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Masters Degrees (Microbial Ecology)

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Application period/deadline. March 14 - 28, 2018. A unique combination of studies in ecology, population genetics and molecular ecology with emphasis in northern issues. Read more

Application period/deadline: March 14 - 28, 2018

• A unique combination of studies in ecology, population genetics and molecular ecology with emphasis in northern issues

• The study programme is a combination of field work in the arctic and subarctic and in old-growth boreal forests and mires as well as molecular lab work

• Prepares the students for future leadership positions in conservation biology and environmental ecology

International master’s degree programme in Ecology and Population Genetics (ECOGEN) is a two-year programme concentrating on conservation issues and population genetics of endangered animals and plants. The programme will give you relevant skills and core knowledge of the latest methods and tools in:

• Molecular ecology

• Microbial ecology

• Metagenomics and microbiomes of organisms

• Conservation genomics of large mammals

• Distribution history of plants and their phylogeography

• Bioinformatics

The two-year programme has two specialisation options:

• Ecology

• Genetics

Optional courses make it possible to widen your expertise into:

• Aquatic ecology

• Microbial ecology

• Conservation ecology

• Restoration ecology

• Plant evolutionary genomics

The master’s programme is based on high quality and productive research in the fields of evolutionary ecology and genetics. Field research stations in natural reserves as well as Biodiversity Unit offer great opportunities for courses and research. Study environment is multicultural. ECOGEN provides positions as a trainee or a master’s thesis student, and an excellent background for PhD studies.

The skills gained in the master’s programme offer you a solid academic training and essential knowledge on wildlife conservation ecology and genetics, as well as their management. After graduation you are capable of evaluating risks, conducting management on small populations of endangered species, and doing research in the field and in lab. You are able to use molecular and bioinformatic tools.

Possible titles include:

• Project manager

• Researcher

• Planning coordinator of conservation issues

• Conservation biologist

Students applying for the programme must have a B.Sc. degree in biology or in closely related fields.

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World-class microbiological research takes place in Newcastle in medical sciences, biological sciences, and civil engineering and geosciences. Read more
World-class microbiological research takes place in Newcastle in medical sciences, biological sciences, and civil engineering and geosciences. We welcome MPhil research proposals in all three of these fields. We are well funded and this creates a vibrant and dynamic environment for postgraduate study.

We offer MPhi supervision in:

Medical sciences

The Centre of Bacterial Cell Biology researches fundamental aspects of the cell biology and biochemistry of bacteria, providing scientific insights crucial for the discovery and development of new antibiotics, as well as providing solutions to a huge range of industrial and environmental problems. Other research interests include:
-Chromosome replication and segregation
-Transcription and translation
-Protein structure, function and engineering
-Cell envelope, growth and division
-Synthetic biology, development and gene regulation
-Bacterium-host interactions

Biological sciences

The Applied and Environmental Microbiology Group researches:
-Microbial biology in a range of habitats
-Discovery of natural products, eg antibiotics
-Reduction of food spoilage
-Production of biofuels, bioremediation of polluted environments
-Pathogens and host–pathogen interactions in a range of diseases including those in plants and coral reefs

Civil engineering and geosciences

The multidisciplinary research of Civil Engineering and Geosciences contributes fundamental advances in:
-Microbial ecology
-Environmental microbiology
-Environmental engineering and Earth systems
-Biogeochemistry
-Microbiological aspects of engineered and natural environments
-Anaerobic crude oil degradation in petroleum reservoirs
-Engineered biological treatment systems
-The microbial ecology of climatically significant processes such as methane cycling

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Plants are central to the global ecosystem. In Sheffield, we study them from every angle. from the molecular level up to whole organisms, in the context of ecosystems, industry and major global challenges. Read more

Plants are central to the global ecosystem. In Sheffield, we study them from every angle: from the molecular level up to whole organisms, in the context of ecosystems, industry and major global challenges.

As an MRes Plant and Microbial Biology student, you can examine the effects of past, present and future climates on plants and the wider environment. You’ll develop key research skills in our taught modules, while your extensive individual research project will give you practical experience of the roles that plants can play in solving pressing societal problems such as food security.

Linking your research interests with our research excellence

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

Our world-class research in Plant and Microbial Biology spans topics including plant biotechnology, soil health, genomics, food security, sustainable agriculture, photosynthesis, plant-microbe interactions, plant immunology, and climate change biology. We use a range of approaches including advanced molecular techniques such as molecular genetics, metabolomics, fluorescent imaging, gas exchange analysis and carbon isotope analysis, as well as other experimental, field, and computational methods. You can find out more about the research we’re conducting in this area on our website.

The Department of Animal and Plant Sciences is also home to the Plant, Production and Protection (P3) global centre of excellence for translational plant science that works with many external collaborators, and provides opportunities of industrial placements for MRes Plant and Microbial Biology students.

Course Structure

You’ll study the following core research-focused modules:

  • Literature Review (15 credits) - work with your research supervisor to produce a critical review of a biological topic of your choice.
  • Research Project (90 credits) - work with your research supervisor to design, conduct, and write-up a substantial independent research project.

