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This is a full-time research-based postgraduate degree, run jointly by Imperial College London and the Natural History Museum, London. Read more
This is a full-time research-based postgraduate degree, run jointly by Imperial College London and the Natural History Museum, London.

OPEN DAY

visit the course pages for more information about the next Open Day at NHM on Wednesday 29 March 2017.

OUTLINE

Taxonomy and systematics provide the foundation for studying the great diversity of the living world. These fields are rapidly changing through new digital and molecular technologies. There is ever greater urgency for species identification and monitoring in virtually all the environmental sciences, and evolutionary ‘tree thinking’ is now applied widely in most areas of the life sciences. These courses provide in-depth training in the study of biodiversity based on the principles of phylogenetics, evolutionary biology, palaeobiology and taxonomy. The emphasis is on quantitative approaches and current methods in DNA-based phylogenetics, bioinformatics, and the use of digital collections.

LOCATION

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

[[SYLLABUS ]]
The MRes in Biosystematics features hands-on research projects that cover the main methodological approaches of modern biosystematics. After 6 weeks of general skills training, students will ‘rotate’ through three research groups each conducting a separate 14-week project in specimen-based phylogenetics, molecular systematics/genomics, and bioinformatics. The projects may be of the student’s own design. Students attend small group tutorials, lab meetings and research seminars.

TRANSFERABLE SKILLS]

The GSLSM (Graduate School of Life Sciences and Medicine) at Imperial College London provides regular workshops covering a wide range of transferable skills, and MRes students are encouraged to undertake at least four during the year. Topics include: Applied Writing Skills, Creativity and Ideas Generation, Writing for Publication, Introduction to Regression Modelling, Introduction to Statistical Thinking.

RECENT PROJECTS

MORPHOLOGICAL

The Natural History Museum’s Dorothea Bate Collection of dwarfed deer from Crete: adaptation and proportional size reduction in comparison with larger mainland species
Cambrian lobopodians and their position as stem-group taxa
Atlas of the Caecilian World: A Geometric Morphometric perspective
Tooth crown morphology in Caecilian amphibians
Morphometrics of centipede fangs: untapping a possible new source of character data for the Scolopendromorpha
Phylogeny of the Plusiinae (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae): Exploring conflict between larvae and adults
A comparison between species delineation based on DNA sequences and genital morphometrics in beetles (Coleoptera)

MOLECULAR

Geographical distribution of endemic scavenger water beetles (Hydrophilidae) on the island of Madagascar based on DNA sequence data
Cryptic diversity within Limacina retroversa and Heliconoides inflate
Phylogenetics of pteropods of the Southern Oceans
Molecular discrimination of the European Mesocestoides species complex
A molecular phylogeny of the monkey beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Hopliini)
The molecular evolution of the mimetic switch locus, H, in the Mocker Swallowtail Papilio dardanus Brown, 1776
Phylogenetic and functional diversity of the Sargasso Sea Metagenome

BIOINFORMATICS

A study into the relation between body size and environmental variables in South African Lizards
Cryptic diversity and the effect of alignment parameters on tree topology in the foraminifera
Delimiting evolutionary taxonomic units within the bacteria: 16S rRNA and the GMYC model
Testing the molecular clock hypothesis and estimating divergence times for the order Coleoptera
Taxon Sampling: A Comparison of Two Approaches
Investigating species concepts in bacteria: Fitting Campylobacter and Streptococcus MLST profiles to an infinite alleles model to test population structure
Assessing the mitochondrial molecular clock: the effect of data partitioning, taxon sampling and model selection

ON COMPLETION OF THE COURSE, THE STUDENTS WILL HAVE:

• a good understanding of the state of knowledge of the field, together with relevant practical experience, in three areas of biosystematic science in which he or she has expressed an interest;
• where applicable, the ability to contribute to the formulation and development of ideas underpinning potential PhD projects in areas of interest, and to make an informed decision on the choice of potential PhD projects;
• a broad appreciation of the scientific opportunities within the NHM and Imperial College;
• knowledge of a range of specific research techniques and professional and transferable skills.

