A higher degree by research involves training in research methods and systematic, high level study of a research project. The nature of the work and the time it takes to finish the research means a research degree is demanding and needs great commitment.
You must present your results in a thesis, explain the methods used in your research and defend them in an oral examination.
To get an MPhil you must critically investigate and evaluate an approved topic and display an understanding of suitable research methods.
Materials and Engineering Research Institute (MERI)
MERI is a multi-disciplinary research institute encompassing four research centres each with their own specialist groups operating within them. We undertake high quality academic research across a range of disciplines and apply this research knowledge in a commercial and industrial context. Research areas include • polymers and composites • solar energy • structural integrity and corrosion • functional coatings • simulation and modelling • robotics.
In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise we were the leading post–92 university in metallurgy and materials (UoA29). 75 per cent of our staff were judged to be internationally leading and we obtained a Times Higher Education average score of 2.15 reflecting the quality of our work and world class staff.
Our staff include • chemists • materials scientists • physicists • computer scientists • mechanical, electronic and electrical engineers, all working on individual or collaborative projects shared between research centres. Supported by a £6m equipment base, which will shortly undergo a £4m refurbishment, this inter-disciplinary approach enables us to solve complex problems ranging from fracture of artificial implants through to designing surfaces that can withstand frictional temperatures in excess of 1,000 degrees centigrade. Solutions to these kinds of problems put MERI at the top in terms of industrial collaboration.
The Materials Research and Analysis Service (MARS) is also a key strength in the research institute, established to provide regional business with access to research facilities and analysis, which enhances the capability of companies in terms of new and improved products.
Evidence of MERI’s research strength is reflected in the patent portfolio that currently consists of 22 granted patents with another 17 applications in progress.
MERI is made up of five centres of excellence
Training and development
An extensive range of training and development opportunities are available to doctoral researchers through the doctoral skills training series and MERI-based training.
Skills training for postgraduate research
This course will comprise 4 main sessions:
All of the sessions are mandatory for all MERI research students.
Weekly seminar programme
Speakers are invited weekly to discuss their latest research with our staff and students.
This session introduces you to the principle of research ethics and the Sheffield Hallam procedures for ethical clearance. It will also involve you doing an initial ethic checklist for your research project and introduce the online EPIGIUM module ethics 1, which all Sheffield Hallam research students must complete.
RefWorks is a web-based bibliographic system with which you can build up a database of all of your reference material. It is flexible and very powerful, particularly when it comes to outputting reference lists for papers and thesis.
Introduction to bibliographic databases
As a researcher it is vital to be able to access relevant high level information. Here you learn more sophisticated information retrieval skills and see how to use subject specific databases relevant to your research area.
Health and safety for postgraduate research
The session aims to provide clear health and safety guidelines for new postgraduate researchers around personal safety and safety of others within the university environment, including and laboratories & workshops.
Advanced measurement techniques
This module aims to equip you with the skills and knowledge to make informed decisions on experimental materials analysis techniques. A number of techniques are demonstrated, the emphasis being on what each can achieve and the potentials for synergy from combining results obtained using from different techniques. This promotes effective decision making in research planning and operation, as well as a broad understanding of what different approaches can be used for.
MATLAB is a powerful programming language for numerical computations. It is employed in a range of industrial and academic environments. MATLAB has numerous built-in functions for engineering, physical, graphical, mathematical and computing applications. Besides this it has a variety of specialised toolboxes for specific applications, such as control systems, machine vision, signal processing and many others. MATLAB also has the symbolic toolbox that allows operating on symbolic expressions. In the first sessions we will cover MATLAB fundamentals, and the following sessions will be tailored to the specific research needs of attendees.
MERI research symposium event
The MERI Research Symposium is an excellent opportunity for both staff and students who are either active researchers, or who are interested in engaging in research, to meet with colleagues from across the faculty, to raise awareness of current research projects. The event will incorporate talks from academic staff and second year MERI PhD students, with poster presentations from final year undergraduate engineering students and first year MERI students.
This course is aimed at first year students to give tips and techniques on how to prepare for the MERI Research Symposium Event, at which they will present a poster.
