Ecology student

Duration: 1 year full-time or 2 or 3 years part-time
Start date: October 2017
LocationSilwood Park
ECTS: 90 credits

This course is now open to applications for 2017 entry.

This course will give you broad experience in current whole organism research and strong theoretical, laboratory and field research skills.

About the course


Based at Silwood Park Campus, an internationally renowned centre of excellence for ecological research, this course is taught by active researchers throughout the department, and these internationally recognised experts use their own research as model systems to illustrate the fundamental scientific principles that underpin the study topics.

The course will equip you with the necessary skills to proceed to a PhD and an established career in academic, government or non-governmental organisations engaged in research into biodiversity and its protection or exploitation.

External visitors from a range of conservation organisations will highlight the issues around applying science to practical conservation. 

You complete eight weeks of taught modules as research training, and then conduct two five-month research projects on topics of your choice.

The MSc course offers a wider range of instruction across a large set of research areas, allowing you to gain a clear insight into your own research interests from among current research topics. The MRes course hits the ground running: the greater focus on independent research allows you to specialise in your existing research interests.


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

You start the course with five one-week modules on core topics in ecology and evolution:

  • Plant Community Ecology
  • Speciation and the Evolution of Biodiversity
  • Macroevolution and Micropaleontology
  • Population Dynamics and Modelling
  • Aquatic Resource Ecology

The first project starts in week 6 and lasts 20 weeks. Towards the end of your project you complete a two-week compulsory statistical computing module linked to the project write-up and data analysis.

The second project starts after Week 27 and finishes in September. The projects should be with different supervisors and chosen to represent two of the following general categories:

  • Ecological Modelling and Population Management
  • Bioinformatics and Evolutionary Analysis
  • Molecular Ecology, Phylogenetics and Development (lab component)
  • Ecology, Evolution or Conservation Field Research

Entry requirements

Minimum academic requirement

2.1 Honours degree in a science-based 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.

Further information

Find out more about the MRes in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Research, including more detailed course content.

Fees and funding

Home and EU students

2017 entry:
  • £9,600 full-time
  • £4,800* per year for part-time students (2 year course)
  • £3,200* per year for part-time students (3 year course)

Islands and overseas students

2017 entry:
  • £19,600 full-time
  • £9,800* per year for part-time students (2 year course)
  • £6,533* per year for part-time students (3 year course)

* Please note that the tuition fee amount you will pay may increase each year.

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.