MSc Biological Sciences

Year of entry: 2020

Overview

Degree awarded
MSc
Duration
1 year (full-time)
Entry requirements

We require an honours degree (minimum Upper Second) or overseas equivalent :

  • biological sciences
  • medical sciences

With sufficient evidence of the relevant units taken. We may also consider exceptional applicants with a Lower Second who also have research experience or equivalent.

Full entry requirements

How to apply

Please apply via our online application form . See the application and selection section for details of the supporting documents we require.

We recommend that you apply as early as possible. We reserve the right to close applications if the course is full.

Course options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning
MSc Y N N N

Course overview

  • Gain extensive research experience and professional skills in biosciences.
  • Study at a university ranked 7th in the UK and among the top 50 in the world for the biological sciences (QS World University Rankings 2019).
  • Prepare for a career in the biosciences industry or academic research.

Open days

Attending an open day is a great way to find out what studying at Manchester is like. Find out about our  upcoming open days .

Fees

For entry in the academic year beginning September 2020, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • MSc (full-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): £11,000
    International students (per annum): £25,000

The fees quoted above will be fully inclusive for the course tuition, administration and computational costs during your studies.

All fees for entry will be subject to yearly review and incremental rises per annum are also likely over the duration of courses lasting more than a year for UK/EU students (fees are typically fixed for International students, for the course duration at the year of entry). For general fees information please visit: postgraduate fees . Always contact the department if you are unsure which fee applies to your qualification award and method of attendance.

Self-funded international applicants for this course will be required to pay a deposit of £1000 towards their tuition fees before a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) is issued. This deposit will only be refunded if immigration permission is refused. We will notify you about how and when to make this payment.

Policy on additional costs

All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).

Scholarships/sponsorships

Alumni bursary

The Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health offers an alumni bursary of £1,000 towards tuition fees for successful applicants who are recent University of Manchester graduates and who are commencing one of our postgraduate taught master's programmes in 2020.

The bursary is available to students or alumni who:

  • graduated in 2019 or are graduating in 2020;
  • hold a first class honours degree;
  • have home or overseas fee status;
  • are applying for full- or part-time study;
  • are self-funded and not in receipt of any other funding support.

The bursary will be applied as a fee reduction automatically for those students and alumni who meet the alumni bursary criteria so there is no application process.

Contact details

School/Faculty
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health
Contact name
Postgraduate Admissions Office
Telephone
+44 (0)161 306 5439
Email
Website
https://www.bmh.manchester.ac.uk/biology/
School/Faculty
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

Courses in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of courses in related subject areas.

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

We require an honours degree (minimum Upper Second) or overseas equivalent :

  • biological sciences
  • medical sciences

With sufficient evidence of the relevant units taken. We may also consider exceptional applicants with a Lower Second who also have research experience or equivalent.

English language

International students must demonstrate English proficiency through a secure and approved testing system.

We ask for English language proof if you are from non-majority English speaking countries (a list of majority English speaking countries, as defined by the UK Home Office, can be found here ).

Specifically, we require a minimum of:

  • IELTS: minimum 6.5 overall (6.5 in each component)
  • TOEFL: 90 internet-based (with 22 in each component)

See further information about requirements for your country .

We may also accept evidence of a confirmed place on a University Pre-sessional English language course , if your current IELTS scores are:

  • Minimum 6.0 overall (with 6.0 in each component) plus enrolment and attendance on the 6-week pre-sessional course (PS6)
  • Minimum 6.0 overall (with 5.5 in each component) plus enrolment and attendance on the 10-week pre-sessional course (PS10).

Please note, we must approve this before you apply for the English course.

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Other international entry requirements

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries. For more details see entry requirements from your country .

Relevant work experience

You need to be able to demonstrate relevant work experience in your chosen pathway.

Application and selection

How to apply

Please apply via our online application form . See the application and selection section for details of the supporting documents we require.

We recommend that you apply as early as possible. We reserve the right to close applications if the course is full.

Advice to applicants

We require the following documents before we can consider your application.
  • Transcript of your studies to date, translated into English.
  • Two academic references on letter headed paper. These can be scanned and uploaded when you apply or emailed to pgtaught.biosciences@manchester.ac.uk . We do not request references on an applicant's behalf and it is your responsibility to ensure your referees know how to provide your reference to us.
  • Degree certificate (if you have already graduated).
  • Personal statement or statement of purpose.
  • Curriculum vitae (CV).
If English is not your first language, we also require proof of your English language ability. If you have already taken an English language qualification, please include your certificate with your application. We may be willing to consider your application without this document, but if we choose to make you an offer, the conditions will include IELTS (or equivalent qualification).

How your application is considered

We consider your full academic history including which undergraduate course units you have taken and the marks obtained. When application numbers are high, even if you have met our minimum entry requirements, we will take into account your marks in relevant undergraduate course units in our final decision making.

Interview requirements

All international applicants will be interviewed by Skype.

Returning to education

We may interview you via Skype prior to making a decision on your application.

Overseas (non-UK) applicants

Self-funded international applicants for this course will be required to pay a deposit of £1,000 towards their tuition fees before a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) is issued. This deposit will only be refunded if immigration permission is refused. We will notify you about how and when to make this payment.

Please upload a copy of your current valid passport with your application showing the photograph page with your application. For CAS purposes, this must show your full name, date of birth, nationality, passport number and the date the passport is valid until, which must be later than the date of your planned arrival in the UK, and the start date of your course.

You cannot use your CAS to apply for a visa more than three months before the start date of your course. This means that if you intend to begin a course on 16 September 2019, we will not issue you with a CAS number before 16th June 2019.

Your CAS number is only valid for one Tier 4 application.

Re-applications

If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful you may apply again.

Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry. In your new application you should demonstrate how your application has improved. We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen course.

Course details

Course description

Our MSc Biological Sciences course offers a unique opportunity to experience research projects across a broad range of disciplines and laboratory environments before you start a career in research.

You will gain research experience and professional skills - perhaps in a different area to your first degree - before deciding on a future career in industry or academic research. This will allow you to make an informed choice about the research area you want to go into.

You choose the laboratory placements from a list provided by your programme director. Projects on this list come from any of our areas of research within the biological and biomedical sciences. As we have over 200 research-active labs, we can offer a wide range of projects to choose from. For an idea of the breadth of available projects, browse our Research pages.

Our course will also help you to develop transferable skills in essential areas such as experimental design, statistics, bioethics and science communication.

Special features

Wide range of research projects

Choose placements with more than 200 labs at the University to help you decide on an area to specialise in for your future research career.

Teaching and learning

We use a range of teaching and learning methods, including tutorials, workshops, seminars and research placements.

Find out more by visiting the postgraduate teaching and learning page.

Coursework and assessment

We will assess your progress using:

  • written reports on your research projects and tutorials
  • oral presentations
  • written assignments
  • posters
  • multiple choice exams
  • critical assessment of literature
  • online statistics exercises.

Course unit details

The course starts in September and runs for 12 months. You require 180 credits to complete the course, of which:

  • 120 credits are project based
  • 60 credits are from transferable skills units.

Transferable skills

60 credits are achieved through completion of activities that develop your transferable skills in essential areas such as laboratory skills, experimental design, statistics, bioethics (included in the tutorial and workshop unit) and science communication.

The Experimental Design and Statistics unit runs at the start of the year to prepare you for your research projects.

Elements of the other units run throughout the year alongside your research project.

  • Experimental Design and Statistics(15 credits)
  • Tutorial and Workshop(15 credits)
  • Science Communication (15 credits)
  • Laboratory Skills (15 credits)

Disclaimer

Our units teach the current trends in life sciences. Consequently, details of our units may vary over time. The University therefore reserves the right to make such alterations to units as are found to be necessary. Before accepting your offer of a course, it is essential that you are aware of the current terms on which the offer is based. This includes the units available to you. If in doubt, please contact us.

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Tutorial and Workshop BIOL60210 15 Mandatory
Scientific Communication BIOL60330 15 Mandatory
Statistics & Experimental Design BIOL65161 15 Mandatory
Research Project 1 BIOL66121 30 Mandatory
Research Project 2 BIOL66132 90 Mandatory
PGT Advisor Meeting 1 BIOL72020 0 Mandatory
PGT Advisor Meeting 2 BIOL72060 0 Mandatory
PGT Advisor Meeting 3 BIOL72140 0 Mandatory
PGT Advisor Meeting 4 (Placement 2) BIOL72210 0 Mandatory

What our students say

The breadth of taught modules and project topics on offer as part of the MSc Biological Sciences course at the University of Manchester mean that you can tailor this masters course to your own interests and strengthen your CV by picking up new skills which complement your existing ones. Developing such a diverse skillset makes you a very strong candidate for future job or PhD applications - in my case, the skills which I learnt during this MSc course helped me to secure a funded PhD project researching a topic I am extremely passionate about.

Bethan Critchley / 2018 Biological Science Alumni.

Facilities

You will be able to access a range of facilities throughout the University.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service .

Careers

Career opportunities

Our graduates acquire a vast array of subject-specific and transferable skills, and gain extensive laboratory research experience.

The University has a strong record of placing students in PhD programmes at Manchester and other universities, and several of our graduates have pursued research careers in industry.