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Masters Degrees (Reptiles)

We have 4 Masters Degrees (Reptiles)

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The programme includes the following profiles. Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences . 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:

Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences 

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.

Ecology and Biodiversity 

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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Aquatic ecosystems and species are under intense anthropogenic threats. These threats directly affect services such as sustainable fisheries, drinking water or ecosystem resilience. Read more

Aquatic ecosystems and species are under intense anthropogenic threats. These threats directly affect services such as sustainable fisheries, drinking water or ecosystem resilience. To adequately respond to these 21st century challenges and conserve these goods and services, a fundamental understanding of the biodiversity and ecosystem processes is needed, as without knowledge there can be no application or effective management.

Considering both freshwater and marine ecosystems and species, we have designed a programme to equip you with the interdisciplinary practical skills and theoretical understanding to pursue a career in aquatic research, consultancy or environmental protection, and give you a good understanding of applying scientific understanding to science policy. 

This programme balances the latest in ecological theory, conservation biology and evolutionary biology with practical application. You will take part in three residential field-courses (Dorset, Cumbria and Cape Verde) for practical, hands-on training.

You will be supervised by research-active scientists, becoming part of their research groups. We support links with a range of NGOs or potential employer organisations and strongly encourage you to publish your project work.

Programme highlights

  • Balances the latest in ecological theory with practical application
  • Residential field courses for practical, hands-on training in the field
  • Access to analytical, mesocosm and temperature-controlled facilities within the Centre for the Aquatic and Terrestrial Environment
  • Strong foundation for employment with environmental protection and conservation agencies, the water industry and environmental consultancies or PhD research 

Research and teaching 

You will have access to analytical research facilities within our Centre for the Aquatic and Terrestrial Environment, developed from an investment of £1.8 million in analytical equipment and specialist laboratory facilities. You will also have access to the Freshwater Biological Association’s River Laboratory on the River Frome in Dorset, via our River Communities Group, and to mesocosm and temperature controlled facilities at QMUL. Furthermore you can make use of our network of partner NGOs, research labs and industries to create further opportunities.

By choosing to study at a Russell Group university, you will have access to excellent teaching and top-class research. You can find out more about our research interests and view recent publications on the School of Biological and Chemical Science's Aquatic Ecology Research group page.

Centre for the Aquatic and Terrestrial Environment (CATE)

(CATE) at Queen Mary is an interdisciplinary collaboration between the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences and the School of Geography.

CATE builds on existing research strengths in areas of environmental research such as biogeochemistry, freshwater and marine ecology, terrestrial ecology and conservation. These facilities are used either in the formal teaching of this programme or are available for individual research projects.

Dorset Field Facilities

The Aquatic Ecology Group has a complementary unit (the River Communities Group) who do applied research, based at the River Laboratory of the Freshwater Biological Association in Dorset. We have a suite of ponds, 50% of which are heated above ambient temperatures, in which run long-term climate change experimentation. You will have the opportunity to conduct both field work and lab projects at this site.


  • Ecosystem Structure and Function: Ecosystems are under continued and growing threat from human activity (e.g. habitat loss, invasive species and diffuse pollution) and if we seek to preserve them then we need to understand how ecosystems function and how they respond to either enforced or natural change. Here we focus on the structural and functional elements of many ecosystems, from shallow lakes to tropical forests, with a particular focus on contrasting aquatic environments.
  • Statistics and Bioinformatics: Covers core statistics methods, within the R statistical computing environment. R has become the de facto environment for downstream data analysis and visualisation in biology, thanks to the hundreds of freely available R packages that allow biological data analysis solutions to be created quickly and reliably.
  • Quantitative Techniques for Surveying and Monitoring in Ecology: In the first week, there will be a series of lectures, workshops and practical data analyses classes where you will learn the theory behind designing and initiating surveys and monitoring campaigns for research projects and also for conservation & management. In the subsequent week, you will be able to put the theory into practice in the field at a location such as Lake Windermere and environs: here you will undertake electrofishing and hydroacoustic surveys for fish populations, zooplankton and benthic invertebrate surveys, a census for aquatic birds, and camera-trapping for aquatic mammals. Other skills such as the use of the modern telemetric tools will be demonstrated.
  • Science into Policy and Management – includes week in Dorset: Here a broad spectrum of human environmental impacts and their mitigation will be explored. The first half of the module will bring the student ‘face to face’ with potential regulators, practitioners and potential employers (typically Defra, Environment Agency, Natural England) through a series of guest lectures. These topics are then explored and summarised through an unpacking and feedback workshop. The second half is field based with current practitioners working directly in the field of bioassessment and biomonitoring. National and international legislation and directives are introduced through a series of case studies to look at the link between successful science and policy.
  • Marine Mammals and Turtles – field course to Cape Verde: The module focuses on the diversity, behaviour, ecology, physiology, conservation and management of cetaceans (whales and dolphins), and marine turtles. It covers such issues as the life history and migrations of turtles, their diving ability and behaviours, the social behaviour of dolphins, and the conservation of whales. It also includes (even though they are not mammals or reptiles!) a brief look at the sea-birds and sharks that will likely also be seen during field excursions. For part of the module you will be taught in the archipelago of Cape Verde, with boat trips for whales and shark observations, sea turtle monitoring. Mornings will be dedicated to lectures and workshops while afternoons and evening will be dedicated to hands-on practical experience.
  • Tropical Ecology and Conservation – field course, usually to either Borneo or Cape Verde

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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

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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This taught Masters course will provide you with a detailed understanding of human and primate evolution, focusing on anatomy and morphology and their interfaces with ecology and behaviour. Read more

This taught Masters course will provide you with a detailed understanding of human and primate evolution, focusing on anatomy and morphology and their interfaces with ecology and behaviour. You’ll acquire practical and theoretical knowledge about cutting-edge tools for morphometrics, imaging and functional simulation used to interpret the fossil record.

In addition, you can gain practical knowledge of anatomy through dissection of human cadaveric material as well as comparative anatomical study. You will also undertake a research project of your choice in consultation with your supervisor to investigate a current question in human evolution.

This programme is based in the Centre for Anatomical and Human Sciences at HYMS on the University of York campus and co-badged with the Department of Archaeology at the University of York. The programme is also open to medical students wishing to intercalate.

Through membership of the interdisciplinary PALAEO Centre at the University of York, this MSc is an attractive option for those wishing to combine anatomical and archaeological approaches to the study of palaeoanthropology.

Study information

The programme is made up of a mix of core and optional modules.

Core modules include:

  • Human evolutionary anatomy
  • Hard tissue biology
  • Primate ecology and evolution
  • Research project and dissertation

Optional modules include:

  • Geometric morphometrics
  • Virtual anatomies        
  • Functional and musculoskeletal anatomy
  • Special topics in musculoskeletal anatomy
  • Becoming human
  • Ancienct biomolecules

For further details on modules, click here.

* All modules are subject to availability.

Future prospects

This taught masters will give you a highly regarded qualification and a solid grounding in human anatomy and evolution. The programme opens up career opportunities in anatomy laboratories and anatomy teaching, or can be used as a stepping-stone to further studies at PhD level.

Hull York Medical School (HYMS) staff have a wide variety of expertise in the area and our research is supported by the Centre for Anatomical and Human Sciences. Research focuses on the ecological, evolutionary, functional and developmental bases of morphological variation in humans, primates, other mammals and reptiles.

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