FURTHER INFORMATION

Students are encouraged to view the NHM website for further information, and to contact the course administrator if they have any queries. Visits can be arranged to the NHM to meet the course organisers informally and to be given a tour of the facilities. Applications should be made online on the Imperial College London website.

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visit course pages for more information about the next Open Day at NHM on Wednesday 29 March 2017. Taxonomy and systematics provide the foundation for studying the great diversity of the living world. Read more

Open Day

visit course pages for more information about the next Open Day at NHM on Wednesday 29 March 2017.

Course Overview

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

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

Location

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

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

Modules

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

Post Study

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

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The revolution in genetic mapping technology and the advent of whole genome sequences has turned quantitative genetics into one of the fastest growing areas of biology. Read more

Programme description

The revolution in genetic mapping technology and the advent of whole genome sequences has turned quantitative genetics into one of the fastest growing areas of biology.

Quantitative Genetics & Genome Analysis is part of a suite of programmes offering specialist routes in Animal Breeding & Genetics, Evolutionary Genetics, or Human Complex Trait Genetics.

Based in the internationally renowned Institute of Evolutionary Biology, this MSc draws from the wealth of expertise available there, as well as the teaching, research expertise and facilities of Scotland’s Rural College, the University’s Centre for Molecular Medicine, the Medical Research Council’s Human Genetics Unit and the Roslin Institute (birthplace of Dolly the sheep).

Each year the syllabus is fine-tuned to suit current issues in evolutionary, plant, human and animal genetics.

Applicants who wish to select their area of specialisation during the programme should apply for this umbrella programme. Applicants with a preferred programme option should apply via the following links:

Animal Breeding and Genetics
Evolutionary Genetics
Human Complex Trait Genetics

Programme structure

This programme consists of two semesters of taught courses followed by a research project, leading to a dissertation.

Compulsory courses:

Population and Quantitative Genetics
Genetic Interpretation
Statistics and Data Analysis
Linkage and Association in Genome Analysis
Research Proposal
Either Bioinformatics or Molecular Phylogenetics

Option courses (selected according to degree specialisation):

Quantitative Genetic Models
Molecular Evolution
Genetics of Human Complex Traits
Animal Genetic Improvement
Evolution and Climate Change
Functional Genomic Technologies

Career opportunities

You will develop the in-depth knowledge and specialised skills required to apply quantitative genetics theory to practical problems, in both the biomedical and animal science industries, and to undertake research in evolutionary genetics, population genetics and genome analysis.

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Population genetics studies the genetic variation that exists in wild populations, and the forces, such as selection, mutation and genetic drift, that shape this variation. Read more
Population genetics studies the genetic variation that exists in wild populations, and the forces, such as selection, mutation and genetic drift, that shape this variation. Particular interests in the School involve the molecular genetic variation of humans, and variation in wild populations of molluscs, foraminiferans and Drosophila. Projects may include studies on molecular evolution and phylogenetics using computer analysis of DNA and protein sequences; the genetic changes that are associated with speciation; evolution of transposable elements; and the population genetics of genome structure.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES
After identifying which Masters you wish to pursue please complete an on-line application form
https://pgapps.nottingham.ac.uk/
Mark clearly on this form your choice of course title, give a brief outline of your proposed research and follow the automated prompts to provide documentation. Once the School has your application and accompanying documents (eg referees reports, transcripts/certificates) your application will be matched to an appropriate academic supervisor and considered for an offer of admission.

COURSE STRUCTURE
The MRes degree course consists of two elements:
160 credits of assessed work. The assessed work will normally be based entirely on a research project and will be the equivalent of around 10 ½ months full-time research work. AND
20 credits of non-assessed generic training. Credits can be accumulated from any of the courses offered by the Graduate School. http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/gradschool/research-training/index.phtml The generic courses should be chosen by the student in consultation with the supervisor(s).

ASSESSMENT
The research project will normally be assessed by a dissertation of a maximum of 30,000 to 35,000 words, or equivalent as appropriate*. The examiners may if they so wish require the student to attend a viva.
*In consultation with the supervisor it maybe possible for students to elect to do a shorter research project and take a maximum of 40 credits of assessed modules.

