Masters degree programmes
MSc Bioscience Technology MRes Computational Biology MRes Ecology and Environmental Management MRes Post-Genomic Biology
Contents The Department of Biology
Welcome PG 3
Programme overview Careers Application process Funding
MSc Bioscience Technology Programme overview Careers Application process Funding
MRes Post-Genomic Biology
disciplines and both teaches and undertakes
leading centres for biological teaching and
research across the whole spectrum of
research in the UK. It was ranked second
modern Biology, from molecular genetics
in the UK in the Guardian’s 2010 University
and biochemistry to ecology.
University Guide. In the 2008 Research
The Department occupies a single set
Assessment Exercise, it was ranked equal
of purpose-built £21.6M teaching and
first among broad spectrum bioscience
research laboratories, opened in July 2002.
departments in the UK for quality that was
This includes an innovative Technology
judged to be world leading.
Facility (TF) equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and the associated expertise.
Funding and scholarships
The University of York
York and Yorkshire
tmen The Depar
The Department of Biology is one of the
Guide and fourth in the 2010 Times Good
Programme overview Careers Application process Funding
MRes Computational Biology Programme overview Careers Application process Funding
MRes Ecology and Environmental Management
y t of Biolog
The Department’s research environment
The TF provides support to research in
was rated particularly highly, as the outright
York, and has established a wide range of
leader for broad spectrum bioscience
collaborations and service contracts with
departments. It has an integrated approach
other universities, bioscience business and
to Biology, with no barriers between
MSc Bioscience Technology
Right: Getting to grips with real practical skills
Department of Biology
The MSc in Bioscience Technology will enable you to:
Training the technologists of the future
learn more about the latest technologies that are driving bioscience research
The MSc in Bioscience Technology was designed with significant external input to produce the highly skilled and flexible technologists who are required to drive forward bioscience research in the future. With this valuable postgraduate qualification, graduates are well equipped for positions in the rapidly developing and expanding technology centres in academia, research institutes and industry. They are equally well placed to obtain research positions in technology development and applications in academia (including doctoral studies), institutes and industry as well as with equipment manufacturers.
If you want to gain an in-depth understanding and practical experience of the latest technologies that are driving biological research, then this is the course for you. This exciting MSc offers excellent career prospects with both industry and academia, especially in the rapidly expanding technology centres, as well as in research and non-research positions. Run by our internationally recognised Technology Facility, this is a unique and unrivalled opportunity to learn from the experts. Through a mixture of technology training workshops, laboratory experience and a 20-week placement, often with external bioscience companies, you will gain both theoretical understanding and extensive practical experience in a range of techniques. The course is suitable for students who have a degree in any biological science or in chemistry, physics, mathematics, computer science etc, with a substantial knowledge of biology.
gain extensive practical experience and knowledge by working with the experts develop your business and interpersonal skills to maximise employment potential obtain a valuable postgraduate qualification with excellent career prospects.
“The course has more than exceeded my expectations and I have enjoyed every part of it. Following my industrial placement at AstraZeneca, I am now taking up a PhD studentship that is partly funded by them.” Roger, PhD student
Opportunities also exist for non-research positions in many areas where a detailed understanding of bioscience technologies is required, including sales, marketing and management. Access to a dedicated careers adviser ensures that students get the best possible support in planning their career.
Application process and funding Applications are encouraged from the UK, EU and Overseas. Contact information is given on the back cover. Applications are normally considered as they arrive. To ensure high quality practical experience there are only 16 places available each year, so early application is strongly recommended. Entry qualifications For entry to the MSc degree programme, applicants will normally be expected to have a first or second class honours degree in any biological science (including biochemistry and applied sciences such as medicine, pharmacology, etc). There are opportunities for students with backgrounds in other disciplines (e.g. chemistry, physics, mathematics, computer science, etc) providing they have a substantial knowledge of biology. All applicants are interviewed before a place is offered. For UK applicants this will normally be in person. For EU and overseas applicants, unless visiting or resident in the UK, this will normally be by telephone. We are constantly seeking other sources of funding, so please continue to check the website for new opportunities. Four BBSRC Studentships are available each year to fund tuition and living expenses, all home and EU applicants meeting UK residency requirements will be considered for these awards. For home students this award covers tuition fees and provides a stipend. For EU candidates the award covers tuition fees only.