All second year students are required to give a talk at the MERI Research Symposium Event.
Thesis followed by oral examination
Research degrees are a vital qualification for most academic careers, and for professional specialisation and development in an existing or planned career. The rigorous analytical thinking they involve also demonstrates ability to potential employers in all areas of work.
Our MRes in History offers a research-rich master’s programme for those students wanting to develop specialist knowledge and scholarly techniques, as the first step on the path to doctoral research or research-related career paths. We offer a unique combination of focused expertise and applied historical experience in a friendly, supportive graduate environment.
On this course, you will work closely with members of our History staff, who have internationally-recognised expertise in a wide range of subjects, periods and geographical areas. The programme would suit students who already have a well-defined research interest, and the course will help you to work at that higher level, primarily via research. You will engage with a broad range of research methods relevant for advanced historical research.
You will be closely supported in your research journey through informed, innovative and expert supervision, and receive training for doctoral work, particularly in the field of history. However, this course will also prepare you for a wide range of professional careers that require advanced level research and communication skills. Your training will consist of study in relevant methodological processes for research, including language skills, palaeography, quantitative methods, data presentation, and oral history.
Using these skills, you will gain experience of applied historical research in a range of working environments, via a tailored research internship. Students on this course will prepare an original, extended research project, engaging critically and creatively with historical texts, objects and images as well as extant research in historiography and history.
As part of having the opportunity to contribute to the national and international research profile of the University, as a student on the MRes in History, you will have access to opportunities for co-operation and collaboration with related institutions in the UK.
The core module of the course is a 30,000 word dissertation. This is an intellectually-stimulating and challenging experience, representing substantial independent research into a topic in any period of history, approved in concert with an appointed supervisor. In this module, students will apply their advanced research skills developed on the rest of the course.
Another key module on the course is the Research Project. It will provide a link between your academic training and practical research in cultural institutions such as museums, libraries, archives or archaeological sites. The placement will further develop your skills in critical and historical analysis and interpretation, and allow you to see them in use in your chosen area of employment. Students will come to understand and critically evaluate the range of possible career opportunities associated with the professional application of historical research skills, within an institutional setting in the private or public sector.
Other modules are designed to provide you with opportunities to engage with primary documents, and to use these to develop your research skills. There is an emphasis in these optional modules on developing a historiographical understanding of the study of history in areas such as the politics of health in recent Britain; Gender and Sexuality in Modern Europe; or in the History of the family.
This research-intensive masters is intended to develop key skills for those interested in further academic study, but it also provides excellent preparation for employment in the creative and heritage industries, e.g. publishing, museums and archives, the media, or in any sector that prizes effective research and communication skills.
On this course, you will gain substantial research experience, working alongside our leading subject specialists. You will engage with a broad range of research methods, including some of the most influential theoretical positions and methodologies in classical scholarship and academic enquiry. You will also improve your knowledge of ancient languages.
This research-focused programme is designed to enhance the abilities of classics and ancient history students to conduct research at a high intellectual, methodological and theoretical level. You will receive training and guidance on conducting a piece of original research and its written presentation from a specialist in your area of interest on the programme team. The course will offer focused preparation for doctoral research. It will also present specific preparation for a range of professional careers that require highly-developed research and writing skills. You will also gain experience in how to present and discuss papers and posters at conferences.
As part of the intensive research training on offer, you will engage critically and creatively with classical texts, objects and images, and with their reception in later periods of history. The knowledge and experience of working with a variety of media will underlie your own original and innovative studies of the classical past. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to receive focused instruction in relevant subject areas for example epigraphy, numismatics and material culture. To further bolster your classical research skills, we offer tuition in both Latin and Ancient Greek, knowledge of which underpins a successful career in classical academia. As well as developing your practical research skills, the course will provide a deep understanding of the theoretical concepts that inform academic enquiry in classics and ancient history. Using your improved knowledge, understanding and critical awareness of the research methods, you will be in a position to contribute to the national and international research profile of classical studies at Roehampton and to take advantage of opportunities for co-operation and collaboration in the UK and beyond.
