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Masters Degrees (Plant Ecology)

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The Plant Sciences programme has been designed to help meet the worldwide demand for scientific expertise in the development of plant and crop production and farming systems. Read more

MSc Plant Sciences

The Plant Sciences programme has been designed to help meet the worldwide demand for scientific expertise in the development of plant and crop production and farming systems.

Programme summary

Plant Sciences deals with crop production ranging from plant breeding to the development of sustainable systems for the production of food, pharmaceuticals and renewable resources. It is linked with a professional sector that is highly important to the world economy. The programme focuses on the principles of plant breeding, agro-ecology and plant pathology and the integration of these disciplines to provide healthy plants for food and non-food applications. Technological aspects of crop production are combined with environmental, quality, socio-economic and logistic aspects. Students learn to apply their knowledge to develop integrated approaches for sustainable plant production.

Specialisations

Crop Science
Sound knowledge of crop science is essential to develop appropriate cultivation methods for a reliable supply of safe, healthy food; while considering nature conservation and biodiversity. An integrated approach is crucial to studying plant production at various levels (plant, crop, farm, region). This requires a sound understanding of basic physical, chemical, and physiological aspects of crop growth. Modelling and simulation are used to analyse yield constraints and to improve production efficiency.

Greenhouse Horticulture
Greenhouse horticulture is a unique agro-system and a key economic sector in the Netherlands. It is the only system that allows significant control of (a-) biotic factors through protected cultivation. The advances in this field are based on technological innovations. This specialisation combines product quality with quality of production and focuses on production, quality- and chain management of vegetables, cut flowers and potted plants.

Natural Resource Management
The development of sustainable agro-ecosystems requires understanding of the complex relationships between soil health, cultivation practices and nutrient kinetics. Other important aspects include the interactions between agriculture and nature, and competing claims on productive land worldwide. Natural Resource Management provides knowledge and tools to understand the interactions between the biotic and abiotic factors in agro-systems to facilitate diverse agricultural demands: bulk vs. pharmaceutical products, food vs. biofuel, conservation of biodiversity, climate change, and eco-tourism.

Plant Breeding and Genetic Resources
Plant Breeding and Genetic Resources ranges from the molecular to the population level and requires knowledge of the physiology and genetics of cultivated plants. Plant breeding is crucial in the development of varieties that meet current demands regarding yield, disease resistance, quality and sustainable production. The use of molecular techniques adds to the rapid identification of genes for natural resistance and is essential for accelerating selection by marker assisted breeding.

Complete Online Master
In September 2015, Wageningen University started the specialisation "Plant Breeding" as the first complete online Master of Science. For more information go to http://www.wageningenuniversity.eu/onlinemaster.


Plant Pathology and Entomology
The investments made in crop production need to be protected from losses caused by biotic stress. Integrated pest management provides protection by integrating genetic resistance, cultivation practices and biological control. This specialisation focuses on the ecology of insects, nematodes and weeds, and the epidemiology of fungi and viruses, including transmission mechanisms. Knowledge of plantinsect, plant-pathogen, and crop-weed relations establishes the basis for studies in integrated pest management and resistance breeding.

Your future career

Graduates in Plant Sciences have excellent career prospects and most of them receive job offers before graduation. They are university-trained professionals who are able to contribute to the sustainable development of plant production at various integration levels based on their knowledge of fundamental and applied plant sciences and their interdisciplinary approach. Graduates with a research focus are employed at universities, research institutes and plant breeding or agribusiness companies. Other job opportunities are in management, policy, consultancy and communication in agribusiness and (non-) governmental organisations.

Alumnus Maarten Rouwet.
“I was born in Germany and raised in the East of the Netherlands. After high school I applied for the Bèta-gamma bachelor at the University of Amsterdam where I majored in biology. After visiting the master open day at Wageningen University I knew that the master Plant Sciences had something unique to offer. In my master, I specialised in plant breeding, an ever so interesting field of research. I just started my first job as junior biotech breeder of leavy vegetables at Enza Zaden, a breeding company in Enkhuizen. One of my responsibilities is to identify resistances in wild species of lettuce and to implement these in breeding programmes of cultivated lettuce.”