“Transferable skills sessions were integral to obtaining my new position.” Laura, former student
MRes Computational Biology Departments of Biology, Chemistry & Computer Science
Programme overview The Masters of Research (MRes) in Computational Biology (formerly the MRes Bioinformatics) is a one year intensive programme, training graduates to meet the computational research demands of modern interdisciplinary bioscience in universities, research institutes and industry. Delivered by staff from across the Departments of Biology, Chemistry and Computer Science, the course provides interdisciplinary research-led training in data analysis, informatics and biosystem simulation. What kind of background do students have? The programme is principally aimed at graduates of the biological and molecular sciences but also accepts graduates of computer science, mathematics and statistics. The course develops the core skills to support long-term research careers in computational and quantitative areas of modern interdisciplinary integrative bioscience. What kind of graduate does the programme produce? The programme develops computational (bio) scientists with: data analysis and computer programming skills knowledge of the principles of bioinformatics and the simulation of biosystems
interdisciplinary research training through group and individual projects as well as an external placement in industry, research institute or university
enhanced career prospects through an established and internationally regarded training programme.
“Research masters at York are great if you are unsure about whether to continue with research and a long research phd. They expose you to a broad range of research opportunities within already seeming specific biological disciplines, which an undergraduate degree does not. This allows for a more insightful phd project choice as well as confirming whether or not further research is for you.”
Charlotte, former student
How will the course develop my career?
The course develops programming and data handling skills and provides experience of working in a variety of interdisciplinary research environments that are very attractive to employers.
The importance of developing a career plan is reinforced via a number of mechanisms throughout the programme and beyond eg: Research Projects are of great value in enhancing career development, and may lead directly to jobs or openings for further postgraduate training. Many past students have gone on to positions in the organisation where they carried out their external placement. University Careers Service provides many services and is introduced to students on Induction Day. See www. york.ac.uk/services/careers. Career Development Group is an active group of postdocs and graduate students with a focus on careers. See www.careerswithscience.org.
The employment rate for York MRes graduates is very high. 90% of our graduates go on to further Postgraduate study (e.g. PhD’s), or take up research positions in Industry and research institutes.
Number of graduates
University graduate study (usually PhDs)
Research at university/ research institute
Application process and funding When are applications considered? Applications are normally considered as they arrive with the majority being considered during April. Note: scholarship applications must be received by the advertised closing date and will be considered together shortly after the closing date. Four BBSRC Studentships are available each year to fund tuition and living expenses, all home and EU applicants meeting UK residency requirements will be considered for these awards. For home students this award covers tuition fees and provides a stipend. For EU candidates the award covers tuition fees only.
“Having previously been trained in molecular biology and biochemistry, doing a Masters in Computational Biology gave me the edge when it came to interviews for PhD positions.” Scott, former student
MRes Ecology & Environmental Management
Right: Student on placement
Departments of Biology & Environment
Programme overview The Masters of Research (MRes) in Ecology and Environmental Management prepares students for careers in ecological research, and for jobs in environmental management, for which an understanding of the research process is important. Consisting roughly equally of taught modules and project work, there is a strong emphasis on gaining analytical skills and research experience. The course is taught in two of the UK’s leading departments for ecological research and teaching: the Department of Biology and the Department of Environment at York. Established as one of the first MRes courses, it has continually been supported by competitive research council studentships, and has gained a strong
reputation as a leading course of its type. It is run over 51 weeks (Oct–Sept). Key features: An internal research project and an external placement project A two-week field course in Majorca Skills modules providing training in modern analytical techniques Advanced science modules in environmental change, policy, genetics, conservation, and wildlife management Six fully-funded NERC studentships available; and other funding opportunities We aim for a small class size (20–25) to promote a high quality learning experience All teaching dedicated to Masters Students.
Careers The MRes programme is designed to provide a valuable postgraduate qualification that will enhance your career prospects, whether you intend to progress into academic research or whether you want to embark on a career in the commercial sector or with a governmental or a non-governmental body where knowledge of environmental research will be important. Graduates are trained in a wide range of transferable skills that will be valuable to them in a diversity of career paths. If you are already on a specific career path please contact us to find out more about what the course can offer to you: Most students go on to build research based careers: 32% of graduates go on to obtain a PhD place, either in the UK or overseas, within a year of graduating. 50% of graduates find employment in research-based institutes within a year of graduating. Other students have obtained jobs in diverse careers such as teaching or management.
Application process and funding Who can apply? Applicants should have, or expect to get before arrival, a good degree in Biology or a related subject (first or upper second class or equivalent). We consider applicants with other backgrounds if you have relevant ecological experience: please contact us before applying if this is the case. If English is your second language, you will need to meet standards of language proficiency before starting the course. Please see: www.york.ac.uk/admin/intnat. When should I apply? We will consider applications at any time up to the start of the course. For UK or EU applicants who wish to be considered for one of the six funded NERC studentships: the deadline is 31 March for receipt of all application materials. If you need us to consider your application earlier than that for any reason, please get in touch: we can make special arrangements.