You’ll also study a series of taught modules designed to develop your topic-specific research skills:

  • Advanced Trends in Biology (15 credits) - attend our seminar programmes and learn to evaluate and discuss recent developments in biological sciences.
  • Advanced Biological Analysis (15 credits) - learn skills in data analysis tailored to your research project using world-leading open source software.
  • Research and Study Skills in Biology (30 credits) - gain the fundamental communication and advanced practical skills necessary to pursue a successful research career.
  • Tutorials (15 credits) - participate in small group discussions of issues concerning research practice and culture.

Learning and Teaching

You’ll be taught through working in a research laboratory or on a field-based research project, tutorials, discussion groups, attendance at seminars, and statistics and other workshops. Assessment includes, but is not limited to, a project report, literature review, critiques, short reports and essays and oral presentations including a viva.

Career Opportunities

Our MRes in Plant and Microbial Biology will equip you with the skills you require for a career in research, and past students have successfully gone on to study for PhDs and great careers in industry and the environmental sector.

In addition to research skills, you’ll also develop transferable skills that are valued by a wide range of employers, and the University’s Careers Service will show you how to demonstrate this on CVs and in job applications. Once you graduate, the support doesn’t stop and you’ll continue to have access to the Careers Service for three years to help you find your perfect job.

How to Apply

To apply for this course, complete the University of Sheffield's postgraduate online application form.

Because of the research-intensive nature of our MRes degrees, we ask you to include with your application a short supporting statement which explains clearly how your interests and experience relate to the Plant and Microbial Biology research we do in the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, including which particular supervisors or research groups you would be most interested in working with. Visit our research pages to learn more about our expertise in Ecology and Environment research. Please also indicate in your supporting statement if you are interested in completing an industrial placement within our P3 Centre of Excellence. For more information on industrial placements, read our flyer.

This document should be uploaded in PDF format with your application via our postgraduate online application form.

You can find more information about the application process on the University's postgraduate webpages.

Scholarships

You can find out about scholarships available to UK, EU and international students on the University of Sheffield’s web pages.

Open Days

We run postgraduate open days and events throughout the year. Visit our website to book your place.



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Our geochemistry research includes specific areas of expertise. applied and fundamental aspects of geochemistry; environmental sustainability; climate change; and biosphere/geosphere interactions. Read more
Our geochemistry research includes specific areas of expertise: applied and fundamental aspects of geochemistry; environmental sustainability; climate change; and biosphere/geosphere interactions. Through working with academics who are leaders in their field, you will be supported and guided to produce research of an international standard.

The School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences enjoys an international reputation for using the latest science to solve problems of global importance. For geochemistry we have MPhil and PhD supervision in the following areas:

Petroleum-related geological research
-Reservoir and source-rock geochemistry
-Microbial deep biosphere of petroleum reservoirs
-Origin, significance and maturation of molecular biomarker compounds in the sedimentary record
-Physico-chemical properties and behaviour of mudstone sequences
-Shale gas
-Geological sequestration of CO2
-Palynofacies and organic facies of ancient and modern sediments

Environment-related research
-Geomicrobiology
-Mineral science
-Molecular microbial ecology
-Molecular palaeontology
-Soil biogeochemistry
-Waste management
-Bioremediation of polluted soils and waters
-Biogeochemical cycling of elements through Earth history
-Climate change during past greenhouse conditions
-Processes of carbon cycling and export across the land–ocean transition

Delivery

We offer the MPhil and PhD on a full time or part time basis. You will work with research-active academics who will provide advice and support throughout your research project. You will receive formal training in research skills and methods and discipline-specific training is provided where appropriate.

The first three months of study involve intensive theoretical and practical tuition to ensure that you have the study skills to plan your project and can use the equipment and software related to your research. You are encouraged to attend our weekly research seminar series and to present your work at our annual postgraduate research conference, group seminars and relevant international conferences.

Facilities

The School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences has an exceptional range of laboratories equipped with a wide range of analytical instrumentation supporting our research, teaching and contract research projects.
-Chemical and Biological Research Laboratories
-Geotechnics and Structures Research Laboratories

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Our environmental science research is multidisciplinary, including subjects ranging from biology to geography and geosciences. Read more
Our environmental science research is multidisciplinary, including subjects ranging from biology to geography and geosciences. Supported by the global outlook and impact of the Newcastle Institute for Sustainability, you will have access to international experts, the latest facilities and a unique research support package to ensure your future success.

We offer MPhil supervision in the following subjects areas associated with environment science:

Applied and environmental biology

We conduct research on organisms and processes of commercial and environmental importance, embracing experimental approaches that encompass genomics, molecular biology, biochemistry and physiology. Our research provides evidence for the underlying molecular and physiological processes that affect animal behaviour and physiology.

Our research is driven by the desire to develop new biological systems that address health, food, energy and water security. The applied nature of our work has led to the launch of successful spin-out companies, such as Geneius. These companies offer graduate employment opportunities and make a substantial contribution to the local economy. The commercial applications that result from our research range from natural products discovery and creation of novel antimicrobials and biopesticides to sustainable methods of reducing food spoilage.

Based in the Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability (NIReS), our research laboratories include well-equipped molecular laboratories for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) amplification, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), and facilities for the production of novel recombinant proteins, including protein engineering. Microbiological laboratories are equipped to Category 2 standard. We have the latest equipment for profiling plant leaf gas exchange and light use efficiency, high performance liquid chromatography, fluorescence and light microscopy and easy access to central facilities for confocal and electron microscopy, DNA sequencing, microarray analyses and proteomics. We also have a suite of licenced controlled environment rooms for growing transgenic plants and for housing quarantine invertebrate pests.

