MRes in Biodiversity, Evolution & Conservation

Biodiversity is rapidly declining - to understand why and prevent further loss, we need to meld approaches from both evolutionary and conservation biology.  Our one-year MRes research degree in Biodiversity, Evolution & Conservation offers training through bespoke biodiversity courses and two research projects at UCL, The Natural History Museum and The Zoological Society of London.  The MRes programme covers research training in macroecology, biogeography, conservation, phylogenetics, genomics, statistics and new biodiversity monitoring technologies.


The MRes in Biodiversity, Evolution & Conservation aims to equip students with knowledge of quantitative approaches to research in evolution, ecology and conservation with which to pursue careers in academic research, environmental policy and management, applied conservation, public health or journalism.


Students completing this course will have obtained:

  • A rigorous training in quantitative methods used in evolutionary, ecological, environmental, and conservation science.
  • A broad introduction to the range of research concerned with biodiversity, from its past evolutionary roots to its future conservation.
  • Research experience in pure and applied science in the diverse settings of a world-leading multidisciplinary university and two globally-renowned biodiversity research organisations.
  • Transferable skills in quantitative data handling, oral and poster presentation, essay writing, reasoned argument, and critical thinking.

Course Outline

The MRes in Biodiversity, Evolution & Conservation is offered full-time over 12 months carried out between UCL, The Natural History Museum and The Zoological Society of London. The course is divided into two parts: Core Modules (carried out Sept-Dec) and Dissertation Projects (carried out Jan-Sept).

Core Modules

Dissertation Projects

After completing the core modules, the students then focus on two 16 week research projects (60 credits each). Each research project is unique and is offered by a range of supervisors from UCL, The Natural History Museum and The Zoological Society of London. Whilst the student undertakes the research project, they are given suitable lab space/desk space within the institution in order to carry out their work.



Entry Requirements

Normally entry requirements are a minimum of a 2:1 class UK Bachelor’s degree in biological sciences or a related subject, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard (see conversion information).  For further information, see our Graduate Prospectus.

International Students

We welcome applications from international students! Students whose first language is not English, are required to provide evidence of their ability to understand and speak and write English to a standard that does not impede their academic progress. See the International Office webpage for more information.

Application Details

Applications should be submitted online to UCL Admissions. The closing date for the 2015-2016 session is Friday 31st July 2015, however early application is strongly advised due to competition for places.  Those applying for scholarship funding must submit their applications by 31st March 2015, and preferably earlier as applications will be evaluated and offers made on a rolling basis.


Fees & Scholarships


Student Tuition fee details can be found on our Student Fee Schedule Page.

Funding Opportunities

Masters Prize Scholarships - £2,000

These are available to academically outstanding students who have been offered a place on the course.
Please indicate on the online application form if you would like to be considered for one of these.

GREAT UCL India Scholarship - £5,000

This scholarship is awarded on the basis of academic excellence, achievement and potential.

Below are links to other funding opportunities (applications for funding from
these need to be made independently of your MRes application).

Postgraduate Support Scheme (PSS)
The Postgraduate Support Scheme (PSS), at UCL, offers approximately 340 awards of £10,000 each to prospective postgraduate taught students.

The aim of the scheme is to encourage students from under-represented groups to embark on a postgraduate qualification and is funded jointly by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and UCL.

This is a one-off opportunity for those applying to study a postgraduate taught programme starting in September 2015 only. To be eligible to apply for an award candidates must meet all the eligibility criteria. The PSS is a discretionary fund that is expected to generate high demand, so there is no guarantee of funding upon application.
Eligibility criteria:

To be considered for an award, candidates must:

have applied by the date of the scholarship application deadline to study a postgraduate taught (Master's) degree at UCL beginning in 2015/16. All subjects are eligible. Postgraduate Certificates, Postgraduate Diplomas, and research programmes are not eligible;
be progressing from an undergraduate degree programme for which they were charged the higher tuition fee rate introduced in 2012/13 (i.e. those who started their undergraduate programmes from September 2012);
be studying full-time, or if part-time, up to a maximum of two years;
be domiciled in the UK or European Union (EU);
be from a group that is under-represented among the UCL’s taught postgraduate (Master’s) population.**

**At UCL priority will be given to students from the following groups:

those with household incomes of less than £25,000 (assessment will be based on previous Student Loans Company entitlement (e.g. evidence of previous grant/bursary awards), and where necessary evidence of parental household income);
those with a disability;
care leavers;
students with childcare or (registered) carer responsibilities.

Postgraduate Support Scheme (PSS) for 2015/16 entry has been extended until Thursday 30 April 2015, 23:59 (BST).


Contact Us

Course Director

Professor Kate Jones – kate.e.jones@ucl.ac.uk (+44 (0)203 1081609)

Course Administrator

Samantha McDonagh - s.mcdonagh@ucl.ac.uk

Social Media

Catch up with the progress of the course and student activities on twitter @mresbec and through the MRes student blog!

Useful Links

Page last modified on 07 nov 14 09:30