Masters in Biological Sciences - Level 4

The Masters in Biological Sciences degree

The Masters in Biological Sciences (MBiolSci) consists of the existing three-year degree programme (i.e. Animal and Plant Biology, Biology, Ecology, Plant Science, Zoology) with an additional year that is devoted to an extensive research project and advanced courses. It is a classified, named degree and the final degree classification is based on grades achieved at level 2 (20%), level 3 (40%) and level 4 (40%). The majority of the fourth year is spent undertaking two substantial pieces of independent research, one literature based (dissertation) and the other practical (project). The research project and dissertation are undertaken in one of the Department's research groups (see below) and each student works under the supervision of a research-active member of staff in their chosen area of specialisation.

Information about Graduation


Level 4 modules

Students take five modules at level 4 giving a total of 120 credits.

APS 402 Research Dissertation - 20 credits

This is a critical review of a biological topic of choice. It requires the critical analysis of hypotheses and the quality of the evidence used to support them. It should also identify gaps in our current knowledge and understanding and make suggestions for the future development of the field.

APS 405 Advanced Biological Analysis - 10 credits

This module provides training in advanced data management and statistical analysis using the open source statistical programme, R. Through a series of practicals, the student will build on their L1 and L2 training in R to learn how to manage complex data and implement a set of set of advanced statistical statistical tests that include advanced linear models (ANCOVA), generalised linear models, mixed effects models and multivariate tools. Advanced graphing and visualisation is also emphasised and introduced

APS 406 Research Project - 70 credits

This module consists of a laboratory or field based research project in one of the Department's research groups and gives students the opportunity to develop skills relevant to a career in biological research. Each student works under the supervision of a member of academic staff but the student is responsible for formulating the hypotheses and questions to be addressed and for planning and carrying out experiments to test these hypotheses.

APS 408 Research and Communication Skills in Biology - 20 credits

This module will provide training in fundamental generic skills necessary to pursue a research career in whole organism biology. Skills will involve learning and applying various forms of communication (both written and oral) to different audiences (professional and general public) and advanced science writing (e.g. journal publications and grant applications). Career development training will be provided by focusing on CV development and interview techniques. Teaching will be through workshops, lectures, tutorials, and student-centred learning.

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