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Biological Sciences×

Masters Degrees in Biological Sciences (Insect)

We have 21 Masters Degrees in Biological Sciences (Insect)

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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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Prepares graduates from appropriate disciplines (biological, agricultural, or environmental sciences) for employment in a variety of careers – including insect ecology, conservation or control – or to continue on to PhD. Read more
  • Prepares graduates from appropriate disciplines (biological, agricultural, or environmental sciences) for employment in a variety of careers – including insect ecology, conservation or control – or to continue on to PhD.
  • Through theoretical and practical experiences you’ll learn how applied entomology is carried out both in the UK and overseas, as well as the essential principles of research design in applied entomology.
  • You’ll gain competence in a range of research methods for data collection, and detailed expertise in a subset relevant to your own research interests.
  • You’ll develop expertise in data management and analysis, as well as the issues affecting data interpretation, and an understanding of the legal and ethical issues in the conduct and dissemination of a research programme.
  • You’ll learn the written and oral skills required for communicating research output on wildlife conservation issues, and gain an awareness of the issues facing those pursuing a career in insect ecology, conservation or control.
  • You’ll also gain transferable skills, such as using computers for statistics and data analysis, and the ability to collect field data on a variety of taxonomic groups.

What will you study?

Sample modules:

  • Insect Biology, Diversity and Evolution
  • Integrated Pest Management
  • Introduction to Insect Identification
  • Advanced Entomology
  • Insect Population Biology
  • Extended entomology research project

Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.

What career can you have?

There are a wide range of employment opportunities for people with expertise in applied entomology. This includes opportunities in the agriculture sector dealing with pest control and advice (with organisations such as the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group), conservation and biodiversity (with organisations such as Natural England and various wildlife trusts), and research (with organisations such as the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology).

There are also many PhD opportunities for students with entomological expertise.



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“It [Harper Adams University] is already a centre of excellence for entomology teaching and research in the UK”. Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018. Read more

“It [Harper Adams University] is already a centre of excellence for entomology teaching and research in the UK”

Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018

The course

Harper Adams is the only UK institution to teach general and applied entomology at postgraduate level. The course has a particular focus on conservation and agriculture. There is currently a shortage of expertise in this important topic, which is a key element in the effort to ensure global food security and the understanding of biodiversity. By successfully completing this course you will develop a range of abilities that will prepare for an interesting and fulfilling career in an area with considerable opportunities.

Insects and allied invertebrates comprise approximately 78 per cent of the world’s macro-biodiversity, whereas vertebrates, even using the most generous estimates, make up less than three per cent. Insects and their relatives play an important role in all of our ecosystems. They range from beneficial insects such as pollinators and natural control agents to essential parts of the decomposition cycle such as dung and carrion insects. Many are also important pests of agriculture, horticulture and forestry, in addition to those that cause human health problems.

Many insects are also rare and endangered and need to be managed for conservation. Other insects are used as model organisms for evolutionary and genetic studies. 

The aim of the course is to provide students with specialized training in entomology and conservation.

The course will:

  • prepare students for a career in entomology and/or conservation
  • offer vocational training in the area of applied entomology or insect conservation
  • prepare students for PhD studies 

The course is intended to provide a detailed understanding of basic and applied entomology and the issues associated with, on the one hand, their ecology and conservation and, on the other, the control of harmful species worldwide. The course is underpinned by an extensive programme of agri-environment research at Harper Adams and longstanding collaborations with research institutes and other organisations in the UK and overseas.

A distinctive and integral feature of our MSc is the high degree of input from entomologists and ecologists in collaborating governmental and non-governmental organizations. 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 The Natural History Museum London, CEH Wallingford, Butterfly Conservation, Bug Life, Horticultural Development Company, Rothamsted Research, and Forest Research.

How will it benefit me?

Having completed the taught part of MSc you will be able to identify insects to at least family level, determine their key characteristics, and critically evaluate the role of insects in managed and natural ecosystems. You will also learn to assess and exploit technology to solve insect-related problems.

The course will focus on producing integrated management solutions that pay due regard to agronomic, social and environmental requirements. Students also learn how to disseminate issues and ideas relating to insect control 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 entomological 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 MSc covers a broad range of topics in entomology and conservation and all students receive training in fundamental skills which will enable them to enter an entomological work environment or a research career in ecological entomology or insect conservation. There is, however, considerable flexibility, enabling each student to focus on specialist subjects consistent with their interests and future career intentions.

