of those impacts, and the regulatory, political and scientific parameters that frame practice and research in the environmental sciences. We have experienced and research active staff who will be able to convey their enthusiasm for their disciplines, and our facilities will allow you to carry out your studies and projects.

Through this MSc, you will have the opportunity to expand and link conceptual scientific knowledge while also applying it to the practice and application of research as it serves public and private stakeholders, for example in the areas of environmental consultancy, policy implementation and development, and fundamental research.

Suitability

The programme is suited for those interested in the applied aspects of ecology and environmental sciences for environmental management and consultancy, or for those interested in delivering user­defined integrative solutions via research, management and consultancy within the areas of animal behaviour, welfare and conservation, human and physical geography, crop protection, and applied ecology and environmental management.

Content

This MSc covers several main themes which make the core modules, including:

• Environmental Management and Sustainability
• Environmental Science
• Applied Ecology and Conservation
• Research Methods
• Applied Skills in Ecology, Environmental Management and Research
• Understanding Landscapes
• Agro-ecology
• Dissertation

Format

We use a variety of teaching methods that provide support and guidance within a participative learning environment, including:

• Interactive lectures (students and lecturers or speakers),
• Practical sessions (field and laboratory),
• Seminars and workshops,
• Virtual learning environments,
• Problem-based learning as individuals and groups,
• Tutorials with supervisors.

Assessment

This programme is assessed through coursework only, including essays, mock grant proposals and consultancy reports and portfolios consisting of desk-studies, critical reviews, reports, data presentation and analysis as well as literature reviews and other pieces of scientific writing.

What can I do next?

The programme has been developed to address the skills and knowledge gaps in ecological and environmental research and management. The modules in this programme are designed to allow students to learn the theoretical framework, practical skills and transferrable skills that are required for developing a career in ecological and environmental research with an applied focus, and in environmental assessment and consultancy. Employability is promoted and embedded across individual modules within the programme. Students will gain a broad range of skills to enhance employability.

How to apply

For information on how to apply, please follow this link: https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/study-here/how-to-apply/how-to-apply.aspx

Funding

-Masters Loans-

From 2016/17 government loans of up to £10,000 are available for postgraduate Masters study. The loans will be paid directly to students by the Student Loans Company and will be subject to both personal and course eligibility criteria.

For more information available here: https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/study-here/funding-your-degree/funding-your-postgraduate-degree.aspx

-2017/18 Entry Financial Support-

Information on alternative funding sources is available here: https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/study-here/funding-your-degree/2017-18-entry-financial-support.aspx

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This taught Masters course will provide you with a detailed understanding of human and primate evolution, focusing on anatomy and morphology and their interfaces with ecology and behaviour. Read more

This taught Masters course will provide you with a detailed understanding of human and primate evolution, focusing on anatomy and morphology and their interfaces with ecology and behaviour. You’ll acquire practical and theoretical knowledge about cutting-edge tools for morphometrics, imaging and functional simulation used to interpret the fossil record.

In addition, you can gain practical knowledge of anatomy through dissection of human cadaveric material as well as comparative anatomical study. You will also undertake a research project of your choice in consultation with your supervisor to investigate a current question in human evolution.

This programme is based in the Centre for Anatomical and Human Sciences at HYMS on the University of York campus and co-badged with the Department of Archaeology at the University of York. The programme is also open to medical students wishing to intercalate.

Through membership of the interdisciplinary PALAEO Centre at the University of York, this MSc is an attractive option for those wishing to combine anatomical and archaeological approaches to the study of palaeoanthropology.

Study information

The programme is made up of a mix of core and optional modules.

Core modules include:

  • Human evolutionary anatomy
  • Hard tissue biology
  • Primate ecology and evolution
  • Research project and dissertation

Optional modules include:

  • Geometric morphometrics
  • Virtual anatomies        
  • Functional and musculoskeletal anatomy
  • Special topics in musculoskeletal anatomy
  • Becoming human
  • Ancienct biomolecules

For further details on modules, click here.

* All modules are subject to availability.

Future prospects

This taught masters will give you a highly regarded qualification and a solid grounding in human anatomy and evolution. The programme opens up career opportunities in anatomy laboratories and anatomy teaching, or can be used as a stepping-stone to further studies at PhD level.