The School of Life Sciences will provide each postgraduate research student with a laptop for their exclusive use for the duration of their studies in the School.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/studywithus/international-applicants/scholarships-fees-and-finance/scholarships/masters-scholarships.aspx

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Bioinformatics is about the application of computer-based approaches to understanding biological processes. Our programme will introduce you to the current methods used to interpret the vast amounts of data generated by modern high-throughput technologies. Read more

Programme description

Bioinformatics is about the application of computer-based approaches to understanding biological processes. Our programme will introduce you to the current methods used to interpret the vast amounts of data generated by modern high-throughput technologies.

The aim of this MSc is to equip you with a strong background in biology, plus the computing skills and knowledge necessary to navigate the vast wealth of modern biological data. On completing this programme you will be able to take up PhD studies or bioinformatics posts in academia or in industry.

The programme covers programming skills, statistical analysis and database science as well as bioinformatics. Option courses allow you to specialise in several aspects of bioinformatics.

Programme structure

The MSc comprises two semesters of taught courses followed by a research project and dissertation. The project is a key element in deciding how your career in bioinformatics should develop further. Teaching is through lectures, tutorials, seminars, computer practicals and lab demonstrations.

Compulsory courses:

Bioinformatics Programming & System Management
Bioinformatics Research Proposal
MSc Dissertation (Bioinformatics)
Statistics & Data Analysis

Optional courses:

Bioinformatics 1
Human–Computer Interaction
Information Processing in Biological Cells
Molecular Modelling and Database Mining
Quantitating Drug Binding
Text Technologies
Bioinformatics Algorithms
Bioinformatics 2
Computational Systems Biology
Data Mining and Exploration
Functional Genomic Technologies
Introduction to Website and Database Design for Drug Discovery
Molecular Phylogenetics
Next Generation Genomics
Software Architecture, Process, and Management
Drug Discovery
Introduction to Java Programming

Research:
The research project is carried out independently, but under the guidance of a supervisor, during the summer, with results presented in a dissertation. A wide range of projects is available through both the School of Biological Sciences and the School of Informatics.

Career opportunities

The programme is good preparation for further academic research or for technical or managerial roles in various commercial sectors, from medical electronics to defence.

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The understanding of plant diversity and resources has never been more important. As we face the unprecedented challenges of climate change and environmental degradation, effective environmental surveillance and conservation depend upon detailed knowledge of plants and their habitats. Read more

Programme description

The understanding of plant diversity and resources has never been more important. As we face the unprecedented challenges of climate change and environmental degradation, effective environmental surveillance and conservation depend upon detailed knowledge of plants and their habitats.

This programme is run jointly by the University and the world-renowned Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE).

This programme is run jointly by the University and the world-renowned Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE). The RBGE is home to one of the world’s best living collections of plants (15,000 species across four sites, amounting to five per cent of known world species), a herbarium of three million preserved specimens and one of the UK’s most comprehensive botanical libraries.

RBGE offers collections-based biodiversity research opportunities across a wide spectrum of organisms and geographical regions. This diversity, coupled with the RBGE’s world-leading research in different continents, provides an unrivalled masters programme in plant biodiversity.

Programme structure

This programme is full time and consists of two semesters of lectures, practicals, workshops and investigations, followed by a four-month research project. The programme includes a two-week field course in a tropical country (recently Belize).

The programme is delivered mainly at RBGE but also at the University’s King’s Buildings campus.

There are no option elements to the programme – all courses are compulsory.

Courses
Conservation and Sustainability
Taxonomy and Plant Collections
Biodiversity of Angiosperms
Evolution of Cryptogams and Fungi
Evolution of Angiosperms
Plant Geography
Phylogenetics and Population Genetics
Biodiversity of Cryptogams and Fungi

Research:
Your research project will be chosen in consultation with your supervisor, and will link directly with active research programmes at RBGE or other research institutions.

The field trip, together with training and a short practical exam, qualifies you for the RBGE Certificate in Practical Field Botany.

Career opportunities

The programme is good preparation for roles in taxonomy, while many graduates have also continued to PhD studies. Past students have entered a wide variety of jobs at research institutions, conservation agencies and elsewhere.

