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Biological Sciences×

Plymouth University, Full Time Masters Degrees in Biological Sciences

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With constant developments across all disciplines, biomedical science is a fast-paced, ever-evolving field. Read more
With constant developments across all disciplines, biomedical science is a fast-paced, ever-evolving field. Looking for a programme that will help you deepen your theoretical knowledge, hone your clinical skills and broaden your professional experience? We give you a suite of award pathways that allow you to explore different research areas and develop your specialisms.

Key features

-Tap into the expertise of academic lecturers and tutors actively researching and developing new techniques in modern biomedical science. Our programme has a strong international reputation in translational research, with significant financial investment in laboratory infrastructure.
-Hone your skills and critical thinking, and grow your clinical experience.
-Work with high specification, regularly updated facilities serving post-genomics and proteomics, cell biology and imaging.
-Enrich your learning with teaching, expertise and insight from our NHS partners, plus members of Plymouth University School of Biomedical and Healthcare Sciences.
-Deepen your understanding with modules that explore modern practice, emerging techniques and the impact of new technologies on research methods.
-Benefit from a programme that’s reinforced by the research, facilities and expertise of the Centre for Biomedical Research and the Systems Biology Centre. Attend research events and work with leading scientists in a wide range of fields, including immunology, haematology and genomics.
-Gain the skills needed to study at masters level with specialist modules on research techniques and project development.
-Part of the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) accredited suite of MSc Biomedical Science awards.

Course details

You’ll take five modules: the core module (molecular biology: genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics), at least one diagnostic research applications module and one discipline-specific module to determine your final award. Options for the diagnostic research applications include bioinformatics, contemporary applications of cell biology, and contemporary science of infection and immunity. Focussing in on the discipline that interests you the most for your final award, you can choose from a range of modules including: clinical immunology, clinical microbiology, haematology and transfusion, medical genomics and personalised medicine, molecular and cellular pathology and clinical biochemistry.

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Are you passionate about animal welfare and keen to shape the management of the zoos of the future? Students from over 20 nationalities have chosen our unique programme, the first of its kind in the world. Read more
Are you passionate about animal welfare and keen to shape the management of the zoos of the future? Students from over 20 nationalities have chosen our unique programme, the first of its kind in the world. Study factors affecting animal behaviour, conservation, welfare and their interactions, as well as international zoo management and collaboration. Our partnership with Paignton Zoo gives you regular access to their connections, research and expertise – so you’re primed to make a difference.

Key features

-Delivered in conjunction with the staff at Paignton Zoo and its parent body, the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust which also owns Newquay Zoo and Living Coasts.
-Develop your scientific knowledge, professional and technical skills as a conservation biologist. Learn how to manage animal collections for the purpose of education, conservation and wildlife research.
-Study aspects of animal behaviour and ecology, as well as how welfare, housing, nutrition and health all have a part to play in species management.
-Learn to troubleshoot problems at the level of a social group within a particular zoological collection, right up to the level of a species globally. Explore how breeding programmes for endangered species are international in scope.
-Benefit from the knowledge and guidance of Plymouth University’s expert staff with specialisms including the behaviour of captive animals, animal nutrition, the welfare of captive birds and the application of population genetics to captive and natural fish populations.
-Find out how the science of zoos is used to inform government policy. Two of our teaching team are the only academic representatives on the government’s Zoos Expert Committee.
-Get behind-the-scenes insight with a day of study each week with our partners at Paignton Zoo Environmental Park. Deepen your understanding of the business and conservation work of zoos, and how networks and collaborations work between them.
-Access the latest research and information from the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust, including information on their co-ordinated breeding programmes for endangered species.
-Be inspired by opportunities to visit a range of zoos in the region – including Dartmoor, Bristol and Newquay – and to travel abroad for research projects. A recent student travelled to Louisiana Zoo for her research project on golden tamarin monkeys.
-Graduates work in zoos as educators, researchers, managers and keepers. Many go on to PhD study or work in further education. Other employers include the European Association for Zoos and Aquaria; the Natural History Unit (BBC); national and international conservation organisations.

