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The Master of Research (MRes) programme in Ecology and Environmental Biology provides research training for students wishing to enter a PhD programme or seeking a career in ecological science.

Why this programme

  • The MRes Ecology and Environmental Biology degree programme draws on the research interests of a large number of university staff in the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine and allows you the chance to obtain experience in a wide range of modern research techniques.
  • There is considerable expertise in this area of biology available at Glasgow, especially in ornithology, fish biology, aquatic ecosystems, epidemiology, modelling and physiological, molecular and evolutionary ecology.
  • On-campus facilities are complemented by excellent research and teaching facilities available at the Scottish Centre for Ecology and the Natural Environment (SCENE) and Cochno Farm and Research Centre.
  • You can tailor the MRes Ecology and Environmental Biology programme to your own specific requirements and interests from the courses and projects offered.

Programme structure

The MRes consists of a taught component, and a laboratory or field-based research project in ecology and environmental biology. The emphasis is on research experience and training with two-thirds of credits devoted to project work compared with one-third for a dissertation in an MSc programme. The taught courses consist of core research skills and specialist options in ecological modelling and analysis, molecular techniques, identification and sampling methods (see list of options for MSc Quantitative Methods in Biodiversity, Conservation & Epidemiology). You will carry out an extended two-part research project, chosen to reflect your own interests and the skills you wish to acquire. The MRes Programme also strongly benefits from research opportunities in terrestrial and aquatic ecology at the University of Glasgow’s Scottish Centre for Ecology and the Natural Environment.

A total of 180 credits are required, with 30 flexible credits in the first term. See the accompanying detailed course descriptions found in the IBAHCM Masters Programme Overview. When selecting options, please email the relevant course coordinator as well as registering using MyCampus.

Term 1: Core courses               

Key Research Skills (scientific writing, introduction to R, introduction to linear models; advanced linear models, experimental design)

Term 1: Optional courses                        

  • Spatial Ecology and Biodiversity
  • Programming in R 
  • Biodiversity Informatics
  • GIS for Ecologists
  • Infectious Disease Ecology & the Dynamics of Emerging Disease
  • Introduction to Bayesian Statistics
  • Invertebrate Identification
  • Molecular Analyses for Biodiversity and Conservation
  • Molecular Epidemiology & Phylodynamics
  • Multi-species Models
  • Single-species Population Models
  • Vertebrate Identification
  • Human Dimensions of Conservation
  • Principles of Conservation Ecology
  • Protected Area Management


  • MRes Ecology and Environmental Biology Project 1 (terms 1 + 2)
  • MRes Ecology and Environmental Biology Project 2 (Summer)

Find out more about core and optional courses 

Programme alteration or discontinuation

The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Student contract.

Career prospects

You will be provided with excellent training for applying for a PhD programme or entering work in ecological consultancy, governmental agencies or conservation sectors. The MRes also serves as a valuable introduction to UK research for overseas students. There are considerable opportunities to undertake research work in the UK and overseas. MRes projects in the past have involved field-work in some of Scotland’s most important natural environments including Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, the Outer Hebrides and Skye or overseas in the Falkland Islands, Peru, Trinidad, Tobago, Egypt, Svalbard (Norway), Canada, the Azores (Portugal), Cayman Islands, and the Philippines.

Visit the Ecology & Environmental Biology (MRes) page on the University of Glasgow website for more details!





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