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This course, which uniquely combines forensic genetic and conservation genetic elements within one of the largest forensic science academic departments in the world, runs in conjunction with other well established and popular MSc courses. Read more
This course, which uniquely combines forensic genetic and conservation genetic elements within one of the largest forensic science academic departments in the world, runs in conjunction with other well established and popular MSc courses. Students will learn the fundamentals of molecular genetics, population genetics and phylogenetics that underpin the disciplines of forensic and conservation genetics and develop both theoretical knowledge and practical application.

Small cohort sizes will allow the use of a diverse range of assessments and the provision of considerable student support. Teaching will be carried out using a combination of lectures, tutorials, practicals, computer workshops and self-directed study. In addition to six taught modules, students will undertake a three-module research project which will develop laboratory and research skills. Depending on availability, students may also have an opportunity to visit and gain field experience at the Maasai Centre for Field Studies in Kenya.

LEARNING ENVIRONMENT AND ASSESSMENT

The forensic genetics group has dedicated pre and post-PCR laboratories housing an ABI3500, two ABI310 machines, an ABI7500 real-time PCR machine, a number of ABI2700 PCR machines, gel imaging systems, and several PCR cabinets. MSc students will carry out laboratory-based dissertation research projects within these well equipped modern laboratories. Research topics within the group are diverse, ranging from forensic genetics and human genetics, to wildlife forensics and forensic entomology. This will ensure that a wide choice of dissertation topics is available to our students. We also have a number of full-time and part-time MRes/MPhil/PhD students and an interest in research is actively encouraged and maintained throughout the year via seminars/ discussions.

The course will be delivered through lectures, tutorials, computer workshops, and practical classes, working independently or as part of a group. At least an equal amount of time should be spent in private study reading around the subject. Guided teaching and formal assessments on this course will enhance the development of a number of transferable skills such as the production of written case reports, formal presentations, active participation in discussions, ability to work to deadlines, computing skills, scientific analysis, adherence and development of laboratory protocols, and research methods.

Assessment is predominantly through coursework except for one module which is assessed by both examination and coursework. Coursework will include written essays, laboratory reports, case reports, presentations and in Part 3, a dissertation.

OPPORTUNITIES

Students graduating from this course will be well placed to undertake further research at the doctoral level or take up jobs in forensic/genetics/veterinary/diagnostic/wildlife protection laboratories.

Two of our graduates have taken on jobs as DNA analysts while a others have gone on to undertake further degrees or research towards a MPhil/PhD.

Depending on availability, students may have an opportunity to visit and gain field experience at the Maasai Centre for Field Studies in Kenya.

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The MSc in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at UCC is a one-year taught masters course commencing in September. Bioinformatics is a fast-growing field at the intersection of biology, mathematics and computer science. Read more
The MSc in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at UCC is a one-year taught masters course commencing in September. Bioinformatics is a fast-growing field at the intersection of biology, mathematics and computer science. It seeks to create, advance and apply computer/software-based solutions to solve formal and practical problems arising from the management and analysis of very large biological data sets. Applications include genome sequence analysis such as the human genome, the human microbiome, analysis of genetic variation within populations and analysis of gene expression patterns.

As part of the MSc course, you will carry out a three month research project in a research group in UCC or in an external university, research institute or industry. The programming and data handling skills that you will develop, along with your exposure to an interdisciplinary research environment, will be very attractive to employers. Graduates from the MSc will have a variety of career options including working in a research group in a university or research institute, industrial research, or pursuing a PhD.

Visit the website: http://www.ucc.ie/en/ckr33/

Course Detail

This MSc course will provide theoretical education along with practical training to students who already have a BSc in a biological/life science, computer science, mathematics, statistics, engineering or a related degree.

The course has four different streams for biology, mathematics, statistics and computer science graduates. Graduates of related disciplines, such as engineering, physics, medicine, will be enrolled in the most appropriate stream. This allows graduates from different backgrounds to increase their knowledge and skills in areas in which they have not previously studied, with particular emphasis on hands-on expertise relevant to bioinformatics:

- Data analysis: basic statistical concepts, probability, multivariate analysis methods
- Programming/computing: hands-on Linux skills, basic computing skills and databases, computer system organisation, analysis of simple data structures and algorithms, programming concepts and practice, web applications programming
- Bioinformatics: homology searches, sequence alignment, motifs, phylogenetics, protein folding and structure prediction
- Systems biology: genome sequencing projects and genome analysis, functional genomics, metabolome modelling, regulatory networks, interactome, enzymes and pathways
- Mathematical modelling and simulation: use of discrete mathematics for bioinformatics such as graphs and trees, simulation of biosystems
- Research skills: individual research project, involving a placement within the university or in external research institutes, universities or industry.