Applied and environmental biology research is based in the School of Biology and led by academic staff with international reputations.

Environmental change and management

We study long-term system evolution and change, developing knowledge relating to the Earth's surface and the processes that form its structure and function. We also study how human behaviour impacts on these systems and influences sustainable management.

Based in the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, you will be part of an active research community of nearly 200 social science researchers. We pride our research on being the highest academic quality with an international focus, underpinned by a concern for informing public debate and contributing to public policy formulation.

Research in physical geography is supported by a number of laboratories:
-Newcastle Cosmogenic Isotope Facility
-Geomorphology Laboratory
-Chemical, paleoecology and organic chemistry laboratories
-Spatial Analysis Laboratory

We have over 90 academic and research staff and we will ensure that your project is supervised by experts in your field.

Geosciences

Geoscience research at Newcastle is focused on:
-Biogeochemistry, with particular strength in microbial ecology, mineralogy, organic, inorganic and isotope geochemistry
-Geoenergy, reflecting a balance between fossil fuels as a critical energy resource and the move towards a lower carbon global economy

Our biogeochemistry and geoenergy research forms a strong multi-disciplinary group. We also have links to the engineering community through our work on microbial processes of significance to oil and gas production such as reservoir souring.

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Our environmental science research is multidisciplinary, including subjects ranging from biology to geography and geosciences. Read more
Our environmental science research is multidisciplinary, including subjects ranging from biology to geography and geosciences. Supported by the global outlook and impact of the Newcastle Institute for Sustainability, you will have access to international experts, the latest facilities and a unique research support package to ensure your future success.

We offer MPhil and PhD supervision in the following subjects areas associated with environment science:

Applied and environmental biology

We conduct research on organisms and processes of commercial and environmental importance, embracing experimental approaches that encompass genomics, molecular biology, biochemistry and physiology. Our research provides evidence for the underlying molecular and physiological processes that affect animal behaviour and physiology.

Our research is driven by the desire to develop new biological systems that address health, food, energy and water security. The applied nature of our work has led to the launch of successful spin-out companies, such as Geneius. These companies offer graduate employment opportunities and make a substantial contribution to the local economy. The commercial applications that result from our research range from natural products discovery and creation of novel antimicrobials and biopesticides to sustainable methods of reducing food spoilage.

Based in the Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability (NIReS), our research laboratories include well-equipped molecular laboratories for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) amplification, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), and facilities for the production of novel recombinant proteins, including protein engineering. Microbiological laboratories are equipped to Category 2 standard. We have the latest equipment for profiling plant leaf gas exchange and light use efficiency, high performance liquid chromatography, fluorescence and light microscopy and easy access to central facilities for confocal and electron microscopy, DNA sequencing, microarray analyses and proteomics. We also have a suite of licenced controlled environment rooms for growing transgenic plants and for housing quarantine invertebrate pests.

Applied and environmental biology research is based in the School of Biology and led by academic staff with international reputations.

Environmental change and management

We study long-term system evolution and change, developing knowledge relating to the Earth's surface and the processes that form its structure and function. We also study how human behaviour impacts on these systems and influences sustainable management.

Based in the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, you will be part of an active research community of nearly 200 social science researchers. We pride our research on being the highest academic quality with an international focus, underpinned by a concern for informing public debate and contributing to public policy formulation.

Research in physical geography is supported by a number of laboratories:
-Newcastle Cosmogenic Isotope Facility
-Geomorphology Laboratory
-Chemical, paleoecology and organic chemistry laboratories
-Spatial Analysis Laboratory

We have over 90 academic and research staff and we will ensure that your project is supervised by experts in your field.

Geosciences

Geoscience research at Newcastle is focussed on:
-Biogeochemistry, with particular strength in microbial ecology, mineralogy, organic, inorganic and isotope geochemistry
-Geoenergy, reflecting a balance between fossil fuels as a critical energy resource and the move towards a lower carbon global economy

Our biogeochemistry and geoenergy research forms a strong multi-disciplinary group. We also have links to the engineering community through our work on microbial processes of significance to oil and gas production such as reservoir souring.

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USF’s Master of Science in Biology is research-intensive, providing personalized, hands-on training in a faculty member’s laboratory. Read more
USF’s Master of Science in Biology is research-intensive, providing personalized, hands-on training in a faculty member’s laboratory. Working together with their advisers, students design an independent, faculty-directed research project that culminates in a formal written thesis.

The focus of USF’s Master of Science in Biology program is hands-on lab research with full-time faculty and the completion of a major lab research project. Students who have successfully completed the program are prepared to pursue further postgraduate work or to enter into a technical position in a related research or industrial laboratory.

Spring 2018: Areas of Research

Unlike other programs, students are required to apply for a concentration and an opening in a specific faculty member’s laboratory. To qualify for admission to the MS in biology program, you must be interested in pursuing research in one of the following areas:

Conservation Genetics & Systematics - Jennifer Dever
Microbial Ecology, Mycology & Bioinformatics - Naupaka Zimmerman
Marine Biology & Physiology - Nicole Thometz
Parasitology - John Sullivan
Plant Evolution & Ecology - John R. Paul
Virology - Juliet Spencer

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This programme is appropriate for you if are seeking to develop the skills and confidence to address the critical global challenges of energy and diminishing natural resources. Read more

This programme is appropriate for you if are seeking to develop the skills and confidence to address the critical global challenges of energy and diminishing natural resources. Clean energy, optimal use of resources and the economics of climate change are the key issues facing society, and form the fundamental themes of this programme.

