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MRes Biosciences

Course Description

This qualification gives you the skills to undertake excellent research. You will learn general research skills (project planning, statistics, field & lab techniques) as well as skills specific to your research project. Alongside this training, you will undertake post-graduate level research under the supervision of an expert in the institute.

With over 200 members of staff you will have a lot of flexibility in the area of research you choose to study. The breadth of expertise in the institute means that you can undertake research in any one of several specialisations including, zoology, plant breeding, microbiology, bioinformatics, animal science, equine or marine life & ecology. Visit our Research Groups page to find the area that matches your interests: http://www.aber.ac.uk/en/ibers/research/research-groups/

Every step of our research is carried out with the indispensable help of postgraduate students. No matter which area of biology you specialise in, you will be working alongside some of the world’s biggest names in their respective fields.

See the website http://courses.aber.ac.uk/postgraduate/biosciences-masters-research/

Course detail

Students on the MRes will be uniquely placed for a bioscience research career in the public or private sector. The course makes an ideal stepping-stone for those considering PhD research and offers opportunity to explore your interest in the biosciences in depth.

This innovative course provides high quality, interdisciplinary research training in the skills you will need during your individual Research Dissertation. The key feature here is that you are able to explore an area of Bio Science that fascinates you with personalised support and supervision. The course is flexible to your interests and focused on your chosen research specialism.

Studying at Aberystwyth University

- What are the facilities like?

We have excellent research facilities including aquariums (marine, freshwater, tropical), a bioinformatics hub, ion-torrent sequencers, and extensive glass house facilities. We operate several farms and own significant tracts of natural woodland. Our coastal location close to several nature reserves & national parks offers unique opportunities for a broad range of bioscience research.

- What are the support networks like?

All postgraduate students in IBERS have a personal tutor, a point of contact within the department to which students can turn to discuss personal or domestic concerns that impact on their studies. The personal tutor is a different person from their dissertation supervisor

- Why should I study an MRes in Bio Science at Aberystwyth University?

The Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) combines world leading research in areas such as zoology, grassland science, biochemistry, animal science, marine biology, microbiology, plant biology and ecology with industry standard training. As a postgraduate research student at Aberystwyth you benefit from world leading research and teaching facilities, and supervision all in a safe, friendly and vibrant coastal town in a beautiful location on the West coast of Wales. These assets make Aberystwyth an excellent choice for students looking to combine lifestyle choice with an internationally recognised degree from a leading institute.


The modules in the programme provide a fundamental basis for understanding and working in biological research. Your knowledge will be developed and you will be intellectually challenged by research within your own area of specialism – dependent on your choice of research project. Key skills, particularly those of communication, research, IT and problem solving, will be developed through formative (e.g. discussion with and feedback from your research supervisor) as well as assessed coursework programmes which will be accompanied by detailed feedback on performance.


The programme comprises 180 credits. There are 60 credits of taught modules completed during Semester 1 and Semester 2. A research dissertation (120 credits) is carried out throughout the year.


This course suits students with an undergraduate degree in any bioscience field who wish to develop their knowledge and research skills through working with experts in IBERS. It is suitable for students who do not want to commit to 3 years of PhD research or for those who would like to develop their research skills and take time to find their ideal research focus first. It is also suitable for students that would like to combine research with a taught element of a postgraduate taught course. On completion of the degree scheme, students will be able to:

· Design, apply and analyse various research/study techniques.
· Plan, conduct, and report on investigations, including the use of secondary data.
· Collect and record information or data in the library, laboratory or field, summarizing it using appropriate qualitative and/or quantitative techniques.
· Conceive, plan and undertake field and/or laboratory investigations in a responsible, ethical and safe manner, paying due attention to risk assessment, legislation concerning experimental animal use, relevant health and safety regulations, other legal requirements and sensitivity to the impact of investigations on the environment and stakeholders.
· Communicate effectively with individuals and organisations in a range of scenarios.
· Write for a range of audiences including academics and the wider public.
· Apply appropriate management and experimental techniques to a range of situations.

An MRes graduate would be able to demonstrate experience and capabilities such as;

· Receiving and responding to a variety of sources of information: textual, numerical, verbal, graphical;
· Communicating about their subject appropriately
· Citing and referencing work in an appropriate manner;
· Sample selection; recording and analysing data in the field and/or the laboratory; validity, accuracy, calibration, precision, repeatability and uncertainty during collection;
· Preparing, processing, interpreting and presenting data, using appropriate qualitative and quantitative techniques, statistical programmes, spreadsheets and programs for presenting data visually;
· Solving problems by a variety of methods including the use of computers;
· Using the internet and other electronic sources critically as a means of communication and a source of information.
· Developing the skills necessary for self-managed and lifelong learning (eg working independently, time management and organisation skills);
· Identifying and working towards targets for personal, academic and career development;
· Developing an adaptable, flexible, and effective approach to study and work.

Find out how to apply https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/postgrad/howtoapply/
Information on fees is found here https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/postgrad/fees-finance/non-eu/taught/ and https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/postgrad/fees-finance/uk-eu/taught/

Visit the MRes Biosciences page on the Aberystwyth University website for more details!

Student Profiles

International Postgraduate Excellence Scholarship - 20+ Awards

The scholarships will be awarded for academic excellence (minimum of a UK upper second class honours degree or the equivalent award, either already achieved or predicted by the candidate’s awarding university).In order to be considered for one of these awards, an application for a place on a taught Masters degree at Aberystwyth University must be received by 31st August 2015.Up to 72 scholarships worth £2500 towards tuition fees for full-time non-EU students on taught Masters courses are available for students who commence their studies in September 2015 on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Value of Scholarship(s)



Up to 72 scholarships, each worth £2,500 towards tuition fees will be available for non-UK/EU students commencing full-time Taught Masters courses in September 2015.

Application Procedure

Separate application forms are not required. Therefore it is essential that the application for a place be received by the AU Postgraduate Admissions Office by 31st August 2015 at the very latest. Selection will be on the basis of academic excellence and the applicant’s suitability for their proposed course. A minimum (UK) 2.i Honours (or equivalent) is required for an award. Information on the comparability of non-UK degrees is available at http://www.aber.ac.uk/en/postgrad/howtoapply/before-you-apply/comparability/.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

BSc honours degree (2:1) in a related subject at undergraduate level and accompanying references. Applicants will be considered with other experience which gives an equivalent basis for entry. You application will be assessed by the Scheme coordinator and the proposed supervisor as to the quality of the proposed project and suitability of student to the project.

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