Scholarships and funding

The Royal Entomological Society typically fund five bursaries each of £4,000 to support the MSc Entomology course. Visit the scholarship page for further details and application information.

The full-time and two year part-time courses are eligible for a postgraduate loan.

Entomologists are like endangered mammals such as tigers and polar bears in that they and their habitats are on the verge of extinction and this is likely to have a profound negative effect on science in general

The Biologist, 2009



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This course is designed to prepare you for a career in conservation, or for further research at PhD level. If you’re already an established conservation professional, our modules provide additional skills to support you to progress in your employment. Read more

This course is designed to prepare you for a career in conservation, or for further research at PhD level. If you’re already an established conservation professional, our modules provide additional skills to support you to progress in your employment.

Distinct from similar courses offered in the UK, the course concentrates on the biological principles underlying biodiversity, its assessment and management. You’ll learn to identify plants and animals, explore the institutional framework underlying biodiversity and conservation and gain key analytical and practical skills for a range of academic and professional careers. You’ll also gain valuable experience in biodiversity and conservation-related research.

The University of Leeds has twice been recognised by the European Union as a "centre of excellence" for biodiversity and conservation training. We believe biodiversity can only be managed and conserved when it can be measured and interpreted properly.

Course content

This degree offers you a wide range of options, allowing you to personalise your study in preparation for further academic research or professional development in the field.

We’ll equip you with a diverse set of skills needed for ecological careers and further research. The course combines theory-based modules on the principles of ecology and conservation with a wide range of practical skills-based modules. These include survey, management and identification skills, where the emphasis is on spending time in the field, and analytical skills such as statistics and GIS.

The independent research project is one of the most important and potentially fulfilling parts of the degree. Projects cover a wide range of topics and usually include around six to eight weeks of practical work. A number of our students have been based overseas for their project.

If you study part time, the course will last for two years and you’ll study around half of the total number of modules each year.

MSc or MRes – what’s the difference?

MRes students have fewer taught modules, and carry out two major research projects rather than one. The MSc is the broader course, suitable for both conservation careers and PhD study, while most students taking the MRes are planning to go on to do a PhD. The MSc allows students to widen their skills base through the additional taught elements that are available. An increasing number of students treat the MSc as a conversion course, after having taken degrees in non-biological subjects.

Course structure

The course is made up of modules that add up to 180 credits, with a mix of compulsory and optional modules. These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Compulsory modules

  • Biodiversity and Conservation Skills I 10 credits
  • Biodiversity and Conservation Skills II 10 credits
  • Biodiversity and Conservation MSc and MRes Summer Project 60 credits

Optional modules

  • Community Ecology 15 credits
  • Conservation Genetics 15 credits
  • Advanced Statistics 10 credits
  • Habitat Management 10 credits
  • Introduction to GIS Skills for Ecologists 10 credits
  • Population Dynamics 10 credits
  • Biodiversity and Conservation Internships 15 credits
  • Practical Conservation with the National Trust 10 credits
  • Masters Mediterranean Ecology Field Course 15 credits
  • Plant Identification 15 credits
  • Insect Identification Skills 15 credits
  • Conservation Skills 5 credits
  • GIS and Environment 15 credits
  • Environmental Economics and Policy 15 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Biodiversity and Conservation MSc Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Biodiversity and Conservation MSc Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

You’ll have access to the very best learning resources and academic support during your studies. We’ve been awarded a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF, 2017), demonstrating our commitment to delivering consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for our students.

Your learning will be heavily influenced by the University’s world-class research as well as our strong links with highly qualified professionals from industry, non-governmental organisations and charities.

You’ll experience a wide range of teaching methods including formal lectures, interactive workshops, problem-solving, practical classes and demonstrations.

Through your research project and biodiversity and conservation modules, you’ll receive substantial subject-specific training. Our teaching and assessment methods are designed to develop you into a professional who is able to think independently, solve problems, communicate effectively and demonstrate a high level of practical ability.

