MRes Biosciences

What is an MRes -  Research Masters in Bioscience?

This qualification combines taught elements that focus primarily on  how to undertake excellent research. This includes general research skills (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 Research Masters in Bioscience?

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 a research Masters in Bioscience rather than a Taught Masters?

Students on the MRes will be uniquely placed for a bioscience research career in the public or private sector. The course makes an ideal stepping-stone for those considering PhD research and an opportunity to explore your interest in the biosciences in depth.

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 Bio Science 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 Bio Science 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) make Aberystwyth a good choice for students looking for a certain lifestyle choice as well as 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  

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:

Approximately 10-14 hours a week in the first semester.  During semesters two and three you will arrange your level of contact time with your assigned supervisor.


The programme comprises 180 credits. There are 60 credits of taught modules completed during Semester 1 and Semester 2. This is followed by a research dissertation (120 credits) in semesters 2 & 3.

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. 

Course Content

Welsh medium modules available

Year 1 Core (40 Credits) You must take the following modules

Semester 1

Field And Laboratory Techniques BRM4800

Research Methodology And Advances In Biosciences BRM5500

Semester 2

Field And Laboratory Techniques BRM4820

Research Methodology And Advances In Biosciences BRM5520

Year 1 Options Choose 20 credits

Semester 1

Introduction To Concepts In Biology BRM4700

Frontiers In The Biosciences BRM4920

Semester 2

Introduction To Concepts In Biology BRM4720

Year 1 Core (120 Credits) You must take the dissertation

Semester 3

Mres Dissertation (a) BRM6060

Mres Dissertation (b) BRM6160



This course suits students with an undergraduate degree in any bioscience field and are looking to develop their knowledge and research skills linked with the institute of biological, environmental and rural science at Aberystwyth. It may be suitable to students that do not want to complete a full PhD but that would like to develop their research skills first. It is also suitable for students that would like to combine research with 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.

How to Apply

How to Apply

To discuss your project ideas, please contact potential supervisor(s) via our website prior to making a formal application: and click on your area of research interest.

Information and help with the formal application procedure can be found on this webpage

For an informal discussion about this course and for more specific information, including help identifying an appropriate supervisor, you are very welcome to contact the Scheme Coordinator Dr Rupert Marshall (, or Michelle Allen ( IBERS Postgraduate Admissions Officer.

Departmental contact details 

Tel: (01970) 622315

Fax: (01970) 622350


Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences

Edward Llwyd Building

Penglais Campus

Aberystwyth University

SY23 3DA

It is important you feel at home in the Department, University and Town. Here are some links for you to explore these areas further:

§  The Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences

§  Student Life

§  About the University

§  Accommodation

§  International Students

§  Funding

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