Ecology and evolutionary biology offer a perspective on biology from the level of genes to communities of species.
In the master's degree program, you can become familiar with a wide variety of topics in three areas: ecology, evolutionary biology and conservation biology. You can choose studies from any of these areas, as well as from other master's degree programmes. The programme is diverse and multidisciplinary: teaching is done with lectures, laboratory and computer training courses, interactive seminars, study tours and field courses. The field courses range from the northern subarctic region to tropical rainforests.
Our wide expertise extends from molecular ecology to population and community biology. The Centres of Excellence of Metapopulation Biology and Biological Interactions are located in our department.
Our programme offers you a wide range of options: evolutionary biology or genetics for those interested in ecological genetics and genomics, as well as the ability to take advantage of the high-quality molecular ecology and systematics laboratory; conservation biology for those interested in regional or global environmental problems; and ecological modelling skills for those interested in computational biology. Our training also offers Behavioural Ecology.
Ecology, evolutionary biology and conservation biology are not only fascinating topics for basic research, they also have a key role in addressing global environmental challenges.
Upon graduating from the Master's degree in ecology and evolutionary biology programme, you will:
Further information about the studies on the Master's programme website.
The Master's degree program includes studies of ecology, evolutionary biology and conservation biology. The studies are organised in modules. You can affect the content of the studies by planning your personal curriculum. You can study the following themes:
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. 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.
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.
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.
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
The Ecology and the Environment master’s programme prepares students to work with the management of ecosystems, ecological communities and populations, based on a thorough knowledge of ecological concepts and theories.
The programme has a critical scientific approach to ecology and its applications in society. Students acquire training in practical areas such as experiment design, data interpretation, ecological fieldwork and theoretical modelling, both in a classroom setting and through fieldwork.
There is a strong focus on the practical application of ecological knowledge in society. You learn about environmental and natural resource management, and how it is implicated by various stakeholders. Courses cover population ecology, community ecology and ecology systems theories, including their relationship to current environmental problems. Furthermore, the programme has an internship period and a course that focuses on ecological decision support for forestry and agriculture.
The key part of the programme is a one-year master’s project in which students apply their theoretical and methodological knowledge. The project can be linked to current research projects at the Division of Biology in subjects such as conservation ecology, ecology of shallow waters, design and management of treatment wetlands, spatio-temporal ecology, and population and community ecology. Alternatively, the master’s project can be conducted at a university or research institute abroad, in a field such as tropical ecology or ecological engineering.
This programme also emphasises the need for mathematical models and statistical analyses to address complex ecological and environmental problems. Typical applications are in helping to identify crop management strategies for effective biological control, understanding the impact of life-history strategies on the risk of population extinction in a varying environment, and evaluating the preservation status of nature reserves and how they should be managed.
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.
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.
(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.
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.
You will study the concepts and theories that will help you understand factors underpinning global ecology and evolutionary change, including modern techniques for environmental process research, invasive species ecology and conservation genetics. Students also learn techniques important for environmental policy and management and as such, our graduates are well placed to progress onto PhD research or careers in industry, consultancy and conservation.
You will conduct your own substantive six-month research project, which may be jointly supervised by contacts from related institutes or within industry. Students also take part in a field course in Borneo - see photos from a recent trip on Flickr - giving you the opportunity to develop first hand experience of theory in action.
You will have access to advanced analytical research facilities at the Freshwater Biological Association's River Laboratory in Dorset through our River Communities Research Group. You will have the opportunity to conduct both fieldwork and lab projects at this site.
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 Evolution and Genetics group page.
Your taught modules take place in blocks of two weeks of full-time teaching (normally 9am-5pm), followed by week-long study breaks for independent learning and coursework. This structure allows for an intensive learning experience, giving students the opportunity to immerse themselves in their subject.
This programme combines taught modules with individual and collaborative research projects. You will apply the knowledge and techniques from your taught modules in a practical setting and may be able to publish your project findings.
