Biosciences MRes

Course overview

Entry requirements

  • Undergraduate degree
    Upper second class honours degree (2:1) or above from a recognised university in a biological, biomedical, biochemistry based subject, or a related field.
More information
Apply September 2020

Key dates

Hands-on research experience via the completion of an extended dissertation project on a specific topic within the biosciences

Top 10 in the UK for research (Biological Sciences, Complete University Guide, 2020)

Research in Allied Health Professions and Studies ranked 5th out of 97 UK higher education institutions (REF, 2014)

Develop key skills for planning, implementing and communicating research

Course summary

Study MRes Biosciences at Aston University and gain hands-on masters level biosciences research experience with an extended dissertation project.

You'll get to select from a wide range of exciting projects, conducted alongside established researchers from a wide range of bioscience backgrounds. Take a look at our available projects

Key information, entry requirements and fees

Mode of delivery:Full time, on campus 

Duration: 1 year

Start date: September 

Intake: Approximately 6 students per year

Fees for 2020: UK/EU students: £9,350 / International students: £18,900. Find out more about available scholarships and our 20% alumni discount

Key applicant information: Applicants will be required to select which extended research project they would like to complete as part of their studies. Full details on what projects we have available can be found on our projects page. Applicants will be required to highlight which project they would like to be considered for in the personal statement section of their application form. Successful applicants will be required to attend an interview as part of the application process, this can either take place on campus us via Skype. 

Entry requirements:

  • We welcome applications from candidates interested in our course who have the skills and capability to excel. All candidates are considered on an individual basis based on their qualifications, experience, references and motivation. All applicants require:
  • Upper second class (2:1) honours degree from a recognised university in a biological, biomedical or biochemistry based subject, or a related field. 
  • Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. English language test requirements may be waived where students’ undergraduate degree was studied in an English speaking country. Find out more about our English language requirements. For more information about qualifications view our Aston in your country webpage.

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.

Course outline, what you will study and assessment

Our specialist Masters of Research (MRes) Bioscience course has been designed specifically for students who wish to develop their skills as a scientific researcher. During this year long course, you’ll receive extensive training and spend a large proportion of your time conducting research in the laboratory, honing your skills to prepare you for a future career as a bioscience researcher.  

Throughout your time at Aston, you will gain a high level of specialist knowledge in your chosen field of interest. The main focus of the programme is an extended research project, which takes up much of the year, here you will gain direct experience of working within the collaborative environment of a modern biosciences research laboratory alongside research active staff from a range of specialist bioscience fields. For a full list of extended research projects available for 2020 entry please visit our project page


In addition to the 120 credit extended research project, you will also study a series of 15 credit modules that will assist in the development of essential skills for planning, implementing and communicating research.

  • Essential Laboratory Skills
  • Professional Development and Research Communication Skills
  • Research Competency Assessment
  • Postgraduate Research Skills
  • Research Project


Assessment on the course will be through a combination of class tests, individual and group coursework, projects, presentations and practical assessments.


On successful completion of the MRes course you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate in-depth knowledge and understanding of the scientific and technological principles underlying your chosen research specialisation.

  • Formulate and test hypotheses by planning, conducting and reporting a significant programme of biosciences research.

  • Undertake scientific investigations in a responsible and safe manner, paying attention to risk assessment, relevant health and safety regulations with an appreciation of the ethical, legal and regulatory aspects of biosciences research.

  • Record and analyse data through the application of statistics and determine their importance and validity.

  • Communicate scientific information accurately and effectively to other academics, researchers and students.

  • Prepare competitive job applications for academic and industry-based careers within the biosciences.


Teaching staff

Course Director

Dr Cathy Slack

Cathy is a Lecturer in Biosciences with a background in ageing biology, cell signalling and Drosophila genetics. Her research focuses on the molecular and cellular processes that regulate lifespan and influence life-long health.

Key members of teaching staff

Dr Eric Hill

Eric is a Senior Lecturer in Biosciences, his main research interests include the development of tissue engineering strategies to model stem cell behaviour in the development of neuronal networks and also during neurodegeneration.  He is currently engaged in developing stem cell derived models of the CNS in an attempt to study complex cellular interactions that occur in development and disease.

Dr Steve Russell

Steve is a Lecturer in Biological and Biomedical Sciences, his research interests are predominantly focused on cancer cachexia and metabolic changes in a number of conditions such as obesity and diabetes.


Aston University is home to an extensive bioscience department that includes a combination of student practical and research laboratories. All spaces well-appointed and furnished with a variety of relevant equipment designed to ensure our students receive the very best training experience.

In addition to our range of laboratories, as an Aston student you’ll also have access to the following University wide learning and teaching facilities:

  • Refurbished lecture theatres and seminar rooms with modern audio-visual equipment.

  • Large computer laboratories

  • A virtual learning environment used for general study, revision and assessment. This platform allows you to access a comprehensive range of study materials, scientific journals, e-journals, databases and much more.

  • Aston University Library, open 7 days a week all year round, and at key times of the academic year, it is open 24 hours a day on 6 days a week.
Your future career prospects

On successful graduation of our Biosciences MRes course, you’ll be equipped with a broad range of laboratory skills and techniques along with specialist knowledge and critical thinking capability. This combination of skills and knowledge will make you a strong candidate for further PhD study in a variety of bioscience and related fields.

In addition to PhD study you will also be well suited to laboratory based roles in both academic institutes and industry.

Contact us