Course details

As a full-time student, you’ll study seven modules taking in everything from genetics to environmental enrichment, preventative health to budgeting. We update modules to reflect current thinking and you can specialise within them. If you’re interested in working with tigers, for example, this can be reflected across your work. You’ll be assessed through coursework with practical tasks focused on your future career. Core modules include introduction to zoo organisation, animal conservation, applied animal behaviour and management, animal metabolism and nutrition, animal health and welfare and business management. You’ll then do a final three-month research project of your choice. Previous investigations have included everything from female mate choice in white faced saki monkeys to how peripheral and/or invasive activity affects the behaviour and enclosure use of captive sand tiger sharks.

Core modules
-BIO505 Research Project
-ANIM5006 Contemporary Zoo Management
-BIO5131 Postgraduate Research Skills & Methods
-ANIM5005 Zoo Animal Behaviour and Welfare
-ANIM5007 Small Population Conservation
-ANIM5008 Conservation Ecology and Society
-ANIM5009 Zoo Animal Health, Nutrition and Management

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

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Marine biology is an extraordinarily broad and dynamic subject, reflecting the diversity and energy of marine ecosystems and the fantastic array of life they contain, making this a compelling subject to study. Read more
Marine biology is an extraordinarily broad and dynamic subject, reflecting the diversity and energy of marine ecosystems and the fantastic array of life they contain, making this a compelling subject to study. Marine processes exert massive influences on the Earth’s climate and the pattern of biogeochemical cycling. Closely linked with the diverse research pursuits of a range of scientists this programme allows you to apply and develop your particular skills in a marine context.

Key features

-Study in Plymouth, an internationally renowned city for marine biological research.
-Participate in a specifically designed, topical programme jointly hosted by Plymouth University and the Marine Biological Association (MBA) of the UK.
-Choose between two pathways to suit your research interests, biodiversity and ecology or cellular and molecular biology.
-Benefit from being taught by recognised experts with worldwide links to research organisations and projects.
-Draw on our expertise, working alongside research staff on a personal project.
-Undertake an extensive, original and innovative research project, often in collaboration with MBA Research Fellows, or one of our other partner institutions (Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science and the National Marine Aquarium), either in the UK or abroad.
-Excellent training for further research.
-See the benefit from close links with the research community worldwide.

Course details

In your first term you will study core modules which concentrate on building up your general research and academic skills. You’ll also be introduced to the research and organisation of the MBA and the Marine Biology and Ecology Research Centre at the University, with a focus upon raising your awareness of potential dissertation topics and advisors. You’ll take a specific module based on your chosen specialisation. The ecology option includes additional training in the analysis of ecological data and conservation/biodiversity assessments. The cellular and molecular option meanwhile focuses on DNA and microbiological techniques, biological imaging, and electrophysiological methods. The majority of time from mid-January onwards is spent on your research project and dissertation. You’ll undertake your project working directly with researchers at the MBA, Plymouth University or one of our other partner institutions. It may also be possible to conduct your project abroad.

Core modules
-MBAM5106 Advanced Research in Marine Biology
-MBAM5109 Marine Biology MRes Dissertation
-BIO5131 Postgraduate Research Skills & Methods

Optional modules
-MBAM5108 Marine Ecology and Conservation
-MBAM5107 Molecular and Cellular Approaches in Marine Biology

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

Advice from graduate Olivia Durkin

"Although I may have not followed the typical path of a marine biology graduate, I have always remained flexible in the available job opportunities and therefore gained a very varied skill set, enabling me to adapt to different roles and projects. Do what you enjoy and it’s ok if you don’t end up being the dolphin trainer you thought you might be."