Hull York Medical School (HYMS) staff have a wide variety of expertise in the area and our research is supported by the Centre for Anatomical and Human Sciences. Research focuses on the ecological, evolutionary, functional and developmental bases of morphological variation in humans, primates, other mammals and reptiles.



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Aquatic ecosystems and species are under intense anthropogenic threats. These threats directly affect services such as sustainable fisheries, drinking water or ecosystem resilience. Read more

Aquatic ecosystems and species are under intense anthropogenic threats. These threats directly affect services such as sustainable fisheries, drinking water or ecosystem resilience. To adequately respond to these 21st century challenges and conserve these goods and services, a fundamental understanding of the biodiversity and ecosystem processes is needed, as without knowledge there can be no application or effective management.

Considering both freshwater and marine ecosystems and species, we have designed a programme to equip you with the interdisciplinary practical skills and theoretical understanding to pursue a career in aquatic research, consultancy or environmental protection, and give you a good understanding of applying scientific understanding to science policy. 

This programme balances the latest in ecological theory, conservation biology and evolutionary biology with practical application. You will take part in three residential field-courses (Dorset, Cumbria and Cape Verde) for practical, hands-on training.

You will be supervised by research-active scientists, becoming part of their research groups. We support links with a range of NGOs or potential employer organisations and strongly encourage you to publish your project work.

Programme highlights

  • Balances the latest in ecological theory with practical application
  • Residential field courses for practical, hands-on training in the field
  • Access to analytical, mesocosm and temperature-controlled facilities within the Centre for the Aquatic and Terrestrial Environment
  • Strong foundation for employment with environmental protection and conservation agencies, the water industry and environmental consultancies or PhD research 

Research and teaching 

You will have access to analytical research facilities within our Centre for the Aquatic and Terrestrial Environment, developed from an investment of £1.8 million in analytical equipment and specialist laboratory facilities. You will also have access to the Freshwater Biological Association’s River Laboratory on the River Frome in Dorset, via our River Communities Group, and to mesocosm and temperature controlled facilities at QMUL. Furthermore you can make use of our network of partner NGOs, research labs and industries to create further opportunities.

By choosing to study at a Russell Group university, you will have access to excellent teaching and top-class research. You can find out more about our research interests and view recent publications on the School of Biological and Chemical Science's Aquatic Ecology Research group page.

Centre for the Aquatic and Terrestrial Environment (CATE)

(CATE) at Queen Mary is an interdisciplinary collaboration between the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences and the School of Geography.

CATE builds on existing research strengths in areas of environmental research such as biogeochemistry, freshwater and marine ecology, terrestrial ecology and conservation. These facilities are used either in the formal teaching of this programme or are available for individual research projects.

Dorset Field Facilities

The Aquatic Ecology Group has a complementary unit (the River Communities Group) who do applied research, based at the River Laboratory of the Freshwater Biological Association in Dorset. We have a suite of ponds, 50% of which are heated above ambient temperatures, in which run long-term climate change experimentation. You will have the opportunity to conduct both field work and lab projects at this site.