Course details

You explore the world’s dependency on hydrocarbon-based resources, together with strategies and technologies to decarbonise national economies. The course examines global best practice, government policies, industrial symbiosis and emerging risk management techniques. You also address the environmental, economic and sociological (risk and acceptability) impacts of renewable energy provision and waste exploitation as central elements. 

The programme develops the problem-solvers and innovators needed to face the enormous challenges of the 21st century - those who can play key roles in driving energy and environmental policies, and in formulating forward-looking strategies on energy use and environmental sustainability at corporate, national and global scales.

What you study

For the PgDip award you must successfully complete 120 credits of taught modules. For an MSc award you must successfully complete the 120 credits of taught modules and a 60-credit master's research project. 

Energy, environment, risk managing projects, sustainability and integrated waste management are the main foci of the programme, but you also explore the financial aspects of energy and environmental management. Economics is integral to the development of policies and is often a key influencing factor.

This programme aims to develop a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the role and place of energy in the 21st century and the way the environment impinges on the types of energy used and production methods. It also aims to investigate the environment as it is perceived, and contextualise its actual importance to mankind. Specific objectives for this course are to establish the financial validity for the pursuit of alternative energy forms and management of the environment.

You are encouraged to take up opportunities of voluntary placements with local industries to conduct real-world research projects. These placements are assessed in line with the assessment criteria and learning outcomes of the Project module. 

Examples of past MSc research projects

  • The taxonomy of facilitated industrial symbioses
  • Assessment of the climate change impacts of the Tees Valley
  • Exploring the links between carbon disclosure and carbon performance
  • Hydrothermal carbonisation of waste biomass
  • Quantifying the impact of biochar on soil microbial ecology
  • Potential for biochar utilisation in developing rural economies
  • Carbon trading opportunities for renewable energy projects in developing countries
  • Exploring the potential for wind energy in Libya
  • Demand and supply potential of solar panel installations
  • A feasibility study of the application of zero-carbon retrofit technologies in building communal areas
  • Energy recovery from abandoned oil wells through geothermal processes

Course structure

Core modules

  • Concepts of Sustainability
  • Economics of Climate Change
  • Energy and Global Climate Change
  • Global Energy Policy
  • Integrated Waste Management and Exploitation
  • Project
  • Research Methods and Proposal

Modules offered may vary.

Teaching

How you learn

The course provides a number of contact teaching and assessment hours (through lectures, tutorials, projects, assignments), but you are also expected to spend time on your own, called 'self-study' time, to review lecture notes, prepare course work assignments, work on projects and revise for assessments. For example, each 20-credit module typically has around 200 hours of learning time. 

In most cases, around 60 hours are spent in lectures, tutorials and in practical exercises. The remaining learning time is for you to gain a deeper understanding of the subject. Each year of full-time study consists of modules totalling 180 credits; hence, during one year of full-time study a student can expect to have 1,800 hours of learning and assessment.

How you are assessed

Modules are assessed by a variety of methods including examination and in-course assessment with some utilising other approaches such as group-work or verbal/poster presentations.

Employability

Work placement

There may be short-term placement opportunities for some students, particularly during the project phase of the course. This University is also in the process of seeking accreditation for the Waste Management module from the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management.

Career opportunities

Successful graduates from this course are well placed to find employment. As an energy and environmental manager, you might find yourself in a role responsible for overseeing the energy and environmental performance of private, public and voluntary sector organisations, as well as in a wide range of engineering industries.

Energy and environmental managers examine corporate activities to establish where improvements can be made and ensure compliance with environmental legislation across the organisation. You might be responsible for reviewing the whole operation, carrying out energy and environmental audits and assessments, identifying and resolving energy and environmental problems and acting as agents of change. Your role could include the training of the workforce to develop the ability to recognise their own contributions to improved energy and environmental performance.

Your role may also include the development, implementation and monitoring of energy and environmental strategies, policies and programmes that promote sustainable development at corporate, national or global levels.



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This MSc Energy and Environmental Management (with Advanced Practice) course is ideal if are seeking to develop your skills and confidence to address the critical global challenges of energy and diminishing natural resources. Read more

This MSc Energy and Environmental Management (with Advanced Practice) course is ideal if are seeking to develop your skills and confidence to address the critical global challenges of energy and diminishing natural resources. Clean energy, optimal use of resources and the economics of climate change are the key issues facing society, and form the fundamental themes of this programme.

