MSc Biology: Doing a Postgraduate Degree in Biology

By Anne Sexton - Last update


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If you are considering the MSc Biology, you will already know that the study of biology encapsulates all biological life, both animal and plant life. Therefore, biology is a good choice of subject from which to specialise in a further subject, such as marine biology. If you study biology at postgraduate level, you will equip yourself with the basic skills needed to pursue any of the biological sciences.

Studying Postgraduate Courses in Biology for Professional Reasons

Receiving a qualification in biology demonstrates that you have the skill set required to undertake general biological work. However, if you are studying pure biology, you no doubt see it as a stepping stone to one of the more specialised forms of biology.

Skills Learned Through Postgraduate Courses in Biology

Whilst studying biology at postgraduate level, you will learn a wide range of skills. Depending on the institution you are attending, a biology course will typical teach skills such as:

  • Principles of life – how life works, the basic structure of life and what produces and sustains life.
  • Organismal diversity – how species and sub-species occur, why this diversity is vital to the ecosystem.
  • Ecology and evolution – how and why species evolve and the effect that ecology has upon a lifeform and its evolution.
  • Bioscience skills – basic biological lab skills and research techniques.
  • Evolution and genetics – how evolution affects the genetic makeup of a life form, causing the evolution of the species.

Specializations for Postgraduate Courses in Biology

During a biology course at postgraduate level, students can choose from a number of optional modules and specialisations. Depending on the place you are studying, typical specializations include:

  • Human immunology – how the human immune system works.
  • Animal behaviour – what drives animal behaviour and why behaviour evolves.
  • Vertebrate biology – specific specialisation in vertebrate.
  • Plant diversity and conservation – the study of how plant diversity and how an ecosystem can be maintained to preserve plants.
  • Medical microbiology – microbiology as a treatment method for both humans and animals.

These are just a number of the specialisations that a student studying biology will find available. There are many more, and which ones are available will depend entirely on course curriculum.

Job Roles Which Completing Postgraduate Courses in Biology Will Open Up

Once you have received your qualification in biology, you will be able to pursue a wide range of jobs. Some of these will be entirely scientific in role such as:

  • Biotechnologist – working as a lab technician for biotechnology research or development.
  • Marine biologist – specialising in marine biology, and the conservation of the ecosystem which supports it.
  • Microbiologist – research and development into the applications of microbiology such as viruses.

In Conclusion

Receiving a professional qualification in biology provides two key benefits. Firstly, as the basis for further specialisation. Secondly, as a prerequisite for job roles which encapsulate some biology skills and knowledge.


Anne Sexton

Thinking of taking a Distance Learning course?
Postgraduate Courses in Animal Science


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