You can take the MSc over two years via studying part-time; you should aim to register for 50% of taught modules per year. You can discuss the exact combination of modules with the programme director, Dr Christophe Eizaguirre
Projects can also be undertaken over a two-year period, subject to finding an approved schedule of work which equates to the same time requirements as a full-time MSc. You may also enrol on a Postgraduate Certificate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (60 credits), which is comprised of four taught modules.
Our programme will give you cross-disciplinary skills in a rare combination of areas of expertise, from bioinformatics and evolutionary inference to computational biology and fieldwork.
You will be taught by researchers who apply genomic methods to a wide range of issues in ecology and evolution, from bat food-webs and genome evolution to microbial biodiversity in natural and engineered ecosystems. For example, Professor Steve Rossiter carries out world-leading research on bat genome evolution; Dr Yannick Wurm has discovered a social chromosome in fire-ants; and Dr China Hanson is using genetic methods to study microbial biogeography. This means that teaching on our programme is informed by the latest developments in this field, and your individual research project can be at the forefront of current scientific discovery.
You will conduct your own substantive six-month research project, which may be jointly supervised by contacts from related institutes or within industry. You will also take part in a field course in Borneo - see photos from a recent trip on Flickr - giving you the opportunity to develop first hand experience of theory in action.
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 Evolution and Genetics group page.
This MSc programme combines taught modules with individual and collaborative research projects. You will apply the knowledge and techniques from your taught modules in a practical setting and may be able to publish your project findings.
If you have any questions about the content or structure, contact the programme director Dr Christophe Eizaguirre.
Full-time students spend two days at University, usually Wednesday and Thursday, and around 12 hours per week in lectures and practical sessions.
Part-time students attend one day per week. First year part-time students attend on Wednesdays and second years attend on Thursdays.
We teach using a combination of lectures, laboratory sessions, problem solving tutorials, video presentations and practicals. You will also undertake fieldwork excursions within the UK and overseas (additional costs apply). The number of hours of formal teaching will vary depending on your module choice. You will also be encouraged to take responsibility for your own learning by completing guided reading and various interactive computer packages. Based on individual circumstances the MSc Project may be extended into your third year of study and will be agreed as part of a discussion with the course leader. Please note some field trips will take place on weekdays besides Wednesdays and Thursdays.
You will be assessed through a range of methods depending on your module choice, these include: examinations, coursework such as writing reports of field excursions. You will also analyse case studies, undertake presentations, participate in workshops and analyse data.
Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Biosciences at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).
This MRes in Biosciences programme will provide you with research training in one or more of our Research Pathways and you will benefit from training in our Specialist Research Facilities. Research staff will share their expertise and assist you in developing the skills necessary to do independent research, leading to a dissertation written as a scientific paper.
All research students in Biosciences undertake taught modules followed by a major research project under the guidance of academic staff in one or more of our Research Pathways, and benefitting from training in our specialist research facilities.
The MRes Biosciences is a one-year programme. All research students undertake taught modules followed by a major research project under the guidance of academic staff in one or more of our Research Pathways , and benefiting from training in our Specialist Research Facilities.
Biosciences at Swansea has a good relationship with a wide range of external partners, including SMEs, Government Agencies, Local Government, UK and overseas research institutes and universities.
1) Behavioural and Movement Ecology
Studying adaptations, and the selective pressures in the social and ecological environment that bring them about. We specialise in the movement ecology of individuals and collectives and can provide specialist research training to understand the role of the environment in structuring the properties of animal movement and behaviour.
2) Evolutionary and Molecular Biology
Understanding the diversity of life from a molecular perspective. We use the latest genetic and genomics techniques to address key questions in ecology, behaviour and conservation from an evolutionary perspective in a range of non-model organisms, from fungi to plants and animals.
3) Marine Biology, Fisheries and Aquaculture
From developing new techniques in fish husbandry and rearing of commercially important aquaculture species, to research in food and fuel security, low carbon technologies, biogeochemical cycles and climate change. Specialist research training can be provided on a diverse range of temperate to tropical aquatic organisms, from microplankton to invertebrates to fish, inhabiting marine to freshwater environments.