You will be introduced to some of the most important theoretical positions and methodologies in classical scholarship. Whilst some of the theories have arisen from the work of classicists and ancient historians themselves, others have been imported from other disciplines. All of them seek to address the agenda of classical scholars not merely to describe the ancient world, but to explain it. Relevant scholarly texts and sources related to this interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary nature will be studied, introducing you to the specialised skills you will need as a researcher.
With your grounding in the theoretical premises of classical research, you will begin your dissertation research project. This represents substantial independent research into a topic in classical studies or ancient history, and can be undertaken in a broad range of areas. The research project provides an opportunity for you to explore and train your research skills, pursuing a specific problem or topic in considerable depth. This project is a great opportunity to prepare for a three- to four-year PhD programme before committing to it.
A third important aspect of the course is the delivery of language and commentary skills in Latin and Ancient Greek. Students can take modules in one or both of the ancient languages which are prerequisites for successful study of original ancient documents. The languages are offered from beginner level to the study of an ancient author in depth.
This course is preparation for a range of professional careers that require highly developed research and writing skills. They include careers in academia, museums, schools, heritage sites and specialist publishing as well as in the media, in archives and libraries or the civil service.
Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Biosciences at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).
This MRes in Biosciences programme will provide you with research training in one or more of our Research Pathways and you will benefit from training in our Specialist Research Facilities. Research staff will share their expertise and assist you in developing the skills necessary to do independent research, leading to a dissertation written as a scientific paper.
All research students in Biosciences undertake taught modules followed by a major research project under the guidance of academic staff in one or more of our Research Pathways, and benefitting from training in our specialist research facilities.
The MRes Biosciences is a one-year programme. All research students undertake taught modules followed by a major research project under the guidance of academic staff in one or more of our Research Pathways , and benefiting from training in our Specialist Research Facilities.
Biosciences at Swansea has a good relationship with a wide range of external partners, including SMEs, Government Agencies, Local Government, UK and overseas research institutes and universities.
1) Behavioural and Movement Ecology
Studying adaptations, and the selective pressures in the social and ecological environment that bring them about. We specialise in the movement ecology of individuals and collectives and can provide specialist research training to understand the role of the environment in structuring the properties of animal movement and behaviour.
2) Evolutionary and Molecular Biology
Understanding the diversity of life from a molecular perspective. We use the latest genetic and genomics techniques to address key questions in ecology, behaviour and conservation from an evolutionary perspective in a range of non-model organisms, from fungi to plants and animals.
3) Marine Biology, Fisheries and Aquaculture
From developing new techniques in fish husbandry and rearing of commercially important aquaculture species, to research in food and fuel security, low carbon technologies, biogeochemical cycles and climate change. Specialist research training can be provided on a diverse range of temperate to tropical aquatic organisms, from microplankton to invertebrates to fish, inhabiting marine to freshwater environments.
4) Mathematical and Statistical Ecology
Research that complements the full range of our academic expertise, from theoretical investigations of ecosystem complexity, stoichiometric ecology, pattern formation and animal movement, to practical agricultural applications and the operation of micro-algal biotechnology.
5) Population and Community Ecology
Combining experimental and theoretical approaches to develop our understanding of how species interactions with their environment (including other species) generate the spatial-temporal biodiversity patterns we observe in nature. Study systems include plankton ecosystems, coastal ecosystem functioning, disease control, conservation, and the impact of spatial-temporal environmental variation on community dynamics.
6) Whole Organism Biology
Our staff comprises world-leading experts on a range of organisms studied around the world, and welcome students who want to develop projects around such species.
7) Wildlife Diseases and Pest Control
Research focused on developing natural agents and solutions for the control of wildlife diseases and invertebrate pests that impact on food security and human and animal health. Research training provided in disease detection methods, disease management, and the socioeconomic benefits of pest control.
