About this course
Develop specialist knowledge and practical skills on this research-focused master’s degree in advanced biological sciences. You’ll build in-depth understanding of your chosen specialism as you conduct a piece of original research, supported by the University of Southampton’s expert academics. This degree is great preparation for future PhD research, or for a career in a wide range of industries.
This flexible Advanced Biological Sciences MRes course allows you to focus on a particular research interest. You can choose to specialise in one of the following:
- biodiversity, ecology and ecosystem services
- developmental biology
- molecular and cellular biosciences
- plant biology
An MRes differs from a standard MSc in the balance between teaching and research. As an MRes student you’ll spend more time on the research project and less on the taught part of the course.
The taught part of the course will allow you to increase your scientific knowledge in your chosen area and enhance your skills in research, presentation and scientific communication.
You'll use your learning as the basis for an original piece of research, with the support of a leading academic in your specialism. You’ll also benefit from a wide range of facilities, including a dedicated life sciences laboratory.
Your research project will be laboratory or fieldwork-based, depending on the specialism you choose.
The course leader is Dr Lorraine Williams, Associate Professor in Plant Biology. Her research focuses on the role of membrane proteins in plant nutrition. Read Dr Williams’s profile to find out more about her work.
This course is based at Highfield.
This qualification is awarded by the University of Southampton.
Download the programme specification
The programme specification sets out the learning outcomes of this course and details how the course is taught and assessed.
In light of COVID-19, we’ve made changes to some elements of course delivery for 2020-21. For details as to how this has changed delivery for this course, please view the Addendum to the Programme Specification PDF.
You’ll need a 2:1 degree in biological sciences or a related subject.
If you’re a non-UK applicant, you should have completed at least 4 years in higher education.
Find the equivalent international qualifications for your country.
English language requirements
If English isn't your first language, you'll need to complete an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to demonstrate your competence in English. You'll need an overall score of 6.5 and the following scores for reading, writing, listening and speaking:
IELTS score requirements
We accept other English language tests, find out which English language tests we accept.
Got a question?
If you're not sure that you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course please contact our enquiries team; we're very happy to help.Email: email@example.com
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
COVID-19: we've made some changes to the structure of the course for this academic year. Download the programme specification addendum in 'About this course' to learn more.
This is a full-time master’s course. You’ll study for a full 12 months.
The taught part of the course runs from October to June (semesters 1 and 2) and consists of 4 modules that you’ll choose with the help of your academic supervisor to complement your research project.
The main research part of the course runs for the whole year.
You’ll have exams at the end of semesters 1 and 2.
Want more detail? See all the modules in the course.
COVID-19: we've made some changes to our modules for this academic year. Download the programme specification addendum in 'About this course' to learn more.
You'll study a total of 5 modules: the MRes Advanced Biological Sciences research project, and 4 optional modules from the following list.
For entry in Academic Year 2020-21
You must study the following module:
You must also choose from the following modules:
Learning and assessment
COVID-19: we've made some changes to our learning and assessment methods for this academic year. Download the programme specification addendum in 'About this course' to learn more.
The learning activities for this course include the following:
- extended research project
- independent learning (studying on your own)
We’ll assess you through:
- a dissertation
You’ll spend 1,200 hours of study time carrying out your advanced biological sciences research project and writing a dissertation to present your findings.
The project is a chance for you to develop your research skills and show in-depth knowledge of your subject.
You’ll work closely with a supervisor to choose your research topic, and have regular support meetings throughout the process.
We'll assign you a personal academic tutor, and you'll have access to a senior tutor.
With this degree you’ll be in a great position to continue your research at PhD level or move into a career in industry.
Areas you could go into include:
- scientific services
- science communication
- science policy
Careers services at Southampton
We're a top 20 UK university for employability (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2019). Our Careers and Employability Service will support you throughout your time as a student and for up to 5 years after graduation. This support includes:
- work experience schemes
- CV/resume and interview skills workshops
- networking events
- careers fairs attended by top employers
- a wealth of volunteering opportunities
- study abroad and summer school opportunities
We have a vibrant entrepreneurship culture. You'll be able to take advantage of:
Fees, costs and funding
Fees for a year's study:
- UK/EU students pay £9,250.
- International students pay £23,136.
What your fees pay for
Your tuition fee covers the full cost of tuition and all examinations.
10% alumni discount
If you’re a graduate of the University of Southampton you get a 10% discount on your postgraduate tuition fees.
Postgraduate Master’s Loans (UK and EU nationals only)
This can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate master's course. Find out if you're eligible.
Funding your postgraduate studies
A variety of additional scholarships, grants and bursaries may be available to help you fund your master’s study, both from the University and from other organisations.
How to apply
You can apply directly through our online form by using the apply button on this page.
Applications must be received no later than 4 weeks before the start of the course. You must supply all supporting documentation at least two weeks before starting your course.
We recommend you apply at least 6 weeks before the start of the course to ensure you're able to meet our requirements and apply for a visa in time.
We cannot guarantee students who do not meet these deadlines will be able to begin their course.
When you apply you’ll need to submit a personal statement explaining why you want to take the course.
You’ll need to include information about:
- your knowledge of the subject area
- why you want to study a postgraduate qualification in this course
- how you intend to use your qualification
You'll also need to send 2 academic references.
Please include the required paperwork showing your first degree and your IELTS English language test score (if you are a non-native English speaker) with your application. Without these, your application may be delayed.
Learn more about how to apply with our postgraduate application guide.
What happens after you apply
You'll be able to track your application through our online Applicant Record System.
We will assess your application on the strength of your:
- academic achievements
- relevant professional experience
- personal statement
- academic references
We'll get back to you within 6 weeks with a decision about your application.
Equality and diversity
We treat and select everyone in line with our Equality and Diversity Statement.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000