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Biological Sciences×

Masters Degrees in Evolution

We have 52 Masters Degrees in Evolution

Masters degrees in Evolution offer postgraduate training in the study of organisms’ developmental adaptations to their environment through mechanisms of heredity and biological change. Specialisations include: Human Evolution including Behaviour, Language and Cognition; Animal Evolution including Ecology; Evolutionary Biology and Ethnobiology.

Entry requirements normally include an undergraduate degree in a relevant science subject. Postgraduates with experience in other fields may also be equipped to study theoretical and philosophical aspects of Evolutionary theory and its impacts.

Why study a Masters in Evolution?

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Joining our world-leading Language Evolution and Computation (LEC) research unit, you will investigate the origins and evolution of human language, tackling questions such as ‘what is it that makes us human?’, ‘how did our brains evolve?’ and ‘what are the origins of human language?’. Read more

Joining our world-leading Language Evolution and Computation (LEC) research unit, you will investigate the origins and evolution of human language, tackling questions such as ‘what is it that makes us human?’, ‘how did our brains evolve?’ and ‘what are the origins of human language?’.

The LEC is at the cutting edge of research in this area and one of the world’s biggest research groups working on language evolution. You will have the opportunity to become involved with the unit’s research effort, and to make your own contribution to this dynamic field through your dissertation.

The programme focuses on a treatment of language as a dynamic evolving system, bringing together origins, acquisition and change.

It provides a broad introduction to the field of language evolution and cognitive evolution, and can form the basis for further (typically PhD) study for those wishing to continue their research.

The programme draws on many disciplines in the University, including archaeology, biology, linguistics, neuroscience, informatics, philosophy and psychology.

Programme structure

The programme involves two taught semesters and your own research dissertation. Five compulsory courses (in addition to the compulsory dissertation) provide a solid foundation, while optional courses allow you to explore your own areas of interest.

The taught element is delivered through a mix of lectures, tutorials, seminars and practical sessions. Assessment is by written/project work and examination.

Compulsory courses:

  • Current Issues in Language Evolution
  • Foundations of Evolution
  • Origins and Evolution of Language
  • Simulating Language
  • Language Evolution in the Lab

Option courses may include:

  • Computer Programming for Speech and Language Processing
  • Diachronic Linguistics
  • Dialogue
  • First Language Acquisition
  • Human Evolution
  • Introduction to Phonology and Phonetics
  • Introduction to Sociolinguistics
  • Introduction to Syntax
  • Language Behaviours, Brains and Cognition: Principles and Approached
  • Psychology of Language Learning
  • Univariate Statistics and Methodology using R

You may also be able to take a course from other degree programmes in the School of Philosophy, Psychology & Language Sciences, and in some cases from elsewhere in the University.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this programme, you will have gained:

  • a comprehensive synthesis of the most recent scientific findings relating to the origins and evolution of human language
  • a firm basis for subsequent advanced specialised research
  • a broad awareness of issues and findings in the evolution of language and cognitive evolution across participating single-subject disciplines

Career opportunities

This programme provides solid grounding for further research in many associated areas, such as linguistics, cognitive sciences and human evolution.



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Evolutionary theory has radically altered our understanding of human life. The Human Evolution and Behaviour MSc at UCL is designed to provide students with a solid practical and theoretical grounding in issues relevant to the evolution of humans and non-human primates. Read more

Evolutionary theory has radically altered our understanding of human life. The Human Evolution and Behaviour MSc at UCL is designed to provide students with a solid practical and theoretical grounding in issues relevant to the evolution of humans and non-human primates.

About this degree

Students develop the ability to generate, assess and synthesise empirical evidence and hypotheses related to human evolution and behaviour. They gain subject-specific skills, such as measuring skeletal material, interpreting and generating data related to human ecology, reproduction and genetics, and generating behavioural data of humans and non-human primates through observation.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of three core modules (45 credits), three optional modules (45 credits), and a research dissertation (90 credits).

Core modules

Students choose two of the first three modules in the list below. Postgraduate Methods/Statistics I is compulsory for all students.

