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MRes Biosciences

Course Description

This qualification combines taught elements that focus primarily on how to undertake excellent research. This includes general research skills (project planning, statistics, field & lab techniques) as well as skills specific to your research project. Alongside this training, you will undertake higher level research with a leading expert in the institute.

With over 200 members of staff you have a lot of flexibility in the area of research that you would like to study. This breadth of research and expertise in the institute means that you can undertake research in any one of the many areas of specialisation 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 an opportunity to explore your interest in the biosciences in depth.

This innovative course provides high quality, interdisciplinary research training providing you with the skills needed to embark on your individual Research Dissertation. The key feature here is that you are able to explore an area of Bio Science that fascinates you with the personalised support of a supervisor. This makes the course flexible to your interests, adaptable and focused, specialising in a given area.

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 also operate several farms and own significant tracts of natural woodland, while 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 named personal tutor. Personal tutors provide a point of contact within academic departments 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 with industry standard training. The department has been judged world leading in areas such as zoology, grassland science, biochemistry, animal science, marine biology, microbiology, plant biology and ecology. With a commitment to interdisciplinary research, as a postgraduate research student at Aberystwyth you benefit from world leading teaching, facilities and supervision all in a safe, friendly and vibrant town. This, combined with the beautiful location of Aberystwyth (being on the West coast of Wales) make Aberystwyth a good choice for students looking for a certain lifestyle choice as well as an internationally recognised degree.


The modules included in the programme are designed to provide a fundamental basis for understanding and contributing meaningfully to biological science research. This knowledge will then be developed and you will be further intellectually challenged by its application to modern technology and 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.

Contact time is approximately 10-14 hours a week in the first semester. During semesters two and three you will arrange your level of contact time with your assigned supervisor.


The programme comprises 180 credits. There are 60 credits of taught modules completed during Semester 1 and Semester 2. This is followed by a research dissertation (120 credits) in semesters 2 & 3.


This course suits students with an undergraduate degree in any bioscience field and are looking to develop their knowledge and research skills linked with the institute of biological, environmental and rural science at Aberystwyth. It may be suitable to students that do not want to complete a full PhD but that would like to develop their research skills 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 here https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/postgrad/howtoapply/

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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