Course details

You explore the world’s dependency on hydrocarbon-based resources, together with strategies and technologies to decarbonise national economies. This course examines global best practice, government policies, industrial symbiosis and emerging risk management techniques. You also address the environmental, economic and sociological (risk and acceptability) impacts of renewable energy provision and waste exploitation as central elements.There are three routes you can select from to gain a postgraduate Master’s award:

  • MSc Energy and Environmental Management – one year full time
  • MSc Energy and Environmental Management – two years part time
  • MSc Energy and Environmental Management – two years full time

The one-year programme is a great option if you want to gain a traditional MSc qualification – you can find out more here. This two-year master’s degree with advanced practice enhances your qualification by adding to the one-year master’s programme an internship, research or study abroad experience.The MSc Energy and Environmental Management (with Advanced Practice) offers you the chance to enhance your qualification by completing an internship, research or study abroad experience in addition to the content of the one-year MSc. This two-year programme is an opportunity to enhance your qualification by spending one semester completing a vocational internship, research internship or by studying abroad. Although we can’t guarantee an internship, we can provide you with practical support and advice on how to find and secure your own internship position. A vocational internship is a great way to gain work experience and give your CV a competitive edge. Alternatively, a research internship develops your research and academic skills as you work as part of a research team in an academic setting – ideal if you are interested in a career in research or academia. A third option is to study abroad in an academic exchange with one of our partner universities. This option does incur additional costs such as travel and accommodation. You must also take responsibility for ensuring you have the appropriate visa to study outside the UK, where relevant.

What you study

For the MSc with advanced practice, you complete 120 credits of taught modules, a 60-credit master’s research project and 60 credits of advanced practice.

Energy, environment, risk managing projects, sustainability and integrated waste management are emphasised on the programme, but you also explore the financial aspects of energy and environmental management. Economics is integral to developing policies and is often a key influencing factor.

You develop a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the role and place of energy in the 21st century, and how the environment impinges on the types of energy used and the way they are produced. You investigate the environment as it is perceived, and contextualise its actual importance to mankind. Specific objectives for this course are to establish the financial validity of pursing alternative energy forms and managing the environment.

Examples of past MSc research projects

  • The taxonomy of facilitated industrial symbioses
  • Assessment of the climate change impacts of the Tees Valley
  • Exploring the links between carbon disclosure and carbon performance
  • Hydrothermal carbonisation of waste biomass
  • Quantifying the impact of biochar on soil microbial ecology
  • Potential for biochar utilisation in developing rural economies
  • Carbon trading opportunities for renewable energy projects in developing countries
  • Exploring the potential for wind energy in Libya
  • Demand and supply potential of solar panel installations
  • A feasibility study of the application of zero-carbon retrofit technologies in building communal areas
  • Energy recovery from abandoned oil wells through geothermal processes

Course structure

Core modules

  • Concepts of Sustainability
  • Data Acquisition and Signal Processing Techniques
  • Economics of Climate Change
  • Energy and Global Climate Change
  • Global Energy Policy
  • Integrated Waste Management and Exploitation
  • Research Methods and Proposal
  • Research Project (Advanced Practice)

Advanced Practice options

  • Research Internship
  • Study Abroad
  • Vocational Internship

Modules offered may vary.

Teaching

How you learn

You learn through a variety of teaching methods including lectures, tutorials, projects and assignments. You are also expected to participate in self-directed study, to review lecture notes, prepare assignments, work on projects and revise for assessments. Each 20-credit module typically has around 200 hours of learning time. 

You usually spend around 60 hours in lectures, tutorials and in practical exercises over the duration of the course. The remaining learning time is for you to gain a deeper understanding of the subject. Each year of full-time study consists of modules totalling 180 credits. During one year of full-time study you can expect to have 1,800 hours of learning and assessment.

How you are assessed

Modules are assessed by a variety of methods including exams and in-course assessment with some using other approaches such as group work, or verbal or poster presentations. 

Your Advanced Practice module is assessed by an individual written reflective report (3,000 words) together with a study or workplace log, where appropriate, and through a poster presentation.

Employability

Career opportunities

Successful graduates from this course are well-placed to find employment. As an energy and environmental manager, you might find yourself responsible for overseeing the energy and environmental performance of a private, public or voluntary sector organisation, or in one of a wide range of engineering industries.

Work placement

There may be short-term placement opportunities for some students, particularly during the project phase of the course. This University is also in the process of seeking accreditation for the Waste Management module from the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management.



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Want to be at the forefront of scientific research into microbes and their role in developing new medicines, tackling diseases and improving the environment?. Read more
Want to be at the forefront of scientific research into microbes and their role in developing new medicines, tackling diseases and improving the environment?

Northumbria is the only UK university to offer Microbiology as an individual discipline, giving you the opportunity to develop specialist knowledge and break new ground as a scientist.

Gain hands-on, immersive experience, in high tech facilities, working alongside leading academics. Advance your expertise in clinical and environmental microbiology, studying how viral and bacterial diseases work and how you can use microbes to create new medicines.

You’ll cover microbial taxonomy, bioinformatics and molecular biology, using bacteria and viruses to develop new technologies and substances through data analysis and genome sequencing.

With opportunities to develop your theoretical knowledge, advance your own research, and increase your profile through articles and publications, this course equips you for further PhD study or for a career in microbiology.

This course is also available part time - for more information, please view the web-page: https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/study-at-northumbria/courses/microbiology-dtpmgy6/

Learn From The Best

Specialising in a wide range of research areas, from developing enzymes for pharmaceutical, chemical and food industries, to life in extreme environments, your academic team reflect the varied, multi-disciplinary nature of microbiological science.

Tutors are active researchers in their chosen specialisms and share their knowledge through teaching, scientific conferences and publications. Many have established relationships with professional microbiology organisations and lead policy and practice within the profession.

