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Professional Doctorate in Marine Biology - MRes


About This Professional Doctorate

Course Description

Marine biology is an extraordinarily broad and dynamic subject, reflecting the diversity and energy of marine ecosystems and the fantastic array of life they contain, making this a compelling subject to study. Marine processes exert massive influences on the Earth’s climate and the pattern of biogeochemical cycling. Closely linked with the diverse research pursuits of a range of scientists this programme allows you to apply and develop your particular skills in a marine context.

Key features

-Study in Plymouth, an internationally renowned city for marine biological research.
-Participate in a specifically designed, topical programme jointly hosted by Plymouth University and the Marine Biological Association (MBA) of the UK.
-Choose between two pathways to suit your research interests, biodiversity and ecology or cellular and molecular biology.
-Benefit from being taught by recognised experts with worldwide links to research organisations and projects.
-Draw on our expertise, working alongside research staff on a personal project.
-Undertake an extensive, original and innovative research project, often in collaboration with MBA Research Fellows, or one of our other partner institutions (Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science and the National Marine Aquarium), either in the UK or abroad.
-Excellent training for further research.
-See the benefit from close links with the research community worldwide.

Course details

In your first term you will study core modules which concentrate on building up your general research and academic skills. You’ll also be introduced to the research and organisation of the MBA and the Marine Biology and Ecology Research Centre at the University, with a focus upon raising your awareness of potential dissertation topics and advisors. You’ll take a specific module based on your chosen specialisation. The ecology option includes additional training in the analysis of ecological data and conservation/biodiversity assessments. The cellular and molecular option meanwhile focuses on DNA and microbiological techniques, biological imaging, and electrophysiological methods. The majority of time from mid-January onwards is spent on your research project and dissertation. You’ll undertake your project working directly with researchers at the MBA, Plymouth University or one of our other partner institutions. It may also be possible to conduct your project abroad.

Core modules
-MBAM5106 Advanced Research in Marine Biology
-MBAM5109 Marine Biology MRes Dissertation
-BIO5131 Postgraduate Research Skills & Methods

Optional modules
-MBAM5108 Marine Ecology and Conservation
-MBAM5107 Molecular and Cellular Approaches in Marine Biology

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

Advice from graduate Olivia Durkin

"Although I may have not followed the typical path of a marine biology graduate, I have always remained flexible in the available job opportunities and therefore gained a very varied skill set, enabling me to adapt to different roles and projects. Do what you enjoy and it’s ok if you don’t end up being the dolphin trainer you thought you might be."

Visit the Marine Biology - MRes page on the Plymouth University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A good degree (2:1 or above, USA GPA 3.1 or above) preferably in a biological science. Other suitable degrees may be considered. If you have overseas qualifications you can check their comparability with the UK equivalent through the UK National Recognition Information Centre (NARIC), who provide an advisory service.

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Recipient: Plymouth University

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