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Biomedical Sciences (Integrative Physiology) MScR

Course Description

Research profile

The Centre for Integrative Physiology (CIP) fosters research into fundamental mechanisms and pathways relevant to human function and disease.

CIP investigators exploit rapid advances in the enabling technologies available from genomics, proteomics, imaging, informatics, and in vivo analysis to understand the function of gene products at the cell, organ and whole-animal level.

Importantly, CIP investigators exploit the most appropriate model organisms/systems to investigate the key physiological question being posed: a delicate balance between high biomedical relevance (for example human, mouse, rat) and high genetic power (such as Drosophila and fish).

Training and support

Three- and four-year research degrees
Three- and four-year studentships are offered. Postgraduate students carry out their studies within a research group under the supervision of an academic staff member (their 'first supervisor').

In addition, students are assigned a personal thesis committee comprising their supervisor and two other academic staff members, who provide advice and mentoring, and monitor progress.

In their first year, students have the opportunity of participating in relevant taught modules of a number of associated MSc courses (for example Developmental Cell Biology and Neuroinformatics). Students attend research seminars and the generic skills training programme provided by the Life Sciences Graduate Programme. Postgraduates also have the opportunity to act as demonstrators for undergraduate teaching.

Students are strongly encouraged to present their findings at national and international conferences and to publish their findings in international journals during their postgraduate training.

MSc by Research

Our MSc by Research is a full-time 1-year research project done under the supervision of a CIP Researcher. This programme has no taught component and is therefore only suitable for highly motivated students with a clear idea of their research interests and goals, with significant theoretical or practical knowledge of a chosen field. An MSc by full-time research provides an excellent training in laboratory research and a strong grounding for further study at the level of PhD. Initial enquires should be made directly to Dr. Paul Skehel.

MSc students will work full-time on their research project with the additional option of taking selected transferable skills courses. Each student will have two supervisors. After 3 months study a short presentation and report of completed and proposed work will be made to the supervisors, at which point progression from Diploma to full Masters will be considered. Students that demonstrate sufficient progress and aptitude will progress for a further 9 months full-time research after which a Dissertation will be presented and assessed for the award of MSc.

A preliminary email briefly outlining your research interests and identifying up to three potential supervisors from the CIP should be sent directly to Dr Paul Skehel. If appropriate, students will then be invited to submit a short 400-word general outline for a potential MSc project with specific supervisors. Applicants progressing to this point will then be guided to make a formal application on this page. Please note that the MSc by Research has additional programme costs of £5,000.


The core of the CIP occupies the newly refurbished Hugh Robson Building and has facilities for all aspects of modern molecular, cellular and systems biology.

Research is mainly funded by grants from the MRC, the BBSRC and industrial companies.

Visit the Biomedical Sciences (Integrative Physiology) MScR page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

Entry Requirements

The minimum entry requirement for our research programmes is an undergraduate degree, with an excellent or very good classification (equivalent to first or upper second class honours in the UK). For some non-UK applicants the entry requirement is a Masters degree. Please check the entry requirements by country.

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