  • Human Behavioural Ecology
  • Primate Socioecology
  • Palaeoanthropology
  • Postgraduate Methods/Statistics 1 (term one)*

Optional modules

Students choose three of the following optional modules:

  • Advanced Human Evolution
  • Archaeology of Hunter-Gatherers from the Emergence of Modern Humans
  • Archaeology of Human Evolution in Africa
  • Primate Socioecology
  • Evolution of Human Brain, Cognition and Language
  • Evolution of Human Cumulative Culture
  • Evolution of the Human Brain and Behaviour
  • Primate Evolution
  • Variation and Evolution of the Human Skull
  • Advanced Statistics
  • Practical Ethnographic and Documentary Filmmaking

Dissertation/report

All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a 15,000-word dissertation.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures including weekly two-hour departmental seminars, and occasional attendance at non-departmental seminars. Assessment is through take-home examination, essays, lab-books, practical tests, and presentation. The dissertation is assessed by a project presentation and the thesis.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Human Evolution and Behaviour MSc

Careers

Many graduates are successful in entering fully funded doctoral programmes based on their training and achievements on the programme. Our graduates also go not o work in the media (TV, radio , publishing), in NGOs (community development, nature conservation), government organisations (national statistics, health programmes), in zoos and museums (overseeing collections, co-ordination research), or become school teachers. Moreover, numerous alumni have become notable academics in their own right, teaching as permanent staff in universities across the globe.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Archaeological Research Assistant, The Cyprus Institute
  • Business Director, CEB
  • Freelance Consultant, A Piece of Pie
  • PGCE Secondary Science - Specialised in Biology and Psychology, University of Exeter
  • Civil Servant, Ministry of Defence (MoD)

Employability

Graduates of the programme will be trained in the fundamentals of scientific inquiry including hypothesis generation, data collection and statistical analysis, data synthesis and reporting of results. Additionally, they acquire advanced training in computer-based quantitative methods, presentation techniques, and the public understanding of science. Students will also gain skills specific to their dissertation research that can include behavioural observation techniques, field data collection, computer modelling, and advanced shape analysis.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL Anthropology was the first in the UK to integrate biological and social anthropology with material culture into a broad-based conception of the discipline. It is one of the largest anthropology departments in the UK in terms of both staff and research student numbers, offering an exceptional breadth of expertise. Our excellent results in 2008 Research Assessment Exercise and 2014 Research Excellence Framework identify us as the leading broad-based anthropology department in the UK. Students are encouraged to take full advantage of the wider anthropological community in London and the department's strong links with European universities and international institutions.

Our results in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise and 2014 Research Excellence Framework show that we are the leading broad-based anthropology department in the UK. 

Students are encouraged to take full advantage of the wider anthropological community in London and the department's strong links with European universities and international institutions.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Anthropology

68% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.



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The connection between how organisms have evolved and how they behave is a fundamental principle of biology. It can show us why organisms are the way they are, and answer deep questions about the diversity of life on earth. Read more

The connection between how organisms have evolved and how they behave is a fundamental principle of biology. It can show us why organisms are the way they are, and answer deep questions about the diversity of life on earth.

As an MRes Evolution and Behaviour student, you’ll work with leaders in the field to address these vital questions. You’ll develop key research skills in our taught modules, while your extensive individual research project will give you practical experience of how organisms have evolved and what this means for the past and future of life on earth.

Linking your research interests with our research excellence

Our MRes Evolution and Behaviour programme is uniquely research-focused. You’ll be assigned to a research supervisor on the basis of your particular research interests, and you will spend the year embedded within their research group, working alongside PhD students, postdoctoral researchers, and academic staff who are at the forefront of their research field. You’ll conduct an extended research project over several months, with the aim of producing original work of publishable quality.

Our world-class research in Evolution and Behaviour spans topics including animal behaviour, molecular ecology, sexual selection and sexual conflict, speciation, the evolutionary genomics of adaptation, evolutionary developmental, ecological immunity, bioinformatics and life history evolution. We’re home to the NERC Biomolecular Analysis Facility, which trains researchers in state-of-the-art molecular genetics techniques and there are a range of systems you can study for your research project, from humans, birds and fish to insects and snails, using a range of behavioural, molecular, and computational approaches. You can find out more about the research we’re conducting in this area on our website.