Format

Full-time students must complete 12 taught modules and undertake a research project. Part-time students complete about six taught modules in each academic year and undertake the project in the second academic year. Each taught module consists of approximately 20 one-hour lectures (roughly two lectures per week over one academic term), as well as approximately 10 hours of practicals or tutorials (roughly one one-hour practical or tutorial per week over one academic term), although the exact amount of lectures, practicals and tutorials varies between individual modules.

Assessment

There are exams for most of the taught modules in May of each of the two academic years, while certain modules may also have a continuous assessment element. The research project starts in June and finishes towards the end of September. Part-time students will carry out their research project during the summer of their second academic year.

Careers

Graduates of this course offer a unique set of interdisciplinary skills making them highly attractive to employers at universities, research centres and in industry. Many research institutes have dedicated bioinformatics groups, while many 'wet biology' research groups employ bioinformaticians to help with data analyses and other bioinformatics problems. Industries employing bioinformaticians include the pharmaceutical industry, agricultural and biotechnology companies. For biology graduates returning to 'wet lab' biology after completing the MSc course, your newly acquired skills will be extremely useful. Non-biology graduates seeking non-biology positions will also find that having acquired interdisciplinary skills is of great benefit in getting a job.

How to apply: http://www.ucc.ie/en/study/postgrad/how/

Funding and Scholarships

Information regarding funding and available scholarships can be found here: https://www.ucc.ie/en/cblgradschool/current/fundingandfinance/fundingscholarships/

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

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

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

Programme structure

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

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

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

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

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

Careers

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

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

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

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We offer an opportunity to train in one of the newest areas of biology. the application of engineering principles to the understanding and design of biological networks. Read more

Programme description

We offer an opportunity to train in one of the newest areas of biology: the application of engineering principles to the understanding and design of biological networks. This new approach promises solutions to some of today’s most pressing challenges in environmental protection, human health and energy production.

This MSc will provide you with a thorough knowledge of the primary design principles and biotechnology tools being developed in systems and synthetic biology, ranging from understanding genome-wide data to designing and synthesising BioBricks.

You will learn quantitative methods of modelling and data analysis to inform and design new hypotheses based on experimental data. The University’s new centre, SynthSys, is a hub for world-leading research in both systems and synthetic biology.

Programme structure

The programme consists of two semesters of taught courses followed by a research project and dissertation, which can be either modelling-based or laboratory-based.

Compulsory courses:

Applications of Synthetic Biology
Dissertation project
Information Processing in Biological Cells
Practical Systems Biology
Social Dimensions of Systems and Synthetic Biology
Tools for Synthetic Biology

Option courses:

Biobusiness
Biochemistry
Bioinformatics Algorithms
Bioinformatics Programming & System Management
Biological Physics
Computational Cognitive Neuroscience
Drug Discovery
Economics & Innovation in the Biotechnology Industry
Environmental Gene Mining & Metagenomics
Functional Genomic Technologies
Gene Expression & Microbial Regulation
Industry & Entrepreneurship in Biotechnology
Introduction to Scientific Programming
Molecular Phylogenetics
Neural Computation
Next Generation Genomics
Practical Skills in Biochemistry
Probabilistic Modelling and Reasoning
Statistics and Data Analysis
Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine

Career opportunities

The programme is designed to give you a good basis for managerial or technical roles in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. It will also prepare you for entry into a PhD programme.

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The revolution in genetic mapping technology and the advent of whole genome sequences have turned quantitative genetics into one of the fastest growing areas of biology. Read more

Programme description

The revolution in genetic mapping technology and the advent of whole genome sequences have turned quantitative genetics into one of the fastest growing areas of biology.