Research projects

As an MSc student, you’ll carry out one research project. The range of project topics is large and diverse, covering applied, empirical and theoretical subjects. Projects can be carried out in the UK or overseas: projects have been carried out in over twenty countries so far, and this year alone we have projects in Belize, Thailand, Greece, Bermuda and Morocco.

Practical skills

There are many opportunities to develop valuable practical skills through modules such as Practical Conservation with the National Trust, Insect Identification, Plant Identification, and by overseas field courses within Europe and Africa (see field courses) and research project work. You can also build your analytical skills, with modules in GIS and statistics.

Leeds is one of the best locations geographically to study Biodiversity and Conservation. You’ll be within easy reach of three areas of great natural beauty and dramatic scenery; Yorkshire Dales, North Yorkshire Moors and the Peak District – providing you with a wide range of project and fieldwork opportunities.

Assessment

We use a variety of assessment methods: practical work, data handling and problem solving exercises, group work, computer-based simulation, essays, posters and oral presentations.

Career opportunities

Specialist and transferable skills are key component of our degrees, opening up diverse opportunities for our graduates. A proportion of both MSc and MRes graduates go on to study for a PhD and enter a research career. Many graduates go on to a career in an applied ecology or conservation-related area. Potential employers look for academic qualifications in combination with practical skills and experience, and a relevant MSc course can give you the edge in a highly competitive field.

Please visit the website for more details regarding career opportunities and support.



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This course has been running for over 25 years and is one of only three in the country. The two contributing universities of Keele and Salford have considerable complementary research experience in the biology of parasites and the insect vectors that transmit them. Read more

Overview

This course has been running for over 25 years and is one of only three in the country. The two contributing universities of Keele and Salford have considerable complementary research experience in the biology of parasites and the insect vectors that transmit them. This has led to the development of this unique, joint MSc degree between the two institutions, focusing on the ecology and molecular biology of parasitism, immunology of infection, treatment of infection, the ecology and molecular biology or insect vectors, and the control of their natural populations. The teaching is undertaken by staff from the two institutions and mostly based at Salford with specialized laboratory sessions at Keele. Students are able to carry out an extensive research project in the research laboratories of one of the two universities. The strong focus on the molecular aspects of parasitic infections, vector biology, and vector control, will appeal to recent graduates wishing to further their training before embarking upon a research career in Entomology, Parasitology, Molecular Biology or Immunology; to those considering a career in Biotechnology; and to overseas students seeking specialist training before entering a career in managing parasitological or vector-related research and control appropriate to their own country.

The vast majority of the teaching team on the course are internationally recognized experts in their field of research. As an example, most of the Keele teaching team belong to the Centre for Applied Entomology and Parasitology which is highly rated for its world-leading research and excellent research facilities. Therefore the course provides a unique opportunity to set a foot in the real world of research in Parasitology and Medical Entomology.

See the website https://www.keele.ac.uk/pgtcourses/molecularparasitologyandvectorbiology/

Course Aims

The aims of the course are to provide:
- A sound insight into the biology of parasitic diseases their transmission and control of the vectors

- Contemporary studies of current research on immunological and molecular aspects of selected parasites and vector/parasite relationships

- Training in research and modern techniques in the study of vectors and parasites

Teaching & Assessment

Assessment is through a variety of methods including exams, essays and practical work. MSc students will be required in addition to carry out a research project and write it up in a dissertation.

All Masters students must pass modules 1-5 at 50% to give them 180 credits. Students gaining 120 credits will be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma. Students gaining 60 credits will be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate.

Additional Costs

Apart from additional costs for text books, inter-library loans and potential overdue library fines we do not anticipate any additional costs for this post graduate programme.

Scholarships

There are substantial scholarships available, please see this link: http://www.keele.ac.uk/studentfunding/bursariesscholarships/internationalfunding/postgraduate/
or
http://www.keele.ac.uk/studentfunding/bursariesscholarships/

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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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This course is designed to prepare you for a career in conservation, or for further research at PhD level. If you’re already an established conservation professional, our modules provide additional skills to support you to progress in your employment. Read more

This course is designed to prepare you for a career in conservation, or for further research at PhD level. If you’re already an established conservation professional, our modules provide additional skills to support you to progress in your employment.