Course Structure

You’ll study the following core research-focused modules:

  • Literature Review (15 credits) - work with your research supervisor to produce a critical review of a biological topic of your choice.
  • Research Project (90 credits) - work with your research supervisor to design, conduct, and write-up a substantial independent research project.

You’ll also study  a series of taught modules designed to develop your topic-specific research skills:

  • Advanced Trends in Biology (15 credits) - attend our seminar programmes and learn to evaluate and discuss recent developments in biological sciences.
  • Advanced Biological Analysis (15 credits) - learn skills in data analysis tailored to your research project using world-leading open source software.
  • Research and Study Skills in Biology (30 credits) - gain the fundamental communication and advanced practical skills necessary to pursue a successful research career.
  • Tutorials (15 credits) - participate in small group discussions of issues concerning research practice and culture.

Learning and Teaching

You’ll be taught through working in a research laboratory or on a field-based research project, tutorials, discussion groups, attendance at seminars, and statistics and other workshops. Assessment includes, but is not limited to, a project report, literature review, critiques, short reports and essays and oral presentations including a viva.

Career Opportunities

Our MRes in Evolution and Behaviour will equip you with the skills you require for a career in research, and past students have successfully gone on to study for PhDs and great careers in industry and the environmental sector.

In addition to research skills, you’ll also develop transferable skills that are valued by a wide range of employers, and the University’s Careers Service will show you how to demonstrate this on CVs and in job applications. Once you graduate, the support doesn’t stop and you’ll continue to have access to the Careers Service for three years to help you find your perfect job.

How to Apply

To apply for this course, complete the University of Sheffield's postgraduate online application form.

Because of the research-intensive nature of our MRes degrees, we ask you to include with your application a short supporting statement which explains clearly how your interests and experience relate to the Evolution and Behaviour research we do in the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, including which particular supervisors or research groups you would be most interested in working with. Visit our research pages to learn more about our expertise in Evolution and Behaviour research.

This document should be uploaded in PDF format with your application via our postgraduate online application form.

You can find more information about the application process on the University's postgraduate webpages.

Scholarships

You can find out about scholarships available to UK, EU and international students on the University of Sheffield’s web pages.

Open Days

We run postgraduate open days and events throughout the year. Visit our website to book your place.



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Our Evolution and Human Behaviour MRes is a research-based course with a taught component that is equivalent to an MSc. It provides a springboard into a career that involves a working knowledge of scientific research. Read more

Our Evolution and Human Behaviour MRes is a research-based course with a taught component that is equivalent to an MSc. It provides a springboard into a career that involves a working knowledge of scientific research.

The course is designed for graduates with a BSc in the life sciences, psychology or anthropology. Fully qualified or intercalating MBBS or BDS students can also apply. It can be taken either as a stand-alone qualification or as an entry route onto a PhD or MD.

The taught component of the course includes training in research approaches relevant to the area of Evolution and Human Behaviour. You have the flexibility to develop your own bespoke course by selecting a set of three complementary modules. Recommended modules, include:

-Comparative Cognition (MMB8043)

-Sensory Systems (MMB8019)

-The Biological Basis of Psychiatric Illness and its Treatment (MMB8010)

You will also participate in training in general research principles, and other professional and key skills.

The core module on the biological study of behaviour introduces the central questions related to Evolution and Human Behaviour research (adaptive consequences, proximate mechanisms, development, and evolutionary history) and the research methods associated with each. Other relevant modules focus on:

-Comparative cognition

-Sensory systems

-Psychiatric disorders and their treatment

Research-led seminars delivered by members of the Centre for Behaviour and Evolution cover evolutionary psychology areas such as:

-Human mate choice

-Altruism and cooperation

-Food choices and obesity

-Comparative and developmental psychology of cognition

Your research project comprises the major element of the course. This project will involve 24 weeks of research in an area of Evolution and Human Behaviour under the supervision of an expert academic researcher in the field.

The course allows you to experience an internationally competitive research area, predominantly in academia but also potentially in industry. Graduates from our programme have gone on to competitive PhD studentships, as well as jobs in psychology and in research.

Our MRes courses

Evolution and Human Behaviour MRes is one of a suite of MRes courses that you may also be interested in. See Programme information in our online Prospectus for full details.

