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Course content

The field of Ecology, Evolution and Development describes how the molecular and genetic regulation of development changes in response to evolutionary forces to generate organismal diversity. Understanding development, and its regulation in ecological and evolutionary contexts is critical for developing emerging molecular medical techniques, understanding biodiversity and tracing evolution.

See the website http://www.brookes.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/ecology-evolution-and-development/

Why choose this course?

- Development of interdisciplinary research skills and experience.

- Opportunity to carry out an in-depth research project to address open questions in this field.

- Hands-on research driven training in field work, advanced wet laboratory techniques and state-of-the-art bioinformatics.

- Intensive one week introductory workshop for students from all backgrounds.

- Enhanced ability of graduates to successfully compete for PhD positions in the UK and internationally.

- Training will provide skills that will increase the employability of graduates in the biotechnology, commercial and health sectors.

- Teaching by world class researchers in this field with recognised excellence and experience in teaching and learning.

Teaching and learning

Teaching and learning methods used in the course reflect the wide variety of topics and techniques associated with ecology, evolution and development.

- Structure
This course is designed to provide you with both the conceptual framework of this interdisciplinary field and develop practical and academic skills as a platform for the research project. An intensive one week Research Methods module will introduce you to key topics and practical approaches. These are then elaborated on during the three other taught modules in Developmental Biology, Bioinformatics, and Molecular Ecology and Population Genetics, before the students embark on the research project. A variety of teaching and learning methods are employed in this course, all underpinned by research.

- Lectures
By providing the framework, essential background and knowledge base for each module, the lectures encourage you to probe more deeply by reading widely. Analysis, synthesis and application of material introduced in lectures are achieved through practical work in the field and laboratories, and in tutorials and seminars with your tutors and fellow students.

- Practical work
This offers you training and hands-on experience in important aspects of field and laboratory work, and computational biology. We ensure that teaching is up-to-date by integrating research findings in lectures and practical classes, and staff involved with major international developments in the field bring these advances to your teaching. An important component of the course is that you read and present key papers that emphasise the application of interdisciplinary approaches to their tutor and peers during tutorials.

- Guest seminars
During the Research Methods module, guest seminars provide you with the chance to hear about other areas of research in ecology, evolution and development. Emphasis is placed on critical evaluation of existing information and identifying knowledge gaps and areas of controversy, fostering the development of academic and research literacy, and developing your critical self-awareness.

- Research project
Standards that are expected in research are also widely taught and practised, developing your research literacy. You are provided with the opportunity to undertake substantial research specific activities in the Research Module, and undertake projects in labs with active research in this field.

- Digital literacy
This is enhanced by the use of advanced information retrieval techniques, data handling and the development of professional presentation techniques. Furthermore, you will develop skills in programming which underpin the application of state-of-the-art tools in bioinformatics and biostatistics.

How this course helps you develop

Training provided by this course will give you the research and transferable skills necessary for further research in field, lab and computational biology in both academic and industrial sectors. We anticipate that many of our graduates will go on to study for PhDs in the UK and abroad. In this respect, our programme will increase the opportunities for UK graduates to compete for PhD positions here and be eligible to apply for PhD programmes elsewhere in the EU. We also anticipate that, given their skills sets, our graduates will be highly competitive for employment in research support and sales, biotechnology, heath care, education, administration, and consultancy.


- PhD
- Employment in others sectors including biotechnology, healthcare and commercial.

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:
- studying at a Brookes partner college
- studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

Research highlights

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, 95% of our research in Biological Sciences was rated as internationally recognised, with 58% being world leading or internationally excellent. That makes us the top post’92 University for its Biological Sciences submission.

Visit the Ecology, Evolution and Development (MRes) page on the Oxford Brookes University website for more details!





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