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University of Gloucestershire
Postgraduate research


MSc by Research

Course options

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Study type
Full Time
Course length
2 Years
Distance Learning (UoG delivery)

Course overview

A Masters by Research or PhD in Biosciences will enable you to undertake cutting-edge scientific research in a supportive and caring environment. You can specialise in one of many topic areas, from genomics, immunology, gene therapy and cancer biology to palaeoecology, plant ecology, animal behaviour, parasitology, population biology, ecosystem functioning, ecological monitoring and wildlife conservation.

We have a range of laboratory facilities, including a new state-of-the-art biosciences laboratory with a biomedical specialism, microscopy and zoology laboratories, and smaller research laboratories including specialist spaces for both palaeoecology and animal behaviour. We also have extensive experience undertaking fieldwork both in the UK and further afield, with active field research collaborations on some of the UK’s remote islands, the savannah grasslands of South Africa, Zimbabwe, the Peruvian Amazon, and Brazil.

Study style

Students can study either full time or part time alongside employment or family commitments. In recognition of the fact that no two research projects – or research students – are the same, we offer a flexible approach to supporting you, offering laboratory space and training, fieldwork advice and equipment loans, and access to computer software. You also have access to hot-desk office space and library and ICT support. MSc students will typically take two research methods training modules, which are also available to PhD students.

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Entry requirements

    • At least a 2.1 honours degree or equivalent qualification in a relevant subject area.

    • Usually a master’s degree or equivalent in a subject area relevant to the proposed research topic, but it is sometimes possible to progress directly from a relevant undergraduate BSc (Hons), especially if you have additional experience within the subject area.

    • We actively encourage applications from students from a range of diverse backgrounds who demonstrate appropriate research experience and achievement.

    • EU and international students need IELTS 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 6.0 in writing and 5.5 in any other component) or equivalent.

    • Please provide a copy of your research proposal. This should be 1,000 words (excluding references and appendices) following the structure outlined in this research proposal guide.

      Please note; we’re unable to process applications without a proposal for the School’s consideration. Not supplying one will delay the processing of applications.

      When funded projects arise, they will be advertised on the University webspages but we are also very happy to talk to potential students about self-funded or government loan-funded research and developing a project; please contact Dr Matt Wood in the first instance.

Fees and costs

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Start date Course code Fee (UK)
Fee per year
Fee (international)
Fee per year
October 2024 £5,100 £12,775
February 2025 £5,100 £12,775
October 2025 TBC TBC
February 2026 TBC TBC
October 2026 TBC TBC

Ready to apply?


Our postgraduate research students cultivate a diverse set of skills that are highly valued in the UK and internationally, preparing them for successful careers within academia and beyond.

As a postgraduate research student at UoG, you’ll develop and refine a range of skills across research, academic practice, project management and critical analysis to equip you for your future. Whether it’s contributing to ground-breaking academic research or applying problem-solving skills in the workplace, we’ll ensure you’re ready to take on your next challenge.

This versatility opens doors to opportunities across various sectors, from education and research institutions to commercial organisations and NGOs, where you’ll have the confidence to apply your researcher skills and develop innovative solutions to meet your ambitions.

Can't see your research area listed?

With research submitted in each of our research areas judged to be internationally excellent according to the results of the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF2021), our research supervisors have a broad range of specialisms across a diverse range of subjects.

Get in touch to find out how we can support your research interests by emailing

A group of students sitting down chatting and smiling

Laboratory and fieldwork opportunities

Whatever the nature of your project, we ensure that you have access to the laboratory facilitates and field equipment (and training) that you need for your project to be successful and enjoyable, as well as helping you acquire skills that help with employability after graduation.

Biosciences students in the forest of dean looking at plants

Active research community

You will be part of a team of academics, technical staff, and other research students who are research active and committed to supporting one another through process of research. There will always be people around you going through the same process of planning projects, collecting data, undertaking analysis, writing up and publishing.

Research students in a lab

Supportive and caring environment

Research can sometimes be daunting so we ensure that, right from the start, you are welcomed into a friendly environment where you feel supported and nurtured every step of the way.

Students around laptop

Graduate success: Research

Alice (MSc by Research) studied the development of time-lapse photography in seabird monitoring and is now undertaking a doctorate at the University of Oxford.

a bird flying over water

Graduate success: Conservation

Richie (MSc by Research) studied nocturnal mammals in the African bush using camera traps. He now works as a Wildlife Reserve Manager in South Africa.

Students working with a Rhino

Graduate success: Education

Jon (MSc by Research) worked on optimising urban planning and wooded green space for beetle biodiversity and now works as a lecturer at Wiltshire College.

Student pointing at a beetle on a biosciences school trip.

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