Structure

  • Ecosystem Structure and Function: Ecosystems are under continued and growing threat from human activity (e.g. habitat loss, invasive species and diffuse pollution) and if we seek to preserve them then we need to understand how ecosystems function and how they respond to either enforced or natural change. Here we focus on the structural and functional elements of many ecosystems, from shallow lakes to tropical forests, with a particular focus on contrasting aquatic environments.
  • Statistics and Bioinformatics: Covers core statistics methods, within the R statistical computing environment. R has become the de facto environment for downstream data analysis and visualisation in biology, thanks to the hundreds of freely available R packages that allow biological data analysis solutions to be created quickly and reliably.
  • Quantitative Techniques for Surveying and Monitoring in Ecology: In the first week, there will be a series of lectures, workshops and practical data analyses classes where you will learn the theory behind designing and initiating surveys and monitoring campaigns for research projects and also for conservation & management. In the subsequent week, you will be able to put the theory into practice in the field at a location such as Lake Windermere and environs: here you will undertake electrofishing and hydroacoustic surveys for fish populations, zooplankton and benthic invertebrate surveys, a census for aquatic birds, and camera-trapping for aquatic mammals. Other skills such as the use of the modern telemetric tools will be demonstrated.
  • Science into Policy and Management – includes week in Dorset: Here a broad spectrum of human environmental impacts and their mitigation will be explored. The first half of the module will bring the student ‘face to face’ with potential regulators, practitioners and potential employers (typically Defra, Environment Agency, Natural England) through a series of guest lectures. These topics are then explored and summarised through an unpacking and feedback workshop. The second half is field based with current practitioners working directly in the field of bioassessment and biomonitoring. National and international legislation and directives are introduced through a series of case studies to look at the link between successful science and policy.
  • Marine Mammals and Turtles – field course to Cape Verde: The module focuses on the diversity, behaviour, ecology, physiology, conservation and management of cetaceans (whales and dolphins), and marine turtles. It covers such issues as the life history and migrations of turtles, their diving ability and behaviours, the social behaviour of dolphins, and the conservation of whales. It also includes (even though they are not mammals or reptiles!) a brief look at the sea-birds and sharks that will likely also be seen during field excursions. For part of the module you will be taught in the archipelago of Cape Verde, with boat trips for whales and shark observations, sea turtle monitoring. Mornings will be dedicated to lectures and workshops while afternoons and evening will be dedicated to hands-on practical experience.
  • Tropical Ecology and Conservation – field course, usually to either Borneo or Cape Verde


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Global ecological change is occurring at a rapid rate and we are seeing an unprecedented spread of diseases, collapses in biodiversity and disruption to ecosystems. Read more

Global ecological change is occurring at a rapid rate and we are seeing an unprecedented spread of diseases, collapses in biodiversity and disruption to ecosystems. We aim to understand not just patterns in the natural environment, but the ecological and evolutionary factors that drive them, from the behaviour of individual organisms to population and whole community dynamics.

You will study the concepts and theories that will help you understand factors underpinning global ecology and evolutionary change, including modern techniques for environmental process research, invasive species ecology and conservation genetics. Students also learn techniques important for environmental policy and management and as such, our graduates are well placed to progress onto PhD research or careers in industry, consultancy and conservation. 

You will conduct your own substantive six-month research project, which may be jointly supervised by contacts from related institutes or within industry. Students also take part in a field course in Borneo - see photos from a recent trip on Flickr - giving you the opportunity to develop first hand experience of theory in action.

You will have access to advanced analytical research facilities at the Freshwater Biological Association's River Laboratory in Dorset through our River Communities Research Group. You will have the opportunity to conduct both fieldwork and lab projects at this site.

Programme highlights

  • Two-week tropical ecology field trip (currently in Borneo), as well as fieldwork in Dorset, UK
  • Modules that develop pure research and applied practical skills
  • Guest lectures by stakeholders and potential employers
  • Opportunities for research projects in UK and overseas, and in conjunction with collaborators such as the Institute of Zoology, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and the Natural History Museum

Research and teaching

By choosing to study at a Russell Group university, you will have access to excellent teaching and top-class research. You can find out more about our research interests and view recent publications on the School of Biological and Chemical Science's Evolution and Genetics group page.

Structure

Your taught modules take place in blocks of two weeks of full-time teaching (normally 9am-5pm), followed by week-long study breaks for independent learning and coursework. This structure allows for an intensive learning experience, giving students the opportunity to immerse themselves in their subject.

This programme combines taught modules with individual and collaborative research projects. You will apply the knowledge and techniques from your taught modules in a practical setting and may be able to publish your project findings.

