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The University of Southampton

BIOL6088 MRes Evolution: From the Galapagos to the 21st Century Project

Module Overview

This module provides two-thirds of the content for the MRes Wildlife Conservation programme. During it you will develop research skills, as you work closely with a Marwell Conservation Biologist and University of Southampton supervisor to propose a detailed methodology for your research project. You will then have the unique experience of undertaking that extensive research project at one of Marwell Wildlife’s conservation sites, in the UK or abroad. During this process you will have the opportunity to become part of an existing and dynamic team of practicing conservation biologists.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Identity novel research areas.
  • Critically review the literature in an area of science that is new to you.
  • Analyse and interpret new scientific results.
  • Assess the wider significance of these results, including any commercial applications.
  • Plan and complete a research project within a fixed time period.
  • Produce a thorough but concise scientific report.


In semester 1 you will attend small group tutorials, which will cover research skills including: science communication – posters, seminars, scientific papers; critical evaluation; employability skills; online presence, including blogs and social media; grant applications. In semester 2, you will write a detailed research proposal, reviewing the field and defining your project within it, for submission at the beginning of February; example proposals in a variety of fields will be available for guidance. The research project will then run from February to September. The project will be linked to Evolutionary biology Research, and may involve the acquisition of new data, the analysis of existing data in a novel way, or the development and testing of a new method. The project is expected to lead to results that are publishable in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Study time allocation [Contact time includes: Lectures, seminars, tutorials, project supervision, demonstration, practicals/workshops/fieldwork/external visits/work based learning] Contact time: 12 hours of small group tutorials in semester 1; regular meetings with project supervisors throughout the year (88). Private study hours: 1100 (this includes: writing the research proposal, data collection and analysing, writing the report) Total study time: 1200

Independent Study1100
Project supervision88
Total study time1200



MethodPercentage contribution
Oral presentation 10%
Project 80%
Research proposal 10%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Field Trips

The price of this module will be incorporated into the tuition fee for the MRes Evolution: from the Galapagos to the 21st Century programme, with all costs associated with a student’s chosen research project being included. Students who undertake research abroad will have to pay for their travel to a UK airport (travel and accommodation in the country of data collection is included in tuition fees).

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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