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Aquaculture is now recognised as the fastest growth sector of agribusiness on a global scale – learn about this growing industry through our multidisciplinary approach, which places emphasis on sustainable use of aquatic and marine resources for commercial exploitation for food and products. Read more
Aquaculture is now recognised as the fastest growth sector of agribusiness on a global scale – learn about this growing industry through our multidisciplinary approach, which places emphasis on sustainable use of aquatic and marine resources for commercial exploitation for food and products. You’ll discover the scientific rationale for improving aquatic animal health, production and reducing environmental impact and address the socio-economic factors.

Key features

-Develop an appreciation for the growing aquaculture industry within a sustainable agenda for meeting the needs of culturing fish, crustacean, mollusc, aquatic plants and invertebrates for their products.
-Choose specialised modules and draw on the expertise of research active staff with proven track records of teaching and national as well as international recognition in their fields.
-Seize the opportunity to research an aspect of aquaculture.
-Undertake a variety of projects and technical training with our contemporary facilities such as wet labs/aquaria, nutrition and feed analytical suites as well as teaching laboratories, molecular biology and an electron microscopy centre.
-Learn from internationally recognised scientists and personnel from Plymouth University and the National Lobster Hatchery.
-Gain access to expertise from leaders in industry and commerce in a variety of aquaculture systems, advancing your technical and scientific knowledge.
-Benefit from our strong relationships with government agencies, commercial enterprising and advisory organisations.
-Join our well established postgraduate environment where PhD students interact and engage in related specialised areas to foster a sound academic forum for sharing ideas and technical knowledge.
-Graduate opportunities include various career paths within the aquaculture industry as well as associated fields relating to fish and shellfish health, welfare and research. Previous graduates have progressed into careers in these fields or PhD programmes in the UK, Europe, Asia and Africa.

Course details

You’ll learn about the scale and nature of the global industry and the challenges required to develop sustainable solutions. The programme reflects key aspects of fish, shellfish and algae production relating to modern aquaculture practices with emphasis on nutrition, feed management, health, welfare and sustainable technology. It also incorporates the socio-economic and geo-political developments in this expanding area as well as marketing and enterprise. Topics include: fish nutrition, feed technology, fish and shellfish health management, disease prevention and genetic improvement of stock for aquaculture; management of fish production, ornamental fish culture and global demand for aquatic trades in captive fish species; environmental and legislative regulations in different countries and the problems of aquaculture expansion in rural areas; economics of the marine environment; seafood processing; and a research project leading to your dissertation.

Core module
-BIO504 Health and Production in Aquaculture
-BIO505 Research Project
-BIO5125 Sustainable Use of Resources in Biological Systems
-BIO5131 Postgraduate Research Skills & Methods
-BIO5208 Contemporary Issues in Aquaculture

Optional modules
-MAR529 Marine Planning
-BIO5209 Seafood Processing - Current Perspectives
-MAR507 Economics of the Marine Environment

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

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Conserve our environment for future generations – work with industry and governments to reduce human impacts and provide solutions to environmental problems. Read more
Conserve our environment for future generations – work with industry and governments to reduce human impacts and provide solutions to environmental problems. MSc Environmental Consultancy will help launch your career, giving you the skills and knowledge required for a job in the environment sector. Maximise your career prospects by learning the latest techniques used in the management and assessment of environmental impact, and develop your practical skills with an eight week industry placement.

Key features

-Embark on an eight week work placement in the environmental sector which will give you an invaluable insight into the environmental business sector and, in many cases, has led to permanent positions being offered by employers. See the organisations we partner with to provide student placements.
-Work towards achieving chartered environmentalist status through your masters. The award has also received considerable support and recognition from employers and professional bodies such as the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA).
-Benefit from our expertise in areas including species and habitat restoration, evaluation of contaminated water and terrestrial environments, environmental law, geographical information systems, waste management and marine surveys.
-Take the opportunity to carry out your own environmental impact assessment, from data acquisition to production of a full environmental statement.
-Investigate through field work how environmental issues and constraints have been managed in the South West and further afield.
-Use the University’s high specification analytical equipment for environmental monitoring and the research vessel, Falcon Spirit, for marine sampling.
-Undertake a research-based project – you’ll be encouraged to develop a solution to a problem-based research question, working where possible in association with industry and your academic advisor.
-All modules are assessed 100 per cent by coursework, designed to reflect the outputs of the industry, readying you for what you are likely to be asked to do in your job.