Taught modules

  • Ecological Theory and Applications: Look at the theory behind our understanding of ecological systems and how that theory can be applied to ecological problems in the real world. Starting with populations of a single species we will progress to understanding two-species interactions including predation, competition and parasitism and then to whole communities of interacting organisms. We will then study how ecological theory, used in concert with population genetics and evolutionary theory, can be applied to understanding ecological issues such as the conservation of small populations, harvesting natural populations and predicting responses to environmental change.
  • Ecosystem Structure and Function: Ecosystems are under continued and growing threat from human activity (e.g. habitat loss, invasive species and diffuse pollution) and if we seek to preserve them we need to understand how ecosystems function and how they respond to either enforced or natural change. Here we focus on the structural and functional elements of many ecosystems, from shallow lakes to tropical forests, with a particular focus on contrasting aquatic environments.
  • Statistics and Bioinformatics: Covers core statistics methods, within the R statistical computing environment. R has become the de facto environment for downstream data analysis and visualisation in biology, thanks to the hundreds of freely available R packages that allow biological data analysis solutions to be created quickly and reliably.
  • Research Frontiers in Evolutionary Biology: Explore the frontiers of research in evolutionary biology. Topics covered will include: incongruence in phylogenetic trees, neutral versus selective forces in evolution, the origin of angiosperms, the origin of new genes, the evolution of sociality, the significance of whole genome duplication and hybridisation. Current methods being used to tackle these areas will be taught, with an emphasis on DNA sequence analysis and bioinformatics.
  • Tropical field course - usually in Borneo; see photos from a recent trip on Flickr. Topics will encompass aspects of taxonomy, ecology, biogeography, conservation and evolution. Specific areas of content will include ecological processes in tropical rainforests (decomposition, pollination and seed dispersal); rainforest structure and defining characteristics (including the importance of rainforests as centres of biodiversity) and anthropogenic factors affecting rainforests (including disturbance, forest fragmentation and agriculture). There will be strong emphasis on practical training. In particular, students will be trained in a range of survey methods covering diverse terrestrial and aquatic taxonomic groups. The module will also provide training in data collection, analysis and presentation.
  • Science, Policy and Management: Here a broad spectrum of human environmental impacts and their mitigation will be explored. The first half of the module will bring the student ‘face to face’ with potential regulators, practitioners and potential employers (typically Defra, EA, Natural England) through a series of guest lectures. These topics are then explored and summarised through an unpacking and feedback workshop. The second half is field based with current practitioners working directly in the field of bioassessment and biomonitoring. National and international legislation and directives are introduced through a series of ‘Case Studies’ to look at the link between successful science and policy.

Research module

  • Research project (90 credits)

Part-time study

You can take the MSc over two years via studying part-time; you should aim to register for 50% of taught modules per year. You can discuss the exact combination of modules with the programme director, Dr Christophe Eizaguirre

Projects can also be undertaken over a two-year period, subject to finding an approved schedule of work which equates to the same time requirements as a full-time MSc. You may also enrol on a Postgraduate Certificate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (60 credits), which is comprised of four taught modules.



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The Master of Research (MRes) programme in Ecology and Environmental Biology provides research training for students wishing to enter a PhD programme or seeking a career in ecological science. Read more

The Master of Research (MRes) programme in Ecology and Environmental Biology provides research training for students wishing to enter a PhD programme or seeking a career in ecological science.

Why this programme

This programme consists of a taught component, and a laboratory or field based research project. The taught component consists of core research skills and specialist options in analytical and sampling techniques. The main part of the degree is devoted to experience of research techniques. You will carry out an extended research project chosen to reflect your interests and the skills you wish to acquire. 

A total of 180 credits are required, with 30 flexible credits in the first term. See the accompanying detailed course descriptions found in the IBAHCM Masters Programme Overview. When selecting options, please email the relevant course coordinator as well as registering using MyCampus.

Term 1: Core courses (assessment in %)                             

Key Research Skills (scientific writing, introduction to R, introduction to linear models; advanced linear models, experimental design). Coursework – 60%; scientific report – 40%

 Term 1: Optional courses                        

  • Spatial Ecology and Biodiversity**. Coursework – 60%; assignment – 40%
  • Programming in R (*prerequisite B grade in KRS R component). Coursework – 50%; assignment – 50%
  • Biodiversity Informatics. Coursework – 25%; assignment – 75%
  • GIS for Ecologists. Set exercise – 60%; critical review – 40%
  • Infectious Disease Ecology & the Dynamics of Emerging Disease*. Coursework – 50%; assignment – 50%
  • Introduction to Bayesian Statistics*. Coursework – 50%; assignment – 50%
  • Invertebrate Identification. Coursework – 20%; class test – 40%; assignment – 40%
  • Molecular Analyses for Biodiversity and Conservation. Coursework – 40%; assignment – 60%
  • Molecular Epidemiology & Phylodynamics. Coursework – 40%; assignment – 60%
  • Multi-species Models**. Coursework – 50%; Assignment – 50%
  • Single-species Population Models. Coursework – 30%; assignment – 70%
  • Vertebrate Identification. Coursework – 20%; class test – 40%; assignment – 40%
  • Human Dimensions of Conservation**. Press statement – 50%; assignment – 50%
  • Principles of Conservation Ecology**. Coursework – 30%; set exercise – 15%; poster – 55%
  • Protected Area Management**. Coursework – 50%; assignment – 50%

