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Masters Degrees (Reptiles)

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The programme includes the following profiles. This profile introduces students into the study of animal and plant development, microbiology, cell signaling pathways, cytoskeleton dynamics, cancer biology, virology and immunology. Read more
The programme includes the following profiles:

Genetics, Cell and Developmental Biology

This profile introduces students into the study of animal and plant development, microbiology, cell signaling pathways, cytoskeleton dynamics, cancer biology, virology and immunology. Courses of this profile span multiple levels of biological organization, from whole organisms down to the molecular level. Students choosing this profile not only receive up-to-date knowledge on these topics but also acquire the laboratory skills required to engage in cutting-edge research.

Environment, Biodiversity and Ecosystems

This profile allows students to gain experience in the research methods used to study the evolution and ecology of organisms found in terrestrial, freshwater and coastal ecosystems. A staff of experts teaches up-to-date knowledge on individual organisms, populations, species communities and ecosystems, backed up by their active research experience in taxonomy and phylogeny, vertebrate and invertebrate ecology, evolutionary ecology, biogeography, plant ecology, plant-animal interactions, and nature management. In addition, students are introduced into ecological research by means of practical field training and excursions in Belgium and abroad.


This unique profile addresses biology students with a passion for amphibians and reptiles. An international team of visiting scientists organizes lectures on diversity, ecology, physiology, behavior, evolution and conservation biology and prepares students for a professional career in herpetology. Ecological and herpetological field courses in European and tropical countries form an important part of this programme. As a student, you will be in a stimulating environment, with fellow students and top-experts sharing your passion. For more information, have a look at http://www.herpetology.be.

Human Ecology

This profile focuses on the interaction between humans and their natural environment. The increasing impact of the human population on ecosystems worldwide stresses the urgent need for researchers with a multidisciplinary background, that engage in developmental plans for a durable use and management of natural resources. The profile Human Ecology addresses an international audience of students and offers a course programme that, besides scientific topics, also addresses technological, socio-economical and political aspects. For more information, have a look at http://www.humanecology.be.

EMMC Tropical Biodiversity and Ecosystems

The world faces a crisis risking extinction of species through global warming. Due to impact of e.g., changes in land use and destruction of habitats, tropical rain forests, mangrove forests and coral reefs are disappearing and with them ecosystem functions, goods and services on which human populations are dependent. In order to conserve nature, to manage or even to restore tropical biodiversity and ecosystems, we must understand patterns of tropical biodiversity, study how organisms interact with their environment and how they respond to perturbations and change. Next to research, this is dealt with in this unique masters programme. http://www.tropimundo.eu

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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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In veterinary management of animals, anaesthesia (rendering animals unconscious to permit procedures) and analgesia (reducing the pain an animal is suffering) have vital importance in improving animal welfare, as well as permitting the ongoing developments in medical and surgical advances. Read more

Programme description

In veterinary management of animals, anaesthesia (rendering animals unconscious to permit procedures) and analgesia (reducing the pain an animal is suffering) have vital importance in improving animal welfare, as well as permitting the ongoing developments in medical and surgical advances.

Knowledge and advances in anaesthesia over the last 20 years have been considerable. We can use techniques to block sensation locally or over a region of the body not just total unconsciousness. We have an array of drugs and methods of drug administration available to us in our fight against pain. Anaesthesia has always carried risks, and we have an increasing availability of monitoring equipment to help us monitor the physiological function of the body during anaesthesia with the aim of reducing morbidity and mortality in our animals.

The University of Edinburgh is offering this unique opportunity for an entirely online MSc to study these advances, during which students can gain knowledge and understanding in the equipment, drugs and techniques associated with anaesthesia and analgesia. Our team can provide a wide range of clinical and research experience across many species.

Online learning

Our award-winning online learning technology is fully interactive and enables you to communicate with our highly qualified teaching staff from the comfort of your own home or workplace. Online students not only have access to Edinburgh’s excellent resources, but also become part of a supportive online community.

Expert tutors will support you through every stage of the programme and you can engage with fellow students in supportive and constructive online networks.

Your progress will be assessed through online presentations, essays, critical reviews of literature, student self- reflection activities, short-answer questions, scientific posters, group wiki events and peer review activities.

Programme structure

The programme is taught part time over 3 years, but its flexible nature will allow you a maximum of 6 years to complete it. There are also options for studying for a certificate (1-2 years) or a diploma (2-4 years).

Each year will consist of three 11-week terms, structured into two blocks of five weeks of study, with a week in between for independent study and reflection.

The Postgraduate Certificate year (Year 1) starts with a series of compulsory courses to give a foundation in veterinary anaesthesia and analgesia, then progresses to examine how this may be applied in a variety of species. In the Postgraduate Diploma year (Year 2), you have the choice of selected courses to tailor the programme to your requirements. A dissertation completes the final year, however, this is a very flexible course, which can be tailored to suit you (subject to approval).

Year 1
Compulsory courses:

Basic sciences in anaesthesia and analgesia
Anaesthetic equipment
Patient assessment, critical incidents and cardiopulmonary resuscitation

You will also choose 2 out of 4 species-related courses in dogs and cats, equidae, ruminants, camelids and pigs or small mammals (e.g. rabbits, rats etc).

Year 2
You will choose courses to total 60 credits from the following:

Emergency case management (10 credits)
Chronic pain and advanced analgesic principles (10 credits)
Advanced cardiovascular procedures and monitoring (10 credits)
Lung ventilation and mechanical ventilators (10 credits)
Reptiles and birds (20 credits)
Ethics in veterinary anaesthesia: animal welfare and euthanasia (10 credits)

In addition, you could choose to select additional species courses from Year 1.

Year 3
During the written reflective element of the programme you will have the opportunity to further develop your scientific skills and utilise scientific theory. The form of the dissertation may vary to suit individual candidates, subject to approval of a submitted proposal. The dissertation will be a piece of written work 10-15,000 words long, which may take the form of a research study, analysis of techniques used in previous clinical work or an extended literature review. A casebook or portfolio submission may also be permitted.

Career opportunities

The MSc Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia is likely to be desirable for veterinary surgeons seeking employment in research environments (e.g. as Named Veterinary Surgeon or other roles) due to the key importance of anaesthesia and the emphasis on this from Home Office regulation of research work in the UK.

The MSc will be a different route for progression for veterinary nurses who have key roles in private veterinary practices with regard to veterinary anaesthesia and analgesia. This may be desirable for practices wishing to show a wide range of expertise amongst their staff and patient support for surgical procedures.

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