As a student on the MRes Biosciences programme, you will benefit from a range of facilities such as:
Our excellent facilities include a unique built Animal Movement Visualisation Suite (£1.35m), incorporating an electronic wall linked to a computer-tesla cluster for high-speed processing and visualisation of complex accelerometry and magnetometry data derived from animals. Coupled with this facility is the Electronics Lab with capacity for research, development and realisation of animal tags with new capacities (sensors, energy-harvesting systems, miniaturization, 3-D printing of housings etc.); a custom-designed 18m on coastal research vessel; a recent investment of £4.2m on a new suite of state-of-the art Science laboratories; and the £2m unique Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Research (CSAR) with a 750 m2 controlled environment building, with programmable recirculating aquatic systems, unique within the UK’s higher-education sector. These are tailored for research on a diverse range of organisms, ranging from temperate to tropical and marine to freshwater. Coupled with this are nutrient and biochemical analytical capabilities.
Theoretical/mathematical research uses advanced university computing facilities that includes high-end graphics workstations, high-speed network links and the Blue Ice supercomputer located at the Mike Barnsley Centre for Climatic Change Research.
Several dedicated Bioscience labs housed within our grade 2 listed Wallace Building recently benefitted from a £4.2 million renovation programme, providing world-class research facilities that includes a specialist molecular ecology lab and a dedicated arthropod facility.
We are 7th in the UK and top in Wales for research excellence (REF 2014)
93.8% of our research outputs were regarded as world-leading or internationally excellent and Swansea Biosciences had the highest percentage of publications judged ‘world-leading’ in the sector. This is a great achievement for the Department, for the College of Science and indeed for Swansea University.
Life Sciences is one of the strategic research fields at the University of Helsinki. The multidisciplinary Master’s Programme in Life Science Informatics (LSI) integrates research excellence and research infrastructures in the Helsinki Institute of Life Sciences (HiLIFE).
The Master's Programme is offered by the Faculty of Science. Teaching is offered in co-operation with the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences. As a student, you will gain access to active research communities on three campuses: Kumpula, Viikki, and Meilahti. The unique combination of study opportunities tailored from the offering of the three campuses provides an attractive educational profile. The LSI programme is designed for students with a background in mathematics, computer science and statistics, as well as for students with these disciplines as a minor in their bachelor’s degree, with their major being, for example, ecology, evolutionary biology or genetics. As a graduate of the LSI programme you will:
Further information about the studies on the Master's programme website.
The Life Science Informatics Master’s Programme has six specialisation areas, each anchored in its own research group or groups.
Algorithmic bioinformatics with the Genome-scale algorithmics, Combinatorial Pattern Matching, and Practical Algorithms and Data Structures on Strings research groups. This specialisation area educates you to be an algorithm expert who can turn biological questions into appropriate challenges for computational data analysis. In addition to the tailored algorithm studies for analysing molecular biology measurement data, the curriculum includes general algorithm and machine learning studies offered by the Master's Programmes in Computer Science and Data Science.
Applied bioinformatics, jointly with The Institute of Biotechnology and genetics.Bioinformatics has become an integral part of biological research, where innovative computational approaches are often required to achieve high-impact findings in an increasingly data-dense environment. Studies in applied bioinformatics prepare you for a post as a bioinformatics expert in a genomics research lab, working with processing, analysing and interpreting Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) data, and working with integrated analysis of genomic and other biological data, and population genetics.
Biomathematics with the Biomathematics research group, focusing on mathematical modelling and analysis of biological phenomena and processes. The research covers a wide spectrum of topics ranging from problems at the molecular level to the structure of populations. To tackle these problems, the research group uses a variety of modelling approaches, most importantly ordinary and partial differential equations, integral equations and stochastic processes. A successful analysis of the models requires the study of pure research in, for instance, the theory of infinite dimensional dynamical systems; such research is also carried out by the group.
Biostatistics and bioinformatics is offered jointly by the statistics curriculum, the Master´s Programme in Mathematics and Statistics and the research groups Statistical and Translational Genetics, Computational Genomics and Computational Systems Medicine in FIMM. Topics and themes include statistical, especially Bayesian methodologies for the life sciences, with research focusing on modelling and analysis of biological phenomena and processes. The research covers a wide spectrum of collaborative topics in various biomedical disciplines. In particular, research and teaching address questions of population genetics, phylogenetic inference, genome-wide association studies and epidemiology of complex diseases.
