Students Staff

Masters courses

Our multi-disciplinary environment enables us to offer a wide range of modular, interdisciplinary taught postgraduate courses which provide targeted training in specialist areas of biological sciences.

In addition, we collaborate with a number of academic departments from across the University, including social sciences and humanities.

Our academic staff have expertise in:

  • biophysics, biochemistry
  • cell, molecular biology, molecular medicine
  • environmental microbiology, photosynthesis, plant productivity, ecology and
  • environmental science
  • MSc Biotechnology

    With over ten years' experience of delivering this subject, we are established as offering one of the most popular and highly regarded courses of biotechnology in the UK. We equip you with advanced training in cutting-edge 'omics' technology that is highly valued by employers in both academia and the commercial sector.

    The flexible modular structure of our course allows specialisation in industrial, microbial, agricultural or medical biotechnology, providing you with a broad spectrum of future career opportunities.


  • MSc Cancer Biology

    If you want to pursue a research career in academia or industry, our MSc Cancer Biology will provide you with the essential advanced skills and knowledge for a role in biopharma, healthcare or cancer research. We offer many opportunities for you to explore medically relevant research in the School of Biological Sciences including hospital-based sessions through our collaboration with local cancer specialists and clinicians.

    You gain expertise in areas including:

    • Specific cancer types (including breast, prostate, pancreatic and colon cancer)
    • Clinical aspects of cancer
    • Emerging trends in cancer research


  • MSc Tropical Marine Biology

    This course delivers advanced marine biology theory and enables you to develop a comprehensive range of practical and research skills. We capitalise on the breadth of research carried out in marine biology in our School and give you the chance to engage with our current research activities, both in the UK and abroad.

    Study coral reef conservation in Indonesia

    As a student on this course, you will have the opportunity to attend our Tropical Marine Resources module. You will spend three weeks in the remote Wakatobi Marine National Park, Sulawessi, Eastern Indonesia which is located at the centre of the mega-biodiversity hotspot known as the coral triangle. The site is perfectly located to study the conservation and management of coral reef systems.

    You will receive formal lectures, supported by in-water practicals where you will be given underwater headsets and receive lectures whilst diving. This novel experience provides you with an insight into the biology and ecology of tropical reef systems through the eyes of an active research staff member. You will also visit local villages, interview different stakeholders and have the opportunity to discuss aspects of coral reef conservation with individuals from different sectors of Indonesian society.

    This course will finish with an extended research project that can be either diving or land-based.

    If you learn to dive you will be taught to the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) Open Water standard. All diving students are provided with advanced research diving skills as a PADI speciality course.

    This course is subsidised up to 50 per cent by our University, but students will need to contribute to the cost of travel.


  • MSc Molecular Medicine

    Molecular medicine is a new and rapidly evolving discipline which uses the modern life sciences and their methods to study the molecular basis of disease and the use of therapeutic influences to correct pathological alterations. Our overall focus is to equip you with a broad and up-to-date understanding of the molecular and genetic factors that underline human disorders.

    Our popular MSc Molecular Medicine gives you the necessary knowledge and skills to compete in the international marketplace and the experience of producing a 12-week research project.



Support if English is not your first language

If you don't meet the postgraduate entry requirements to study a Masters with us, our Essex Pathways Department offers a pre-Masters course with extra language and subject support that can assist your entry to a research course.

Coral Reef Research Unit

Coral Reef Research

We conduct research within coral reef biodiversity and work with international organisations such as the Indonesian Institute of Science, the Honduras Coral Reef Foundation and the Suez Canal University in Egypt. Students also attend field trips in Indonesia.

Our research network

Two scientists working in a lab

We have a range of Centres, units and groups involved in a variety of specialist areas. These networks enable us to produce leading research informing areas ranging from the development of new medical treatments, research technologies, environmental policies and more.

PG funding

Postgraduate funding

We offer scholarships and bursaries to talented postgraduates, ranging from research council studentships and University of Essex scholarships to awards funded by charities and other external organisations.

How to apply

How to apply

Find out more about how to apply for one of our courses. We can provide help and advice, and guide you through the application process.