Projects:                       

  • MRes Ecology and Environmental Biology Project 1 (terms 1 + 2). Oral presentation – 20%; project report– 80%
  • MRes Ecology and Environmental Biology Project 2 (Summer). Poster – 15%; supervisor’s assessment – 15%; project report– 70%

Career prospects

The programme will provide an excellent training for those who wish to apply for a PhD programme or enter ecological consultancy or conservation sectors. It also serves as an excellent introduction to research in the UK for overseas students.



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The LLM Human Rights and the Environment examines the political, legal and human rights issues that shape and inform environmental protection and regulation. Read more

The LLM Human Rights and the Environment examines the political, legal and human rights issues that shape and inform environmental protection and regulation. Jointly delivered by our prestigious Law School and the Lancaster Environment Centre, it enables you to explore the environmental aspects of the law and the legal regulation of the environment in the context of human rights.

Our Law School is home to the Centre for Crime, Law and Justice, the Centre for Law and Society, and the Centre for Child and Family Justice. The Lancaster Environment Centre, along with Rothamsted Research and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, is part of our world-leading Graduate School for the Environment. These influential centres underpin our postgraduate teaching and you will have access to the much sought-after expertise of academics working at the forefront of research into natural and social sciences, legal and socio-legal issues.

The pathway for the LLM ensures a balanced duality: Law School modules, LEC modules, and a 20,000 word dissertation, enable you to pursue your own interests whilst becoming practiced at looking at issues from different perspectives.

Your core modules are Perspectives on Environment and Development, Environmental Law or International Environmental Law, the LLM Dissertation, and one from International Human Rights Law, Rights of Peoples, or The Right to Adequate Food as a Human Right.

You will study a further elective module in Law and one from the Lancaster Environment Centre. We pride ourselves on the breadth of options available and you can focus on the human rights, legal, environmental and sustainability issues that most interest you. Elective modules include: Chemical Risk Assessment, Climate Change and Society, Environmental Justice, Air Pollution and Climate, Law and Global Health, International Law, European Union Law, and the Law of International Organisations and Institutions.

The dissertation is an independent, in-depth inquiry into a research topic of your choosing. The topic will link to a key legal or environmental question or issue and may also directly relate to your professional/career interests. This is your opportunity to make a contribution to the academic community with new, original research and writing. A dissertation supervisor will provide you with support and introduce you to relevant research; their personal research interests will closely align with your chosen topic wherever possible.

Our teaching approach is international in scope and comparative by nature, and we actively encourage you to build a beneficial network of academics, peers and alumni during your time with us. All of this will help you to broaden your experience, deepen your understanding, and prepare for your next step.

Your postgraduate LLM degree opens doors to a huge range of careers. You will develop: the skills required to critically evaluate cutting-edge research; inter-disciplinary skills; and, analytical and communications skills. All of which are a real boost in any sector and highly prized by employers. The LLM is also an ideal stepping stone to PhD study and academia.



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Bioarchaeology is an exciting and fast-advancing field which combines archaeology with branches of the natural sciences to study key topics such as past health and well-being, diet, ecology, subsistence strategies and environmental impacts. Read more

Bioarchaeology is an exciting and fast-advancing field which combines archaeology with branches of the natural sciences to study key topics such as past health and well-being, diet, ecology, subsistence strategies and environmental impacts.

Our MSc in Bioarchaeology aims to develop a broad understanding of these issues through the study of human remains. Students on this programme will also have the opportunity to study animal remains, as well as floral and faunal evidence depending which pathway they choose to follow. 

