An excellent opportunity to join an active research team and develop your science career
Why take this course?
The MRes Science course provides two key ingredients for early-career researchers: a width of transferable research skills combined with a depth of expertise in your chosen subject.
You will join the day-to-day life of a research group and undertake an original project or study with an experienced supervisor. Along the way you will have sessions focussed on the skills and abilities needed to be an effective researcher.
A list of suggested project titles can be found below, in the 'Structure & Teaching' section.
What will I experience?
You will have the opportunity to focus your research interests on one or two areas of science, allowing you to become an expert in subject knowledge. It also provides the environment to translate your findings into research related outputs such as: preparation of a peer reviewed publication, critical review, grant application, conference presentation or intellectual property submission.
The course also contains taught elements of the nationally recognised Researcher Development Framework (RDF, vitae.ac.uk). Overall, you will experience a satisfying intellectual challenge within a productive research community, aided by supportive supervision.
What opportunities might it lead to?
The benefits of studying for an MRes include: preparation for doctoral study, having an extended and informed experience of research in a specific domain of expertise, and developing higher transferable skills for research-related careers. Many of our students have gone on to successful PhD positions and higher-grade science and business posts.
I think the MRes greatly helped me get my current position, particularly during interview. The fact I had undertaken a MRes rather than a MA or MSc demonstrated my commitment to research as a career.
Natalie Cox, Research Officer (Fast Stream), Ministry of Justice, Government Social Research Service
- 1 year full time (start September or January) or 2 years part time (start September).
- 2017 entry requirements
- A 2:1 or first class honours degree in a relevant subject. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
2017/18: full time: £5,200, part time: £1,730 in year 1 and £3,470* in year 2
2017/18: full time: £12,600, part time: £4,200 in year 1 and £8,400* in year 2
* Fees are subject to annual increase.
+44 (0)23 9284 5566
- School of Biological Sciences
- Programme specification
Structure & Teaching
You can study as either a FULL-TIME (one year) or PART-TIME (two year) postgraduate student. You may start in either mid-September or mid-January of any academic year.
The course has two units:
- Research Project unit (120 credits). This is the main part of the course, with an extended research project undertaken in one of the eight Schools and Departments in the Faculty of Science. You will complete a research poster, career-planning interview, research manuscript and conference talk for this unit.
- Research Preparation Unit (60 credits). This includes a wide range of RDF skills, including personal effectiveness, research management, professional skills, networking, research organisation, science communication and impact. You will complete a literature review and research funding application for this unit.
During the course you will work with a 1st and 2nd supervisor, who will help you develop your research skills, knowledge and experience. Assessment for each unit is by regularly-spaced coursework items and these build a complete skill set for successful career development.
The following downloads contain a list of suggested titles for each School/Department that you may wish to investigate. However, it is not exhaustive. The important aspect is to meet and discuss your proposed project with a member of research staff before you apply.
|Department of Geography||PDF 120KB|
|Department of Psychology||PDF 86KB|
|Department of Sport and Exercise Science||PDF 80KB|
|School of Biological Sciences||PDF 156KB|
|School of Earth and Environmental Sciences||PDF 207KB|
|School of Health Sciences and Social Work||PDF 98KB|
|School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences||PDF 213KB|
|Dental Academy||PDF 70.4KB|
Both units involve a number of taught sessions, which are selected by the supervisory team and you, from the Graduate School Development Programme (GSDP) and from Faculty and Department/School subject-specific provision.
Find out more
The first place to start is to discuss some possible project ideas with any member of research staff in the Faculty of Science. If you know the University already, you may decide to approach a lecturer in the School/Department you are familiar with. If you are unsure about the wide range of research we do here, please have a look at the research pages of the relevant department, noting people and areas of research that interest you.
Once you have a person or project in mind, please talk to them about your plans and possible projects. They can help you put together a one-page research proposal. You can then use the APPLY NOW button and upload your proposal. We recommend that you apply during the final year of your undergraduate degree. However, you can still apply up to the beginning of September and the end of January. You will be invited to a 30 minute interview, to discuss the proposed project and your science career plans. Please allow at least one working month for the various stages of the process to be completed. Following interview, the final decision of the supervisory team is reached and you will be contacted with a letter and welcome pack if successful.
Facilities & Features
Specialist laboratories and scientific equipment
You will benefit from the Science Faculty's state-of-the-art laboratory facilities and scientific equipment to find out more visit our school and departments' facilities pages:
The University of Portsmouth Graduate School supports, administers and coordinates training for the MPhil, PhD, and Professional Doctorate programmes. We aim to involve you fully in our research programmes by providing professional training, offering high-quality supervision, and giving you the opportunity to develop your knowledge and to equip you for your future career or further research.
Centre for Simulation in Healthcare
Our aim is to enhance your learning and experiences through the use of innovative technologies. By mirroring the clinical setting, our Centre can be used to gain clinical experience in a safe, controlled environment. It has two patient simulation centres (one comprising beds with human patient simulators and the other a high-fidelity patient simulator), as well as a mock operating theatre and a laboratory simulation suit. You'll get the chance to build professional practical skills and be taught through real-life scenarios using simulated learning sessions.
Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.
The MRes Science programme enables you to join an active research team and contribute directly to its ongoing work and success. Overall, an MRes in Science provides a valuable research grounding for a wide range of science career opportunities, including preparation for MPhil or PhD study.
Dr Darren Gowers, MRes Science Course Leader
Budgeting for your studies
There may be extra costs arising from your studies which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.
Some are common costs to all courses of study. These may include the cost of study texts, reference books, photocopying and computer supplies. Others relate to specific courses and may include field trips, materials and specialist equipment.
Other costs to consider
You will be required to pay the costs of fieldwork which may be in the region of £500 – £1,000.
Careers & Opportunities
Those students completing the MRes Science course will have moved to the next level of qualifications with the advantages that this offers in terms of learning and employability. They will also be in an excellent position to apply for any related doctoral training programme, research assistant positions, graduate teaching positions, or general research related roles.
One of the benefits of studying at Portsmouth is the support that we provide to our Master's and Research Degree students in career planning. Our careers and recruitment service can assist you in career research and finding employment opportunities. Help is also available if you wish to find a part-time job while studying your degree.
We offer our postgraduate students and alumni one-to-one appointments with a careers adviser, or an online service for those not able to travel back to the University. Our alumni can call on our career services for five years after graduation.
In addition, regular employability events offer you the chance to meet employers, find out about different career sectors and improve your applications or CV. The Graduate Summer Programme provides a range of guidance and employability seminars and workshops.
Benefits of Postgraduate Study
Regardless of whether you are seeking to build on your studies, further your career or pursue a career change, a postgraduate qualification adds to your achievement record.
- Postgraduate study may greatly improve your chances of getting that first break.
- Many graduate employers prefer the higher intellectual rigour displayed in postgraduate students.
- Recruiters for roles requiring specialist knowledge or research particularly target those with higher level qualifications.
- Postgraduate study shows you can take the challenge of in-depth study; acquiring transferable skills in team working and problem solving techniques.
- If you have a passion for a particular subject, postgraduate study can also be something undertaken as part of your own development at an appropriate time in your life.
Emma Burnett, MRes Science Graduate
Emma graduated with a first class honours degree in BSc Sport and Exercise Science in 2012 and began the MRes Science course soon after. Focusing her research on Breast Pain, Emma graduated with Merit from the MRes Science course the following year and accepted a PhD opportunity at the University of Portsmouth to conduct further research in the area of breast health.
Joe Collis, MRes Science Graduate
After completing a year as a Visiting Research Student at the UCL School of Pharmacy, Joe embarked on the MRes Science course, studying “The Molecular Mechanism of Matrix Metalloproteinase-1 Activation”. Joe achieved Distinction in the MRes, providing an excellent foundation for his future roles in the science industry. Joe currently works as a Regulatory Affairs Officer at a speciality-based pharmaceutical company.
"Through the MRes I gained valuable experience in managing a research project and developing practical skills in scientific writing and communication. These have provided an excellent foundation for my role in the pharmaceutical industry.”
Caroline Masterman-Smith, MRes Science graduate
After graduating with a first in BSc (Hons) in Biological Sciences at the University of Portsmouth in 2013, Caroline joined UoP’s MRes Science course in the very same year. Over the course of a year, Caroline completed the Graduate Students’ Professional Development (GPROF) course and trained to be a STEM Ambassador, all while achieving a distinction in the MRes in 2014. Caroline started working in Regulatory Affairs at a leading RA consultancy and hopes to continue in RA in the Pharmaceutical and Biotech sectors for the foreseeable future.
“Regulatory Affairs has appealed to me for a long time. This career path allows me to use the skills I have learned throughout my time at University to positively contribute to the healthcare sector.”
MRes Science Graduate
The MRes was useful for me to gain experience working independently as I had more freedom to design the study I was conducting. This has made it easier to design and conduct the studies for my PhD work. During the course I also gained academic writing experience as I drafted a paper from my undergraduate dissertation which has since been published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health.
Online application form
Apply direct using our online form
Your application will be received by the University Admissions Centre for consideration.
Postgraduate Information Days
Our Postgraduate Information Days for 2017 entry have now finished. If you would like to meet or speak with a member of staff about any courses you are interested in, please email email@example.com and we will arrange this for you.
We will confirm the dates of events related to 2018 entry soon.
Other opportunities to visit
Download our free walking tour PDF for a self-guided tour of the University. You can visit Monday to Friday between 8.30am and 4pm.
We have an open-door policy so you will be able to take a look in our buildings, speak to some of our support services and get a feel for the campus.
If you are unable to visit us, contact the admissions team – see the 'Key Facts' section above for contact details.
Staff from our international Office regularly attend overseas exhibitions. To find out more about these and our visits to your region see our International Office exhibitions page.
Fees and Funding
Find out more about fees and funding available to you at Portsmouth.