4) Mathematical and Statistical Ecology
Research that complements the full range of our academic expertise, from theoretical investigations of ecosystem complexity, stoichiometric ecology, pattern formation and animal movement, to practical agricultural applications and the operation of micro-algal biotechnology.
5) Population and Community Ecology
Combining experimental and theoretical approaches to develop our understanding of how species interactions with their environment (including other species) generate the spatial-temporal biodiversity patterns we observe in nature. Study systems include plankton ecosystems, coastal ecosystem functioning, disease control, conservation, and the impact of spatial-temporal environmental variation on community dynamics.
6) Whole Organism Biology
Our staff comprises world-leading experts on a range of organisms studied around the world, and welcome students who want to develop projects around such species.
7) Wildlife Diseases and Pest Control
Research focused on developing natural agents and solutions for the control of wildlife diseases and invertebrate pests that impact on food security and human and animal health. Research training provided in disease detection methods, disease management, and the socioeconomic benefits of pest control.
As a student on the MRes Biosciences programme, you will benefit from a range of facilities such as:
Our excellent facilities include a unique built Animal Movement Visualisation Suite (£1.35m), incorporating an electronic wall linked to a computer-tesla cluster for high-speed processing and visualisation of complex accelerometry and magnetometry data derived from animals. Coupled with this facility is the Electronics Lab with capacity for research, development and realisation of animal tags with new capacities (sensors, energy-harvesting systems, miniaturization, 3-D printing of housings etc.); a custom-designed 18m on coastal research vessel; a recent investment of £4.2m on a new suite of state-of-the art Science laboratories; and the £2m unique Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Research (CSAR) with a 750 m2 controlled environment building, with programmable recirculating aquatic systems, unique within the UK’s higher-education sector. These are tailored for research on a diverse range of organisms, ranging from temperate to tropical and marine to freshwater. Coupled with this are nutrient and biochemical analytical capabilities.
Theoretical/mathematical research uses advanced university computing facilities that includes high-end graphics workstations, high-speed network links and the Blue Ice supercomputer located at the Mike Barnsley Centre for Climatic Change Research.
Several dedicated Bioscience labs housed within our grade 2 listed Wallace Building recently benefitted from a £4.2 million renovation programme, providing world-class research facilities that includes a specialist molecular ecology lab and a dedicated arthropod facility.
We are 7th in the UK and top in Wales for research excellence (REF 2014)
93.8% of our research outputs were regarded as world-leading or internationally excellent and Swansea Biosciences had the highest percentage of publications judged ‘world-leading’ in the sector. This is a great achievement for the Department, for the College of Science and indeed for Swansea University.
Forests are the lungs of the world. The great boreal forests cover almost 17 million square kilometers of North America, Europe and Asia. Tropical forests cover perhaps 6.5 million square kilometers and temperate forest systems another 10 million square kilometers. Tropical forests are renowned as sources of biodiversity, the northern boreal forests are major regions of carbon sequestration and they too are under threat through timber and mineral exploitation. Without forests our climate would be drastically different from the one we experience today, much of the globe would be desert and uninhabitable. Yet despite their importance as sources of biodiversity and climate regulation they are, especially in the tropics and the far north, constantly under threat. In temperate regions commercially managed forests are important sources of much needed products for our homes and industry. They are also important refugia for threatened wild life and provide educational and recreational uses for a significant proportion of the population. Despite their importance we still know very little about how to manage them sustainably and how to protect our rapidly shrinking natural forests and woodlands and the organisms that live within them.
This course covers a broad range of topics in conservation and forestry related topics. All students receive training in fundamental skills which will enable them to enter a conservation or forestry related work environment or a research career in conservation or forestry and woodland ecology. There is, however, considerable flexibility enabling each student to focus on specialist subjects consistent with their interests and future career intentions. The MSc was designed in response to demands from conservation bodies for people with practical conservation skills as well as a strong academic background and has a strong practical field based component in each taught module.
