Taxonomy student

Duration: 1 year full-time
Start date: October 2017
LocationSouth Kensington
ECTS: 90 credits

This course is now open to applications for 2017 entry.

This research-based course is run jointly with the Natural History Museum, and provides a broad perspective of taxonomy and systematics, together with relevant practical experience.

About the course


This one-year research-based course is run jointly with the Natural History Museum, which is just a five-minute walk from Imperial's South Kensington Campus.

It provides a broad perspective of taxonomy and systematics, together with relevant practical experience, and is aimed at students who wish to broaden their knowledge in this area.

The programme is specifically designed to prepare students before undertaking a PhD or embarking on a career in systematics research, for which it provides excellent networking opportunities.


Modules shown are for the current academic year, and are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

You carry out three 15-week research projects during the year, each based in a different research group, at the Museum and Imperial’s Silwood Park Campus.

The three projects use molecular, morphological and bioinformatics techniques, and you are free to choose the group of organisms you wish to study.

Each project will culminate in a short report and a presentation to the course organisers, project supervisors and NHM students.

You will also participate in selected lectures and seminars, drawing on the weekly Imperial and Natural History Museum seminar series and other specialist subject seminars, many given by acknowledged international experts.

You are also encouraged to attend selected lectures within the College across all basic science disciplines. This includes particularly the MSc course in MSc Taxonomy and Biodiversity.

As Research Group members, you will also attend group discussions, seminars, work in progress lab meetings, and journal clubs which are designed to develop your transferable skills.

Entry requirements

Minimum academic requirement

2.1 Honours degree in a biological or environmental subject.

International qualifications

The academic requirement above is for applicants who hold or who are working towards a UK qualification. 

We also accept a wide variety of international qualifications. For guidance see our Country Index though please note that the standards listed here are the minimum for entry to the College.

If you have any questions about admissions and the standard required for the qualification you hold or are currently studying for then please contact the relevant admissions team.

English language requirements

All candidates must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.

For admission to this course, you must achieve the standard College requirement in the appropriate English language qualification. For details of the minimum grades required to achieve this requirement, please see the English language requirements for postgraduate applicants.

How to apply

All applicants must apply onlineFor full details on the online application process, or to start your application, please visit the How to Apply section of our website.

You can usually apply for up to two courses, although your second choice will only be considered if your first-choice application is unsuccessful.

Most of our postgraduate courses don't have a formal closing date, but popular courses close when they are full. We therefore recommend applying early to avoid disappointment, especially students who will also be applying for funding or applying for a visa.

You will need to upload documents with your applications, which may include transcripts and degree certificates.

Offer holders will need to pay a deposit to secure your place. This will be deducted from the balance of your tuition fees.

ATAS Certificate
An ATAS certificate is required for overseas students applying for this course. Your Tier 4 visa application, or extension of stay, will automatically be refused if you need an ATAS certificate and cannot provide one.

For further guidance on obtaining an ATAS certificate please see the information on our International Student Support team website.

Fees and funding

Home and EU students

2017 entry:


Islands and overseas students

2017 entry:


Government funding

The level of tuition fees you pay is based on your fee status, which we assess based on UK government legislation.

If you are a Home or EU student who meets certain criteria, you can apply for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan of up to £10,000 from the UK government for programmes beginning in October 2016. The loan is not means-tested, and you can choose whether to put it towards your tuition fees or living costs. 

Funding from Imperial


We offer a range of scholarships for postgraduate students to support you through your studies. Try our scholarships search tool to see what you might be eligible for.

For more information on the Postgraduate Master's Loan scheme and other funding opportunities that are available, please visit our Fees and Funding website.