Distinct from similar courses offered in the UK, the course concentrates on the biological principles underlying biodiversity, its assessment and management. You’ll learn to identify plants and animals, explore the institutional framework underlying biodiversity and conservation and gain key analytical and practical skills for a range of academic and professional careers. You’ll also gain valuable experience in biodiversity and conservation-related research.

You’ll also undertake the African field course is based at Mpala Research Centre, Laikipia, Kenya. You’ll gain a first-hand appreciation of the ecology and conservation concerns of an African savannah community, both for the wildlife and the people who live in the area. As well as learning about the local environment, flora and fauna, s, you’ll spend most of the time designing and carrying out group research projects.

The University of Leeds has twice been recognised by the European Union as a "centre of excellence" for biodiversity and conservation training. We believe biodiversity can only be managed and conserved when it can be measured and interpreted properly.

Course content

This degree offers you a wide range of options, allowing you to personalise your study in preparation for further academic research or professional development in the field.

We’ll equip you with a diverse set of skills needed for ecological careers and further research. The course combines theory-based modules on the principles of ecology and conservation with a wide range of practical skills-based modules. These include survey, management and identification skills, where the emphasis is on spending time in the field, and analytical skills such as statistics and GIS.

The independent research project is one of the most important and potentially fulfilling parts of the degree. Projects cover a wide range of topics and usually include around six to eight weeks of practical work. A number of our students have been based overseas for their project.

If you study part time, the course will last for two years and you’ll study around half of the total number of modules each year.

MSc or MRes – what’s the difference?

MRes students have fewer taught modules, and carry out two major research projects rather than one. The MSc is the broader course, suitable for both conservation careers and PhD study, while most students taking the MRes are planning to go on to do a PhD. The MSc allows students to widen their skills base through the additional taught elements that are available. An increasing number of students treat the MSc as a conversion course, after having taken degrees in non-biological subjects.

Course structure

The course is made up of modules that add up to 180 credits, with a mix of compulsory and optional modules. These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Compulsory modules

  • Biodiversity and Conservation Skills I 10 credits
  • Biodiversity and Conservation Skills II 10 credits
  • African Field Ecology 20 credits
  • Biodiversity and Conservation MSc and MRes Summer Project 60 credits

Optional modules

  • Community Ecology 15 credits
  • Conservation Genetics 15 credits
  • Advanced Statistics 10 credits
  • Habitat Management 10 credits
  • Introduction to GIS Skills for Ecologists 10 credits
  • Population Dynamics 10 credits
  • Biodiversity and Conservation Internships 15 credits
  • Practical Conservation with the National Trust 10 credits
  • Plant Identification 15 credits
  • Insect Identification Skills 15 credits
  • Conservation Skills 5 credits
  • GIS and Environment 15 credits
  • Environmental Economics and Policy 15 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Biodiversity and Conservation with African Field Course MSc Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Biodiversity and Conservation with African Field Course MSc Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

You’ll have access to the very best learning resources and academic support during your studies. We’ve been awarded a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF, 2017), demonstrating our commitment to delivering consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for our students.

Your learning will be heavily influenced by the University’s world-class research as well as our strong links with highly qualified professionals from industry, non-governmental organisations and charities.

You’ll experience a wide range of teaching methods including formal lectures, interactive workshops, problem-solving, practical classes and demonstrations.

Through your research project and biodiversity and conservation modules, you’ll receive substantial subject-specific training. Our teaching and assessment methods are designed to develop you into a professional who is able to think independently, solve problems, communicate effectively and demonstrate a high level of practical ability.

Research projects

As an MSc student, you’ll carry out one research project. The range of project topics is large and diverse, covering applied, empirical and theoretical subjects. Projects can be carried out in the UK or overseas: projects have been carried out in over twenty countries so far, and this year alone we have projects in Belize, Thailand, Greece, Bermuda and Morocco.

Practical skills

There are many opportunities to develop valuable practical skills through modules such as Practical Conservation with the National Trust, Insect Identification, Plant Identification, and by overseas field courses within Europe and Africa (see field courses) and research project work. You can also build your analytical skills, with modules in GIS and statistics.

Assessment

We use a variety of assessment methods: practical work, data handling and problem solving exercises, group work, computer-based simulation, essays, posters and oral presentations.

