Research in our School of Life Sciences covers a wide spectrum of biology from genes to ecosystems, and this broad-based structure provides opportunities for developing novel ideas and inter-disciplinary projects. We offer supervision in a wide range of topics in microbiology, ranging from medical microbiology to environmental microbiology and from biochemical and genomic analysis of single species to whole communities.
As a research student at Essex, you’ll work at the heart of our internationally acknowledged and well-connected research community. We offer world-class supervision and training opportunities, and encourage you to engage with other researchers, professionals, practitioners and research users, where possible for example using the generous funding from Proficio to attend conferences and training courses.
Part-time research study is also available. An MPhil and PhD are also available.
Within our School of Life Sciences, you will be allocated a supervisor whose role it is to guide you through the different stages of your research degree. In some cases, you may be jointly supervised.
The support provided by your supervisor is a key feature of your research student experience and you will have regular one-to-one meetings to discuss progress on your research. Initially, your supervisor will help you develop your research topic and plan.
Twice a year, you will have a supervisory board meeting, which provides a more formal opportunity to discuss your progress and agree your plans for the next six months.
Your technical and intellectual development will be enhanced by becoming part of a Research Group, and participating in School Seminars.
Our School of Life Sciences provides a comprehensive range of facilities for medical and environmental microbiology research which include fully automated laboratories with robotic liquid-handling systems and facilities for microbial culture, cell culture, molecular biology, gene editing and next-generation sequence analysis and an advanced bioimaging suite to visualise and process analyse images of biological processes in real time.
A dedicated study room allows all our postgraduate research students to have access to a desk and a computer outside of the research laboratories. This provides a focal point for our postgraduates, facilitating reading and writing as well as good communication and a sense of community.
Many of our postgraduates continue their scientific research by taking up postdoctoral positions in the UK and overseas. Others have embarked on careers in biomedical laboratories and in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, or governmental and non-governmental organisations. We support your career development by a mentoring scheme and employability events.
You will need a good honours degree or a Masters degree, or equivalent, in a related subject. A well-developed research proposal is also essential.
You will normally be required to attend an interview/Skype interview for acceptance, and acceptance is subject to research expertise in the department.
We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.
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If English is not your first language, we require IELTS 6.5 overall, or equivalent, with a score of 5.5 in all other components.
A research degree doesn't have a taught structure, giving you the chance to investigate your chosen topic in real depth and reach a profound understanding. In communicating that understanding, through a thesis or other means, you have a rare opportunity to generate knowledge. A research degree allows you to develop new high-level skills, enhance your professional development and build new networks. It can open doors to many careers.
The aim of undertaking your MSD within our School of Life Sciences is to train independent researchers who can critically assess other research work, and have a comprehensive knowledge of at least one area of biology.
An MSD involves a minimum of one year of full-time research or two years part time followed by production of a dissertation. Students enrolled on an MSD programme can upgrade to an MPhil or PhD subject to satisfactory progress.
Within our School of Life Sciences, you must attend two formal supervisory board meetings each year where you submit literature reviews and research reports to the Board members prior to the meeting. At these meetings, such documents are discussed with you and your progress is assessed.
Your MSD thesis is generally completed within one to two years and has a maximum length of 30,000 words.
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.
We hold open days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:
If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.
You can apply for our postgraduate courses online. You’ll need to provide us with your academic qualifications, as well as supporting documents such as transcripts, English language qualifications and certificates. You can find a list of necessary documents online, but please note we won’t be able to process your application until we have everything we need.
There is no application deadline and we aim to respond to applications within four weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.
We encourage you to make a preliminary enquiry directly to a potential supervisor or the Graduate Administrator within your chosen Department or School. We encourage the consideration of a brief research proposal prior to the submission of a full application.
Home to over 13,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.
The Campus is set within 200 acres of beautiful parkland, located two miles from the historic town centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded town. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.
If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.
Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.
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