Eco-evolutionary Informatics with ecology and evolutionary biology, in which several researchers and teachers have a background in mathematics, statistics and computer science. Ecology studies the distribution and abundance of species, and their interactions with other species and the environment. Evolutionary biology studies processes supporting biodiversity on different levels from genes to populations and ecosystems. These sciences have a key role in responding to global environmental challenges. Mathematical and statistical modelling, computer science and bioinformatics have an important role in research and teaching.
Systems biology and medicine with the Genome-scale Biology Research Program in Biomedicum. The focus is to understand and find effective means to overcome drug resistance in cancers. The approach is to use systems biology, i.e., integration of large and complex molecular and clinical data (big data) from cancer patients with computational methods and wet lab experiments, to identify efficient patient-specific therapeutic targets. Particular interest is focused on developing and applying machine learning based methods that enable integration of various types of molecular data (DNA, RNA, proteomics, etc.) to clinical information.
This innovative programme offers students the opportunity to examine processes of governance and policy-making at a variety of levels, from global to local, utilise ideas about governance to better understand contemporary policy processes in a range of settings, while also gaining rigorous research methods training. Students can explore these issues of governance and policy in a cross-disciplinary way, making use of insights from politics, international relations, social policy, sociology, demography, gerontology and social statistics. This programme is specifically structured to enable students to shape their degree around their own particular interests in the fields of governance and policy more broadly, and will appeal to those not only from a social science background, but also to those with relevant work experience in the public, private and third sectors and beyond who wish to expand their skills and knowledge portfolio. In addition, it delivers extensive research training particularly suited to those who wish to pursue PhD study or a career where skills in research methodology may be of relevance. This programme is accredited by the ESRC.
Enhance your understanding of modern governance and the operation of policymaking processes while also developing highly valued skills across a range of research methods. The MSc Governance and Policy (Research) degree at the University of Southampton enables you to develop your interests in the complexities of governance and the challenges of policymaking and public policy delivery, as well as cultivating your abilities in quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, research design, and independent thinking skills.
This rigorous programme of study, and the specific research skills it seeks to develop, means that graduates are well placed for careers not just across a broad range of local, national and international political and policy organizations, but also in areas where independent research skills are at a premium. It is also ideal for those aiming for PhD research in this field.
This programme is designed both to equip students to undertake independent research across the social sciences, with specific reference to the fields of governance and policy, and to develop in-depth research methods skills that are of relevance to a broad range of careers in the public and private sector. The cross-disciplinary nature of the programme enables students to build their own degree according to their own particular interests and preferences within the broad areas of governance and policy, drawing on the diverse range of relevant modules taught across the disciplines of politics and international relations, sociology, social policy, social statistics, demography and gerontology. The core module of the programme, Governance and Policy, also enables students to develop their policy skills by preparing a policy briefing as part of their assessment, a task designed to enable students to use the knowledge and conceptual insights gained to outline ways to solve ‘real world’ policy problems, thus delivering key skills prized by employers.
All of our MSc programmes endeavour to develop your subject-specific knowledge and understanding, and provide opportunities for you to shape your own degree trajectory through optional module selection. In addition, all our MSc programmes aim to help you gain:
In addition to the credit-bearing modules you will take as part of your chosen programme, all MSc students participate in our bespoke training workshops, led by the MSc Coordinator, and specifically designed to help you get the best grades you can on during your masters study with us:
MSc Coursework Workshop (Semester 1)
This workshop explains the expectations and demands of coursework in our masters programmes, delineates the critical thinking, research and writing skills required, outlines the processes associated with literature reviews and coursework planning, and the rules about academic integrity. The workshop is designed to give practical support to students as they approach their coursework tasks, help UK/EU students understand the specific expectations we have at masters level, and help overseas students unfamiliar with higher education in this country get a better sense of what is expected.
MSc Dissertation Workshop (Semester 2)
This workshop helps students begin the process of thinking about and planning for their MSc dissertation. It provides guidance on topic selection, generation of research questions, aims of the literature review, the role of primary research, dissertation structure, writing advice, and the role of the supervisor. The workshop also offers practical advice from academics about how to produce an original piece of work, the role of depth over breadth, and how to craft convincing arguments.