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School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences

Frequently asked questions

Please contact us if you cannot find an answer to your query here.

Have questions about taught postgraduate programmes? The Higher Education Funding Council for England has some great advice.

Do tuition fees include all costs for any field courses on an MSc programme?

Costs for field trips (flights, accommodation and meals) are fully covered by tuition fees.  This includes field trips within the UK and overseas field trips.  

Students on the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Ecological and Evolutionary Genomics programmes have a compulsory overseas field course to Borneo.  Students on our Freshwater and Marine Ecology programme have one compulsory field course and can choose to go to Borneo or Cape Verde.  Students on our Plant and Fungal Taxonomy Diversity and Conservation programme have a compulsory overseas field course in Madagascar.  Tuition fees on all these programmes are higher than standard tuition fees to incorporate costs for these field courses.

Are all costs involved in project work included in tuition fees?

The majority of projects costs are fully covered as we tend to develop topics closely aligned to ongoing funded research in our labs. 

If you wish to pursue an idea that is wholly your own then we encourage you to discuss this with your potential supervisor or programme director. They may be able to help you secure extra funding from external sources.

What does a typical two-week module entail?

Module timetables can vary depending upon the course content. 

A typical module comprises of the following:

  • Formal lectures 
  • Practicals
  • Workshops
  • Discussion groups
  • Data analysis
  • Programming classes 

Some of the ecological modules will include full days in the field and follow up days in the lab.

How does part-time study work?

Taking a masters programme part-time with our School means you will probably register for 50% of your modules in one year and complete the remainder in the following year. 

Two week modules cannot be split and we do not offer evening classes. 

You can discuss module choices with your programme director.

Can I do the project over two years if I am part-time?

Yes, you can.

This allows greater scope for projects which, for example, require an element of seasonality or longer term monitoring. 

Why is there a free week after the two week modules?

After the majority of modules there is a study week to catch up on essential self-directed learning and prepare the continuous assessment which is a part of every module. 

We also expect you to spend this time reading the primary literature to place the taught material in a wider perspective. 

It is also a useful period for you to get to know other researchers in the School and start to discuss ideas for projects.

How big are class sizes?

The majority of our MSc programmes have fewer than 20 students. 

We try to keep them this way to ensure a high level of contact time between lecturers and students and to make sure there are plenty of quality projects on offer. 

Some modules may service more than one MSc programme and so class sizes may be larger on, for example, a general statistics module.

Can I publish my project work?

We design projects to contribute to furthering the science of our respective fields, so there is a good chance that your work may be publishable, either as a stand-alone study or perhaps contributing to a broader project. 

It is unlikely that you will publish your work during your time at Queen Mary, but you should keep in contact with your supervisor to see how things develop. 

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