Career opportunities

Specialist and transferable skills are key component of our degrees, opening up diverse opportunities for our graduates. A proportion of both MSc and MRes graduates go on to study for a PhD and enter a research career. Many graduates go on to a career in an applied ecology or conservation-related area.



Read less
This course is designed to prepare you for a career in conservation, or for further research at PhD level. If you’re already an established conservation professional, our modules provide additional skills to support you to progress in your employment. Read more

This course is designed to prepare you for a career in conservation, or for further research at PhD level. If you’re already an established conservation professional, our modules provide additional skills to support you to progress in your employment.

Distinct from similar courses offered in the UK, the course concentrates on the biological principles underlying biodiversity, its assessment and management. You’ll learn to identify plants and animals, explore the institutional framework underlying biodiversity and conservation and gain key analytical and practical skills for a range of academic and professional careers. You’ll also gain valuable experience in biodiversity and conservation-related research.

You’ll also undertake the African field course is based at Mpala Research Centre, Laikipia, Kenya. You’ll gain a first-hand appreciation of the ecology and conservation concerns of an African savannah community, both for the wildlife and the people who live in the area. As well as learning about the local environment, flora and fauna, you’ll spend most of the time designing and carrying out group research projects.

The University of Leeds has twice been recognised by the European Union as a "centre of excellence" for biodiversity and conservation training. We believe biodiversity can only be managed and conserved when it can be measured and interpreted properly.

Course content

This degree offers you a wide range of options, allowing you to personalise your study in preparation for further academic research or professional development in the field.

We’ll equip you with a diverse set of skills needed for ecological careers and further research. The course combines theory-based modules on the principles of ecology and conservation with a wide range of practical skills-based modules. These include survey, management and identification skills, where the emphasis is on spending time in the field, and analytical skills such as statistics and GIS.

The two independent research projects are one of the most important and potentially fulfilling parts of the degree. Projects cover a wide range of topics and allow you to develop a range of research skills. A number of our students have been based overseas for their summer project.

If you study part time, the course will last for two years and you’ll study around half of the total number of modules each year.

MSc or MRes – what’s the difference?

MRes students have fewer taught modules, and carry out two major research projects rather than one. The MSc is the broader course, suitable for both conservation careers and PhD study, while most students taking the MRes are planning to go on to do a PhD. The MSc allows students to widen their skills base through the additional taught elements that are available. An increasing number of students treat the MSc as a conversion course, after having taken degrees in non-biological subjects.

Course structure

The programmes are made up of modules that add up to 180 credits, with a mix of compulsory and optional modules. These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Compulsory modules

  • Biodiversity and Conservation Skills I 10 credits
  • MRes Biodiversity and Conservation Skills II 15 credits
  • African Field Ecology 20 credits
  • Biodiversity and Conservation MSc and MRes Summer Project 60 credits
  • Biodiversity and Conservation MRes Research Project 1 40 credits

Optional modules

  • Community Ecology 15 credits
  • Conservation Genetics 15 credits
  • Habitat Management 10 credits
  • Introduction to GIS Skills for Ecologists 10 credits
  • Population Dynamics 10 credits
  • Biodiversity and Conservation Internships 15 credits
  • Plant Identification 15 credits
  • Insect Identification Skills 15 credits
  • Conservation Skills 5 credits
  • GIS and Environment 15 credits
  • Environmental Economics and Policy 15 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Biodiversity and Conservation with African Field Course MRes Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Biodiversity and Conservation with African Field Course MRes Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

You’ll have access to the very best learning resources and academic support during your studies. We’ve been awarded a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF, 2017), demonstrating our commitment to delivering consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for our students.

Your learning will be heavily influenced by the University’s world-class research as well as our strong links with highly qualified professionals from industry, non-governmental organisations and charities.

You’ll experience a wide range of teaching methods including formal lectures, interactive workshops, problem-solving, practical classes and demonstrations.

Through your research project and biodiversity and conservation modules, you’ll receive substantial subject-specific training. Our teaching and assessment methods are designed to develop you into a professional who is able to think independently, solve problems, communicate effectively and demonstrate a high level of practical ability.