Related programmes:
MSc Biosystems Engineering
MSc Biotechnology
MSc Biology
MSc Forest and Nature Conservation
MSc Organic Agriculture
MSc Plant Biotechnology.

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The Plant Science Program offers degrees in fundamental and applied topics related to plant production, plant protection, biotechnology, plant physiology and biochemistry, and plant-environment interactions. Read more
The Plant Science Program offers degrees in fundamental and applied topics related to plant production, plant protection, biotechnology, plant physiology and biochemistry, and plant-environment interactions.

Specific areas of specialization include:
- Plant-microbe interaction, bacterial and fungal diseases, plant virology, biological control of pests and diseases, insect physiology, natural insecticides, insect ecology and behaviour, and weed biology, ecology and control;
- Seed physiology, plant nutrition, plant growth analysis, plant-plant interaction, biotic and abiotic stressor resistance, and environmental plant physiology;
- Vegetable culture, ornamental horticulture, plant breeding, and post-harvest physiology;
- Plant biochemistry, tissue culture, genetic engineering, and plant, fungal, and viral molecular genetics;
- Rangeland ecology, and wildlife habitat studies.

Quick Facts

- Degree: Master of Science
- Specialization: Plant Science
- Subject: Agriculture and Forestry
- Mode of delivery: On campus
- Program components: Coursework + Thesis required
- Faculty: Faculty of Land and Food Systems

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Food production has tripled in the last forty years, but one billion people still go hungry every year. On average 30% of all food produced is wasted in the pathway from ‘field to fork’. Read more

Programme description

Food production has tripled in the last forty years, but one billion people still go hungry every year. On average 30% of all food produced is wasted in the pathway from ‘field to fork’. With the global human population set to rise from seven to over nine billion by 2050, we urgently need sustainable solutions that will allow us to increase the global food supply while preserving the integrity of agricultural and non-agricultural ecosystems.

Our trees and forests face new plant health threats which in turn threaten areas of great natural beauty and diversity, and affect both rural and urban landscapes. Our unique MSc Sustainable Plant Health will give you the opportunity to develop your understanding of the vital role of plant health, applying your skills by conducting laboratory and field studies.

This programme is primarily aimed at graduates wishing to pursue a career in plant protection in agriculture, horticulture, forestry or urban settings, and also careers in policy development and implementation, plant health inspection, academic and industrial research, consultancy and conservation management, and private industry.

Programme structure

This 12 month programme involves two semesters of classes followed by an individual research project. Students will take 80 credits of compulsory courses, with the opportunity to choose two optional courses. Field trips will also form a crucial part of this course.

Compulsory courses typically will be*:

Fundamentals of Plant Health
Forensic Plant Health
Plant Health in a Global Context
Research Skills and Field Trip
Dissertation

Option courses may include* (select two):

Atmospheric Quality and Global Change
Ecosystem Services 1: Ecosystem Dynamics and Functions
Foundations in Ecological Economics
Frameworks to Assess Food Security
Human Dimensions of Environmental Change and Sustainability
Principles of Environmental Sustainability
Soil Ecology and Taxonomy
Soil Protection and Management
Applications in Ecological Economics
Case Studies in Sustainable Development
Ecosystem Services 2: Ecosystem Values and Management
Environmental Impact Assessment
Forests and Environment
Integrated Resource Planning
Interrelationships in Food Systems
Land Use/Environmental Interactions
Soil Science Concepts and Application
Sustainability of Food Production
Understanding Environment and Development

*Please note: courses are offered subject to timetabling and availability and are subject to change each year.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this course our graduates will have gained:
•Specialist knowledge and understanding of plant health, and its evaluation, impact and management
•Skills to detect and identify agents detrimental to plant health
•An understanding of the nature and diversity of plant health interactions
•The ability to develop strategies for plant health management taking into account their impact on agricultural and non-agricultural ecosystems
•Knowledge of the relevance of plant health to sustainability and food security
•Improved analytical skills and critical thinking

Career opportunities

Plant health scientists are employed in a range of vocations: environmental consultancy, research, overseas development, agriculture, horticulture, forestry, urban planning, policy development, plant inspection and management. Long term career prospects are strong as agricultural scientists will continue to be needed to balance increased output with protection and preservation of ecosystems.