Combining industry experience and research expertise, you’ll benefit from their knowledge and real-life insights as you develop your skills and understanding.

Teaching And Assessment

You’ll enhance your knowledge of this broad subject matter through in-depth, research focused and real-life learning.

You’ll gain skills in applying tools, techniques and methods related to molecular biology, microbial culture and classification and in functional analysis of microbial and viral genomes.

With an emphasis on individual learning and problem solving using the latest research, as part of the course, you’ll undertake a research project based on a currently relevant question. This will allow you to develop your particular specialism or interest and focus your study on practical research.

You’ll be assessed on your ability to apply your subject knowledge to real-world challenges in the form of assessment tasks as well as being measured in key laboratory skills.

Module Overview
AP0700 - Graduate Science Research Methods (Core, 20 Credits)
AP0701 - Molecular Biology (Core, 20 Credits)
AP0702 - Bioinformatics (Core, 20 Credits)
AP0703 - Subject Exploration (Core, 20 Credits)
AP0706 - Microbes and Disease (Core, 20 Credits)
AP0707 - Microbial Diversity (Core, 20 Credits)
AP0708 - Applied Sciences Research Project (Core, 60 Credits)

Learning Environment

You’ll get hands-on experience in our large, modern well-equipped laboratories with audio-visual facilities that help you observe, learn and question techniques and ideas.

High-tech wet and dry labs which are fully equipped for molecular biology manipulations are available to help you work on your own research projects.

While some modules are conventionally taught, you’ll benefit from a mixture of learning experiences including lectures, small group seminars and laboratory sessions, adding a practical edge to your theoretical understanding.

Research-Rich Learning

The internationally recognised and well-established group, led by Professor Iain Sutcliffe, apply scientific approaches to aspects of healthcare and extend understanding of diseases.

Research areas include:
-Bacterial cell envelope architecture and biosynthesis
-Control of parasitic arthropods
-Microbial diagnostics (in collaboration with Applied Chemistry)
-Microbial enzymes as biocatalysts (through our Nzomics Innovation Unit, in collaboration with Applied Chemistry)
-Molecular ecology and microbial community analysis in human health (COPD, cystic fibrosis and necrotising enterocolitis)
-Molecular ecology and microbial community analysis in the environment (Lake Suigetsu, Japan; Polar environments) and in agricultural management
-Genomics and proteomics of prokaryotes
-Novel antimicrobials (in collaboration with Applied Chemistry)
-Systematics and taxonomy of bacteria
-Virulence determinants in pathogenic streptococci

Microbiological and virological based techniques to study; virus-host interactions and phage genomics (through our Nu-omics). Research is funded by companies, charities and research council grants.

Give Your Career An Edge

This course has been designed to help you develop specific knowledge and practical skills in Microbiology based on work-related learning. Teaching and assessment throughout the course is based on problem solving linked to a practical approach to current research.

You’ll have opportunities for work-based learning and to be an ambassador for STEM activities, gaining valuable professional experience and applying your knowledge in real-world situations.

Your research project provides a chance to showcase your interests and ability to define, formulate and test a hypothesis through careful experimental design, method development, data capture and analysis and communicating your findings.

You’ll be able to demonstrate transferable skills valued by employers including critical thinking, working as part of a group, data mining and record keeping, alongside problem solving, independent learning, and communication with both technical and non-technical audiences.

Your Future

The MSc Microbiology course will support and inspire you to high achievement in employment or further education and research in your chosen specialism.

Building on your theoretical knowledge with practical and laboratory skills you’ll show that you can tackle complex problems with confidence, skill and maturity as you develop key strengths in critical thinking and expressing opinions based on evidence.

The practices and procedures of Microbiology and Virology, together with logical thinking, attention to detail and a questioning mind will equip you with skills suitable for a range of careers in human health and disease, environmental studies and industrial or biotechnical industries.

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Research projects in Ecology are offered in a range of animal, plant and microbial topics including (a) competition and coexistence in animal communities and the evolution of host-parasite interactions, (b) the evolution of insect pollinator systems, (c) life history strategies and trade-offs, (d) processes in plant communities e.g. Read more
Research projects in Ecology are offered in a range of animal, plant and microbial topics including (a) competition and coexistence in animal communities and the evolution of host-parasite interactions, (b) the evolution of insect pollinator systems, (c) life history strategies and trade-offs, (d) processes in plant communities e.g. nutrient cycling and herbivory, and (d) the ecology of the lichen symbiosis and lichen-dominated ecosystems, and lichen population biology.

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.

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Ecologists and evolutionary biologists now routinely use next-generation DNA sequencing in their research, and graduates who are skilled in both genome analysis as well as ecology and evolution are rare. Read more

Ecologists and evolutionary biologists now routinely use next-generation DNA sequencing in their research, and graduates who are skilled in both genome analysis as well as ecology and evolution are rare. Genome-enabled approaches are helping rapidly to advance our understanding of the dynamic relationship between genotype, phenotype and the environment.

Our programme will give you cross-disciplinary skills in a rare combination of areas of expertise, from bioinformatics and evolutionary inference to computational biology and fieldwork.