Research projects

As an MRes student, you’ll carry out two research projects. The range of project topics is large and diverse, covering applied, empirical and theoretical subjects. The first (winter) project is usually Leeds-based, while the second (summer) projects can be carried out in the UK or overseas. Projects have been carried out in over twenty countries so far, and this year alone we have projects in Belize, Thailand, Greece, Bermuda and Morocco.

Practical skills

There are many opportunities to develop valuable practical and analytical research skills through modules such as Insect Identification, Plant Identification, the GIS modules and by overseas field courses within Europe and Africa (see field courses). Statistical methods using R are a key component of the compulsory skills modules.

Assessment

We use a variety of assessment methods: multiple-choice testing, practical work, data handling and problem solving exercises, group work, discussion groups (face-to-face and online), computer-based simulation, essays, posters and oral presentations.

Career opportunities

Specialist and transferable skills are key component of our degrees, opening up diverse opportunities for our graduates. A proportion of both MSc and MRes graduates go on to study for a PhD and enter a research career. Many graduates go on to a career in an applied ecology or conservation-related area.



Read less
One of the only research master’s programmes in entomology in the UK, this course prepares graduates from appropriate disciplines (biological, agricultural, or environmental sciences) for employment in a variety of careers in insect ecology, or to continue on to PhD. Read more
  • One of the only research master’s programmes in entomology in the UK, this course prepares graduates from appropriate disciplines (biological, agricultural, or environmental sciences) for employment in a variety of careers in insect ecology, or to continue on to PhD. This programme is aimed at students who are interested in insects and want a career in research or another aspect of entomology.
  • Through theoretical and practical experience, you’ll learn how applied entomology is carried out both in the UK and overseas and gain an appreciation for the range of insect-related issues in the UK and abroad.
  • You will also learn essential principles of research design in applied entomology, gain competence in a range of research methods for data collection, and gain detailed expertise in a subset relevant to your own research interests.
  • You’ll develop expertise in data management and analysis, as well as the issues affecting data interpretation, and an understanding of the legal and ethical issues in the conduct and dissemination of a research programme.
  • You’ll learn the written and oral skills required for communicating research output, and gain an awareness of the issues facing those pursuing a career in entomological research.
  • You’ll also gain transferable skills, such as using computers for statistics and data analysis, and the ability to collect field data on a variety of taxonomic groups.

What will you study?

  • Quantitative Methods
  • Introduction to Entomology
  • Advanced Entomology
  • Field trips
  • Entomology project

Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.

What career can you have?

There are a wide range of employment opportunities for people with expertise in applied entomology. This includes opportunities in the agriculture sector dealing with pest control and advice (with organisations such as the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group), conservation and biodiversity (with organisations such as Natural England and various wildlife trusts), and research (with organisations such as the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology).

There are also many PhD opportunities for students with entomological expertise. 



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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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Study a course accredited by the Institution of Environmental Sciences‌‌. Learn alongside a highly qualified and experienced team with a wealth of national and international research‌. Read more

Why choose this course?

• Study a course accredited by the Institution of Environmental Sciences‌‌
• Learn alongside a highly qualified and experienced team with a wealth of national and international research‌
• If you take our Tropical Conservation Biology module, you will have the option to study in Singapore
• You will have the opportunity to undertake a training-based placement, preparing you for a career in conservation or environmental management.

About this course:

The World Conservation Union Red List includes over 15,000 species that are threatened with extinction. It’s estimated that the current species extinction rate is between 1,000 and 10,000 times higher than it would naturally be, so there’s a real need to develop knowledge and expertise in this area.

Build strong theoretical and practical knowledge
Our course gives you the opportunity to study the reasons why so many species are under threat and develop skills in the management of species and the wider environments. You’ll also develop a strong theoretical understanding of environmental management by building up the skills needed to identify environmental issues and find practical solutions.

Experienced teaching team
You’ll be taught by a highly qualified team of active international researchers, with research skills in conservation biology and environmental management. They are supportive, friendly and approachable, and keen to pass their knowledge on to you.
Learning from active researchers means you’ll gain contemporary knowledge, based on the latest findings and trends in the sector.