Our graduates will gain particularly valuable skills due to our programme's unique approach looking at impacts across ecosystems. They also benefit from the applied nature of the course allowing them to use their practical skills in a range of field trip environments with expert supervision.

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The MRes in Ecology is a 1-year full time or 2-years part time degree with a larger component of research compared to MSc courses. Read more

Course Structure

The MRes in Ecology is a 1-year full time or 2-years part time degree with a larger component of research compared to MSc courses. Central to this MRes is the research project (100 credits), which provides you with the opportunity to undertake research at the forefront of the ecology discipline. The rest of the course is to support research development by taught theory based and skills modules. An MRes degree provides students with the opportunity to develop expertise in both ecological theory and research. The course is based in the School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences. Working with academic staff from the University’s Biogeography and Ecology Research Group, students have the opportunity to obtain experience in a wide range of modern research techniques relating to ecology. Drawing on the expertise of members within the research group, students are able to undertake a significant piece of ecological research on a wide range of biological taxa including; invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians, mammals and plants. With an emphasis placed on undertaking novel ecological research, this degree offers an excellent preparation for both further academic study and industry based careers.

Research Projects

Students can design their own projects under the supervision of one or more relevant members of academic staff from the Biogeography and Ecology Research Group. This process is driven by the knowledge that you will gain from undertaking the two compulsory taught modules (Research Methods and Ecological Principles; 20 credits each) and supplemented by your choice of optional modules (a total of 40 credits) which include: Advanced Ecology Field Skills, Molecular Ecology, Introduction to GIS, GIS in Environmental Applications, Water Quality Analysis, Work-in-progress Seminars, Introduction to Statistics using Excel and Minitab, Advanced Statistical Analysis.

Research themes of the group include:

Landscape ecology
Molecular ecology
Conservation biology
Carnivore ecology, conflict and conservation
Urban ecology
Plant-insect interactions and invertebrate ecology
Chalk grasslands ecology
Wetland ecology

For further details on recent and current research projects please see the Biogeography and Ecology Research group website: http://www.brighton.ac.uk/pharmacy/research/groups/biogeography_ecology.php

Potential applicants are encouraged to contact the University via the School postgraduate administrator to be then paired with an appropriate supervisor for discussion of potential project ideas and opportunities.

Bursaries available for 2014

Students considering applying for the MRes programme in this coming academic year (September 2014) also have the opportunity to undertake specific research projects on the following three topics. Each project will carry a bursary of £2000 towards course tuition fees. The bursary will not cover consumables costs, which will need to be discussed and agreed with the supervisor (maximum £1000).

1. Small fish monitoring in East Sussex coast - assessing the impact of anthropogenic actions on fish populations. Supervisor: Dr Corina Ciocan
2. Great Crested Newt in the South Downs National Park (own car required). Supervisor: Dr Inga Zeisset.
3. Testing a novel device for reducing domestic cat predation of UK garden birds. Supervisor: Dr Bryony Tolhurst.

For more information on these projects please contact the MRes course administrator, Claire Thompson, at: . Please ensure when you apply for the above projects, you indicate which one, or more, you wish to be considered for. Applications for bursaries require an application, recent CV and a cover letter to explain why you are applying for the project.

The deadline for applying for 2014 entry and bursary funded projects is 31 May 2014. The deadline for standard applications is 31 July 2014.