Based in the internationally renowned Institute of Evolutionary Biology, this MSc draws from the wealth of expertise available there, as well as the teaching, research expertise and facilities of Scotland’s Rural College, the University’s Centre for Genomics and Experimental Medicine, the Medical Research Council’s Human Genetics Unit and the Roslin Institute (birthplace of Dolly the sheep).

Each year the syllabus is fine-tuned to suit current issues in evolutionary, plant, human and animal genetics. This programme forms part of the quantitative genetics and genome analysis suite of programmes offering three specialist routes, which also include Human Complex Trait Genetics and Evolutionary Genetics.

Programme structure

This programme consists of two semesters of taught courses followed by a research project, leading to a dissertation.

Courses are taught via lectures, tutorials, seminars and computer practicals. Assessment is by written examinations, in-course assignments and project work.

Compulsory courses:

Population and Quantitative Genetics
Genetic Interpretation
Linkage and Association in Genome Analysis
Animal Genetic Improvement
Research Proposal
Dissertation

Option courses:

Statistics and Data Analysis
Molecular Phylogenetics
Bioinformatics
Molecular Evolution
Genetics of Human Complex Traits
Quantitative
Genetic Models
Functional Genomic Technologies
Evolution and
Climate Change; Animal Genetic Improvement
Evolutionary Quantitative Genetics

Learning outcomes

An understanding of general concepts in population and quantitative genetics and genomics
A solid grounding in the statistical methods required
In-depth knowledge of animal improvement and complex trait analysis
Development of independent research skills through individual mini- and maxi-research projects
Development of generic skills (IT skills, experience in writing scientific papers, the ability to work independently)
Presentation skills through student seminars, scientific presentation of project work and independent research projects.

Career opportunities

You will develop the in-depth knowledge and specialised skills required to apply quantitative genetics theory to practical problems, in both the biomedical and animal science industries, and to undertake research in evolutionary genetics, population genetics and genome analysis.

Read less
The revolution in genetic mapping technology and the advent of whole genome sequences have turned quantitative genetics into one of the fastest growing areas of biology. Read more

Programme description

The revolution in genetic mapping technology and the advent of whole genome sequences have turned quantitative genetics into one of the fastest growing areas of biology.

Based in the internationally renowned Institute of Evolutionary Biology, this MSc draws from the wealth of expertise available there, as well as the teaching, research expertise and facilities of Scotland’s Rural College, the University’s Centre for Molecular Medicine, the Medical Research Council’s Human Genetics Unit and the Roslin Institute (birthplace of Dolly the sheep).

Each year the syllabus is fine-tuned to suit current issues in evolutionary, plant, human and animal genetics.

This programme forms part of the quantitative genetics and genome analysis suite of programmes offering specialist routes, which also include Animal Breeding & Genetics and Human Complex Trait Genetics.

Programme structure

This programme consists of two semesters of taught courses followed by a research project, leading to a dissertation.

Courses are taught via lectures, tutorials, seminars and computer practicals. Assessment is by written examinations, in-course assignments and project work.

Compulsory courses:

Population and Quantitative Genetics
Genetic Interpretation
Linkage and Association in Genome Analysis
Research Proposal
Dissertation

Option courses:

Statistics and Data Analysis Molecular Phylogenetics Bioinformatics Molecular Evolution Genetics of Human Complex Traits Quantitative Genetic Models Functional Genomic Technologies Evolution and Climate Change Animal Genetic Improvement Evolutionary Quantitative Genetics

Learning outcomes

You will gain the knowledge and skills required to apply quantitative genetics theory to undertake research in evolutionary and quantitative genetics, population genetics and evolutionary genomics.

A thorough understanding of general concepts in population and quantitative genetics and genomics
In-depth knowledge of evolutionary genetics
A solid grounding in the statistical methods required for quantitative biology
Development of independent research skills through individual mini- and maxi-research projects
Development of generic skills (IT skills, experience in writing scientific papers, the ability to work independently)
Presentation skills through student seminars, scientific presentation of project work and independent research projects.

Career opportunities

You will develop the in-depth knowledge and specialised skills required to apply quantitative genetics theory to practical problems, in both the biomedical and animal science industries, and to undertake research in evolutionary genetics, population genetics and genome analysis.