The three available Bioarchaeology pathways are:

The programme develops advanced practical skills in skeletal analysis, making use of the department’s well-provisioned specialist laboratories and reference collections. A particular strength of our provision is that we are able to address the bioarchaeology of both the New and Old Worlds. Those completing the programme acquire the skills necessary to continue into academic research or employment, as an osteologist in field units, museums or CRM companies.

It allows you to specialise in one of two named pathways: Human Osteology (physical anthropology and funerary archaeology) or Zooarchaeology (animal bones and other faunal remains).

Learning and teaching

Most of the formal classes that you attend will be based on a mixture of lectures, seminars, and workshops. The precise mix will vary between modules. These aim to outline the principal issues of the module, to explore some detailed issues, and, where relevant, to give you experience of working with a particular technique or data set.

All members of staff are actively engaged in research, both in Britain and abroad, and regularly attend conferences, symposia and workshops. It is through this active engagement in the discipline that we are able to supply top quality teaching by experts in their field and as a result we have a 24/24 grading for our teaching from the Quality Assurance Agency.

In addition to our established palaeobotany, experimental archaeology, and microscopy laboratories, we have a new bioarchaeology lab dedicated to the study of anatomical variation, palaeopathological conditions, and the funerary context of human and animal remains. The laboratory, accompanied by a designated store for the Department's collection of human remains, provides facilities for use by researchers and students for examining skeletal remains recovered from archaeological sites. Equipment includes anatomical casts and demographic reference standards used to determine the sex, age-at-death, stature and body proportions from human remains.

Research areas

Bioarchaeological research at Exeter combines the study of archaeology with branches of the natural and physical sciences to address questions of health and well-being, diet, ecology, subsistence strategies and natural and human-induced environmental impacts in the past.

Our approach is holistic and inter-disciplinary, drawing its inspiration from both definitions of ‘bioarchaeology’: as a study applied to human remains (human osteoarchaeology) and, as originally defined by Grahame Clark, as related to the integration of environmental archaeology, floral and faunal evidence – archaeobotany and zooarchaeology – in archaeological research.

Active field research programmes in North and South America and Eurasia link with extensive laboratory research to address questions of social structure and social organisation, the process of animal and plant domestication, the development of social inequality and power relations, violence and warfare, the rise of élites and craft specialists, and division of labour.

Programme Structure

This programme includes 135 credits of compulsory modules and 45 credits of optional modules.

Compulsory modules

The compulsory modules for each of the pathways can include the following;

  • Research Methods and Archaeological Theory;
  • Musculo-skeletal Anatomy;
  • Advanced Zooarchaeology;
  • Advanced Human Osteology;
  • Zooarchaeology (Masters level);
  • Bioarchaeology Dissertation
  • Bioarchaeology Dissertation Zooarchaeology.

Optional modules

The following is a list of the possible optional modules;

  • Advanced Project;
  • Experimental Archaeology in Practice;
  • Field Study; Landscape Archaeology:
  • Understanding the historic environment;
  • Material Culture; Advanced Human Osteology;
  • Zooarchaeology (Masters level);
  • Palaeobotany (Masters level);
  • Funerary Osteoarchaeology (Masters level);
  • Musculo-skeletal Anatomy
  • Researching the Historic Environment Online.

The modules listed here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand



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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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An invitation. A ship is setting sail from England. It’s a very old, very particular kind of ship. It’s the magnificent, creaky timbered, curly roped, burgundy sail kind. Read more

An invitation

A ship is setting sail from England.

It’s a very old, very particular kind of ship.

It’s the magnificent, creaky timbered, curly roped, burgundy sail kind. You’ve seen bigger ships surely, and certainly more streamlined, but this one is hard to get over. It’s the kind that straightens your back and brings a tear to your eye as you shyly lift your gaze to its regal shape. This is the kind of ship that shouldn't exist anymore. 

Standing on the dock in the dusking light, you can hear singing carried over the waves, and excited laughter. Figures are calling to you from the deck, beckoning to you, calling to you in your old names. These are the names no one should know, the ancient names, how can this possibly be happening?

The evening moon is emerging from behind clouds. But let us lean forward, the captain is lifting her lantern: To all scholar-explorers and heretical investigators … there is something pressing to say, something urgent. This is an invitation.

We are setting sail to un-map the world.