What happens to my application? All candidates applying by 31 March will receive an outcome in May. Applications after this date will be processed as quickly as possible. Applicants for NERC studentships may be invited to interview in April. If you are not invited for interview, you may still be offered a self-funded place on the course. Applicants offered places must fulfil all conditions for the uptake of their place (financial, language, and degree result where appropriate) by the time the course starts. If you have any queries about the application process, please contact The Biology Graduate School Office on email@example.com; they will be happy to help you. We look forward to receiving your application. UK applicants: scholarships cover both tuition fees and a stipend sufficient to meet living costs. EU applicants: tuition fees are covered (note: living costs must be met separately).
Applicants for the Overseas student and Alumni scholarships: the deadline is also 31 March for receipt of all of application materials.
“If you are thinking of continuing on to do a PhD but need some more experience in researching or better qualifications to support your first degree then you should complete the York Masters”
“The MRes in Ecology and Environmental Management at York is seen by employers as a ‘good quality’ Masters. The PhD I applied for had over 30 applicants and one of the main reasons I was shortlisted was due to my Masters qualification. In fact I got the PhD as I was able to demonstrate that I could write a concise and scientifically meaningful research paper”
Sam, former student
Hilary, former student
MRes Post-Genomic Biology
Right: The three-dimensional structure of a viral portal protein is helping us to understand how DNA is translocated into a pre-formed viral shell during viral particle assembly
Department of Biology
The MRes in Post-Genomic Biology (PGB) course, newly-revised for 2011, is a one-year programme that provides interdisciplinary research training and experience in state-of-the-art techniques employed in present day biological research.
The MRes programme is designed to provide a valuable postgraduate qualification that will enhance your career prospects, whether you intend to pursue a career in research or one where knowledge of the research process is important.
Like the current Functional Genomics course, the MRes PGB course will demonstrate how one can progress from knowing the complete sequence of a genome to understanding the functional significance of a specific gene using both in vitro and in vivo model systems. The programme will be run by the Department of Biology with interdisciplinary teaching contributions from the Department of Chemistry. The course is designed for students who have a good degree in biological science or chemistry who wish to train for careers in research or researchrelated industrial activities. Graduates of the course are well equipped for positions within industrial research laboratories, or for continuing to doctoral studies in universities or research institutes. Graduates are equally well placed to obtain non-research positions within industry, e.g. in management, development, marketing, where their training will be invaluable in interactions with research scientists.
“I really enjoyed the course and thought it was hard work but worthwhile, especially the two projects.” Laura, former student
The emphasis that is placed on research training via project work is of great value in enhancing career development, and may lead directly to jobs or opportunities for further postgraduate training. Many past students have gone on to jobs in the organisation where they carried out their extended research placement. The employment rate for York MRes graduates is very high. About 77% of our students undergo further University post-graduate (usually PhD) studies. The remainder move on to research jobs in universities, research institutes or industry, while some work in scientific publishing.
Application process and funding Applications can be considered at any stage of the year. For details on how to apply please see: www.york.ac.uk/graduatestudy/ applying. Applications are normally considered as they arrive. For entry to the MRes degree programme, applicants will normally be expected to have an honours degree in any Biological or Chemical Science (including Biochemistry and applied sciences such as medicine, pharmacology, etc.) There are opportunities for students with backgrounds in other disciplines, providing they have substantial knowledge of biology. Please contact the Admissions Officer for the course if you have alternative qualifications and would like to discuss your application
All applicants are interviewed before a place is offered. For UK applicants this will normally be in person. For EU and Overseas applicants, unless they are visiting the UK, this will normally be by telephone. Applicants offered places must fulfil all conditions for the uptake of their place (financial, language, and degree results where appropriate) by the deadlines given in the conditional offers.
“The course is hard work but the facilities are excellent and the institution is one of the finest in the country.” John, former student
How to Apply www.york.ac.uk/biology
Funding and scholarships
Some sources of funding are:
Many of our programmes have enjoyed
long support from research councils such
Some students have taken out Career
as BBSRC and NERC through the provision
Development Loans, to support their
of studentships for home/EU applicants.
Please enquire for details.