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This is an online Master specialisation within the MSc Plant Sciences. Read more

MSc Plant Breeding

This is an online Master specialisation within the MSc Plant Sciences

ONLINE OPEN DAY: 17 MARCH 2016

Would you like to know more about the Master programmes of Wageningen University, join us for the Master online open day on 17 March 2016! During the online open day you can meet the staff and students of the Master programmes, experience Wageningen University and check out the innovative campus. You can also ask your questions about application and admission, scholarships, the education system and much more, all online!

sign up now

http://www.wageningenuniversity.eu/masteronlineopenday

Online Master

The online master specialisation is designed for part-time study (approx. 20 hrs/week) to combine work and study or in the context of Life-Long-Learning. A course-programme of 2 years will be followed by a tailor-made internship and Master thesis. During the courses, you will closely collaborate with lecturers, tutors and fellow distance learning students on a virtual learning platform. The course programme includes two short stays of two weeks, each in Wageningen, for essential practicals that relate to the theory. There may be options to organise the academic internship and Master thesis in your own professional context, either parttime or full-time.

Programme summary

Plant Breeding plays an important role in the development of plant varieties for food, feed and industrial uses. New varieties have to meet current demands regarding yield, disease resistance, quality characteristics, salt or drought tolerance and suitability for sustainable plant production systems. Plant Breeding involves a variety of aspects, ranging from the molecular level to the population level and requires knowledge of the physiology, ecology and genetics of cultivated plants. The use of various molecular techniques contributes enormously to the rapid identification of genes for natural resistance and is essential for accelerating the selection process by marker-assisted breeding.

Your future career

Graduates of the Master Plant Sciences have excellent career prospects and most of them receive job offers before graduation. They are university-trained professionals who are able to contribute to the sustainable development of plant production at various integration levels based on their knowledge of fundamental and applied plant sciences and their interdisciplinary approach. Graduates with a research focus are employed at universities, research institutes and plant breeding or agribusiness companies. Other job opportunities are in management, policy, consultancy and communication in agribusiness and (non-) governmental organisations.

Student Timo Petter.
After 10 years of practical experience in Allium breeding, Timo subscribed to follow courses of the master Plant Breeding and Genetic Resources. His job at Bejo Zaden brought him to many countries where the breeding company has her trial fields, breeding stations and sales representatives. But as a crop research manager he started to feel the need to improve his knowledge of the theoretical side of his profession: “Although I have not finished my masters yet, I use the knowledge that I have gained from the various courses every day! For a plant breeder, I believe that this master is the best educational programme available in the Netherlands.”

Related on-campus programmes:
MSc Biosystems Engineering
MSc Biotechnology
MSc Biology
MSc Forest and Nature Conservation
MSc Organic Agriculture
MSc Plant Biotechnology

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The MRes in Animal and Plant Science is a full-time programme running over 12 months from the date of first registration for the programme. Read more
The MRes in Animal and Plant Science is a full-time programme running over 12 months from the date of first registration for the programme. Applications will be accepted for a start date in October or January. The programme consists of (a) a major research thesis and (b) taught modules on generic and transferable skills, with an emphasis on scientific writing, oral presentations, and general research skills. Part-time study for this programme is not available.

Prospective students must talk to their proposed supervisor about possible project areas (see below) and have a project approved by interview with the supervisor and Head of Discipline prior to application via http://www.pac.ie (PAC code: CKS81).

Visit the website: https://www.ucc.ie/en/bees/courses/postgrad/

Course detail

Students undertake a total workload equivalent to 90 credits over the 12 month programme, the principal element of which is the completion of a major research thesis of approximately 25,000 words. In parallel, students must take and pass taught modules to the value of 20 credits.

