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Postgraduate study

Biological Sciences MRes

This course aims to prepare you for a research career, and allows you to put these into practice when you develop and conduct your own research project.


Course overview

This is a research-based course delivered at Teesside University’s National Horizon Centre, at its Darlington Campus. The National Horizons Centre (NHC) is a new £22m biological research, teaching and training facility, which aims to address the growth needs of the emerging bio-based industries set to transform the UK economy, including biologics, industrial biotechnology and bio-pharmaceuticals.

Staff can offer expertise in medical, industrial and environmental microbiology, molecular, cell and system biology, recombinant DNA technology, protein biochemistry, structural biology, fermentation, bioengineering and many other areas.

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Course details

During the first semester a series of modules develop your laboratory techniques and approach to experimental design.

All research projects are arranged in discussion with academic staff after you have started the course, giving you the opportunity to explore different options and gain experience before committing to a topic.

Course structure

Core modules

Advanced Biological Aspects of Diseases

You investigate a range of innovative forward-looking research into the basic physiological aspects of disease and the associated pioneering treatments that are currently being developed. The topics include: the mechanisms and treatment of depression, transporter gene acquisition and innovation in microsporidia intracellular parasites, the potential roles of mitochondrial defects and iron accumulation in Parkinson’s disease, the contributions of the structure and function of airway epithelium to asthma and respiratory disease, molecular and cellular portraits of cancer, and sphingolipids as potential drug targets in protozoan parasites. You will fully develop the essential transferable skills of research, communication, and critical thinking by regularly reading and judging the data in primary research articles by formative presentations and in-class debate, as well as the summative written scientific review. These employability skills will be indispensable in your career development whether you progress to posts in research, industry, or hospitals.

Advanced Life Science Research Project

On this module you integrate a range of practical and academic skills to interrogate a particular aspect of your chosen field of study. This module builds on the foundations laid in the Life Science Research Project and allows you to further deepen your knowledge within your chosen field of study. This can be a new project or continuation of the project undertaken in the Life Science Research Project module.

You will be integrated within a research team which will provide supervisory support. Supervisor meetings will be research methodology-focused with the aim of deepening your knowledge of experimental designs and data analysis techniques relevant to your discipline. This series of meetings will provide you with an opportunity to discuss and fine tune your experimental design. As part of a research team you will be expected to work at a level recognised to be at the forefront of the discipline.

Analytical Techniques

You focus on a range of analytical instrumentation used in bioscience research applications. Emphasis will be placed upon chromatography, mass spectrometry and spectroscopy instrumentation. The importance of these practical instrumentation techniques to modern investigations, including proteomics, metabolomics and genomics, will be explored. You will learn advanced laboratory skills for sample extraction, sample preparation, instrumentation methodology and how to interpret spectra. You will develop essential data handling skills, including the use of a range of statistical programmes.

Genomics and Bioinformatics

You gain an in depth understanding of advances genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics knowledge and their applications in specific disease state. You learn about the most recent technologies including next generation gene sequencing, genome editing, genomic and bioinformatics analyses. This module also explores the genomic application for disease treatment and prevention (pharmacogenomics), personalised medicine as well as ethical challenges in this field.

Life Science Research Project

You undertake a major independent practical research project in your discipline where you are fully integrated within a research team. Reflecting staff expertise, you will be able to pursue many discipline-related topics, including medical, industrial and environmental microbiology, molecular, cell and system biology, recombinant DNA technology, protein biochemistry, structural biology, fermentation, bioengineering and many other areas, using the state-of-the-art analytical and digital infrastructure at the National Horizons Centre. You will complete a hypothesis-driven project utilising appropriate discipline-specific laboratory, database or computational research methodologies to interrogate a hypothesis in a specialised area of the life sciences. You will be expected to work at a level recognised to be at the forefront of the discipline. Supervisors will provide guidance to support you but a high degree of autonomy is required.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

A significant feature of the programme is the opportunity to gain experience of working in state-of-the-art biomedical research facilities within the National Horizon Centre.

Our expertise in disciplines such as biochemistry, microbiology and biomedical science allows us to exploit technology and develop ground breaking ideas in the fields of genetics, molecular biology, and protein science.

How you are assessed

You are assessed on subject knowledge, independent thought and skills acquisition through formative and summative assessment. 

Modules are assessed by a variety of methods including examination and in-course assessment with some utilising other approaches such as, oral presentations, technical interviews and technical reports alongside literature surveys, evaluations and summaries.

You are presented with an assessment schedule providing details of the submission deadlines for summative assessments.


Entry requirements

Applicants are normally expected to have at least a UK 2.1 honours degree, or equivalent, in a subject related to life or physical sciences. If your first degree is not in one of the subject areas listed above please contact our admissions team for guidance and advice on how you might become eligible. We may be able to offer you alternative access routes.

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country

In addition, international students normally need at least a 6.0, with no component below 5.5, in the International Language Testing System (IELTS) test.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country



Career opportunities

The course is ideal preparation for undertaking a PhD as well as roles such as research scientist, research assistant, and scientific officer.


Information for international applicants


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2024/25 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£7,365 a year

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Fee for international applicants
£17,000 a year

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