Imperial College London logo
  • Tuition Fee:
  • Local: $ 12.1k / 2015-16
  • Foreign: $ 24.7k / 2015-16
  • Languages of instruction:
  • English
  • StudyQA ranking:
  • 802pts.
  • Duration:
  • 1 year

    Photos of university

    This MRes is designed for students with a passion for the diversity of life on earth, and who wish to be trained in cutting-edge biological research.

    New technologies such as next-generation DNA sequencing are revolutionising biology. There are also huge amounts of biodiversity data to be collated and meta-analysed to respond to urgent research needs in a world of rapid global changes.

    This course will offer an intensive one-year full-time programme designed to provide you with postgraduate-level training in research skills.

    Uniquely, it will start with seven-week intensive training modules in the latest developments of informatics and genomics for whole-organism research.

    The course will include:

    • Two-week module on genomics, including lectures and practicals in molecular ecology
    • Two-week module on biodiversity informatics, including lectures and practicals in GIS techniques (geographic information system)
    • Two-week module in programming, introducing core concepts such as control flow and simulation, R and languages such as Perl and Python
    • One-week module in statistics
    • A series of workshops, seminars and guest lectures on research techniques and rapidly-changing fields
    • One-week summer school on ‘Grand Challenges in Biodiversity Research’ (largely organised by the students as a retreat). This summer school will provide a relaxed set-up to run forums on current ‘hot’ topics, such as ‘biodiversity under climate change’, ‘ethics and genomics’, etc.
    • Training in complementary skills, personal development and business
    • One 36-week research project covering different research areas hosted by a laboratory within the Division of Ecology and Evolution, possibly in conjunction with a laboratory at an affiliated institution. The choice of the project will be student-led and the first eight weeks will provide ample time to choose a suitable host. Each project will be written up by the student in the format of a scientific publication. Although not compulsory, the expectation will be that the students will submit their reports for publication by the relevant peer-reviewed journals, e.g. Global Change Biology, Systematic Biology, Molecular Ecology, Genome Research as appropriate

    The elements and components to be assessed will be weighted as follows:

    • Coursework (25%)
    • Mid-project report (15%)
    • Mid-project presentation (10%)
    • Final report (35%)
    • Final viva (15%)

    The research project therefore attracts a total of 75% of the overall mark for the degree.

    The best 36-week research project will receive a £1,000 prize from Illumina.

    This is followed by a single nine-month research project in the Division of Ecology and Evolution, which may be jointly hosted by one of our peer-institutes such as the:

    • Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
    • the NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
    • the Natural History Museum

    Project opportunities include genetics, conservation, tropical and environmental biology; they will either be purely analytical or have strong field and/or laboratory components.

    It will also provide you with a solid grounding in a range of professional and transferable skills and the opportunity to make a more informed decision on the area of research and specific PhD project you wish to pursue in the future.

    It will be ideal training for those who wish to pursue a career in academic, government or non-governmental organisations engaged in research into biodiversity.


    UK requirements for international applications

    Universities in the United Kingdom use a centralized system of undergraduate application: University and College Admissions Service (UCAS). It is used by both domestic and international students. Students have to register on the UCAS website before applying to the university. They will find all the necessary information about the application process on this website. Some graduate courses also require registration on this website, but in most cases students have to apply directly to the university. Some universities also accept undergraduate application through Common App (the information about it could be found on universities' websites).

    Both undergraduate and graduate students may receive three types of responses from the university. The first one, “unconditional offer” means that you already reached all requirements and may be admitted to the university. The second one, “conditional offer” makes your admission possible if you fulfill some criteria – for example, have good grades on final exams. The third one, “unsuccessful application” means that you, unfortunately, could not be admitted to the university of you choice.

    All universities require personal statement, which should include the reasons to study in the UK and the information about personal and professional goals of the student and a transcript, which includes grades received in high school or in the previous university.


    University requirements


    Program requirements

    The course is open to students with a broad range of biological degrees including biology, zoology, plant sciences, microbiology, and environmental sciences, as well as bioinformatics, mathematics or physical sciences. Some bursaries and prizes may be available.

    Candidates will normally be expected to hold a good first degree in a science subject (at least an upper second class honours - 2:1 - degree) from a UK university or an equivalent overseas qualification.

    If your first degree is from a country other than the UK, you may find the guidelines within our Country Index helpful. Please note that these guidelines indicate the College minimum. Our requirement is usually higher.

    Tuition fees (2015–2016):

    • Home/EU Full-time — £9,200
    • Overseas Full-time — £18,800
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