Modules

Students take 20 credits from the following available modules:

BL6010 Characteristics of the Marine Environment (5 credits)
BL6012 Marine Megafauna (10 credits)
BL6016 Marine Ecology and Conservation (10 credits)
BL6019 Ecological Applications of Geographical Information Systems (5 credits)
BL6020 Genetics and the Marine Environment (5 credits)
BL4004 Frontiers in Biology (5 credits)
BL4005 Research Skills in Biology (5 credits)
BL4006 Food Production (5 credits)
PS6001 Plant Genetic Engineering (5 credits)
PS4024 Crop Physiology and Climate Change (5 credits)
PS4021 Environmentally Protective Management of Plant Pests and Pathogens (5 credits)
ZY4021 Evolutionary Ecology (5 credits)

Students may elect to take other, relevant modules (subject to availability) that are offered by the University that are not listed above to fulfil the elective requirement with approval from the MRes coordinator, research supervisor and Head of School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Science.

Students will also undertake independent research towards completion of a research thesis to a student workload equivalent of 70 credits on a selected topic in Animal or Plant Science.

Current projects:

- The effect of lactation housing on the behaviour and welfare of pigs
- Understanding viral pathways in marine environments
- Distribution and diet of otters in a rural/urban streamscape
- Novel approaches in the use of freshwater macroinvertebrates for biomonitoring
- The ecology of Sika/Red/Fallow deer in Ireland
- Catching prey; the role of Ultraviolet radiation in attracting insects by carnivorous plants
- Birds as dispersers of plant propagules
- Does the phytotoxicity of nanoparticles depend on environmental parameters?
- The role of biochar as a sustainable soil amendment
- Effects of Eutrophication in shallow subtidal marine systems
- Use of Brachypodium sylvaticum as a model for growth regulation in perennial forage grasses
- Effect of temperature on spring growth of perennial ryegrass cultivars

Programme Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this programme, students should be able to:

- Carry out an independent and original research project to address an emerging question in Animal or Plant Science.
- Prepare and write a dissertation of their research project in a critical, logical and systematic manner, in keeping with the standards of postgraduate research.
- Display advanced theoretical knowledge and practical understanding within a research area of Animal or Plant Science.
- Understand the basis and application of field and laboratory methods used in Animal and Plant Science and a knowledge of their limitations
- Avail of relevant workshops or modules to increase scientific technical skills (e. g. biostatistics).
- Source, review, critically assess and evaluate relevant primary literature and summarize material for presentation to peers and for inclusion within the research dissertation.
- Design, write and defend a scientific research proposal based on their current research topic or a proposed topic.
- Evaluate their skill set and identify skills that should be acquired.
- Develop professional practice skills including team-work, negotiation, time-management, scientific writing and oral communication

How to apply

Students should consult the MRes Animal and Plant Science Brochure: https://www.ucc.ie/en/media/academic/schoolofbees/documents/MResinAnimalandPlantScience.pdf

Prospective students should also consult the following guide to procedures realting to applying for the MRes Animal and Plant Science: https://www.ucc.ie/en/media/academic/schoolofbees/documents/MResinANimalandplantscience-Studentguidetoproceduresbeforeandafterentrytotheprogramme24March2016.pdf

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With only a small percentage of the planet's diversity formally described by science, it is more important than ever to train a new generation of taxonomists who will go on to describe, understand and conserve biodiversity. Read more
With only a small percentage of the planet's diversity formally described by science, it is more important than ever to train a new generation of taxonomists who will go on to describe, understand and conserve biodiversity.

Of critical shortage are skilled scientists in plant and fungal taxonomy, scientists that underpin much bioscience, nature conservation, plant breeding work, as well as underpinning the development of environmental policy. This course delivers vital training to fill that skill shortage. The course will provide training in plant and fungal identification skills, in combination with a thorough grounding in molecular systematics, evolutionary biology, and conservation policy, theory and practice.

Collaboration with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

This MSc course is delivered in collaboration with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and you will be based there for some of your teaching. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew was founded in 1759, and has the largest and most diverse collections of plant and fungal specimens and associated biodiversity databases in the world. The combination of extensive specimen collections, databases, and scientific research conducted on a global scale is unique, and means that Kew plays a leading role in facilitating greater access to basic plant information, underpinning science and conservion activities worldwide.

Other taught modules will be based at Queen Mary, Mile End campus. You will also take a fieldwork module based in Madagascar.