Faculty of Medical Sciences Graduate School

Our Medical Sciences Graduate School is dedicated to providing you with information, support and advice throughout your research degree studies. We can help and advise you on a variety of queries relating to your studies, funding or welfare.

Our Research Student Development Programme supports and complements your research whilst developing your professional skills and confidence.

You will make an on-going assessment of your own development and training needs through personal development planning (PDP) in the ePortfolio system. Our organised external events and development programme have been mapped against the Vitae Researcher Development Framework to help you identify how best to meet your training and development needs.



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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. Read more
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.

Careers

- 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.

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The MRes Evolution. From the Galapagos to the 21st Century brings together academics from 9 different Schools and Departments across the University of Southampton. Read more

The MRes Evolution: From the Galapagos to the 21st Century brings together academics from 9 different Schools and Departments across the University of Southampton. It is a unique multidisciplinary programme that demonstrates the importance of Evolution across all areas of life in the 21st Century. From Palaeontology and global change, to engineering and the emergence of disease, modelling evolutionary theory to the Philosophy of Science, students can bring their skills and work with academics from Biological Sciences, Archaeology, Computer Sciences, Engineering, Geography, Maths, Medicine, Philosophy, and, Ocean and Earth Sciences to better understand evolutionary processes.

Introducing your course

This is the course page for MRes Evolution: from the Galapagos to the 21st Century at the University of Southampton. Find out everything about MRes Evolution and what studying here involves.

In this course page we explain a range of key information about the course. This includes typical entry requirements, modules you can take and how assessment works. We also suggest career opportunities open to you as a University of Southampton graduate of MRes Evolution: from the Galapagos to the 21st Century.

If you still have questions, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to answer any enquiries. See our contact us page for our telephone, email and address information.



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Biodiversity, evolution and conservation are of growing importance due to climate change, extinction, and habitat destruction. Read more

Biodiversity, evolution and conservation are of growing importance due to climate change, extinction, and habitat destruction. This new research-led programme is run in collaboration with the Institute of Zoology and the Natural History Museum, providing a rigorous training and unparalleled opportunities across the full breadth of pure and applied research in evolutionary, ecological, and conservation science.

About this degree

Taught modules will focus on cutting-edge quantitative tools in ecology, evolutionary biology, genetics, bioinformatics, systematics, palaeobiology, conservation, biogeography and environmental biology. Seminars, journal clubs and the two research projects will provide students with diverse opportunities for experience at UCL Genetics, Evolution and Environment & Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research, the Natural History Museum and the Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of three core taught modules (60 credits) and two 16-week research projects (120 credits).

Core modules

  • Science Communication for Biologists (15 credits)
  • Computational Methods in Biodiversity Research (15 credits)
  • Analytical Tools in Biodiversity, Evolutionary and Conservation Research (30 credits)

Optional modules

  • There are no optional modules for this programme.

Dissertation/report

All students undertake two 6000-word, 16-week research projects, which each culminate in a written dissertation, and poster or oral presentation.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of seminars, presentations, assigned papers, as well as data analysis and interpretation. The seminar series includes mandatory seminars at UCL, the Natural History Museum and the Institute of Zoology (Zoological Society of London). Assessment is through essays, project reports, presentations and practicals. The two research projects are assessed by dissertation, and poster or oral presentation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Biodiversity, Evolution and Conservation MRes

Careers

This programme offers students a strong foundation with which to pursue careers in academic research, environmental policy and management, applied conservation, public health, or scientific journalism.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Research Assistant, New York Academy of Sciences
  • Trainee Ecologist, Thomson Ecology
  • Research Associate, Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Morelos
  • Intern, ZSL Institute of Zoology
  • PhD Researcher (Evolutionary Biology), The University of Edinburgh and studying PhD in Evolutionary Biology and Infectious Disease Research, University of Edinburgh

Employability

This programme provides students with a strong foundation to pursue careers in academic research, environmental policy and management, applied conservation, public health, or scientific journalism.

Interested in a PhD? Find out about  London NERC DTP

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

This programme is an innovative collaboration between three globally renowned organisations: UCL Genetics, Evolution and Environment & Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research, the Natural History Museum and the Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London.

By consolidating research expertise across these three organisations, students will gain a unique and exceptionally broad understanding of ties among different fields of research relating to the generation and conservation of biodiversity.