Read less
The revolution in genetic mapping technology and the advent of whole genome sequences have turned quantitative genetics into one of the fastest growing areas of biology. Read more

Programme description

The revolution in genetic mapping technology and the advent of whole genome sequences have turned quantitative genetics into one of the fastest growing areas of biology.

Based in the internationally renowned Institute of Evolutionary Biology, this MSc draws from the wealth of expertise available there, as well as the teaching, research expertise and facilities of Scotland’s Rural College, the University’s Centre for Molecular Medicine, the Medical Research Council’s Human Genetics Unit and the Roslin Institute (birthplace of Dolly the sheep).

Each year the syllabus is fine-tuned to suit current issues in evolutionary, plant, human and animal genetics.

This programme forms part of the quantitative genetics and genome analysis suite of programmes offering specialist routes, which include Animal Breeding & Genetics and Evolutionary Genetics.

Programme structure

This programme consists of two semesters of taught courses followed by a research project, leading to a dissertation.

Courses are taught via lectures, tutorials, seminars and computer practicals. Assessment is by written examinations, in-course assignments and project work.

Compulsory courses:

Population and Quantitative Genetics
Genetic Interpretation
Linkage and Association in Genome Analysis
Genetics of Human Complex Traits
Dissertation.

Option courses:

Statistics and Data Analysis
Molecular Phylogenetics
Bioinformatics
Molecular Evolution
Quantitative Genetic Models
Functional Genomic Technologies
Evolution and Climate Change
Animal Genetic Improvement
Evolutionary Quantitative Genetics

Learning outcomes

You will gain the knowledge and skills required to apply quantitative genetics theory to practical problems in the biomedical industry, and to undertake research in quantitative and population genetics and genome analysis.

A thorough understanding of general concepts in population and quantitative genetics and genomics
In-depth knowledge of complex trait genetics in humans
A solid grounding in the statistical methods required for quantitative biology
Development of independent research skills through individual mini- and maxi-research projects
Development of generic skills (IT skills, experience in writing scientific papers, the ability to work independently)
Presentation skills through student seminars, scientific presentation of project work and independent research projects.

Career opportunities

You will develop the in-depth knowledge and specialised skills required to apply quantitative genetics theory to practical problems, in both the biomedical and animal science industries, and to undertake research in evolutionary genetics, population genetics and genome analysis.

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Researchers in the School of Biological Sciences conduct cutting-edge research across a broad range of biological disciplines. genomics, biotechnology, cell biology, sensory biology, animal behaviour and evolution, population biology, host-disease interactions and ecosystem services, to name but a few. Read more
Researchers in the School of Biological Sciences conduct cutting-edge research across a broad range of biological disciplines: genomics, biotechnology, cell biology, sensory biology, animal behaviour and evolution, population biology, host-disease interactions and ecosystem services, to name but a few.

In 2014 the school relocated to a new £54 million, state-of-the-art Life Sciences building. Our new laboratory facilities are among the best in the world, with critical '-omics' technologies and associated computing capacity (bioinformatics) a core component. The new building is designed to foster our already strong collaborative and convivial environment, and includes a world-leading centre for evolutionary biology research in collaboration with key researchers from earth sciences, biochemistry, social medicine, chemistry and computer sciences. The school has strong links with local industry, including BBC Bristol, Bristol Zoo and the Botanic Gardens. We have a lively, international postgraduate community of about 150 research students. Our stimulating environment and excellent graduate school training and support provide excellent opportunities to develop future careers.

Research groups

The underlying theme of our research is the search for an understanding of the function, evolution, development and regulation of complex systems, pursued using the latest technologies, from '-omics' to nanoscience, and mathematical modelling tools. Our research is organised around four main themes that reflect our strengths and interests: evolutionary biology; animal behaviour and sensory biology; plant and agricultural sciences; and ecology and environmental change.

Evolutionary Biology
The theme of evolutionary biology runs through all our research in the School of Biological Sciences. Research in this theme seeks to understand organismal evolution and biodiversity using a range of approaches and study systems. We have particular strengths in evolutionary genomics, phylogenetics and phylogenomics, population genetics, and evolutionary theory and computer modelling.