Join us for this voyage … the world’s first postgraduate programme in Myth and Ecology – The Mundus Imaginalis.

Background

In a time when every square inch of the globe seems to be neutered, quartered and googled, we intrepids are journeying out to glimpse the Otherworld that is secreted most wonderfully in this one - to peer into the steaming foliage and bright feathered world that still exists underneath the grid - whilst we still can. The hour is late.

This is an Otherworld that wriggles in your fist like the archaic trout of the smoky Thames and disappears (carrying all of Shakespeare in its scales) when we attempt to tell it what-it-is. This right-by-our-side Otherworld causes ink to slide off the page and evaporate when we produce the T-square too avidly.

We set sail to do nothing less ambitious than to court the mysteries: the small and gentle ones, the elaborate and complex gnashing teethed ones, the ones you glimpsed at the edge of your garden when you were little. We set sail to un-map our presumption that we know what the earth is.

When we un-map the world, we start the un-colonising of our own imagination and we move from personal fantasy to an imagination that is bigger than ourselves. We understand that psyches don’t only dwell within, we dwell amidst them, and their imagination help create our reality every day. When we un-map the world it starts to talk back to us, we begin to trail not trap. We start to witness not just thinking about the earth, but thoughts from the earth.

Our travels through the waters of time and place will bring us to people and traditions where the weaving of the human and non-human are at their most permeable, their most acute and most sophisticated. In the end, we will trade our tired maps for the best compass of all, the one that really matters - a truth north - what the Troubadours called ‘the educated heart’. It is time, as the poets say; ‘to think in ways we’ve never thought before’. It is time to trade comfort for shelter.

Make no mistake, study awaits. An un-gridded world reveals not just knowledge but wisdom, an un-mapped world will reveal not chaos but cosmos. With that wisdom, with that cosmos, comes tangible learning and focused application. Be prepared. This will be the most exacting journey. Take not one single step towards the gangplank without knowing that we take no passengers. So, here we stand on the dock. It is night, but the scholar-explorers are preparing to raise anchor. The captain leans forward with her lantern one more time, peers towards us and asks:

“Shall we go?”

Aboard The Ship


This is a residential and immersive postgraduate programme that takes imagination seriously. It is delivered by Schumacher College, and is validated by University of Wales Trinity Saint David and led by mythologist Dr Martin Shaw and anthropologist Dr Carla Stang. Carla brings her knowledge of different cultures, her fieldwork and phenomenological study, Martin brings mythology and two decades of work as a wilderness rites-of-passage guide. As they rove through mythology, anthropology, philosophy and poetics, they will also invite guest teachers on a module by module basis.

This is a year-long programme where you will walk in and out of other centuries. It will be a deep and exacting study of image, cosmology, storytelling, myth and lived experience that reaches out to an earth that is profoundly more than human. From Amazonia to Siberia, from the Hermetic, Troubadour, Sufi and Romantic faiths and traditions, we are journeying out to study cultures that celebrate a world ensouled, alive and radiating intelligence.

The main counterweights of the year will be a progression through western mythologies (many hidden or barely remembered), and the lived philosophy of the Mehinaku people of Amazonia. There will be the study of many other lifeworlds, together with which we will learn how people in different times and places have and do respond to an earthy consciousness of extraordinary wonder, regarding such as both magical and utterly ordinary. Such experiential study is how we will begin to tune our ear.

Cloistered in the beautiful setting of the Dartington estate and upon the wild moors of Devon, England, is the chance to apprentice to subtle and often secret knowledge, the reason being that we are living in a time when many of these secrets need to become public, need to be practiced and need to be lived. In doing so we encounter the wonder of ordinary reality and that far from being a rarefied state available to only a few, we will find that a dynamic relationship to what the neo-platonists called the ‘Anima Mundi’- is our natural state.



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The MSc by Research in the Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences has been designed to offer a range of pathways for you to research your chosen subject interests within Social and Applied Sciences, whilst sharing in the multi-disciplinary nature of the taught component of the course. Read more
The MSc by Research in the Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences has been designed to offer a range of pathways for you to research your chosen subject interests within Social and Applied Sciences, whilst sharing in the multi-disciplinary nature of the taught component of the course.