Research

Queen Mary and Kew have a number of long-established research links, and these have led to research papers in leading science journals such as 'Science, Trends in Plant Science', 'Trends in Ecology and Evolution', and 'Plant Journal'.

You will be taught by world-leading experts, internationally recognised for cutting edge research in plant and fungal sciences, applying new technologies to answer fundamental questions about the diversity of plant and fungal life on the planet, how it evolved and how we can best conserve it.

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The Master of Science by Research degree in Behaviour, Ecology and Evolution is a 12-month, research only degree, in which the candidate will undertake a supervised research project in the broad area of Behaviour, Ecology and Evolution, in the School of Biology, University of St Andrews. Read more
The Master of Science by Research degree in Behaviour, Ecology and Evolution is a 12-month, research only degree, in which the candidate will undertake a supervised research project in the broad area of Behaviour, Ecology and Evolution, in the School of Biology, University of St Andrews.

The candidate will be based in the interdisciplinary Centre for Biological Diversity (CBD), based in the centre of St Andrews. The CBD links researchers in evolution, behaviour, ecology, molecular biology and biodiversity, plus researchers in other Schools across St Andrews. Research themes include: the mechanistic causes and the ecological and evolutionary consequences of animal behaviour, with strengths in behavioural ecology, animal cognition, social evolution and social learning; evolutionary and population genetics, including the genetic basis of population divergence and speciation; animal-plant interactions, including pollinator biology; conservation biology, focusing in particular on the measurement of broad-scale patterns of biodiversity and biodiversity change. These themes are underpinned and guided by theoretical evolutionary ecologists and geneticists, asking fundamental questions about the causes and consequences of organismal interaction. Our final objective is to advance this scientific understanding of the diversity of life to contribute pro-actively to policy that helps protect and nurture biological diversity.

Candidates may approach potential supervisors in the CBD directly (https://synergy.st-andrews.ac.uk/research/phd-study/phd-study-supervisors/phd-study-cbd-supervisors/) or via advertised projects listed here (https://synergy.st-andrews.ac.uk/research/mscres/). We strongly recommend that potential candidates make contact with a potential supervisor before applying.

The School of Biology provides a unique and supportive environment for scholarship, amid a beautiful setting for university life. We are a highly research active School, with a diverse and vigorous post-graduate community. The School comprises a large number of research groups organised into three interdisciplinary Research Centres: the Scottish Oceans Institute (SOI), the Biomedical Sciences Research Complex (BSRC) and the Centre for Biological Diversity (CBD). Together these centres encompass the full spectrum of research in biological sciences, spanning investigations on the properties and behaviour of individual molecules through to planetary environmental dynamics. Our postgraduate students enjoy a supportive and welcoming environment, including the student-led ‘Bionet’ society that provides a wide range of networking and social opportunities.

Progression and Assessment

Students in the MSc(Res) program will be assigned an Internal Examiner (IE) and Post-Graduate Tutor by the School. There will be a progress review meeting at three months to monitor and evaluate student progression, convened by the IE, with the student and Tutor in attendance.

In addition to the project-specific training that you will receive during your degree, Msc(Res) students will also have access to a wide range of training in transferable skills through the award-winning University of St Andrews GradSkills program, run by our Professional Development Unit CAPOD. Specific post-graduate programs run within the School of Biology may also offer additional training, for instance in statistical, bioinformatics or molecular techniques.

The degree requires submission and examination of a dissertation at the end of the one-year program. This thesis will consist of up to 30,000 words. The thesis will be evaluated by the IE and an External Examiner appointed at time of submission. Evaluation will be based on the written submission and there is no requirement for a viva voce examination.

