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Ecology and Environmental Management MRes

The Institute of Science and Environment’s educational and research expertise within Ecology and Environmental Management encompass a range of topics; climate change and the degradation and loss of ecosystem services, grassland management and its botanical enhancement, habitat restoration, creation and maintenance, plant community ecology and vegetation dynamics, ecology and management of wild boar, ex-situ species conservation and management, soil and water analysis and management. It can be studied full time over three years, or part time over a maximum of six years.

The Programme aims to prepare students:

  • For doctoral level study.
  • To engage in a career in in ecological or environmental management in a research, consultancy or wider sector context.
  • To meet the global need for highly trained individuals who can make informed decisions on future research directions.
  • To think for themselves in the development of a critical approach to the analysis of data and interpretation of published research.

Our MRes in Ecology and Environmental Management programme offers you:

Academic rigour: Gain a deeper understanding of your chosen subject area with a challenging combination of taught modules, research training and supervised research.

Wide variety of research interests: We have a strong mix of academics with a high degree of professional and personal experience, enabling you to get the most out of both the taught and research element of your programme.

Excellent supervision: Benefit from a professional and challenging relationship with your supervisory team, drawn from experienced academics working at the forefront of their disciplines.

Resources: Access to the University of Worcester’s virtual resources and its state of the art library facilities. The Institute of Science and the Environment has a number of laboratories and other specialist facilities available to your course. In addition to the large laboratory in the Darwin building, there are five other laboratories. The River Science team at Worcester have an excellent range of resources available to support your learning and your research project, including; field equipment for flow monitoring, water quality assessment, remote sensing & surveying; laboratory equipment for water quality analysis; and computer software for statistical analysis of data, GIS and image analysis.

Postgraduate Loans

Postgraduate Loans of up to £10,609 are now available for UK students. For more information visit our postgraduate loans page.

Course fees

For full details of course fees, please visit our course fees page


How to apply

For more information about the programme, please email

All applicants must complete the application form and submit this to the Research School at least 8 weeks before the start of the Semester (September or January, please contact the Research School for more information).

All applications are passed to the relevant course leader for consideration. If the application has potential, an interview is scheduled by a panel comprising at least two members of academic staff. An offer of a place on the MRes will be made when the following conditions are satisfied:

  • Applicant meets the specified entry requirements.
  • The Institute has the supervisory capacity and expertise to support the research project outlined in the application form.
  • The proposal outlined has the potential to become a viable research project at Masters level.

Course Content

Module summary

Processes and Skills, Management and Methods

This module is aimed at providing research students with the generic skills they will need to progress with and to complete their research degree. The module focuses on providing students with the skills to plan and manage their research project, to collect and manage their research data and to structure and write their thesis.

Research Methods in Ecology and Environmental Management

This module will provide the student with the skills required to design, execute and report on a significant research project at Masters level. The module will include aspects of data analysis and presentation, critical techniques for interpretation, and an overview of the research process, as a precursor to the Thesis.

Research Thesis Preparation

This module prepares students for their specific MRes Research Thesis by producing a PDP and training needs analysis in consultation with their research supervisor. A programme of student development and outcomes will be agreed during the module.


Course content

The MRes in Ecology and Environmental Management commences with a taught programme. You will be expected to take and pass three taught modules (described below) before proceeding to the research stage of your programme which will culminate in the production of a written thesis that will be examined by an oral exam (viva).

The Institute of Science and Environment’s educational and research expertise within Ecology and Environmental Management encompasses a range of topics including climate change and the degradation and loss of ecosystem services, grassland management and its botanical enhancement, habitat restoration, creation and maintenance, plant community ecology and vegetation dynamics, ecology and management of wild boar, ex-situ species conservation and management, soil and water analysis and management


Teaching & Learning

Teaching & Learning

The University places emphasis on enabling students to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning and future employment, as well as academic achievement.  A mixture of independent study, teaching and academic support through the personal academic tutoring system enables you to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will enable you to flourish and be successful.


You are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, practicals, workshops and tutorials. Seminars enable the discussion and development of understanding of topics covered in lectures, and practicals and workshops are focused on developing subject specific skills and applied individual and group project work. Tutorials, both individual and in small groups, are held with your MRes supervisor and enable you to discuss issues specific to your own research.

You will have access to a range of industry-standard software and equipment and laboratory facilities throughout the course. 

Contact time

The precise contact hours will depend on how long you take to complete the MRes and whether you study full or part-time.

During the thesis module, contact time is reduced and is based on approximately one supervision session per month.

Independent self-study

In addition to the contact time, you are expected to undertake around 15-18 hours of personal self-study per week, depending on the module and mode of study. Typically, this will involve reading articles, books and reports in the substantive area of study, as well as literature relating to the chosen theoretical/conceptual and methodological approaches.

Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including the Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources. 

Teaching staff

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes members of staff from the Research School and the Departments of Environmental Sciences, Geography and Biology. You can learn more about the staff by visiting our staff profiles.


The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or ‘formative’ work.  Each module has one or more formal or ‘summative’ assessments which are graded and count towards the overall module grade.   Assessment methods include posters, reports, literature reviews and presentations.

The precise assessment requirements for an individual student in an academic year will vary according to the modules taken, but a typical assessment pattern for the course is:

Module 1 (RTP401)

  • Researcher Development Plan based on their own personal training needs analysis (using Vitae’s ‘Getting Started in Research Lens’ as a starting point)
  • Literature Review for their chosen subject area that critically evaluates current research, synthesising clearly and coherently contemporary thinking to identify key issues
  • Project Plan for the duration of their study that identifies activities and their critical path, milestones and any other important events that will impact on their research
  • 10-minute presentation to peers and academics setting out the current state of their proposal including a methodology section

Module 2 (MENV 4001)

  • Critical  Evaluation of Research Methods: report critically evaluating the research methods available for undertaking the proposed research
  • Laboratory notebook/Field notes: Records of laboratory sessions or field practicals showing summary of purpose, details of methods used and data collected. Also thoughts on improvements/changes

Module 3 (MENV 4002)

  • Research Proposal: prepare a formal research proposal suitable for submission to a funding body
  • Presentation of intended thesis topic: deliver a 30 minute presentation either an ISE lunchtime research seminar or to an invited audience of peers and academics from ISE and other relevant institutions
  • Progress against the Researcher Development Plan prepared for RTP401: present evidence that you’ve made progress against the Researcher Development plan prepared for RTP401

Module 4 (MENV 4005)

  • Research Thesis (not to exceed 15,000 words)  


You will receive feedback on draft assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate.

We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.

MRes opportunities

Current Opportunities

Project title: “Habitat interventions in solar farms to promote biodiversity and reduce the incidence of weeds”.
Contact: Dr Westbury email:

Project title: “The effect of wildflower interventions in modern orchards on soil biodiversity and soil quality”.
Contact: Dr Westbury:

Project title: “Quantifying foraging of British bumblebees by sampling bee pollen”.
Contact: Dr Ashbrook:

Project title: “Cotswold drystone walls as habitats and corridors for small mammals”
Contact: Dr John Dutton:

Project title: “Threat assessment of wild boar to designated conservation sites in the Forest of Dean”
Contact: Dr John Dutton:

Project titles provided by Natural England

Project title: "The importance of Soil Organic Matter (SOM) for grassland resilience"
Contact: Dr Westbury:

Project title: "The nutritional value of grassland plant species for ruminant livestock"
Contact: Dr Westbury:


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