The MRes offers diverse research opportunities; these include the possibility of engaging actively in fundamental and applied research and participating in the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (based at the Natural History Museum) or the EDGE of Existence programme (based at the Zoological Society of London).

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Division of Biosciences

82% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.



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The MSc in Human Anatomy and Evolution is a unique programme, allowing you to study human anatomy from an evolutionary perspective. Read more
The MSc in Human Anatomy and Evolution is a unique programme, allowing you to study human anatomy from an evolutionary perspective. You will acquire practical and theoretical knowledge of cutting edge tools for morphometrics, imaging and functional simulation used to interpret the fossil record. In addition, you can gain practical knowledge of anatomy through dissection of human cadaveric material as well as comparative anatomical study. You will also undertake a research project of your choice in consultation with your supervisor to investigate a current question in human evolution.

You will be taught in small groups and have access to, and work alongside, tutors and researchers who are leading experts in their fields. They will share their expertise, knowledge and skills, and support you throughout the duration of your course.

The Human Anatomy and Evolution programme offers a mix of core modules and electives, giving you the opportunity to develop fundamental evolutionary and anatomical knowledge whilst also enhancing your skills in specialist areas of interest. You also have the option to study full-time over one year, or part-time over two years - refer to the programme brochure for more details.

Cutting edge facilities and techniques

You will have access to a dedicated computer suite with a full range of software, including generic and specialist anatomy, virtual anthropology, modelling and engineering packages. You will practice 3D modelling and imaging, 3D printing and visualisation, as well as research techniques, including data collection and analysis.

You will also have access to the state-of-the-art dissection facilities at the where you will gain practical anatomical knowledge through the study of human cadaveric material.

Access to world-leading experts and networks

Through membership of the interdisciplinary PALAEO Centre at the University of York, you will meet and work alongside internationally renowned specialists. PALAEO holds regular meetings to research major questions in human evolution.

An ideal option for intercalating students

This programme is an ideal option for medical students wishing to intercalate. It will hone and develop your analytical and research skills, as well as your practical skills using state-of-the-art equipment, which will enhance your performance on your undergraduate programme.

Flexible options available

If you would like to study part-time, the programme has been designed with an estimated seven hours contact time per week spread over two working days. More information on the part time structure is available in the handbook.

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The Top Programme Evolutionary Biology is embedded in the Master's programme in Ecology and Evolution. The Top Programme Evolutionary Biology explores the interface between ecology and evolution. Read more
The Top Programme Evolutionary Biology is embedded in the Master's programme in Ecology and Evolution. The Top Programme Evolutionary Biology explores the interface between ecology and evolution.

The hallmark is to explore the interface between ecology and evolution. You will benefit from a wide spectrum of national and international expertise in these fields. You will acquire top quality research competences. The programme is specifically designed to acquire the right research competences and prepare you for conducting top quality research.

The Top Programme is administered by the Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Studies (CEES), a centre of excellence in ecological and evolutionary research and the lead partner in the national Research School Functional Ecology and Biodiversity. This central position ensures that students can benefit from a wide spectrum of national and international expertise across the fields of ecology and evolution. Via advanced theoretical and practical training you will become highly attractive for research positions in the area of Evolutionary Biology.

We also offer an Erasmus Mundus programme in Evolutionary Biology: A joint project between four European universities. Students will start the programme at one of these universities and will spend at least one semester at a partner university.

Why in Groningen?

- Acquire Top Quality Research Competences
- Coaching by Personal Mentor
- CHE Excellence Ranking in Biology since 2007

Job perspectives

These programmes are specifically designed to prepare you for conducting top quality research. Often you continue your career by starting PhD research.

Job examples

- PhD research position

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The Master of Science by Research degree in Behaviour, Ecology and Evolution is a 12-month, research only degree, in which the candidate will undertake a supervised research project in the broad area of Behaviour, Ecology and Evolution, in the School of Biology, University of St Andrews. Read more

The Master of Science by Research degree in Behaviour, Ecology and Evolution is a 12-month, research only degree, in which the candidate will undertake a supervised research project in the broad area of Behaviour, Ecology and Evolution, in the School of Biology, University of St Andrews.

