Key Facts

Course Code C190
  • Qualification


  • Typical Course Length

    1 Year

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What is an MRes -  Research Masters in Bioscience?

This qualification combines taught elements that focus primarily on how to undertake excellent research and how research can address grand challenges in biology that we face as a society. This includes project planning, statistics, field & lab techniques as well as skills specific to your research project. Alongside this training, you will undertake higher level research with a leading expert in the institute.

What can I research on my MRes in Biosciences?

With over 200 members of staff you have a lot of flexibility in the area of research that you would like to study. This breadth of research and expertise in the institute means that you can undertake research in any one of the many areas of specialisation including, zoology, plant breeding, microbiology, bioinformatics, animal science, equine or marine life & ecology.  Visit our Research Groups page to find the area that matches your interests: 

Every step of our research is carried out with the indispensable help of postgraduate students. No matter which area of Biology you specialise in, you will be working alongside some of the world’s biggest names in their respective fields.

Why should I study MRes Biosciences rather than an MSc?

The course makes an ideal stepping-stone for those considering PhD or company-based research and provides an opportunity for you to explore your interest in the biosciences in depth while showing a commitment to a research-focused career.

This innovative course provides high quality, interdisciplinary research training providing you with the skills needed to embark on your individual Research Dissertation. The key feature here is that you are able to explore an area of biology that fascinates you with the personalised support of a supervisor. This makes the course flexible to your interests, adaptable and focused, specialising in a given area.

Why should I study an MRes in Biosciences at Aberystwyth University?

The Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) combines world-leading research with industry standard training. The department has been judged world leading in areas such as zoology, grassland science, biochemistry, animal science, marine biology, microbiology, plant biology and ecology. With a commitment to interdisciplinary research, as a postgraduate research student at Aberystwyth you benefit from world leading teaching, facilities and supervision all in a safe, friendly and vibrant town. This, combined with the beautiful location of Aberystwyth (being on the West coast of Wales) makes Aberystwyth an ideal environment to study for an internationally recognised degree.  

What are the facilities like?

We have excellent research facilities including aquariums (marine, freshwater, tropical), a bioinformatics hub, ion-torrent sequencers, and extensive glass house facilities. We also operate several farms and own significant tracts of natural woodland, while our coastal location close to several nature reserves & national parks offers unique opportunities for a broad range of bioscience research.

What are the support networks like?

All postgraduate students in IBERS have a named personal tutor. Personal tutors provide a point of contact within academic departments to which students can turn to discuss personal or domestic concerns that impact on their studies. The personal tutor is a different person from their dissertation supervisor. Students will typically be working within research teams with their supervisor, research staff and other postgraduate students. The University also has a dedicated Student support department.

  • Key Facts
  • Overview
  • Modules
  • Employability

Key Facts


Twelve months full-time or 24 months part time. The academic year (September to September) is divided into three semesters: September to January; January to June; June to September.

Contact Time:

Up to 10 hours per work are spent in taught modules in semesters 1 and 2. The rest of the time in semesters 1 and 2 and the whole of semester 3 are spent conducting your research project. Depending on your project this may include laboratory, field or computer-based research supported by regular meetings with your supervisor.


The programme comprises 180 credits. There are 60 credits of taught modules completed during Semester 1 and Semester 2. The dissertation (120 credits) is conducted throughout the year.

Entry Requirements:

BSc honours degree (2:1) in a related subject at undergraduate level and accompanying references.  We will consider applicants with other experience which gives an equivalent basis for entry. You application will be assessed by the Scheme coordinator and the proposed supervisor as to the quality of the proposed project and suitability of student to the project.

English Language Requirements:

If you have a Bachelor’s degree from a UK University, you do not need to take an English proficiency test.

Non-native English speakers who do not meet this requirement must take a University-recognised test of academic English language proficiency. For further information please see our English Language requirements page.

Course Fees:

Please see the tuition fee pages for current tuition fees. Please note that all fees are subject to an annual increase.


Funding opportunities may be available, please check the funding calculator for details.


The modules included in the programme are designed to provide a fundamental basis for understanding and contributing meaningfully to biological science research. This knowledge will then be developed and you will be further intellectually challenged by its application to modern technology and research within your own area of specialism – dependent on your choice of research project.  Key skills, particularly those of communication, research, IT and problem solving, will be developed through formative (e.g. discussion with and feedback from your research supervisor) as well as assessed coursework programmes which will be accompanied by detailed feedback on performance.

Our Staff

The majority of teaching staff at the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences are qualified to PhD level and are research active. The Institute has a large number of research only staff with whom students may have contact.

Our Staff

The majority of teaching staff at the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences are qualified to PhD level and are research active. Vocational courses also have staff whose background lies within industry.  The Institute has a large number of research only staff with whom students may have contact.


Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.



This course suits students with an undergraduate degree in any bioscience field who are looking to develop their knowledge and research skills linked with the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences at Aberystwyth. The course is suitable for students who are not yet ready or do not wish to begin a PhD but who would like to develop their research skills first. It is also suitable for students that would like to combine research with the support of a taught element of a postgraduate taught course.

On completion of the degree scheme, students will be able to:

·       Design, apply and analyse various research/study techniques.

·       Plan, conduct, and report on investigations, including the use of secondary data.

·       Collect and record information or data in the library, laboratory or field, summarizing it using appropriate qualitative and/or quantitative techniques.

·       Conceive, plan and undertake field and/or laboratory investigations in a responsible, ethical and safe manner, paying due attention to risk assessment, legislation concerning experimental animal use, relevant health and safety regulations, other legal requirements and sensitivity to the impact of investigations on the environment and stakeholders.

·       Communicate effectively with individuals and organisations in a range of scenarios.

·       Write for a range of audiences including academics and the wider public.

·       Apply appropriate management and experimental techniques to a range of situations.

An MRes graduate would be able to demonstrate experience and capabilities such as;

·       Receiving and responding to a variety of sources of information: textual, numerical, verbal, graphical;

·       Communicating about their subject appropriately

·       Citing and referencing work in an appropriate manner;

·       Sample selection; recording and analysing data in the field and/or the laboratory; validity, accuracy, calibration, precision, repeatability and uncertainty during collection;

·       Preparing, processing, interpreting and presenting data, using appropriate qualitative and quantitative techniques, statistical programmes, spreadsheets and programs for presenting data visually;

·       Solving problems by a variety of methods including the use of computers;

·       Using the internet and other electronic sources critically as a means of communication and a source of information.

·       Developing the skills necessary for self-managed and lifelong learning (eg working independently, time management and organisation skills);

·       Identifying and working towards targets for personal, academic and career development;

·       Developing an adaptable, flexible, and effective approach to study and work.