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Biological Sciences×

University of Essex, Full Time Masters Degrees in Biological Sciences

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If you want to pursue a research career in academia or industry, our MSc Cancer Biology will provide you with the essential advanced skills and knowledge for a role in biopharma, healthcare or cancer research. Read more
If you want to pursue a research career in academia or industry, our MSc Cancer Biology will provide you with the essential advanced skills and knowledge for a role in biopharma, healthcare or cancer research. We offer many opportunities for you to explore medically relevant research in the School of Biological Sciences including hospital-based sessions through our collaboration with local cancer specialists and clinicians.

An important and exciting part of your programme is an extensive independent research project, based in one of our academic research groups using advanced laboratories facilities and bioinformatics tools. There are also opportunities for research projects to take place within an industrial or clinical setting.

Throughout the course, you develop your knowledge in the essential areas of molecular and cellular biology which complement your specialist modules in cancer biology. You gain expertise in areas including:
-Specific cancer types (including breast, prostate, pancreatic and colon cancer)
-Clinical aspects of cancer
-Emerging trends in cancer research

You are also trained in modern research methods and approaches which will develop your skills in complex biological data analysis and specific techniques in cancer research.

Within our School of Biological Sciences, two-thirds of our research is rated “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” (REF 2014), and you will learn from and work alongside our expert staff as you undertake your own research.

Our expert staff

We have a very strong research team in the area of cancer biology, who are well placed to deliver the specialist teaching on this course.

The team includes the course leader Professor Elena Klenova (molecular oncology and cancer biomarkers), Dr Ralf Zwacka (apoptotic and survival signalling in cancer), Dr Greg Brooke (steroid hormone receptor signalling in cancer), Dr Metodi Metodiev (clinical proteomics and bioinformatics), Dr Pradeepa Madapura (cancer epigenetics), Dr Vladimir Teif (computational and systems biology), Professor Nelson Fernandez (tumour immunology) and Dr Filippo Prischi (structural biology and biophysics of novel drug targets).

External experts also input to your teaching, including guest speakers from hospitals and research institutions, who deliver classes both on-campus and within the hospital environment.

As one of the largest schools at Essex, we offer a lively, friendly and supportive environment with research-led study and high-quality teaching, and you benefit from our academics’ wide range of expertise and research.

The University of Essex has a Women's Network to support female staff and students and was awarded the Athena SWAN Institutional Bronze Award in November 2013 in recognition of its continuing work to support women in STEM.

Specialist facilities

Recent investment has provided modern facilities for functional genomics, computational biology and imaging biological systems. On our course you have the opportunity to:
-Study in an open and friendly department, with shared staff-student social spaces
-Carry out your research project in shared lab space, alongside PhD students and researchers engaged in cutting-edge cancer research
-Learn to use state-of-the-art research facilities, including an advanced microscopy suite, proteomics laboratory, cell culture, bioinformatics and genomics facilities, modern molecular biology laboratories, and protein structure analysis

Your future

Graduates who are skilled in the research methods embedded into your course are in demand from the biotechnology and biomedical research industries in this area of the UK and beyond.

Many of our Masters students progress to study for a PhD, and there are many opportunities within our school leading to a career in science.

We work with our University’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Example structure

-Advanced Cancer Biology
-Practical Skills in Cancer Research
-Gene Technology and Synthetic Biology
-Protein Technologies
-Professional Skills and the Business of Molecular Medicine
-Cancer Biology (optional)
-Research Project: MSc Cancer Biology
-Genomics (optional)
-Cell Signalling (optional)
-Molecular Medicine and Biotechnology (optional)
-Human Molecular Genetics (optional)
-Molecular and Developmental Immunology (optional)
-Creating and Growing a New Business Venture (optional)
-Rational Drug Design (optional)

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How can biological processes and organisms be used in the development of new technologies? Biotechnology enables us to improve practices in diverse fields including genetics, agriculture, bioremediation, immunology, diagnostics, energy production, and age-assisted living. Read more
How can biological processes and organisms be used in the development of new technologies? Biotechnology enables us to improve practices in diverse fields including genetics, agriculture, bioremediation, immunology, diagnostics, energy production, and age-assisted living.

Our course provides you with knowledge, understanding and hands-on experience in modern biotechnology, and with practical insights into current commercial applications. It creates access to a broad range of career opportunities in this rapidly growing key technology.

You will learn about and appraise the approaches that can be used to address the challenges facing our planet, including:
-The development of biofuels, pharmaceuticals and crops to support and feed the growing human population
-Industrial, plant and medical biotechnology
-Gene and protein technology
-Synthetic biology
-Bioinformatics

The course has a very high proportion of practical work that provides valuable experience for your career, and in addition to this, our optional module Creating and Growing a New Business Venture challenges you to think creatively. This increases your value to organisations, including small enterprises, which are a growing part of the biotechnology sector.