You will be taught by researchers who apply genomic methods to a wide range of issues in ecology and evolution, from bat food-webs and genome evolution to microbial biodiversity in natural and engineered ecosystems. For example, Professor Steve Rossiter carries out world-leading research on bat genome evolution; Dr Yannick Wurm has discovered a social chromosome in fire-ants; and Dr China Hanson is using genetic methods to study microbial biogeography. This means that teaching on our programme is informed by the latest developments in this field, and your individual research project can be at the forefront of current scientific discovery. 

You will conduct your own substantive six-month research project, which may be jointly supervised by contacts from related institutes or within industry. You will 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.

Programme highlights

  • Work with leading researchers in environmental genomics - learn more on the Evolution and Genetics research group page 
  • Two-week tropical ecology field trip (currently to Borneo)
  • Strong foundation for careers in consultancy, environmental policy and management or research
  • Strong foundation for PhD training in any area of genomics, ecology or evolution

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

This MSc 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.

If you have any questions about the content or structure, contact the programme director Dr Christophe Eizaguirre.

Taught modules

  • Genome Bioinformatics: Covers the essential aspects of next generation sequence (NGS) analysis, including genome assembly, variant calling and transcriptomics. Also covers essential computer skills needed for bioinformatics, such as Linux and using our high performance computing cluster.
  • Coding for scientists: Assuming no prior programming knowledge, teaches you how to program in Python, using biological examples throughout. Python is one of the most popular languages in the bioinformatics community, and understanding Python provides the perfect foundation for learning other languages such as Perl, Ruby and Java.
  • 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.
  • Post-genomics bioinformatics: Introduces techniques that have developed as a consequence of developments in genomics (i.e. transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, structural biology and systems biology) with particular emphasis on the data analysis aspects. Practicals cover the popular Galaxy framework, advanced R, and machine learning.
  • Research frontiers in evolutionary biology: Exploring 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.

Research modules

  • Evolutionary/Ecological Analysis/Software Group Project module: Students are organised into small teams (3-4 members per team). Each team is given the same genomic or transcriptomic data set that must be analysed by the end of the module. Each team must design an appropriate analysis pipeline, with specific tasks assigned to individual team members. This module serves as a simulation of a real data analysis environment, providing invaluable experience for future employability.
  • Individual Research Project (50 per cent of the programme)


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Unique in New Zealand. The breadth and depth of Massey University’s postgraduate microbiology programme is unique in New Zealand. Read more

Unique in New Zealand

The breadth and depth of Massey University’s postgraduate microbiology programme is unique in New Zealand.

Find out more about the Master of Science parent structure.

The Massey University Master of Science (Microbiology) is a multi-disciplinary postgraduate qualification that will give you the research skills to move up the hierarchy of your career, or move onto more in-depth research.

Let our expertise become yours

You will learn from world-leading specialists in microbiology and related areas like biochemistry, genetics, biotechnology, food science, plant pathology, immunology and epidemiology.

At Massey we use a diverse range of molecular, cellular, plant and animal model tools to investigate the molecular biology of diseases. We also use metagenomics and other advanced genomic technologies to study microbial communities in the environment, including those that may be health threat if found in food or medical environments.

Our biomedical interests are diverse. We research the mechanisms of neurological, skeletal and muscular disorders, infectious microbial diseases and cancer.

World-leading facilities

Facilities available to you include our microscopy and imaging centre, genomics and dna sequencing facility, protein analysis suite (mass spectroscopy, x-ray crystallography, nmr), bioreactors and fermentation facilities.

An essential science

Microbiology is an essential science that helps us understand the microbes in the environment, including those that dwell in the soil, air and water, in our food and inside people, animals and plants.

Understanding microbiology can:

  • improve safety and success of food and beverage production and fermentation
  • help prevent infectious diseases through development of novel antibiotics and vaccines
  • use of “good” microbes in prebiotics or probiotics, or microbial community [A1] transplantation between patients. 
  • Help treat diseases such as inflammation, allergy, neurological disorders, diabetes and even cancer. Through comparing diversity and composition of gut microbial communities between people, we may better understand and treat these diseases, that are not typically considered related to microbes,
  • Have an environmental impact through creating alternative ways to produce fuel, or by increased ability to mitigate the greenhouse gas emission by working with the microbes in the cattle rumen.

Multi-disciplinary

You will gain the advantage of learning in a multi-disciplinary environment. Massey has world-leading expertise in many areas of science, especially veterinary, animal, health and environmental science. You can take advantage of this for your learning and research to look at microbiological sub-disciplines, such as environment/ecology, food and biotechnology.

Relevant learning

During your study you will gain a contemporary, relevant view of microbiology which is in line with topical research and developments in the area. You will be exposed to the latest discoveries and research.

Friendly environment - passionate scientists

There is a well-established community of fundamental scientists and students involved in a broad range of microbiological and microbiology-inspired research at Massey. We work together to share discoveries and research and provide peer support.

Why postgraduate study?

Postgraduate study is hard work but hugely rewarding and empowering. The workload of the Master of Science (Microbiology) replicates the high-pressure environment of senior workplace roles.

Not just more of the same

Postgraduate study is not just ‘more of the same’ as undergraduate study. Our experts are there to guide but if you have come from undergraduate study, you will find that postgraduate study demands more in-depth and independent study. It takes you to a new level in knowledge and expertise especially in planning and undertaking research.



