Your MRes degree

If you have a strong interest in biology, and a passion for creating and refining our knowledge about the living world, working on novel solutions to biological problems and developing your scientific creativity, then an MRes (Masters in Research) degree may be for you. This introduction tells you a bit more about what is involved.

An MRes degree consists a series of modules, including an extended individual research project, providing advanced training in research methods, generic skills and subject specific techniques. This is a research-orientated degree enabling you to develop your own research skills and contribute new knowledge to your chosen field.

You will work in a research community focused on doing novel and relevant research. You will also develop a range of problem-solving, technical and communication skills.


Dr Tom Webb,

Click to read our Masters Courses in Biosciences brochure

Below you can read more about the MRes courses we run in Animal and Plant Sciences, including testimonies from past students. View on Issuu to download.

This is an extract from our Masters Courses in Biosciences brochure. You can also read the full brochure, which covers MSc courses in Biomedical Science, and Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, as well as the degrees we run here in Animal and Plant Sciences here: Read the full brochure on Issuu.

Read the full brochure on Issuu

About our MRes degrees

MRes programmes last one full year, starting in the last week of September, and can be taken in one of three main research areas. You will graduate with one of the following degrees:

  • MRes in Ecology and Environment (APST05)
  • MRes in Evolution and Behaviour (APST06)
  • MRes in Plant and Microbial Biology (APST07)

Each programme has a common element where you will learn about the most recent developments in your research area and discuss them with research leaders from the UK and around the world. You will gain advanced skills in data experimental design, data analysis and presentation, learning how to become a research leader yourself.

You will be assigned to a research supervisor and undertake an extended research project under their supervision gaining experience in state-of-the art techniques. You will be embedded in one of our research groupings working alongside PhD students, postdoctoral researchers and staff who are at the forefront of their research field. Some projects may involve joint supervision or collaboration with staff in other departments, universities, or in industry.

Research topics

The MRes degrees are research intensive and we offer projects in any of our three main research areas. You can get a better idea of specific projects by looking at the research interests of potential supervisors in each area.

Ecology and Environment
Evolution and Behaviour
Plant and Microbial Biology (see also P3:Plant Production and Protection)

We will discuss your project with you and develop a suitable focus for the research element of your programme.

Industrial Placements in APST07

Suitable candidates for APST07 MRes Plant & Microbial Biology may be able to partake in an extended industrial placement with one of our partners in the UK or the EU (click here for further details), through the P3 Centre of Excellence for Translational Plant Science. Candidates should indicate in their supporting statement when applying if they are interested in pursuing one of these industrial placements. For more information on possible industrial placements, please contact us on, including 'MRes' in the subject line.

What training is available?

All MRes students follow the same programme of study, but the content of individual modules is tailored to your specific needs and interests.

Training is provided in science communication, advanced statistical analyses, advanced practical skills and techniques and how to develop as a future research leader. By being embedded in our state-of-the-art research laboratories you will gain specific skills in advanced techniques that may include genome sequencing and analysis, mass spectrometry and advanced imaging techniques.

How would I fund a MRes degree?

You will need one or more sources of financial support to cover the University tuition fees and your living costs. What sources of support are available to you will depend on a number of different factors, including whether you are a UK or EU national. These are discussed in more detail on the financial information for postgraduate taught courses.

Tuition fees

Funding your postgraduate course

What qualifications do I need to apply for an MRes degree?

We require a good (i.e. a First or upper 2:1) undergraduate degree (usually BSc, or equivalent) in a relevant subject. In addition to your degree, we also look for evidence of aptitude and enthusiasm for research.

If you are an international student and English is not your first language then you will need a formal English Language test (eg, TOEFL, IELTS) score of 6.5 with a score of at least 6.0 in each test category.

International students

If you don't meet our entry requirements, our International College offers a Pre-Masters in Science and Engineering. The programme is designed to develop your academic level in your chosen subject, introduce you to the study skills that will be vital to success and help with language if you need it.

Pre-Masters at the University of Sheffield International College