MRes Ecology and Environment modules

On this page you can find out about the modules on our MRes Ecology and Environment course.

To learn more about the course, visit the University of Sheffield's online prospectus:

MRes Ecology and Environment

Core modules - all students will study:

APS609 - Research Project (120 credits)

Module leader: Dr Stephen Rolfe

This module allows students to develop skills relevant to a career in biological research. It will consist of a laboratory or field based research project where each student will work under the supervision of a member of academic staff. The student will formulate the hypotheses and questions to be addressed and plan and carry out experiments to test these hypotheses. The project will be written up in the form of a scientific paper and the student will keep a notebook of the research.

Your masters includes funding for your research project which can cover field or laboratory costs in the UK or abroad. Previous MRes Ecology and Environment students have conducted fieldwork in locations including Brazil, South Africa and Sweden as well closer to home in the wonderful Peak District National Park on our doorstep.

APS6610 - Literature Review (15 credits)

Module leader: Dr Stephen Rolfe

The literature review requires you to write a critical review of a biological topic of choice. The literature review will involve extensive reading of original research papers, reviews and books together with information extracted from other media. You'll be required to critically analyse hypotheses in the field and critically analyse the quality of the evidence used to support them. Where controversies exist, you'll indicate which side has the stronger case. The literature review should also identify gaps in our current knowledge and understanding and make suggestions for the future developments in the field.

APS6617 - Scientific Skills and Project Management (30 credits)

Module leader: Dr Tom Webb

This module provides training in the skills and approaches necessary to design, manage, conduct, analyse and present research in whole organism biology and environmental science. Generic skills involve designing and planning an effective and reproducible study, making best use of available resources; collecting and managing data to address study aims; and communicating results orally and in writing to different audiences. You will learn about key processes in the generation of scientific knowledge, including peer review and writing and assessing funding proposals. The module also covers advanced principles of experimental design, data interpretation, and graphical presentation, introduced in the statistical computing environment R using a series of workshops and student-centred learning assignments to develop skills and proficiency. Assessment includes a written grant proposal, and online exams for the R course.

APS610 - Science Communication for Researchers (15 credits)

Module leader: Dr Stephen Rolfe

This module provides training in the skills and approaches necessary to effectively communicate science. The module has three main components: 1. An intensive science communication workshop focusing on interactions with the print and broadcast media; 2. Trends in Biology, in which students attend, discuss, and critique research presentations from external speakers; 3. A poster presentation, where students design and produce a poster to communicate their research project to a specific target audience (e.g. general public, research audience); 4. A formal oral presentation, where students present their research results to their peers.

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it is up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research, funding changes, professional accreditation requirements, student or employer feedback, outcomes of reviews, and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

Information last updated: 25 January 2021

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