Course details

Learn from our environmental management expertise in areas including ecological impact assessment, protected species and habitat survey, pollution prevention, evaluation of contaminated environments, water resource management, geographical information systems, waste minimisation and marine ecological survey. The programme consists of a 12 week and 7 week period of taught modules with an 8 week environmental sector work placement and 18 week dissertation period. Modules are assessed 100 per cent by coursework and designed to mirror professional practice. You’ll be provided with subject-specific knowledge and training in research methods. You’ll carry out an environmental impact assessment, from data acquisition to public inquiry, and develop your field survey skills over the equivalent of two weeks. Practising consultants give you an insight into opportunities within the environmental sector and you’ll hear how environmental management can help protect the environment and save money.

Core modules
-ENVS5004 Work Placement Project
-GEES515 Professional Practice in the Environmental Sector
-GEES517 Environmental Assessment
-GEES519 Environmental Knowledge: From Field to Stakeholder
-GEES520 MSc Dissertation

Optional modules
-MAR515 Management of Coastal Environments
-GEES505 Sustainable Management of Freshwater Ecosystems
-MATH500 Big Data and Social Network Visualization
-ENVS5003 Ecological Survey Evaluation and Mitigation
-ENVS5002 Investigation and Assessment of Contaminated Environments
-GEES506 Climate Change: Science and Policy
-CHM5002 Analytical Chemistry Principles
-MATH501 Modelling and Analytics for Data Science

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

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Bring your graduate expertise, skills and enthusiasm to the imaginative and practical teaching of biology to children of all abilities from 11 to 18. Read more
Bring your graduate expertise, skills and enthusiasm to the imaginative and practical teaching of biology to children of all abilities from 11 to 18. Our one year programme aims to prepare you to teach in a way that makes use of the latest developments and technology. You’ll be introduced to a range of modern scientific software and use and develop resources for interactive white boards. The placement experience will sharpen your skills and fully prepare you for your future teaching career.

Key features

-Build your confidence and gain practical teaching experience, with two main placements in local secondary schools and shorter visits to primary schools.
-Access a range of bursary and funding options to help ensure you’re able to focus on your studies and placements.
-Benefit from support throughout your training from both your faculty tutor and school mentors.
-Stand out as a subject specialist with the knowledge, personal qualities and standards of professional competence necessary to stimulate the imagination of children and to maintain and improve standards in schools.
-Learn about the latest curriculum developments, issues and innovations.
-You'll be supported to teach all three sciences to GCSE, with a particular focus on your specialism.
-Deepen your understanding of teaching, and learn about the opportunities for continued professional development and the relationship between educators and society.
-Make use of the latest technologies and developments in teaching and gain experience in developing multimedia resources for your subject.
-Hone your CV, interview and job application skills and attend events that will introduce you to potential employers.
-Leave with the skills, knowledge and experience needed to begin your career teaching biology to children of all abilities from 11-18.
-Take advantage of free teacher training support from the Department for Education’s Premier Plus programme.
-Our PGCE secondary programme is now part of the School Direct initiative, and we offer a wide range of subjects through this route.

Course details

You’ll take six core modules: induction and professional issues, teaching and learning biology, developing subject pedagogy, professional studies and practical teaching (two parts). You’ll maintain professional development and subject knowledge profiles, enabling you to chart your development in meeting the professional standards required by the Department of Education. You’ll learn to draw on your experience of teaching as well as provide evidence of reading and reflection. We’ll support you with a range of graduated practical experiences which will allow you to develop the confidence to take responsibility in the classroom. This tapered introduction to learning is a well established and successful feature of our teacher training. As a trainee teacher you’ll spend two thirds of your PGCE year in local schools with two main secondary school placements as well as shorter visits to primary schools. You’ll be supervised jointly by a school mentor and a faculty tutor.