Exciting fieldwork
You’ll undertake fieldwork in a range of habitats from the Peak District countryside to a tropical location.
A major part of this course is the independent research project which can be designed to suit your individual interests. You will have the flexibility to research into a topic of your choice, so you can tailor it to meet your career aspirations. Previous students have researched areas such as surveys of mangrove forests in Malaysia, the conservation status of the Egyptian fruit bat in Cyprus, and the effect of the diversity of hedgerow plants on insect diversity.

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Whether you are a new graduate or already employed and seeking to further your career prospects, this course offers a solid career development path. Read more

Whether you are a new graduate or already employed and seeking to further your career prospects, this course offers a solid career development path. You can also choose this course if you wish to pursue research in biotechnology at PhD level.

Biotechnology is the application of biological processes and is underpinned by • cell biology • molecular biology • bioinformatics • structural biology. It encompasses a wide range of technologies for modifying living organisms or their products according to human needs.

Applications of biotechnology span medicine, technology and engineering.

Important biotechnological advances including

  • the production of therapeutic proteins using cloned DNA, for example insulin and clotting factors
  • the application of stem cells to treat human disease
  • the enhancement of crop yields and plants with increased nutritional value
  • herbicide and insect resistant plants
  • production of recombinant antibodies for the treatment of disease
  • edible vaccines, in the form of modified plants
  • development of biosensors for the detection of biological and inorganic analytes

You gain

  • up-to-date knowledge of the cellular and molecular basis of biological processes
  • an advanced understanding of DNA technology and molecular biotechnology
  • knowledge of developing and applying biotechnology to diagnosis and treatment of human diseases
  • practical skills applicable in a range of bioscience laboratories
  • the transferable and research skills to enable you to continue developing your knowledge and improving your employment potential

The course is led by academics who are actively involved in biotechnology research and its application to the manipulation of proteins, DNA, mammalian cells and plants. Staff also have expertise in the use of nanoparticles in drug delivery and the manipulation of microbes in industrial and environmental biotechnology.

You are supported throughout your studies by an academic advisor who will help you develop your study and personal skills.

What is biotechnology

Biotechnology is the basis for the production of current leading biopharmaceuticals and has already provided us with the 'clot-busting' drug, tissue plasminogen activator for the treatment of thrombosis and myocardial infarction. It also holds the promise of new treatments for neurodegeneration and cancer through recombinant antibodies.

Genetically modified plants have improved crop yields and are able to grow in a changing environment. Manipulation of cellular organisms through gene editing methods have also yielded a greater understanding of many disease states and have allowed us to understand how life itself functions.

Course structure

You begin your studies focusing on the fundamentals of advanced cell biology and molecular biology before specialising in both molecular and plant biotechnology. Practical skills are developed throughout the course and you gain experience in molecular biology techniques such as PCR and sub cloning alongside tissue culture.

Core to the program is the practical module where you gain experience in a range of techniques used in the determination of transcription and translational levels, for example.

All practicals are supported by experienced academic staff, skilled in the latest biotechnological techniques.

Research and statistical skills are developed throughout the program. Towards the end of the program you apply your skills on a two month research project into a current biotechnological application. Employability skills are developed throughout the course in two modules.

The masters (MSc) award is achieved by successfully completing 180 credits.

The postgraduate certificate (PgCert) is achieved by successfully completing 60 credits.

The postgraduate diploma (PgDip) is achieved by successfully completing 120 credits. 

Core modules:

  • Cell biology (15 credits)
  • Biotechnology (15 credits)
  • Plant biotechnology (15 credits)
  • Molecular biology (15 credits)
  • Applied biomedical techniques (15 credits)
  • Professional development (15 credits)
  • Research methods and statistics (15 credits)
  • Research project (60 credits)

Optional modules :

  • Human genomics and proteomics (15 credits)
  • Cellular and molecular basis of disease (15 credits)
  • Cellular and molecular basis of cancer (15 credits)

Assessment

As students progress through the course they are exposed to a wide range of teaching and learning activities. The assessment strategy of the postgraduate course considers diverse assessment methods. Some modules offer dedicated formative feedback to aid skills development with assessments going through several rounds of formative tutor and peer feedback. Summative assessment methods are diverse, with examinations present in theory-based modules to test independent knowledge and data analysis. Several modules are entirely coursework-based, with a portfolio of skills such laboratory practical's and research proposals generated throughout the course forming the summative tasks. In all cases, the assessment criteria for all assessed assignments are made available to student prior to submission. 