Animal Behaviour and Sensory Biology
Research is aimed at understanding the adaptive significance of behaviour, from underlying neural mechanisms ('how', or proximate, questions) to evolutionary explanations of function ('why', or ultimate, questions). The approach is strongly interdisciplinary, using diverse physiological and biomechanical techniques, behavioural experiments, computer modelling and molecular biology to link from the genetic foundations through to the evolution of behaviour and sensory systems.

Plant and Agricultural Sciences
The global issue of food security unifies research in this theme, which ranges from molecular-based analysis of plant development, signal transduction and disease, to ecological studies of agricultural and livestock production systems. We have particular strengths in functional genomics, bioinformatics, plant developmental biology, plant pathology and parasite biology, livestock parasitology and agricultural systems biology. Our research is helped by the LESARS endowment, which funds research of agricultural relevance.

Ecology and Environmental Change
Research seeks to understand ecological relations between organisms (plant, animal or microbe) at individual, population and community levels, as well as between organisms and their environments. Assessing the effect of climate change on these ecological processes is also fundamental to our research. Key research areas within this theme include community ecology, restoration ecology, conservation, evolutionary responses to climate change and freshwater ecology. Our research has many applied angles, such as ecosystem management, wildlife conservation, environmental and biological control, agricultural practice and informing policy.

Careers

Many postgraduate students choose a higher degree because they enjoy their subject and subsequently go on to work in a related area. An Office of Science and Technology survey found that around three-quarters of BBSRC- and NERC-funded postgraduates went on to a job related to their study subject.

Postgraduate study is often a requirement for becoming a researcher, scientist, academic journal editor and for work in some public bodies or private companies. Around 60 per cent of biological sciences doctoral graduates continue in research. Academic research tends to be contract-based with few permanent posts, but the school has a strong track record in supporting the careers of young researchers by helping them to find postdoctoral positions or develop fellowship applications.

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Our MSc by Research in Life Sciences is a dedicated programme which is designed to enable students to further develop their research skills by focusing on a specialist project. Read more
Our MSc by Research in Life Sciences is a dedicated programme which is designed to enable students to further develop their research skills by focusing on a specialist project.

This course provides an opportunity for students from biological subjects to begin research in life sciences. Research may be conducted in a broad range of topics in biology and life sciences and as a researcher in the School, you will have the opportunity to collaborate with academics working on studies and projects.

The School undertakes research at molecular, cellular, organism and population levels in order to answer fundamental questions in molecular biology and biomedical science, forensic science and microbiology, animal and plant biology, and evolution and ecology.

Research Areas, Projects & Topics

Research is conducted within six substantial research groups. Scientists in Animal Behaviour, Cognition and Welfare explore the causes, functions and evolution of animal behaviour and the impact this has on animal welfare.

Those in Evolution and Ecology examine population dynamics and evolutionary processes at all levels of biological organisation. Researchers in Drug Design and Delivery focus on the application and efficacy of novel therapeutics, while academics working in Molecular Basis of Disease aim to understand disease at a molecular level in order to improve diagnosis and treatment.

Example Research Areas:
-Management of Native River Fish
-Forensic Analysis of Burnt Bones
-Public Perception of Dog Breed Types.

Example Research Projects:
-Peptide-guided drug delivery
-Cognitive phylogenetics in parrots
-Sexual selection dynamics in humans
-Protein Biochemistry with the development of cardiovascular disease
-Reconstruction of patterns of habitat colonisation using genetic methods.

How You Study

Due to the nature of postgraduate research programmes, the vast majority of your time will be spent in independent study and research. You will have meetings with your academic supervisor, however the regularity of these will vary depending on your own individual requirements, subject area, staff availability and the stage of your programme.

Facilities

Students have the chance to develop their professional and technical skills in specialist laboratories equipped for research in biomedical, forensic and pharmaceutical science, chemistry, microbiology, molecular biology and animal and plant biology.

Minster House, adjacent to the laboratories, provides specialist facilities for the study of animal behaviour. Our links with local, national and international partners may provide postgraduate students with opportunities for further collaboration with scientists in industry, government and academia.

Career and Personal Development

Postgraduate-level research provides you with the opportunity to advance your knowledge and develop your practical and intellectual skills. Graduates may pursue careers in research and science-related roles, while others may choose to move on to research at doctoral level.

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