MRes Marine Biology

General information

Marine biology is a broad and dynamic subject, reflecting the diversity of marine ecosystems and the fantastic array of life they contain. Biological marine processes exert massive influences on the Earth's climate and biogeochemical cycling. Closely linked with the diverse research pursuits of scientists at the Marine Biological Association (MBA) and University, this programme allows you to develop research skills in a marine context that are widely applicable.​

In your first term you will study core modules which concentrate on building up your general research and academic skills. You’ll also be introduced to the research and organisation of the MBA and the Marine Biology and Ecology Research Centre at the University, with a focus upon raising your awareness of potential dissertation topics and advisors. You’ll take a specific module based on your chosen specialisation. The ecology option includes additional training in the analysis of ecological data and conservation/biodiversity assessments. The cellular and molecular option meanwhile focuses on DNA and microbiological techniques, biological imaging, and electrophysiological methods. The majority of time from mid-January onwards is spent on your research project and dissertation. You’ll undertake your project working directly with researchers at the MBA, Plymouth University or one of our other partner institutions. It may also be possible to conduct your project abroad.

Core modules

BIO5131 Postgraduate Research Skills & Methods- The module provides the research- and communication-related skills that biology postgraduates require to carry out an original research project at the forefront of their academic discipline. Emphasis is given to the philosophy, design, ethics and management of research, effective communication to a range of audiences, and advice on career management and presentation skills involved in job applications and interviews.

MBAM5106 Advanced Research in Marine Biology- This module introduces students to marine biological research at the MBA and PU, the approaches and techniques used and the staff, with a focus upon the interdisciplinarity of contemporary marine biology. The module also familiarises the students with MBA practices and facilities, including safe working and risk assessment. Students will be provided with guidance on the preparation of scientific research for publication.

MBAM5109 Marine Biology MRes Dissertation- The student will complete an independent research project that they have designed. The project can be submitted in a journal paper format or as a dissertation. The write-up will include project aims, research problem to be addressed, methodology, data analysis, interpretation, discussion/synthesis, conclusions, supported by Figures and Tables. The student must defend the work in a viva voce with the External Examiner.

Optional modules

MBAM5107 Molecular and Cellular Approaches in Marine Biology- This MBA-based module is an intensive introduction to the advanced molecular and cellular principles, concepts and techniques and that are applied by researchers at the MBA. The students will be actively involved with relevant research groups and will be taught using a lecture/seminar and practical approach.

MBAM5108 Marine Ecology and Conservation- This module deals with three main areas: threats and impacts upon marine systems, marine conservation methods & policy, and data analytical approaches for marine ecological studies.

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change.

Objective:
  • Study in Plymouth, an internationally renowned city for marine biological research.
  • Participate in a specifically designed, topical programme jointly hosted by Plymouth University and the Marine Biological Association (MBA) of the UK.
  • Choose between pathways to suit your research interests, biodiversity and ecology or cellular and molecular biology.
  • Benefit from being taught by recognised experts with worldwide links to research organisations and projects. 
  • Draw on our expertise, working alongside research staff on a personal project.
  • Undertake an extensive, original and innovative research project, often in collaboration with MBA Research Fellows, or one of our other partner institutions (Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science and the National Marine Aquarium), either in the UK or abroad.
  • Excellent training for further research. 
  • See the benefit from close links with the research community worldwide.
Contact Person: Dr Michael Cunliffe (Programme Leader) (michael.cunliffe@plymouth.ac.uk)

Content

The highlighted icons, represent the fields of education (in compliance with ISCED Classification) engaged during this course/programme.

0031 - Project management", "0511 - Biology", "0512 - Biotechnology", "0521 - Ecology", "0522 - Conservation and environmental management

Venue

Venue: Plymouth University
Plymouth, United Kingdom

School of Marine Science and Engineering
Smeaton building, Drake Circus
Plymouth PL4 8AA

Application


Cost:

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated Brexit webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

New Students

  • Home/EU- £9,500
  • International- £14,400
  • Part time (Home/EU)- £550

Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances.

Postgraduate scholarships for international students

We offer several scholarships for international students who wish to study postgraduate taught (PGT) degree programmes.

Find out about the postgraduate scholarships available to you as an international student here.


Prerequisites:

A 2:1 or first-class honours degree or equivalent, preferably in a biological subject, with 2:1 grade or equivalent in a research project or dissertation.

International students: IELTS score of 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in each element) or equivalent. 

If you have overseas qualifications you can check their comparability with the UK equivalent through the UK National Recognition Information Centre (NARIC), who provide an advisory service. 

English language requirements 

If your first language is not English then evidence of English proficiency is required. For further advice on the appropriateness of overseas qualification and proficiency in the use of English, please contact our International Office

The minimum IELTS score for acceptable English proficiency for entry is 6.5.


Application Procedure:

When to apply

Most of our taught programmes begin in September, with some January starts also available. Applications can usually be made throughout the year, and are considered until programmes are full. 

Before you apply

Familiarise yourself with the information required to complete your application form. You will usually be required to supply:

  • evidence of qualifications (degree certificates or transcripts), with translations if not in English, to show that you meet, or expect to meet the entry requirements
  • evidence of English language proficiency, if English is not your first language
  • a personal statement of approximately 250-400 words about the reasons for your interest in the course and outlining the nature of previous and current related experience. You can write this into the online application form, or include it as a separate document
  • your curriculum vitae or résumé, including details of relevant professional/voluntary experience, professional registration/s and visa status for overseas workers
  • proof of sponsorship, if applicable.

If you require further information take a look at our application guidance

Disability services

If you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by University of Plymouth, please visit our Disability Services website. 

International students

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk

Submitting an application

Once you are happy that you have all of the information required you can apply using our online postgraduate application form (the blue 'Apply now' icon on this page).

What happens after I apply?

You will normally receive a decision on your application within four weeks of us receiving your application. You may be asked to provide additional information; two academic/professional references, confirming your suitability for the course; or to take part in an interview (which in the case of overseas students may be by telephone or video conference) and you will be sent a decision by letter or email.

We aim to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. Our Admissions and Course Enquiries team is on hand to offer help and can put you in touch with the appropriate faculty if you wish to discuss any programme in detail.

If you would like any further information please contact the Admissions and Course Enquiries team:

Admissions policy

More information and advice for applicants can be referenced by downloading our Student Admissions Policy. Prospective students are advised to read the policy before making an application to the University.


Grant Opportunities:

 The new Postgraduate Loan for masters degrees in the UK will be introduced for students commencing in the 2016-17 academic year.

As part of a new government funded masters loan scheme, masters students who are under the age of 60 can now access a loan of up to £10,000 as a contribution towards the cost of their study.

The loans will be available for both taught and research masters programmes across all disciplines and subject areas (excluding PGCE, PgCert, PgDip, MClinRes or ResM).

Find out more information on the new postgraduate loan.

International students. Scholarships are available for international students.

Qualification

Academic level: Master

Qualification: Master of Research

Credits:
Value: 
180
Occupations (not validated):
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