Fees

For details of post-graduate tuition fees relevant to our research degrees including the MSc(Res), please visit:
http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/study/pg/fees-and-funding/research-fees/

Application

Please apply via the University’s Post-Graduate Application portal: https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/pgr/home.htm

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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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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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The Institute of Science and Environment’s educational and research expertise within Ecology and Environmental Management encompass a range of topics; climate… Read more
The Institute of Science and Environment’s educational and research expertise within Ecology and Environmental Management encompass a range of topics; climate change and the degradation and loss of ecosystem services, grassland management and its botanical enhancement, habitat restoration, creation and maintenance, plant community ecology and vegetation dynamics, ecology and management of wild boar, ex-situ species conservation and management, soil and water analysis and management. It can be studied full time over three years, or part time over a maximum of six years.

The Programme aims to prepare students:

- For doctoral level study.
- To engage in a career in in ecological or environmental management in a research, consultancy or wider sector context.
- To meet the global need for highly trained individuals who can make informed decisions on future research directions.
- To think for themselves in the development of a critical approach to the analysis of data and interpretation of published research.

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Part 1 (120 credits). runs from September to May and consists of four taught modules, a Field Visit, and a Research Methods module component. Read more
Part 1 (120 credits): runs from September to May and consists of four taught modules, a Field Visit, and a Research Methods module component. They must be completed successfully before proceeding to Part 2.

Part 2 (60 credits): is the dissertation phase and runs from end of May to September. This is a supervised project phase which gives students further opportunity for specialisation in their chosen field. Dissertation topics are related to the interests and needs of the individual and must show evidence of wide reading and understanding as well as critical analysis or appropriate use of advanced techniques. The quality of the dissertation is taken into account in the award of the Masters degree. Bangor University regulations prescribe a maximum word limit of 20,000 words for Masters Dissertations. A length of 12,000 to 15,000 words is suggested for Masters programmes in our School.

Summary of modules taken in Part 1:

All students undertake 6 modules of 20 credits each which are described below.

Conservation Science considers questions such as ‘in a post-wild world what should be the focus of conservation attention?’ ‘What are the relative roles of ecology, economics and social science in conservation?’ ‘What are the advantage and disadvantages of the introduction of market-like mechanisms into conservation policy?’ We look closely at the current and emerging drivers of biodiversity loss world-wide, while carefully analysing the range of responses.

Insect Pollinators and Plants is at the interface between agriculture and conservation, this module introduces students to plant ecology and insect pollinators. Students will gain unique understanding of the ecological interactions between plants and insect pollinators including honey-bees to implement more sensitive conservation management. The module explores the current conservation status of insect pollinators and their corresponding plant groups; how populations are monitored, and how interventions in the broader landscape can contribute to improving their conservation status. Module components relate specifically to ecosystem pollination services, apiculture and habitat restoration and/or maintenance. The module has a strong practical skills focus, which includes beekeeping and contemporary challenges to apiculture; plant and insect sampling and habitat surveying. Consequently, there is a strong emphasis on “learning by doing.

Agriculture and the Environment reviews the impact of agricultural systems and practices on the environment and the scientific principles involved. It includes examples from a range of geographical areas. It is now recognised that many of the farming practices adopted in the 1980’s and early 1990’s, aimed at maximising production and profit, have had adverse effects on the environment. These include water and air pollution, soil degradation, loss of certain habitats and decreased biodiversity. In the UK and Europe this has led to the introduction of regulatory instruments and codes of practice aimed at minimising these problems and the promotion of new approaches to managing farmland. However, as world population continues to rise, there are increased concerns about food security, particularly in stressful environments such as arid zones where farmers have to cope with natural problems of low rainfall and poor soils. Although new technologies including the use of GM crops have potential to resolve some of these issues, concerns have been expressed about the impact of the release of these new genetically-engineered crops into the environment.

Management Planning for Conservation provides students with an understanding of the Conservation Management System approach to management planning. This involves describing a major habitat feature at a high level of definition; the preparation of a conservation objective (with performance indicators) for the habitat; identification and consideration of the implications of all factors and thus the main management activities; preparation of a conceptual model of the planning process for a case study site and creating maps using spatial data within a desktop GIS.

