2021 start
MSc

Biological Sciences

Biology, Ecology and Conservation Biology, Plant Sciences and Zoology, Faculty of Science

Choose to develop a wide range of knowledge across the biological sciences or specialise within one of three major areas: evolutionary biology, plant and crop science or biodiversity and conservation.
Person cutting wheat with pair of scissors P3

Course description

Our 12-month MSc trains you for a career in research or management around the world. Throughout your course, you'll learn about fundamental concepts and key skills required within the discipline before applying what you've learnt in your literature review and Independent Research Project.

You can choose to explore the breadth of organismal biological sciences or specialise in an area that most interests you within three pathways:

Evolutionary biology: This is a rapidly moving field, thanks to revolutionary advances in sequencing technologies. Students on this pathway will learn about patterns of life-history variation seen in nature and the theories behind them, as well as exploring bioinformatic techniques that help to identify when genes have evolved adaptively.

Plant and crop science: Training is led by the experts behind the Institute for Sustainable Food. You'll understand the key issues in global food security and explore how plants can truly influence global change.

Biodiversity and conservation: Students will develop fundamental knowledge about today’s major conservation issues and the human and environmental drivers including marine plastics, urbanisation, tropical logging and the balance between sustainable food production and biodiversity.

Whichever path you choose, you'll be learning about the latest research in the field, from experts who are making the discoveries first-hand.

You’ll conduct your own fieldwork in the Peak District and receive training in experimental design and data collection, giving you the key skills to plan and manage your own projects.

After your degree

Graduates will be ready to work in biotechnology, agri-tech or sustainability programmes within NGOs or industry, or solving pressing problems through research in higher education. This course is also great preparation for a PhD.

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Modules

Explore modules

Evolutionary Biology pathway modules

In addition to the core modules, you'll study:

  • Evolutionary Principles
  • Molecular Evolution and Genomics
  • Issues in Evolutionary Biology
  • Biodiversity in Space and Time
Plant and Crop Science pathway modules

In addition to the core modules, you'll study:

  • Crop Science, Biotechnology and Breeding
  • Agricultural Ecology in a Changing World
  • Issues in Global Food Security
Biodiversity and Conservation pathway modules

In addition to the core modules, you'll study:

  • Global Conservation Issues
  • Agricultural Ecology in a Changing World
  • Changing Global Ecosystems
  • Biodiversity in Space and Time

Teaching

You’ll learn through a combination of practical and field classes, individual research projects, lectures, seminars, tutorials and discussion groups.

Assessment

Assessment includes, but is not limited to, oral presentations, essays, reflective journal entries, examinations, coursework, policy briefing notes and a dissertation.

Duration

1 year full-time

Biological sciences student

There’s such a wide range of research interests within the department which ensures that every student has the chance to do a project related to their field of interest. The department did a great job at getting me up to speed with any processes and techniques I needed to know which has been a massive asset as I’ve carried out my research.

Sam Fenton

Entry requirements

A 2:2 honours degree, or equivalent, in biological sciences or a related subject.

English language requirements

Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

Apply

You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It's a quick and easy process.

Apply now

Contact

aps.pgadmissions@sheffield.ac.uk
+44 114 222 0123

The course information set out here may change before you begin, particularly if you are applying significantly in advance of the start date.