A distinctive and integral feature of our MSc is the high degree of input from forest and conservation scientists in collaborating governmental organizations and consultancies. This participation takes a variety of forms, including guest lectures, field visits and specific training courses, but may also include providing research projects in their organizations.
Examples of collaborating organizations include, Butterfly Conservation, CEH Wallingford, Forest Research, The James Hutton Institute, The Natural History Museum London, and Rothamsted Research.
Having completed the MSc you will be able to recognize the major biotic and abiotic problems affecting temperate and tropical trees and forests. The course will develop your analytical skills to enable you to recognize and resolve environmental, conservation and landscape management problems using fundamental principles of forest ecology and integrated forest management. You will also be able to show how forest and tree protection is directed to economic and social objectives and how ecological processes can be used to meet these objectives. You will also learn how to source and evaluate the latest developments in technology, and produce integrated management solutions that pay due regard to silvicultural, social and environmental requirements. There is, however, considerable flexibility enabling each student to focus on specialist subjects consistent with their interests and future career intentions Students also learn how to disseminate issues and ideas relating to forest ecology and conservation to a range of audiences using various methods of communication.
The research project for the MSc will allow you to test hypotheses relevant to pure and applied forest conservation research by designing, carrying out, analysing and interpreting experiments or surveys. You will also learn to evaluate and interpret data and draw relevant conclusions from existing entomological studies.
The aims of the MSc are to provide students with which will (a) prepare them for a career in sustainable forest management and/or conservation (b) prepare them for PhD studies (c) enable them to make a more informed choice for their PhD research and (d) offer practical vocational training in the area of conservation
The MSc covers a broad range of topics providing specialized training in practical conservation and forest ecology and all students receive training in fundamental skills which will enable them to enter an appropriate work environment or a research career. There is, however, considerable flexibility enabling each student to focus on specialist subjects consistent with their interests and future career intentions.
The full-time and two year part-time courses are eligible for a postgraduate loan.
Postgraduate Loans are now Open for Home/EU students - https://www.gov.uk/postgraduate-loan/how-to-apply
Scholarships & Discounts available
This programme provides advanced contemporary training in parasitology and the study of disease vectors. The broad scope of the programme ranges from the biology, immunology, ecology and population biology of the organisms to public health, disease epidemiology and tropical health issues. In addition to providing a solid foundation in parasite and vector biology, the programme provides practical experience of essential techniques, as well as significant theoretical and practical knowledge in all important and topical areas of the field. Following the taught component, participants complete a dissertation including a period of applied research either overseas or in Liverpool.
LSTM education courses are taught within a dynamic environment by staff working at the cutting-edge of research in tropical medicine and global health. They are designed to enable the professional development of the student, to be relevant to students from both the UK and overseas and to promote approaches to study that will enable students to continue their learning into the future.
This course aims to:
To equip students with the knowledge and practical skills needed to develop a career in research, training or control of parasitic and vector-borne diseases.
To provide practical experience of a range of specialised technical and analytical skills relevant to the study of parasites and disease vectors.
To enable students to conduct independent research in the laboratory and/or field.
To produce graduates who are experienced, committed, informed, proactive and effective professionals, capable of taking substantial and leading professional roles.
To facilitate high quality learning that is informed by critical analysis of current research.
To develop independent and reflective approaches to study that will enable graduates to continue to learn in the future.
Over many years, we have educated hundreds of Masters students, many of whom have established successful careers in research in the academic or private sectors, or who have gone on to work in development as part of government or NGO teams. Graduates of the MSc Biology & Control of Parasites and Disease Vectors typically follow careers in research (some in LSTM) or training in areas related to the control of infectious disease, in particular parasitic and vector-borne tropical diseases. Other careers paths have led to teacher training, working overseas for NGO’s, military and public health-related careers.