You’ll share a breadth of experience – the multi-disciplinary nature of the taught component means you will share a broad experience of methodological and research issues. Allied with subject specific supervision, this will allow you to develop a unique awareness of knowledge and experiences across the natural and social sciences in addition to a focus on your own research topic.

Biosciences pathway:
Students pursuing the ecology pathway would be expected to have research which falls within the areas of the members of the ecology research group (ERG). Research within the ERG is organised into three research groupings:

*Animal behaviour, welfare and conservation.
*Pests, pathogens and crop protection.
*Applied ecology and environmental management.

Members also have collaborative interests with external partners including local schools and biotechnology businesses. For more information on member’s research activities or for contact details, please click on a member’s individual Staff Profile.

We are a close-knit community of academics, researchers and students dedicated to the study of Life Sciences. You would be joining an active and dynamic post-graduate community and would have the opportunity to contribute to and benefit from this community.

Find out more about the section of Life Sciences at https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/social-and-applied-sciences/human-and-life-sciences/life-sciences/about-us.aspx. You can also find out more about our research https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/social-and-applied-sciences/human-and-life-sciences/life-sciences/research/research.aspx.

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Research profile. This programme's emphasis on independent research allows you to work closely with scholars who are leaders in their field. Read more

Research profile

This programme's emphasis on independent research allows you to work closely with scholars who are leaders in their field.

Research may be in any area of social, urban, environmental, development, political, economic, historical or cultural geography that is supported by the Human Geography Research Group. It is co-delivered with the University’s Graduate School of Social Science.

The programme can stand alone as a masters degree, or form the first year of a ‘1+3’ ESRC-backed PhD programme.

Students who successfully complete this programme will:

  • acquire transferable skills relevant to advanced researchers
  • develop skills in data acquisition and analysis
  • understand wider methodological and epistemological debates relevant to their research

This programme is affiliated with the University's Global Environment & Society Academy.

Programme structure

We offer a balance between general and specialist research training. The programme combines lectures, practical work, workshops, essays, seminars and one-to-one supervision of independent research leading to delivery of a dissertation.

Compulsory courses:

  • Research Design in Human Geography
  • Methodological Debates in Human Geography
  • Core Quantitative Data Analysis 1 and 2
  • Research Skills in the Social Sciences: Data Collection
  • Dissertation in Human Geography

Option courses:

In consultation with the Programme Director, you will choose from a range of option courses. We particularly recommend:

  • Conducting Research Interviews
  • Contemporary Social Theory
  • The Documents of Life
  • Explanation and Understanding in Social and Political Research
  • Intermediate Inferential Statistics: Testing and Modelling
  • Listening to Children: Research and Consultation
  • Political Ecology
  • Qualitative Methods and Ethnographic Fieldwork
  • Survey Methods and Data
  • Values and the Environment

Independent research

The emphasis on independent research allows you to work closely with scholars at the cutting edge in order to advance your own research passions. A highlight of the programme is the postgraduate conference where you present your research to colleagues.

The University of Edinburgh has an unbroken record of teaching and research in the earth sciences going back to 1770, when Robert Ramsay became the first Professor of Natural History.

James Hutton and Arthur Holmes were prominent among those who set an academic tradition in Edinburgh that continues today with the University achieving top ratings in earth sciences teaching and research.

Our interactive and interdisciplinary research environment allows us to tackle difficult research questions, from causes of past glaciations to interactions of earth, climate and society. The ambition and quality of our research was reflected in the latest Research Assessment Exercise: 66 per cent of our research was rated within the top two categories – world-leading and internationally excellent.

Our location at the King’s Buildings campus – home to most of the University’s science and engineering research – benefits our work too. Our King’s Buildings neighbours include external institutes such as the British Geological Survey; our proximity to them strengthens these research links.

Training and support

As a research student, you will be affiliated to one of our research institutes, benefiting from an excellent peer-supported network.

As groupings of researchers with related interests, the institutes provide a forum for development of ideas, collaboration, and dissemination of results, and an environment for training, development and mentoring of research students and early career researchers.

Backed by industry

The School receives strong backing from industry, particularly in areas such as hydrocarbons and carbon capture and storage. We receive support from the EU and from major UK research councils, including the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council.



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