The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

MRes in Advanced Biological Sciences degree (1 year)

The flexible Master of Research (MRes) in Advanced Biological Sciences degree from Southampton offers graduates the opportunity to develop their knowledge and practical skills in an area of Biological Sciences of their choice. The one-year course, tailored to your particular interests, is a stepping stone to further study at PhD level or a gateway to many careers in industry (e.g agriculture, pharmaceutical and the healthcare sector), scientific services, science communication, the teaching profession or in scientific policymaking.

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Introducing your course

This is the course page for MRes in Advanced Biological Sciences degree at the University of Southampton. Find out everything about in Advanced Biological Sciences degree and what studying here involves.

In this course page we explain a range of key information about the course. This includes typical entry requirements, modules you can take and how assessment works. We also suggest career opportunities open to you as a University of Southampton graduate of MRes in Advanced Biological Sciences degree.

If you still have questions, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to answer any enquiries. See our contact us page for our telephone, email and address information.

MRes in Advanced Biological Sciences


This new course has at its core four taught modules at postgraduate level to enable you to broaden your scientific knowledge in your chosen area and enhance your hands-on skills in research, presentations and scientific communication. In addition, there is a novel independent research project in the University of Southampton’s modern Life Sciences research laboratories, supervised by a leading academic in the specialism. The transferable skills you gain will be invaluable later in your career whether you are aiming for academia, industry or non-traditional science careers.

We offer MRes courses in Biological Sciences with a focus in one of the following research areas:

  • Biodiversity, Ecology and Ecosystem services
  • Biotechnology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Microbiology
  • Neuroscience
  • Molecular and Cellular Biosciences
  • Plant Biology
  • Zoology

View the programme specification document for this full time course

View the programme specification for this part time course

To Apply

To register interest or to be sent more information please contact:

Postgraduate Admissions Office

+44(0)23 8059 4348

When applying you should:

  • Check you meet the general entry requirements
  • If applicable, ensure that you will be able meet any special requirements for international students. You will need an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 6.5 or an equivalent qualification.
  • Identify how you will fund your postgraduate study
  • Identify a supervisor and find out more about their research.

Applications for postgraduate programmes are made using our online application form.

FEES -  MRes in Advanced Biological Sciences 2016 entry

As a postgraduate student you will need to pay annual tuition fees to the University for your course of study.

UK and EU Fees - The standard fee for the 1 year full-time course is £9,000

Overseas (non-EU) - The standard fee for the 1 year full-time course is £18,550. Overseas students commonly have financial support from their own government or another funding source within their country. We are also currently offering a £2,000 fee waiver on this fee. This is designed to reward talented high-quality students who study for the MRes degree at Southampton and recognise the increased costs associated for overseas students. The bursary is awarded in 4 x £500 payments through the year and is subject to review.

General - Fees charged include the full cost of tuition, examinations, Students' Union membership and research support expenses including computer use. When planning your finances, you will also need to consider other expenses such as living costs, accommodation fees and study materials.

Discount on postgraduate courses - 10% discount on postgraduate courses for University of Southampton final-year students and alumni is available.

Programme Structure

The course is research focussed with the addition of taught courses by academic staff in Biological Sciences.

The larger research component consists of a novel, independent (supported) research project which will be carried out in the state-of-the-art research facilities of Biological Sciences. The smaller taught component is composed of four courses that will broaden your skills in appropriate areas related to the research project. The exact portfolio of courses is selected with the advice of the academic supervisor of the research project. This course will provide you with an education and training suitable for a wide variety of careers and also will prepare you for higher degrees.

By the end of your MRes degree you will have extended your subject-specific and employability skills beyond the level of your undergraduate degree. A Master of Research course differs from a conventional MSc course in the balance between teaching and research. As an MRes student you will spend more time on the research project and correspondingly less time will be devoted to formal teaching.

The aims of the course are to:

  • Provide advanced knowledge in a particular area within the field of biological sciences research;
  • Provide an opportunity to work in a research environment in state-of- the art laboratories
  • Provide training in biological laboratory skills;
  • Provide a stimulating, informed environment through a range of courses;
  • Provide an opportunity to develop a range of transferable skills (written and oral communication, time management, project management, team working, information and communication technology, data collection and analysis);
  • Provide awareness of good laboratory practice and safety issues in a modern research laboratory.
  • Provide a sound and suitable qualification that would enable you to proceed to a more specialist higher degree at the PhD level or a career in biological sciences

Key Facts

Ranked 15th in the UK for impact on society (REF2014)

Thumbnail photo of Nancy Wong

“One of the strengths of the department is the opportunities we are given to network and collaborate, and obviously the great academics that we can look up to.”

Nancy Wong - PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology

Useful Downloads

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School of Biological Sciences
Virtual Open Day
Life Sciences controlled environment rooms

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

Selection process

Intake: 15

The MRes in Advanced Biological Sciences is designed for graduates of biological sciences or closely related disciplines.

Honours degree

Upper second class honours degree (2:1 or equivalent) or first class honours degree in Biological Sciences or a closely related subject. A key feature of your first degree studies is that they must demonstrate achievement of learning outcomes (both content and level) that will ensure that you can integrate into our teaching and research experience.

Non-UK applicants will usually have completed 4 years or more in higher education.

Students who have achieved a lower second honours degree will only be admitted onto this masters in advanced biological sciences in exceptional circumstances.


Your application to Biological Sciences will include your specification of the area of research you wish to work in. It is assumed that this expression of interest implies that you have an academic and experience background that is suitable for Masters level research in this area. Our admissions process will seek to confirm that this is the case prior to offering you a place

English Language requirements

If your first language is not English, we need to ensure that your listening, written and spoken English skills would enable you to enjoy the full benefit of your studies. For entry onto our courses, you will need an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 6.5 or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University. We are happy to offer guidance as to the courses available to improve the standard of English before the MRes course commences.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.


Typical course content

The MRes in Biological Science is a one-year course. The research component features throughout this period while the taught part of the programme is confined to two teaching semesters (Oct to Jan followed by Feb to June). Each semester includes twelve weeks of study followed by an examinations period (2 weeks). The exam for the end of module assessments will take place during this period. The compulsory research module (BIOL6068) provides two-thirds of the content for the MRes in Advanced Biological Sciences course. Each student undertakes an extensive research project, which is laboratory and/or fieldwork based, depending on the specialisation. In addition to the compulsory module you will need to choose your four optional modules with your chosen supervisor from the optional module list prior to starting the MRes course.

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Tuition fees

Fees for postgraduate taught courses vary across the University. All fees are listed for UK, EU and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course name. DEFAULT

View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

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 some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. 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

Learning & Assessment

Study locations

The Life Sciences Building

Biological Sciences Building, Highfield Campus

The Life Sciences building is a £50 million state-of-the-art laborator...Find out more

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