About this course
This course is now closed to new applications for 2023 entry.
Each year we get many high-quality applications and places for many of our courses are very competitive.
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Discover the process of evolution, and its impact on modern life, on this master’s course at the University of Southampton. You’ll work with experts in subject areas from biological sciences to philosophy as you explore the subject. You'll take a field trip to the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific, where Charles Darwin developed his theory of natural selection.
On this course, MRes Evolution: From the Galapagos to the 21st Century, you’ll work with academics from across the University while developing knowledge and skills in your chosen specialism.
As an MRes student you’ll spend more time on your research project and less on the taught part of the course.
You’ll gain a unique perspective on the subject through insights from subject areas including:
- biological sciences
- computer sciences
- ocean and Earth sciences
You’ll gain a strong foundation in evolutionary biology, while learning about new methods, current global challenges and the latest research topics, such as:
- evolutionary medicine
- evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo)
- computational evolution
- the philosophy of science
A highlight of the course is a 2-week field trip to the Galapagos, the ‘living laboratory’ that played a key role in Darwin’s theory of evolution. This is an amazing opportunity for you to discover how these remote islands’ unique species helped to shape modern science.
If you prefer, you can apply to study this course as:
- a part-time master's - study the same course content over 2 or more years
Your modules and fees may vary if you choose a different study option.
Your course leader is Dr Neil Gostling, Senior Teaching Fellow within Biological Sciences. He is an evolutionary-developmental biologist by training and a palaeobiologist by research. He uses innovative methods to answer questions about everything from the evolution of animals to the development of root systems. Read Dr Gostling’s staff profile to find out more about his work.
“Two days after handing in my MRes project, I started work as a researcher at the BBC Natural History Unit – the start of a career I had always dreamed of.”
What it’s like to study MRes Evolution: From the Galapagos to the 21st Century
Learn more about this subject area
This course is based at Highfield, Avenue and Waterfront (National Oceanography Centre Southampton).
This qualification is awarded by the University of Southampton.
Download the Course Description Document
The Course Description Document details your course overview, your course structure and how your course is taught and assessed.
You’ll need a 2:1 degree.
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 all of the following scores as a minimum:
IELTS score requirements
- overall score
We accept other English language tests. Find out which English language tests we accept.
Recognition of professional experience
If you don't have the exact entry requirements, but you have significant work experience in this sector we’ll assess your relevant professional experience, your subject knowledge and your aptitude for learning.
Your application will be considered on individual merit and you may be asked to attend an interview.
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
On the full-time master’s course you’ll study for a full 12 months.
You’ll study the taught part of the course from September to May (semesters 1 and 2). This is made up of 3 compulsory modules and a module we’ll ask you to choose from a list of options.
The Galapagos field course takes place in September. Written exams take place at the end of semesters 1 and 2.
You’ll work on an extended research-based project throughout the year and submit your dissertation in August.
Want more detail? See all the modules in the course.
You can choose to take modules that aren't on this list, but you'll need to agree this with your course leader and module coordinators.
For entry in Academic Year 2023 to 2024
Learning and assessment
The learning activities for this course include:
- practical classes
- an extended research project
We’ll assess you through:
- practical work
- written exams
- a dissertation
You'll carry out a major piece of original research on a topic of your choice, in agreement with your supervisor, and write up your work in a dissertation.
You’ll spend 1,100 hours of independent study writing your research proposal, collecting and analysing data, and writing your dissertation.
You’ll have regular support meetings with your supervisor throughout the year.
We'll assign you a personal academic tutor, and you'll have access to a senior tutor.
With this degree you’ll be well placed for a career in a range of industries, such as:
You’ll also be in an ideal position to continue your research at PhD level.
Careers services at Southampton
We're a top 20 UK university for employability (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2022). Our Careers, Employability and Student Enterprise team 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 thriving entrepreneurship culture. You'll be able to take advantage of:
Fees, costs and funding
Fees for a year's study:
- UK students pay £16,800.
- EU and international students pay £32,300.
What your fees pay for
Your tuition fee covers the full cost of tuition and any exams.
Find out how to pay your tuition fees.
Accommodation and living costs, such as travel and food, are not included in your tuition fees. Explore:
10% alumni discount
If you’re a graduate of the University of Southampton, you could be eligible for a 10% discount on your postgraduate tuition fees.
Postgraduate Master’s Loans (UK 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 funding options may be available to help you pay for your master’s study. Both from the University and other organisations.
Funding for EU and international students
Find out about funding you could get as an international student.
How to apply
- Use the 'apply for this course' button on this page to take you to our online application form.
- Search for the course you want to apply for.
- Complete the application form and upload any supporting documents.
- Submit your application.
For further details, read our step by step guide to postgraduate taught applications.
Make sure we receive your application at least 4 weeks before the start of the course. This gives us time to consider your application, if there are still places available.
Make sure we receive your application at least 6 weeks before the start of the course.
This gives us time to consider your application, if there are still places available. It will also give you time to apply for a visa if we offer you a place.
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.
What happens after you apply
You'll be able to track your application through our online Applicant Record System.
We will aim to send you a decision 6 weeks after you have submitted your application.
Unfortunately, due to number of applications we receive, we may not be able to give you specific feedback on your application if you are unsuccessful.
We may invite you to an interview, which will take place by phone if you live abroad. You'll get an email from the admissions tutor if we'd like to talk to you before offering you a place.
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
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