You start the course with five one-week modules on core topics in ecology and evolution:
- Plant Community Ecology
- Speciation and the Evolution of Biodiversity
- Macroevolution and Micropaleontology
- Population Dynamics and Modelling
- Aquatic Resource Ecology
The first project starts in week 6 and lasts 20 weeks. Towards the end of your project you complete a two-week compulsory statistical computing course linked to the project write-up and data analysis.
The second project starts after Week 27 and finishes in September. The projects should be with different supervisors and chosen to represent two of the following general categories:
- Ecological Modelling and Population Management
- Bioinformatics and Evolutionary Analysis
- Molecular Ecology, Phylogenetics and Development (lab component)
- Ecology, Evolution or Conservation Field Research
Year One: All modules are compulsory Term one: All students attend induction days, followed by five one-week modules on core topics in Ecology and Evolution: Plant Community Ecology, Speciation and the Evolution of Biodiversity, Macroevolution and Micropaleontology, Population Dynamics and Modelling, and Aquatic Resource Ecology. Students are advised to start discussing possible research projects with appropriate academic staff as soon as possible. During week 6 projects are identified and background reading commences ready for the initiation of projects in week 7. Projects suggested by College staff or solicited from external Research Institutes and Companies are advertised to students in the MSc/MRes project book. The projects are conducted at Imperial College or, in part or in whole, at external research institutions or agencies in the UK or overseas. Where the projects are external, a member of Imperial College academic staff is assigned to advise and to monitor student progress. Project assessment is based on a written dissertation in the form of a scientific paper. All students have a viva on their project and other aspects of the course with the External Examiner, prior to the MRes Examination Board meeting in late September. Term Two: Project work continues until Week 26, but all students take a three week core course, Experimental Design and Statistics during weeks 22-25, and analyse their results during this course. Projects are submitted at the end of Week 26, followed by the project viva in Week 27. Students identify their second project and start background reading and planning after discussion with their chosen project supervisor. Students have the opportunity to participate in lectures and practicals running in the Ecology, Evolution and Conservation MSc if they so wish. Term Three: Second projects begin in Week 31 and are submitted during week 49. The procedures for supervision and assessment of projects follow those outlined for the first project. Students are interviewed by the external examiners in week 50 and allocated final marks by week 52.
PART‐TIME OPTION: Part-time students complete taught and assessed elements at times coinciding with full-time students. The preferred model is to complete all taught elements in year 1, project 1 in year 1 and project 2 in year 2. Alternative models over 2 or 3 years will be considered, with the limit that the Experimental Design and Statistics course must be completed in year 1. Alternative models must be agreed with the course director prior to the start of the course.