The candidate will be based in the interdisciplinary Centre for Biological Diversity (CBD), based in the centre of St Andrews. The CBD links researchers in evolution, behaviour, ecology, molecular biology and biodiversity, plus researchers in other Schools across St Andrews. Research themes include: the mechanistic causes and the ecological and evolutionary consequences of animal behaviour, with strengths in behavioural ecology, animal cognition, social evolution and social learning; evolutionary and population genetics, including the genetic basis of population divergence and speciation; animal-plant interactions, including pollinator biology; conservation biology, focusing in particular on the measurement of broad-scale patterns of biodiversity and biodiversity change. These themes are underpinned and guided by theoretical evolutionary ecologists and geneticists, asking fundamental questions about the causes and consequences of organismal interaction. Our final objective is to advance this scientific understanding of the diversity of life to contribute pro-actively to policy that helps protect and nurture biological diversity.

Candidates may approach potential supervisors in the CBD directly (https://synergy.st-andrews.ac.uk/research/phd-study/phd-study-supervisors/phd-study-cbd-supervisors/) or via advertised projects listed here (https://synergy.st-andrews.ac.uk/research/mscres/). We strongly recommend that potential candidates make contact with a potential supervisor before applying.

The School of Biology provides a unique and supportive environment for scholarship, amid a beautiful setting for university life. We are a highly research active School, with a diverse and vigorous post-graduate community. The School comprises a large number of research groups organised into three interdisciplinary Research Centres: the Scottish Oceans Institute (SOI), the Biomedical Sciences Research Complex (BSRC) and the Centre for Biological Diversity (CBD). Together these centres encompass the full spectrum of research in biological sciences, spanning investigations on the properties and behaviour of individual molecules through to planetary environmental dynamics. Our postgraduate students enjoy a supportive and welcoming environment, including the student-led ‘Bionet’ society that provides a wide range of networking and social opportunities.

Progression and Assessment

Students in the MSc(Res) program will be assigned an Internal Examiner (IE) and Post-Graduate Tutor by the School. There will be a progress review meeting at three months to monitor and evaluate student progression, convened by the IE, with the student and Tutor in attendance.

In addition to the project-specific training that you will receive during your degree, Msc(Res) students will also have access to a wide range of training in transferable skills through the award-winning University of St Andrews GradSkills program, run by our Professional Development Unit CAPOD. Specific post-graduate programs run within the School of Biology may also offer additional training, for instance in statistical, bioinformatics or molecular techniques.

The degree requires submission and examination of a dissertation at the end of the one-year program. This thesis will consist of up to 30,000 words. The thesis will be evaluated by the IE and an External Examiner appointed at time of submission. Evaluation will be based on the written submission and there is no requirement for a viva voce examination.

Fees

For details of post-graduate tuition fees relevant to our research degrees including the MSc(Res), please visit:

http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/study/pg/fees-and-funding/research-fees/

Application

Please apply via the University’s Post-Graduate Application portal: https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/pgr/home.htm



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This course provides broad research training in ecology, evolution and conservation, focusing on fundamental concepts and theory, and their application to conservation and biodiversity science. Read more

This course provides broad research training in ecology, evolution and conservation, focusing on fundamental concepts and theory, and their application to conservation and biodiversity science.

This interdisciplinary course provides broad research training in ecology, evolution and conservation, focusing on fundamental concepts and theory, and their application to conservation and biodiversity science.

Based at Silwood Park Campus, an internationally renowned centre of excellence for ecological research, the taught course covers a range of topics, each taught by a leading researcher in that field. These internationally recognised experts use their own research as model systems to illustrate the fundamental scientific principles that underpin the study topics.

External visitors from a range of conservation organisations will highlight the issues around applying science to practical conservation.

You also complete a five-month research project on a topic of your choice.

This course is also available as an MRes, which hits the ground running: the greater focus on independent research allows you to specialise in your existing research interests. The MSc course offers a wider range of instruction across a large set of research areas, allowing you to gain a clear insight into your own research interests from among current research topics.

Both courses are suitable for those interested in a career in applied ecology or conservation, or in preparing for a PhD.