Your research project is a major component of this course, for which you perform novel laboratory and/or bioinformatic research in one of our academic laboratories, or (subject to approval) carry out research in an industrial or hospital setting.

Two-thirds of our research is rated “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” (REF 2014), and you learn from and work alongside our expert staff.

Our expert staff

As one of the largest schools at our University, we offer a lively, friendly and supportive environment with research-led study and high quality teaching. You benefit from our academics’ wide range of expertise and research on important national and international problems using cutting-edge techniques.

The University of Essex has a Women's Network to support female staff and students and was awarded the Athena SWAN Institutional Bronze Award in November 2013 in recognition of its continuing work to support women in STEM.

Specialist facilities

Recent investment has provided modern facilities for functional genomics, computational biology, and imaging biological systems. On our course you have the opportunity to:
-Work in an open and friendly department, with shared staff-student social spaces
-Conduct your research alongside leading academics and PhD students in shared labs
-Learn to use state-of-the-art equipment

Your future

Our graduates are well placed to find employment in the ever-growing bio-based economy, and postgraduate study is often a requirement for becoming a researcher, scientist, academic journal editor and to work in some public bodies or private companies.

Many of our Masters students progress to study for their PhD, and we offer numerous studentships to support our students in their studies.

We work with our university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Example structure

Postgraduate study is the chance to take your education to the next level. The combination of compulsory and optional modules means our courses help you develop extensive knowledge in your chosen discipline, whilst providing plenty of freedom to pursue your own interests. Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.

Biotechnology - MSc
-Research Project: MSc Biotechnology
-Protein Technologies
-Gene Technology and Synthetic Biology
-Genomics
-Professional Skills and the Business of Biotechnology
-Creating and Growing a New Business Venture (optional)
-Industrial Biotechnology: Enzymes, Biochemicals and Biomaterials (optional)
-Molecular Medicine and Biotechnology (optional)
-Plant Biotechnology (optional)
-Rational Drug Design (optional)

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Tropical ecosystems provide important resources locally and globally, and coral reefs are the most diverse of marine ecosystems threatened by human activities. Read more
Tropical ecosystems provide important resources locally and globally, and coral reefs are the most diverse of marine ecosystems threatened by human activities.

Our unique multidisciplinary course, MSc Tropical Marine Biology, is designed to deliver advanced tropical marine biology theory and to facilitate the development of a comprehensive range of practical and professional skills required by today’s employers.

As a student of our School you will benefit from the breadth of research carried out by our internationally recognised academics, and will engage with current research activities both in the UK and abroad. You also have opportunity to put theory into practice and study coral reef conservation first hand during the School’s annual field trip to Wakatobi Marine National Park, Indonesia.

Explore topics including:
-Hands-on experience of coral reef conservation on our pioneering underwater lectures in Indonesia
-The biotechnological ‘treasure chest’ of marine microbes, algae and invertebrates
-Tropical oceans, seagrass beds, mangroves and coral reefs
-Coral reef resource management

During the summer term, you will embark on your own extensive research project under the supervision of researchers at the forefront of their fields. This can be conducted within our in-house Coral Reef Research Unit, or alongside one of our research partners from across the globe, addressing key questions on the functioning of and threats to tropical marine ecosystems.

Two-thirds of our research is rated “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” (REF 2014), and you learn from and work alongside our expert staff.

Professional accreditation

To expand your skillset and boost your employability, we provide you with £125 to spend on externally accredited learning, such as certification as a Marine Mammal Surveyor, participation in Sea Survival courses or gaining the skills and background knowledge needed to drive a powerboat.

Our expert staff

As one of the largest schools at our University, we offer a lively, friendly and supportive environment with research-led study and high quality teaching. You benefit from our academics’ wide range of expertise on important national and international problems using cutting-edge techniques.

Key academic staff for this course include: Dr Leanne Appleby Hepburn, who works on community ecology of coral reefs; Professor Dave Smith, who is researching tropical marine biology and conservation; Dr Michael Steinke, who is working on biogenic trace gases in marine environments; Dr Tom Cameron, who specialises in aquatic community ecology; and Dr Etienne Low-Decarie, who is investigating ecological and evolutionary responses to global change.

The University of Essex has a Women's Network to support female staff and students and was awarded the Athena SWAN Institutional Bronze Award in November 2013 in recognition of its continuing work to support women in STEM.