Employability

The course is suitable for people wishing to develop their knowledge of molecular and cell biotechnology and its application to solving health and industrial problems.

You can find career opportunities in areas such as

  • biotechnology research
  • medical research in universities and hospitals
  • government research agencies
  • biotechnology industry
  • pharmaceutical industry.

Students on this course have gone on to roles including experimental officers in contract research, research and development in scientists, diagnostics specialists and applications specialists. Many of our graduates also go on to study for PhDs and continue as academic lecturers.



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Government and private companies are working to develop new ways to improve existing food and animal feed crops, and to develop novel crops to meet future challenges. Read more
Government and private companies are working to develop new ways to improve existing food and animal feed crops, and to develop novel crops to meet future challenges. The last decade has seen rapid developments in our understanding of plants and their significance to our wellbeing and this has been achieved through advances in a range of disciplines including genetics, genomics, cell biology, physiology, ecology and studies on climate change.

Graduates of this one-year MSc will be equipped with the knowledge and skills in these recent advances to rise to the future challenges in academia, industry and policy development. Innovation and entrepreneurship permeate the course as central themes and, in addition, a specific module on entrepreneurship in plant biology is delivered. This MSc covers a wide diversity of both topics and approaches, and is taught by a high-profile research-oriented group of academics. Students will have full involvement in active research groups and access to, and experience of, a large array of state-of-the-art facilities and technologies.

Key Fact

Researchers from the UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science represent the single largest grouping of plant scientists in Ireland, with research interests ranging from genetics and molecular biology of the cell to plant physiology and ecology. They actively work with organisations such as Coillte (Forestry), the Irish Agricultural and Food Development Authority (Teagasc), the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, and industry partners.

Course Content and Structure

Modules include:
• Entrepreneurship in Plant Biology
• Future Crops and Sustainability
• Current Developments in Plant Biology
• Insect-Plant Interactions
• Biological Invasions
• Plant-Atmosphere Climate Interactions
• Ecological Significance of Different Photosynthetic Pathways
• Plant Development
• Programmed Cell Death in Plants
• Plants and Stress

Career Opportunities

Graduates will have a distinct advantage when applying for PhD studentships or other more advanced graduate training in the area of plant biology and biotechnology. This MSc is ideal for graduates interested in pursuing scientific careers in academia, agriculture and plant science-based or biotechnology industries. Graduates will haveo pportunities to pursue postgraduate education and research and work in areas such as plant biotechnology, scientific journalism/publishing and for government agencies involved in governmental and non-governmental policy.

Facilities and Resources

• UCD Rosemount Environmental Research Station
• Controlled plant growth facility and bioreactors
• Plant Metabolomics Technology Platform
• Plant Cell and Tissue Culture Facility

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Our MSc in Applied Ecology provides you with the advanced knowledge and skills required for employment in field biology, ecology and related areas.You will follow a curriculum with a highly practical emphasis, undertaking hands-on exercises in field and laboratory settings. Read more
Our MSc in Applied Ecology provides you with the advanced knowledge and skills required for employment in field biology, ecology and related areas.You will follow a curriculum with a highly practical emphasis, undertaking hands-on exercises in field and laboratory settings. In the field, you will learn identification skills for a wide range of species in several key taxonomic groups. You will also learn industry-standard survey techniques such as Phase One Habitat Surveying, Habitat Condition Assessments, National Vegetation Classification and Bird Territory Mapping. Laboratory sessions will include use of microscopes in taxonomy and analysis of environmental parameters, such as water oxygen levels and soil nutrient status, to enable better understanding of species-environment interactions.


There will be numerous opportunities to work on on-going projects with linked organisations including wildlife trusts, zoos and wildlife parks, charities and public authorities. It is an expectation that assignments, and especially dissertation work, will have direct impact on understanding and management of species and their environments.

The course is underpinned by the applied research expertise of the teaching team in applied ecology, including conservation of species in the wild and in captivity, biotic responses to climate change, avian and mammal biology, insect behaviour and evolution, non-native species introductions, population and community ecology, and environmental biology. An additional theme of citizen science develops awareness of the role of public engagement in surveying and conserving species in their environment.

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