Further information

For full information on this course, including how to apply, see: http://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/pg/life-sciences/ecology-evolution-conservation/

If you have any enquiries you can contact our team at:  



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Taught by expert researchers, this innovative MSc combines evolutionary anthropology, focusing on the behaviour of human and non-human primates, with evolutionary, developmental and cognitive psychology. Read more
Taught by expert researchers, this innovative MSc combines evolutionary anthropology, focusing on the behaviour of human and non-human primates, with evolutionary, developmental and cognitive psychology.

You gain an interdisciplinary understanding of the origins and functions of human behaviour and can select from a range of advanced topics such as evolutionary anthropology, primatology, human behaviour, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology and intergroup relationships.

The programme places a strong emphasis on critical thinking and understanding of both the broad fields and the specialisms within. Core to the programme is the development of research methods, culminating in a piece of original research, written up in the form of a publication-ready journal article. The MSc in Evolution and Human Behaviour is a perfect foundation for PhD research: it provides theoretical background, discipline specific knowledge and advanced, quantitative research methods.

Visit the website https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/190/evolution-and-human-behaviour

Why study with us?

- A unique, interdisciplinary, combination of Evolutionary Anthropology and Psychology.

- Taught by expert, active researchers in evolutionary approaches to understanding behaviour.

- Select from a range of advanced topics such as Evolutionary Anthropology, Primatology, Human Behaviour, Developmental Psychology & Cognitive Neuroscience.

- Perfect foundation for future PhD research: theoretical background, discipline-specific knowledge and advanced research methods.

- For students with an undergraduate degree in anthropology, psychology, biology or a related discipline.

- A research component that results in a publication-ready journal article.

Course structure

The programme places a strong emphasis on critical thinking and understanding of both the broad field and the specialisms within. Core to the programme is the development of research methods, culminating in a piece of original research, written up in the form of a publication ready journal article.

Modules

Please note that modules are subject to change. Please contact the School for more detailed information on availability.

SE992 - Advanced Topics in Evolutionary Anthropology (15 credits)
SP801 - Statistics and Methodology (40 credits)
SE993 - Advanced Topics in Primate Behaviour (15 credits)
SE994 - Advanced Topics in HUman Behaviour (15 credits)
SP844 - Advanced Topics in Group Processes (20 credits)
SP851 - Advanced Topics in Cognitive Development (20 credits)
SP856 - Groups and Teams in Organisations (15 credits)
SP827 - Current Issues in Cognitive Psychology and Neuropsychology (40 credits)
SP842 - Advanced Developmental Social Psychology (20 credits)
SE855 - Research Project (Evolution & Human Behaviour) (60 credits)

Assessment

Assessment is by computing tests, unseen examinations, coursework and a project report.

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

- provide the opportunity for advanced study of human behaviour from an evolutionary perspective, combining approaches from both evolutionary anthropology and evolutionary psychology

- provide teaching that is informed by current research and scholarship and that requires you to engage with aspects of work at the frontiers of knowledge

- help you to develop research skills and transferable skills in preparation for entering academic or other careers as an evolutionary scientist

- enable you to manage your own learning and to carry out independent research

- help you develop general critical, analytic and problem-solving skills that can be applied in a wide range of settings.

Careers

As a School recognised for its excellence in research we are one of the partners in the South East Doctoral Training Centre, which is recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). This relationship ensures that successful completion of our courses is sufficient preparation for research in the various fields of social anthropology. Many of our students go on to do PhD research. Others use their Master’s qualification in employment ranging from research in government departments to teaching to consultancy work overseas.

Higher degrees in anthropology create opportunities in many employment sectors including academia, the civil service and non-governmental organisations through work in areas such as human rights, journalism, documentary film making, environmental conservation and international finance. An anthropology degree also develops interpersonal and intercultural skills, which make our graduates highly desirable in any profession that involves working with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures.

Find out how to apply here - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/

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Will the otter be able to recover? How do plants settle in new areas? Why do geese always travel south at exactly the same time? How do species of plants and animals live together in a habitat?. Read more
Will the otter be able to recover? How do plants settle in new areas? Why do geese always travel south at exactly the same time? How do species of plants and animals live together in a habitat?

During this two-year Master's programme Ecology and Evolution, you will gain insight into the living organism in relation to its environment.