Specialist facilities

Recent investment has provided modern facilities for imaging biological systems, aquatic community ecology, photosynthesis and eco-physiology. On our course you have the opportunity to:
-Work in an open and friendly department, with shared staff-student social spaces
-Conduct your research alongside academics and PhD students in shared labs
-Our local marine biology field centre, with direct access to the Colne estuary, a recently designated marine conservation zone (MCZ). -Develop your practical skills through mapping habitats, Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and boat handling
-Learn to use state-of-the-art research facilities

Your future

As the world's environmental problems increase, the demand for qualified marine biologists continues to grow, and postgraduate study is often a requirement for becoming a researcher, scientist, academic journal editor and to work in some public bodies or private companies.

Many of our Masters students progress to study for their PhD, and we offer numerous studentships to support our students in their studies.

Our graduates go on to a range of careers. Some work with governmental and non-governmental environmental agencies, organisations, consultancies and voluntary organisations, or go on to conduct doctorate research. Many overseas students return to comparable posts in their home country.

We work with our university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Example structure

-Tropical Marine Resources
-Tropical Marine Systems
-Methods in Tropical Marine Biology
-Professional Skills in Tropical Marine Biology
-Research Project: MSc Tropical Marine Biology

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Molecular medicine is transforming the way we understand and treat human diseases, from cancers to neurodegenerative disorders. Read more
Molecular medicine is transforming the way we understand and treat human diseases, from cancers to neurodegenerative disorders. Combining contemporary medical studies with biochemistry and molecular biology, this rapidly advancing area creates a bridge between the subjects, and draws on other fields such as physics, chemistry, biology and medicine.

This course examines how normal cellular processes are affected by disease. You gain an understanding of the core foundations of molecular medicine, studying the topics most relevant to the real world, and how this science may be used in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases.

You learn about and appraise the approaches that can be used to address global health problems, including cancer as well as genetic and infectious diseases. The foundations that support investigations of molecular disease mechanisms and the search for new diagnostic tools and treatments will be laid, as you explore topics including:
-Gene and protein technology.
-Synthetic biology
-Bioinformatics
-Genomics

This course has a very high proportion of practical and bioinformatic work that provides valuable experience for your career. This includes our optional module Creating and Growing a New Business Venture, which challenges you to think creatively and increases your value to organisations, including small enterprises, which are a growing part of the biopharmaceutical sector.

Your research project is a major component of your course, in which you perform novel laboratory and/or bioinformatic research in one of our academic laboratories or (subject to approval) carry out research in an industrial or hospital setting.

Two-thirds of our research is rated “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” (REF 2014), and you learn from and work alongside our expert staff.

Our expert staff

As one of the largest schools at our University, we offer a lively, friendly and supportive environment with research-led study and high quality teaching. You benefit from our academics’ wide range of expertise and research on important national and international problems using cutting-edge techniques.

The University of Essex has a Women's Network to support female staff and students and was awarded the Athena SWAN Institutional Bronze Award in November 2013 in recognition of its continuing work to support women in STEM.

Specialist facilities

Recent investment has provided modern facilities for functional genomics, computational biology and imaging biological systems. On our course you have the opportunity to:
-Work in an open and friendly department, with shared staff-student social spaces
-Conduct your research alongside academics and PhD students in shared labs
-Learn to use state-of-the-art research facilities, from protein purification, to cell culture and imaging, to molecular modelling

Your future

Contribute to a growing industry and gain the skills and knowledge to pursue a career in biomedical research and industry, or continue your studies further in postgraduate science and medical degrees.

Advances in molecular medicine will continue to drive growth of new services and products in health care, biomedical and pharmaceutical organisations and companies, and our graduates are well placed to take advantage of employment opportunities in the life science, biotech and pharmaceutical industries and hospitals.

Many of our Masters students progress to study for their PhD, and we offer numerous studentships to support our students in their studies.

We work with our university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Example structure

-Research Project: MSc Molecular Medicine
-Protein Technologies
-Gene Technology and Synthetic Biology
-Professional Skills and the Business of Molecular Medicine
-Molecular Medicine and Biotechnology
-Genomics
-Advanced Medical Microbiology (optional)
-Human Molecular Genetics (optional)
-Cancer Biology (optional)
-Creating and Growing a New Business Venture (optional)
-Rational Drug Design (optional)
-Molecular and Developmental Immunology (optional)
-Cell Signalling (optional)
-Mechanisms of Neurological Disease (optional)

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Train in the practical and theoretical elements of sport and exercise science. Explore the broad spectrum of areas that underpin health; sport and exercise. Read more
Train in the practical and theoretical elements of sport and exercise science. Explore the broad spectrum of areas that underpin health; sport and exercise. With our state-of-the-art facilities and science-based approach, you gain a solid understanding of the biology, physiology, biomechanics, nutrition and psychology of sport.

You study a wide variety of topics including:

- The analysis of movement
- The impact of nutrition and drugs
- How extreme environments can affect human performance
- Paediatric exercise science
- Sport psychology

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