MRes course structure

Course content

Research projects

Students are required to complete three 14-week research projects covering:

  • molecular systematics
  • bioinformatics
  • morphology

At least one project must be carried out at each of:

  • the Natural History Museum
  • Imperial College London Silwood Park campus

The course hinges on three 14-week research projects in different Research Group laboratories, at least one of which will be based at the Natural History Museum and one at Imperial College at Silwood Park.

Training in scientific methods

  • theory and philosophy of phylogenetic reconstruction
  • morphological character analysis
  • microscopy and image analysis
  • molecular systematics
  • taxonomic revisions
  • phylogenetics computing
  • genomics
  • bioinformatics
  • statistical approaches to biodiversity
  • GIS
  • population and conservation genetics
  • specimen handling and collection management

Participation in:

  • group discussions
  • seminars
  • work-in-progress lab meetings
  • journal clubs
  • selected lectures and seminars
  • key lectures of the MSc course in Advanced Methods in Taxonomy and Biodiversity

Training in core transferrable skills

  • scientific writing
  • presentation skills
  • experimental design
  • statistics
  • science and ethics
  • computing
  • science career guidance
  • time management

Where applicable, there is also protected time for PhD project discussion and development.

Other components

Students can attend any of the lectures and practicals of the associated MSc course, and are encouraged to participate in tutorials, seminars, lab meetings and journal clubs. 

They are also required to undertake a number of transferable skills courses run by Imperial College London.


The course is completed with a viva voce covering all three research projects.

Example projects

Browse some research projects undertaken by students in past years: