PhD/MPhil Ecology and Evolution

Year of entry: 2021

Coronavirus information for applicants and offer-holders

We understand that prospective students and offer-holders may have concerns about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The University is following the advice from Universities UK, Public Health England and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Read our latest coronavirus information

Overview

Degree awarded
Doctor of Philosophy; Master of Philosophy
Duration
PhD 3-4 Years Full-Time; MPhil 1 Year Full-Time
Entry requirements
We normally expect students to have a First or Upper Second class UK honours degree or international equivalent, in a relevant science discipline or a first degree with an additional UK Masters degree (or international equivalent).

Full entry requirements

How to apply
Apply online  

You should include details of your previous study, your research project title and the name of the academic member of staff you would like to supervise your research.

We strongly recommend that you make contact with your proposed supervisor before submitting an application.

Programme options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning
PhD Y Y N N
MPhil Y Y N N

Programme description

Understanding the ecology and evolution of life on Earth is a fundamental research challenge and of central importance for most areas of the environmental sciences. For example, our researchers use ecology and evolutionary biology techniques for conservation biology and informing wildlife management.

We use ecological approaches to study organisms ranging from the smallest microorganisms to the largest plants and animals. In particular, we research how plants grow, how the environment affects plants, and how they interact with the soil ecosystems. Our research is contributing to growing understanding of the impacts of human activities on natural communities and on how we can improve the productivity and sustainability of agriculture. Furthermore, we study the ecology of microbial communities, which is critical the function of all ecosystems.

The principles of evolutionary biology allow us to understand biodiversity, disease outbreaks and competition of invasive species. Research in evolutionary biology employs a range of theoretical, computational and experimental approaches to understand and predict the structure and behaviour of biological systems. A particular focus is on metabolic responses to environmental change, the role of genetic mutations in microevolutionary processes and the impacts of natural and sexual selection on the morphology and behaviour of organisms. Our research involves evolutionary genetics and genomics, phyologenetics, molecular and genome evolution, organismal and behavioural evolution, and population genetics.

Open days

For details of the next University Postgraduate open day, visit open days and visits

Fees

For entry in the academic year beginning September 2021, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • PhD (full-time)
    UK students (per annum): Standard TBC, Band 1 £7,250, Band 2 £14,500, Band 3 £19,500
    International, including EU, students (per annum): Standard £24,500, Band 1 £27,000, Band 2 £32,500, Band 3 £37,500
  • PhD (part-time)
    UK students (per annum): Standard TBC, Low £3,625, Medium £7,250, High £9,750
    International, including EU, students (per annum): Overseas Standard £12,250, Band 1 £13,750, Band 2 £16,250, Band 3 £18,750

Further information for EU students can be found on our dedicated EU page.

Please note for the majority of projects where experimentation requires further resource: higher fee bands (where quoted) will be charged rather than the base rate for supervision, administration and computational costs. The fees quoted above will be fully inclusive and, therefore, you will not be required to pay any additional bench fees or administration costs.

All fees for entry will be subject to yearly review and incremental rises per annum are also likely over the duration of the course 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 project.

Scholarships/sponsorships

The Faculty of Science and Engineering is offering a number of scholarships to both UK and overseas students. For more information about these scholarships please visit our Manchester Alumni Scholarship Schemes page or the Fees and Funding page on the Department website for more information on other scholarships and awards available.

Contact details

Department
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Contact name
Postgraduate Admissions Team
Telephone
+44 (0)161 275 0776
Email
Website
https://www.ees.manchester.ac.uk
School/Faculty

Our internationally-renowned expertise across the School of Natural Sciences informs research led teaching with strong collaboration across disciplines, unlocking new and exciting fields and translating science into reality.  Our multidisciplinary learning and research activities advance the boundaries of science for the wider benefit of society, inspiring students to promote positive change through educating future leaders in the true fundamentals of science. Find out more about Science and Engineering at Manchester .

