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Masters Degrees (Pollinator)

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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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Research projects in this area will centre on adaptive decision-making in animals in a range of contexts, including (a) trade-offs between social and sexual… Read more
Research projects in this area will centre on adaptive decision-making in animals in a range of contexts, including (a) trade-offs between social and sexual behaviour, learning and other components of life history, such as immune function and disease resistance, (b) associative and higher order learning in invertebrates, (c) effects of genetic differences in social behaviour on population dynamics in nematodes, (d) the evolution of insect pollinator systems.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

After identifying which Masters you wish to pursue please complete an on-line application form
http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/pgstudy/apply/apply-online.aspx

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

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

The research interests of our department include:

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

Course structure

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

Areas of study

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

Modules:

Research project
Research Methods
Issues in Ecology and Conservation

Options:

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

Past projects

Examples of past projects include:

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

Careers and Employability

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

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