In addition, a number of students each
Further information on funding? Further information on Fees and Funding is available at the University’s Graduate Student Office website: www.york.ac.uk/graduatestudy/finance/ fees.htm. Other studentships In addition, York Alumni Fund
The University’s International Office
Information for overseas students
coordinator who can answer any questions
International students (including EU
you have before you come here.
and non-EU) form an important part of
York’s friendly and vibrant university community. There are now over 1,700 international students from over one hundred countries and numbers continue
year are self-funding, by way of parental
support, career development bank loans,
often win scholarships in their own
and savings. Fees and maintenance can
countries or from sources such as the
sometimes be paid by an employer if the
British Council and Commonwealth
These provide partial funding.
student is already working.
If you come to York, you can be sure that
See www.britishcouncil.org and www
you will be warmly welcomed both at
the University and in the city, that you
Postgraduate Studentships and Overseas Student Scholarships can be applied for.
has a dedicated international support
to increase each year, testament to the University’s outstanding international reputation.
will have access to first class educational facilities in a supportive environment and that when you graduate you will have a qualification which is recognised throughout the world. The University guarantees accommodation for single students from countries other than the EU if application is made by the published deadlines so you will not have to worry about finding rented accommodation, unless desired. Costs of living in York are also lower than in many parts of the country, especially compared to London.
The Overseas Students’ Association represents the specific interests of overseas students in York and organises a full programme of social events. All Masters Programmes at York are taught in English. Applicants for whom English is not their first language will normally have to provide evidence of language proficiency before interview, with the following scores being acceptable: TOEFL (paper-based: 600; CBT: 250; iBT: 100) IELTS 6.5 (minimum of 6.0 in each element). EU and non-EU students who speak English as a second language are eligible for University-funded English language support. In addition we highly recommend the pre-sessional, fourweek English for Academic and Research Purposes 2 programme that is offered by the University. Full details of the programme can be found at: www.york.ac.uk/celt/isp/intensive.htm Places are limited and early booking is recommended. Please note that the masters courses start one week before the formal start of term so it is not possible to attend the central orientation programme for international students.
The University of York The University of York was founded in 1963 with 200 students. Since then, it has expanded to 10,000 students and has over 30 academic departments and
The University has a collegiate system
The University is on the outskirts of
The city boasts a wealth of history
in which most staff and all students
the city, so students benefit from both
stretching from the Roman, through
are members of colleges.
the convenience of a campus and the
to Viking, Medieval and Victorians
attractions of a major cultural and
times. This has created a diverse array
of historical buildings interspersed
Further information is available at: www.york.ac.uk/univ/coll
with stylish new buildings that adds
The main campus at Heslington is
The campus itself is largely self-
a 200-acre landscaped park, well From its inception, the University
contained, with supermarket,
known for its lake and wildfowl.
has concentrated on strong viable
student-run shop, bookshop, cash-
With 172 restaurants, 142 tea and
A major extension to the campus,
departments and teaching and research
points, fully-equipped sports centre,
coffee rooms and a pub for every day
called Heslington East, is underway.
of the highest quality. The quality of
tennis and squash courts, health
of the year, combined with over 2,000
Proximity to the historic city of York
Yorkâ€™s teaching has received many
centre, film theatres, concert halls,
shops, theatres and galleries. York
makes the University a popular choice
accolades. York and Cambridge top the
and nursery. At the centre of the
offers a vibrant atmosphere against a
and provides a pleasant working and
teaching league with the highest scores
campus Market Square houses retail
backdrop of some of the most stunning
outlets and an Information Centre.
architecture in the country.
Living in York
The attractive village of Heslington
The excellent transport links also
adjacent to the campus has in addition
make it easy to explore the cities and
pubs, post office, banks, newsagent,
other attractions of Yorkshire and
and delicatessen and village store.
beyond. Whether the club life of Leeds
Around half of all the Universityâ€™s
or the beauty of Scarborough and the
full-time graduate students live in
Yorkshire coast. Yorkshire has many
attractive small towns as well as two
in official teaching assessments.
Student life at York is focused on the main site at Heslington where all major facilities are close at hand, including sports fields and most residential accommodation.
York and Yorkshire York is one of the most ancient and historic cities in England and one of the most beautiful. Situated in the North of England, York is easily accessible from all parts of the UK with London less than 2 hours by train.
an attractive quality to life in the city.
National Parks in the North York Moors and the Yorkshire Dales.
York, YO10 5DD, United Kingdom Tel +44 (0) 1904 430000
Biology Postgraduate Admissions Tel +44 (0) 1904 328546
Fax +44 (0) 1904 328505
Email firstname.lastname@example.org Website www.york.ac.uk/depts/biol/gsp/prospective
University of York Masters Admissions brochure