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Biological Sciences Research (MSc)

Course Description

This is a one-year Masters programme beginning in September. It offers students with a good first degree in Biochemistry, Biology or related disciplines the opportunity to develop their research skills (including data analysis, bioinformatics tools and presentation skills). Students will also acquire a wide range of advanced research techniques through carrying out a one-year research project under the direction of member of staff selected by the student. The project will be selected from one of three major research areas within the School: Biomedical Sciences (BMS), Plant Molecular Sciences (PMS), and Ecology Evolution and Behaviour (EEB). Before applying you will need to peruse and then identify up to three academic staff members or up to six projects from the list below. Once you have identified your area of interest, you should contact potential supervisors via e-mail to discuss details of the projects.

This course is designed to equip students with the necessary skills of a researcher in biomedical sciences, ecology, evolution and behaviour or plant molecular sciences.

Students are offered: a major supervised research project lasting eight months; the opportunity to work with a leading scientist in a chosen field; experience of working as part of a research team; training for and participation in a research symposium; development of high level practical research skills in the lab or field.

Places/projects on our course are limited. In order to secure your place and confirm your acceptance to our programme, it is advisable to pay a tuition fee deposit after you receive our offer.

The aims of this degree programme are:
• to provide training in the key generic skills required to be a scientific researcher;
• to provide advanced training in a specialised branch of biologicalsciencesresearch;
• to ensure familiarity with a range of transferable, advanced research skills;
• to provide practice in communicating results of research both by oral presentation and by
preparation of a Master thesis.

Teaching, learning and assessment

Teaching and learning is mainly by tutorials, completion of coursework and private study for the taught modules; by preparation and participation in oral presentations, involving discussion and feedback from the supervisor and research group; and for the project by independent research and private study, supported by research supervision.

Students receive regular, scheduled, feedback on: their performance in taught modules; their project plan and draft introduction (autumn term); draft materials and methods write up (spring term); preparatory oral presentation (spring term); oral presentation (summer term); and draft project write up (summer term). Completion of tasks is monitored centrally to ensure students experiencing difficulty can be identified and provided with appropriate support.

Assessment is by coursework on several subjects of the taught component (including an oral presentation) and a research project written up in the form of a thesis. Full details of the assessments for individual subjects can be obtained from the School.

Further learning and career opportunities

The programme prepares students for future careers in Biological Sciences research, including doctoral degrees, and related areas of employment. Students are provided with training in a range of subject specific and transferable skills.

If you wish to discuss the MSc informally, please contact the MSc Programme Director Dr Pavlos Alifragis () (01784 444988).

Visit the Biological Sciences Research (MSc) page on the Royal Holloway, University of London website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Possession of an appropriate honours degree (2:ii or higher) or an equivalent qualification from overseas is thenormal entry requirement. Some supervisors may require a higher qualification.

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Recipient: Royal Holloway, University of London

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