Core modules
-EPGS413 Practical Teaching 1
-EPGS710 Developing Subject Pedagogy
-EPGS719 Professional Studies
-EPGS618 Practical Teaching 2
-EPGS615 Introduction to Professional Teaching and Learning

Optional modules
-EPGS619 Professional Studies
-EPGS610 Developing Subject Pedagogy

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With constant developments across all disciplines, biomedical science is a fast-paced, ever-evolving field. Read more
With constant developments across all disciplines, biomedical science is a fast-paced, ever-evolving field. Looking for a programme that will help you deepen your theoretical knowledge, hone your clinical skills and broaden your professional experience? We give you a suite of award pathways that allow you to explore different research areas, develop your specialisms and focus your study into a practical clinical research project.

Key features

-Tap into the expertise of academic lecturers and tutors actively researching and developing new techniques in modern biomedical science. Our programme has a strong international reputation in translational research, with significant financial investment in laboratory infrastructure.
-Hone your skills and critical thinking, and grow your clinical experience.
-Work with high specification, regularly updated facilities serving post-genomics and proteomics, cell biology and imaging.
-Enrich your learning with teaching, expertise and insight from our NHS partners, plus members of Plymouth University School of Biomedical and Healthcare Sciences.
-Deepen your understanding with modules that explore modern practice, emerging techniques and the impact of new technologies on research methods.
-Benefit from a programme that’s reinforced by the research, facilities and expertise of the Centre for Biomedical Research and the Systems Biology Centre. Attend research events and work with leading scientists in a wide range of fields, including immunology, haematology and genomics.
-Focus your specific interests under the guidance of your personal project advisor and develop an individual final project within the Centre for Biomedical Research and the Systems Biology Centre.
-Gain the skills needed to study at masters level with specialist modules on research techniques and project development.

Choose from our modules to follow a path of study resulting in one of following MSc awards:
-Biomedical Science (Cellular Pathology)
-Biomedical Science (Clinical Biochemistry)
-Biomedical Science (Haematology and Transfusion)
-Biomedical Science (Immunology)
-Biomedical Science (Medical Genetics)
-Biomedical Science (Medical Microbiology)
-Begin your career with the confidence that the MSc Biomedical Science suite of awards are accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science.
-Take the course as a full-time intercalated degree programme for those wishing to interrupt their studies as a medical or dental student.

For more information about the part-time version of this course, view this web-page: https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/msc-biomedical-science-2

Course details

You’ll take five modules: three core modules, one diagnostic research applications module, plus one discipline-specific module to determine your final award. You'll design and execute a research project, supported by your project advisor. Other core modules include molecular biology (genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics) and project design and development, where you’ll also critically review scientific literature. Options for the diagnostic research applications include bioinformatics, contemporary applications of cell biology, and contemporary science of infection and immunity. Focussing in on the discipline that interests you the most for your final award, you can choose from a range of modules including: clinical immunology, clinical microbiology, haematology and transfusion, medical genomics and personalised medicine, molecular and cellular pathology and clinical biochemistry.

Core modules
-BIOM5005 Project Design and Development
-BIOM5001 Molecular Biology: Genomics, Transcriptomics and Proteomics
-BIOM5006 Research Project

Optional modules
-BIOM5008 Clinical Microbiology
-BIOM5002 Contemporary Applications of Cell Biology
-BIOM5003 Contemporary Science of Infection and Immunity
-BIOM5014 Bioinformatics
-BIOM5007 Cellular Basis of Clinical Immunology
-BIOM5009 Haematology and Transfusion
-BIOM5010 Medical Genomics and Personalised Medicine
-BIOM5011 Molecular and Cellular Pathology
-BIOM5012 Clinical Biochemistry

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

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