Research Methods Module: this prepares students for the dissertation stage of their MSc course. The module provides students with an introduction to principles of hypothesis generation, sampling, study design, spatial methods, social research methods, quantitative & qualitative analysis and presentation of research findings. Practicals and field visits illustrate examples of these principles. Course assessment is aligned to the research process from the proposal stage, through study write up to presentation of results. The module is in two phases. The taught content phase is until the period following Christmas. This is followed by a project planning phase for dissertation title choice and plan preparation.

Field Visit Module: this is an annual programme of scientific visits related to Conservation and Land Management. The main purpose of the trip will be to appreciate the range of activities different conservation organisations are undertaking, to understand their different management objectives and constraints. Previous field trips have visited farms, forests and reserves run by Scottish Wildlife Trust, National Trust, RSPB, local authorities, community groups and private individuals.

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Our MSc programme provides flexibility to enable you to gain knowledge and skills to meet your career aspirations, whether in research or as a practicing ecologist. Read more
Our MSc programme provides flexibility to enable you to gain knowledge and skills to meet your career aspirations, whether in research or as a practicing ecologist. The programme runs through a full year, starting with a field course and culminating in a major research project. You will have the opportunity to gain hands on experience of everything from field survey to chairing discussions, from statistics and modelling to report writing and from identifying important ecological questions to researching them and writing a scientific paper. Previous graduates have gone on to the top of their chosen profession in research, consultancy, conservation, policy, education and advocacy.

COURSES
Semester 1
Experimental Design and Analysis
Introduction to GIS
Plant Ecology
Population and Community Ecology

Optional Courses
Statistics for Complex Study Designs
Introduction to Ecological Field Research in Northern Scotland
Molecular Ecological Techniques
Soils for Food Security
Aquaculture
Introduction to Bayesian Inference

Semester 2
Compulsory
Research Project Planning
Optional
Environmental Impact Assessment
Spatial Information Analysis
Marine Spatial Management and Top Predators
Readings in Ecology, Conservation and Environment
Ecology, Conservation and Society
Catchment Management
Environmental Management Plan
Applied Forest Ecology
Advanced Modelling for Ecology and Conservation

Semester 3
Project in Ecology

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The systematic approach of this MSc programme enables you to deal with all scales of the environment. Throughout your studies you will have various opportunities to participate in work outdoors and apply your classroom and field work knowledge to real life situations. Read more
The systematic approach of this MSc programme enables you to deal with all scales of the environment. Throughout your studies you will have various opportunities to participate in work outdoors and apply your classroom and field work knowledge to real life situations. You will also gain experience using a range of tools for biological, chemical and physical measurement as well as models and data handling methods. Most importantly, at Aberdeen you will be part of a community that will help improve your knowledge and awareness of environmental science.

COURSES
Semester 1
Compulsory
Environmental Pollution
Core Skills in Environmental Science
Soils for Food Security
Applications of GIS

Optional
Plant Ecology
Global Soil Geography

Semester 2
Compulsory
Environmental Analysis
Land Use and the Changing Environment on Deeside
Optional
Remediation and Technology
Environmental Impact Assessment
Catchment Management
Ecological and Environmental Modelling

Semester 3
Project in Environmental Science

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On this MSc programme you will to study the principles of forest and woodland management as well as general environment management and their application both in the UK and overseas. Read more
On this MSc programme you will to study the principles of forest and woodland management as well as general environment management and their application both in the UK and overseas. The programme is aimed at people interested in a career in environmental management, environmental services, timber production, community forestry or a combination of these.

COURSES
Semester 1
Optional
Core Skills in Environmental Science
Experimental design and Analysis
Statistics for Complex Study Designs
Plant Ecology
Global Soil Geography
Environmental Pollution
Ecosystems Processes
Application of GIS
Timber Harvesting and Measurement

Semester 2
Optional
Remediation Technology
European Forests Field Course
Environmental Impact Assessment
Environmental Analysis
Ecology, Conservation and Society
Woodland Conservation and Management
Catchment Management
Environmental Management Plan
Applied Forest Ecology

Semester 3
Environmental and Forest Management Project

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