MSc Biology Of Vision


This programme is aimed at students who wish to extend their knowledge and expertise in the biology of the eye and of visual sciences. The range and combination of programme modules offered will provide an integrated review of the physiology and biology of the eye, and also give emphasis to valuable first‐hand experience of practical research activities within a highly rated research institution.

The taught course covers all the diverse aspects of biology that are pertinent to vision: cell biology, genetics and epidemiology, developmental biology, immunology and visual neuroscience. Students will gain grounding in these areas through the basic and advanced modules. These will be followed by a substantial, and individually specific, laboratory‐based research or informatics project for more than six months. Here students will be integral members of an active research environment. This is a unique opportunity to undertake an original piece of research in a field of ocular biology under the supervision of a principal investigator at the Institute. During this time students will contribute to all laboratory and departmental activities, and learn to work independently, at least to some extent.

Overall this programme provides a world‐class research education that consolidates the eye as an integrated biological system and as a research area where excellent fundamental and translational work is taking place. Students will be taught how to study an integrated sensory system utilising an array of highly developed and advanced techniques, forming excellent preparatory groundwork for a PhD programme or a successful research career in either academia or industry.


This programme will:

• introduce students to the eye as an integrated biological system;
• develop students’ analytical skills;
• develop students’ skills in devising experimental strategies
• prepare students for future research placements / PhD positions (Academic/Industry)


Students will acquire skills in four areas

Increase in scientific knowledge and understanding of:

• molecular basis of cell and developmental biology in the eye
• ocular immunology
• neurobiology of the visual process
• genetics and epidemiology of eye disease
• experimental techniques currently employed in vision research and ophthalmology

Deeper intellectual (thinking) skills for:

• analytical thinking and problem solving
• evaluation of methodologies in current vision research and ocular therapies and critical assessment of scientific evidence
• development of new hypotheses
• experimental design

Practical skills to:

• apply techniques and methodologies used in modern scientific research
• keep accurate records of scientific progress (e.g. laboratory notebooks)
• write effective scientific documents – essays and a project dissertation (Summary, Introduction, Experimental Procedures, Results, Discussion)
• use scientific databases efficiently

Transferable skills to:

• perform basic statistical assessment of data
• proficiently use various computer software for word processing, citation management, data analysis and graphical presentations
• discuss and present a complex topic coherently
• acquire independent learning ability and self‐direction• display initiative and personal responsibility as well as improved decision‐making

Closing date for applications for 2015-16: 31 July 2015

Apply now! Link to graduate school page for this course