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Master's specialisation in Communities and Ecosystems. Communities and Ecosystems deals with the ecology of units of interacting individuals, in populations, communities and ecosystems. Read more

Master's specialisation in Communities and Ecosystems

Communities and Ecosystems deals with the ecology of units of interacting individuals, in populations, communities and ecosystems. The biodiversity is analysed and functionally related to the hydrology, nutritional status and landscape configuration of the ecosystem. Ecogenomics tools are applied to obtain information on unknown components such as microbial composition or evolutionary history of populations. This information together gives insight in how different communities (plants, animals, micro-organisms) within an ecosystem are interrelated and interdependent, and how they determine the resilience of the community to environmental stress. This fundamental knowledge is applied in proven applications in nature and water management.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/biology/ecosystems

Admission requirements for international students

1. A completed Bachelor's degree in Biology or related area

2. Proficiency in English

In order to take part in this programme, you need to have fluency in both written and spoken English. Non-native speakers of English without a Dutch Bachelor's degree or VWO diploma need one of the following:

-A TOEFL score of >575 (paper based) or >232 (computer based) or >90(internet based)

- A IELTS score of >6.5

- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) or Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE), with a mark of C or higher

Career prospects

This programme provides you with the qualifications you need to start working on your PhD and in the field of communication, business and management or education. Biologists often continue their research careers in universities, research institutes, pharmaceutical companies and public health authorities. On graduation, our students very quickly take up positions as researchers or analysts in government departments, research organisations and medical or pharmaceutical companies.

What biologists do:

- Researchers at universities or in companies

- Supervisors of clinical trials

- Consultants

- Lecturers

- Policy coordinators

- Teachers

Where biologists work:

- Research/education

- Health care

- Business services

- Industry

- Government

- Trade

Our approach to this field

Communities and Ecosystems deals with the ecology of units of interacting individuals, in populations, communities and ecosystems. The biodiversity is analysed and functionally related to the hydrology, nutritional status and landscape configuration of the ecosystem. Ecogenomics tools are applied to obtain information on unknown components such as microbial composition or evolutionary history of populations. This information together gives insight in how different communities (plants, animals, micro-organisms) within an ecosystem are interrelated and interdependent, and how they determine the resilience of the community to environmental stress. This fundamental knowledge is applied in proven applications in nature and water management.

Our research in this field

- Rich programme

This M.Sc. programme not only puts the interactions between organisms into context, it also integrates all levels of organisation from the molecule and the cell up to ecosystems and the landscape. This combination of experience results in a rich and coherent MSc. programme of Master's courses and exciting internships with state-of-the-art research. It prepares you for a career in science, both fundamental and applied, but also provides the necessary knowledge for innovative evidence-based applications in nature and water management.

- Personal tutor

Our top scientist are looking forward to take you with them on a challenging and inspiring scientific journey. This programme offers you many opportunities to follow your own interests under the guidance of a personal tutor. Radboud University offers you a multitude of research fields to choose from in close collaboration with the

- Academic hospital UMCN St. Radboud;

- Institute for Water and Wetlands Research;

- Nijmegen Centre for Molecular Life Sciences;

- Donders Institute.

This allows you to specialise in a field of personal interest.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/biology/ecosystems



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The Microbiology and Immunology programme involves immune cells, bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites. Students can investigate the ecology, evolution and environments of micro-organisms, the diseases they cause, the microbiome and its influence on the immune system and our health, immunity and disease. Read more

The Microbiology and Immunology programme involves immune cells, bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites. Students can investigate the ecology, evolution and environments of micro-organisms, the diseases they cause, the microbiome and its influence on the immune system and our health, immunity and disease. We are seeking solutions to the problem of antibiotic resistance; designing new, combination drug therapies; using microbial engineering in industrial processing and environmental remediation; determining how our immune system can best protect us against infection and cancer; using this information to design new immunotherapies and treatments for inflammation and auto-immune diseases. Our projects span population and systems biology and ecology, organism behavior and function, cell interactions and molecular mechanisms, and our students graduate with extensive training in analytical thinking, creative innovation and effective communication. Degrees in our programme accelerate students in a great variety of careers in industry, academia, non-for-profit organisations and the business world.

What makes the program unique?

Microbiology has been an integral part of UBC since the university's inception in 1915. Our program is a strong and collaborative community of microbiologists, immunologists, biochemists and cell biologists, based at UBC and affiliated hospitals. We promote fundamental and translational research and we enjoy strong connections to clinical colleagues across Canada. Many of our students are located in the Life Sciences Institute, a world-class collection of scientists with facilities including advanced flow cytometry, microscopy and imaging, together with the Facility for Infectious Disease and Epidemic Research, the Advanced Structural Biology for Re-emerging Infectious Diseases group, and the Genome Sciences Centre. We work closely with the Centres for Drug Research and Development and for High-Throughput Biology, emphasising commercialisation and entrepreneurship. We have 90 MSc and PhD students currently enrolled in our program and have an excellent track record in mentoring and training. We are proud of the many and diverse successes of our alumni.

Career options

Our MSc graduates excel at jobs that require attention to detail, critical thinking, scientific translation and interpretation skills. Recent graduates have successfully moved into the private sector, working in forensics for the RCMP, managing natural resources and managing people at city municipalities, training technical experts in hospitals and universities. Many continue their education, entering professional schools in programs such as Dentistry, Pharmacology, Medicine and Law. An M&I MSc is an excellent platform for advancing to a PhD within UBC or anywhere in the world.



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