School of Biological and Marine Sciences

ResM Biological Sciences

This research masters programme will give you the opportunity to conduct research alongside staff at the forefront of their academic disciplines across the marine sciences. You will be supported within an active interdisciplinary learning environment, working on a research topic in collaboration with your supervisor leading to a formal postgraduate qualification.

The programme offers the flexibility to shape your research in an area of particular interest to you, and the opportunity to gain research skills from taught modules both within the school and across the wider university. Potential applicants should first discuss the possibility of working towards a ResM with a suitable academic supervisor (i.e. someone who works in your research field of interest) and the specifics of the research should be agreed before an application to study is made.

Find out more about your eligibility for a postgraduate loan

You may now be eligible for a government loan of over £11,000 to help towards the cost of your masters degree.

Find out more about your eligibility for a postgraduate loan

Key features

  • A flexible programme of research that is ideal if you are interested in pursuing a specific shorter-term research project, perhaps whilst working.
  • Weekly research seminars from external speakers.
  • A bespoke training pathway tailored to your individual needs.
  • Modules may be chosen from a variety of existing taught masters programmes and can span disciplines and faculties as appropriate.
  • Personalised expert supervision (you'll be assigned a Director of Studies and an additional supervisor).
Course details
  • Overview

  • This programme incorporates taught elements (a minimum of 40 credits and a maximum of 120 credits) and an extended research phase.

    You must take and pass at least two taught and assessed modules (40 credit) to equip you with the appropriate level of research skills. The specific modules will be agreed together with your supervisor.  These taught elements typically focus on research methods, contemporary issues and methodological skills, but may vary according your individuals needs and the subject area. 

    On passing these modules you will progress to your research project.

Entry requirements

For entry to postgraduate level, you should normally possess:

  • a first or upper second (2:1) degree with honours or professional qualification, recognised as being equivalent to degree standard; or
  • an ordinary degree, foundation degree, higher national diploma, or university diploma, accompanied by substantial experience in an appropriate field.

If you are an overseas applicant you can check the comparability of your qualifications with the UK equivalent through NARIC, who provide an advisory service.

Applicants must have discussed a research topic with a prospective University of Plymouth supervisor in advance, including agreement about possible sources of funding for the project. Find out more about our research groups, their members and interests via the School of Biological and Marine Sciences Research page before applying. The research group leaders will be happy to answer your questions about potential supervisors and research topics.

Please contact Dr Mick Hanley with any additional queries.

English language requirement

If English is not your first language, you must have proficiency in written and spoken English (normally a minimum test score of 7 for IELTS, or equivalent). Given the nature of the programme, you’ll be expected to read and engage with complex theoretical texts and debates for which fluency in English is essential.

Fees, costs and funding

The UK is no longer part of the European Union. EU applicants should refer to our Brexit information to understand the implications.

Please visit tuition fees for postgraduate research for information about fees. The ResM Biological Sciences is in Band 2 for fees purposes.

If you are a full time student, you will pay full time fees for one year. If you have not submitted your thesis by the end of this period, then you will have to pay for an optional six month 'writing up' period to complete your thesis (that is, half of the 'writing up' fee indicated on this page).

If you are a part time student, you will pay part time fees for two years. If you have not submitted your thesis by the end of this period, then you will have to pay for an optional one year 'writing up' period to complete your thesis.

You are responsible for meeting all of the costs related to your own research project, beyond the resources available in the department. In most cases this will involve an additional £500 bench fee, but this may be higher, depending on research requirements and must be agreed with your supervisor during the application process.

This programme is eligible for a postgraduate loan.

How to apply

Submitting your application

Complete your application and upload supporting documents to the Doctoral College by completing our online application form. You must identify a supervisor (in Section 2) of the application form, and provide an estimate of funding costs with an indication of funding source (Section 4). Applications without this information will be returned without further consideration.

Questions on the application process?

We're here to help. Please contact the Doctoral College team and we'll be happy to assist you.

You can view or download our postgraduate research admissions policy.

If you have a disability and would like further information on the support available, please visit our Disability Services website.

International Student Advice (ISA) provides support for our international students.

Find more information about how to apply for a research degree.

Biological sciences research

Our staff are world-leading experts who are passionate and committed to both their research and teaching. This expertise provides a stimulating environment in which to develop your career

Staff in the biology subject area are affiliated with three research institutes (Cognition Institute, Marine Institute and Sustainable Earth Institute), linking you to a network of people that will enhance your research experience, and will allow you to meet fellow research students from a wide range of disciplines.

tiger in enclosure

Academic staff