Ecology is an internationally oriented field and the degree programme has a strong focus on research. You will therefore conduct one or two independent research projects in various fields. But as you can design most of the programme yourself, you can specialize in the area of your interest. This programme also offers a Top Programme in Evolutionary Biology.

The Master's degree programme Ecology and Evolution is offered by t he Groningen Institute of Evolutionary Life Sciences (GELIFES), which conducts research in four relevant areas:
* Evolutionary Ecology & Genetics
* Behavioural Ecology & Ecophysiology
* Conservation Biology
* Community Ecology

Why in Groningen?

- Design most of your programme yourself !
- Offers Top programme Evolutionary Biology!
- Research projects possible in various fields!

Job perspectives

As a graduate of this programe you can for example become a researcher at a university or at an institution for applied research. You also have the options of becoming a project officer, consultant or policy officer.

Job examples

- PhD research position
- Project officer
- Consultant

Research Projects in Various Fields

The Master's degree programme is coordinated by the Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences. GELIFES is part of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences and embraces fourteen research groups, which perform research in the fields of:

-Evolutionary Ecology & Genetics
On the importance of genetic variation: how do genetic variation and natural selection result in reproductive systems, adaptation of organisms to their environment and the emergence of new species? We try to answer this question by means of an experimental, molecular approach (genomics) and via model-based studies.

-Behavioural Ecology & Ecophysiology
Both the morphology and physiology of an organism and its behaviour are formed by selection. Behaviour – for example the timing of reproduction, partner choice and time and route of bird migration – and physiology – for example the degree of plasticity to regulate energy use and temperature – are products of evolution. Theoretical models are paired with experimental ones to study these issues, both in the field and in the laboratory.

-Conservation Biology
Small populations are threatened with extinction because their habitat is fragmented. Their chance of survival depends on their genetic structure, demography, dynamics of distribution, etc. This type of research is important, for example, for the restoration of nature reserves or the development of sustainable fishery. Examples of a research projects include the effects of genetic erosion in fruit flies and the seed dispersal of plants in the Wadden Sea.

-Community Ecology
Species and individuals living in the same area interact with each other and with their environment. Processes of physiological adaptations and restrictions, competition, grazing, predation and succession can change a group of individuals into a community. Combining field observations, laboratory experiments and theoretical models can give us a better understanding of the mechanisms that are active in nature.

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This MRes is designed for students with a passion for the diversity of life on earth, who are looking to further their knowledge and experience of quantitative techniques in ecology, evolution and conservation. Read more

This MRes is designed for students with a passion for the diversity of life on earth, who are looking to further their knowledge and experience of quantitative techniques in ecology, evolution and conservation.

The course is focused on current topics in modern computational and quantitative biology such as the interactions between ecological and evolutionary dynamics, the effects of climate change on biological systems, and complex ecological and evolutionary networks.

You gain postgraduate-level training in research skills during the intensive one-year full-time programme.

Careers

You graduate with a range of transferrable professional skills that help to give a major edge in competing for PhDs and jobs. Your experience of conducting research projects will allow you to make a more informed decision on the area of research and specific PhD project you may wish to undertake in the future.

This course is the ideal training for students looking to pursue a career in academic, government or non-governmental organisations engaged in research into biodiversity.

Further information

For full information on this course, including how to apply, see: http://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/pg/life-sciences/computational-methods-ecology-evolution-mres/

If you have any enquiries you can contact our team at:



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The MRes in Molecular Evolution involves the study of the evolutionary relationships among organisms and gene families using molecular methods, with evolutionary trees (phylogenies) generated from the analysis of DNA and protein sequences. Read more
The MRes in Molecular Evolution involves the study of the evolutionary relationships among organisms and gene families using molecular methods, with evolutionary trees (phylogenies) generated from the analysis of DNA and protein sequences.

The programme involves both laboratory work (DNA extraction, PCR and sequencing) and bioinformatics (DNA sequence alignment and phylogeny reconstruction).

Research projects are available in: the evolutionary relationships in the molluscs (in particular, the land snails) and the link between molluscan phylogenies and biogeography; the molecular taxonomy of spiders and the link between rates of molecular and morphological diversification; studies on the evolution of spider silk gene families and the relationship between silk diversification and speciation; studies on the phylogeny of the foraminifera and the distribution of different genetic types across the oceans.

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