About this course
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.
This course is based at Highfield, Avenue and Waterfront (National Oceanography Centre Southampton).
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.
You’ll need a 2:1 degree.
Find the equivalent international qualifications for your country.
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?
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
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 2020-21
You must study the following modules in year 1:
You must also choose from the following modules in year 1:
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 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 £13,550.
- International students pay £25,300.
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.
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