Programmes in related subject areas

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

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

We normally expect students to have a First or Upper Second class UK honours degree or international equivalent, in a relevant science discipline or a first degree with an additional UK Masters degree (or international equivalent).

English language

All applicants will need to demonstrate competency in English language. Applicants who do not already possess an acceptable English Language qualification will need to take a recognised test and attain the required English Language score:

IELTS:  At least 6.5 overall with no less than 6.0 in each component.

TOEFL iBT:  At least 90 overall with no less than 20 in each component. We do not accept 'MyBestScore'.

Pearson Test of English (PTE): At least 58 overall with no less than 50 in each component.

Further information on language requirements can be found on our website

Pre-sessional English: We also accept successful completion of a pre-sessional English course run by the University Language Centre to meet our English language requirements.

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.

Application and selection

How to apply

Apply online  

You should include details of your previous study, your research project title and the name of the academic member of staff you would like to supervise your research.

We strongly recommend that you make contact with your proposed supervisor before submitting an application.

Advice to applicants

Before you start your application, make sure you have all the information and documents you will need:

  • Potential supervisor:  you can find a list of our Academic and Research staff here
  • Research proposal:  for advice on how to write one click here
  • Personal statement: your personal statement shouldn't be longer than a page. For more information on how to write one see here   
  • Two academic references: please contact your referees and ask them to email their reference letter and referee report form  to pgr.earth.sci@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
  • Transcript and degree certificates
  • CV

All documents must be provided in English. We prefer them to be submitted in PDF format.

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 course units you have taken and the marks obtained. Even if you have met our minimum entry requirements, we will take into account your marks in relevant undergraduate and postgraduate taught course units in our final decision making.

If you graduated more than three years ago, we will also consider the information contained on your CV and any relevant work experience you have to assess if you are still able to fulfil the entry criteria.

Interview requirements

An interview is required for entry to this programme of study. Shortlisted applicants will be contacted by the admissions team.

Overseas (non-UK) applicants

CAS Information

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.

If you have previously studied in the UK on a Tier 4 visa as an undergraduate or postgraduate student, please send a copy of your previous CAS statement to us as it will assist with the issue of your new CAS statement. This includes study in the UK on study abroad programmes and any study that you did not complete.

You cannot use your CAS to apply for a visa more than three months before the start date of your course. The Admissions Team will contact you at the appropriate time.

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

Deferrals

Admissions staff will decide whether to offer places to applicants for deferred entry on their courses and you should not assume that they will grant all such requests. If you request deferral for more than one year, you would normally be required to re-apply, as your chosen course, and your suitability for it, would change over time. English Language test results can only be considered to be current for two years from the test date.

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.

Programme details

Programme description

Understanding the ecology and evolution of life on Earth is a fundamental research challenge and of central importance for most areas of the environmental sciences. For example, our researchers use ecology and evolutionary biology techniques for conservation biology and informing wildlife management.

We use ecological approaches to study organisms ranging from the smallest microorganisms to the largest plants and animals. In particular, we research how plants grow, how the environment affects plants, and how they interact with the soil ecosystems. Our research is contributing to growing understanding of the impacts of human activities on natural communities and on how we can improve the productivity and sustainability of agriculture. Furthermore, we study the ecology of microbial communities, which is critical the function of all ecosystems.

The principles of evolutionary biology allow us to understand biodiversity, disease outbreaks and competition of invasive species. Research in evolutionary biology employs a range of theoretical, computational and experimental approaches to understand and predict the structure and behaviour of biological systems. A particular focus is on metabolic responses to environmental change, the role of genetic mutations in microevolutionary processes and the impacts of natural and sexual selection on the morphology and behaviour of organisms. Our research involves evolutionary genetics and genomics, phyologenetics, molecular and genome evolution, organismal and behavioural evolution, and population genetics.

Scholarships and bursaries

The Faculty of Science and Engineering is offering a number of scholarships to both UK and oversees students. For more information about these scholarships please visit our Manchester Alumni Scholarship Schemes page or the Fees and Funding page on the Department website for more information on other scholarships and awards available.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk