The MSc by Research (MScRes) is a one-year full-time research programme that differs from a taught Masters programme by placing more emphasis on research, and by being examined much more like a PhD, by viva voce (oral) examination, rather than by grading of coursework and dissertation. This degree will equip you with confidence and competence in the latest research skills (including generic skills such as literature searching, legal and ethical aspects, project planning, grant proposal writing, and statistical manipulation of data) and allow you to apply for further research training (PhD) programmes, or to directly apply for research positions in universities or research institutes. Specific funded projects leading to this degree may be advertised from time to time, but you are welcome to discuss options at any time with potential supervisors. Details of research specialisms and contact details for staff can be found on the School Research pages. As well as offering strong support for research activities, the School offers unique opportunities for students to conduct project work under internationally recognised supervisors. Students also benefit from our extensive local, national and international links with state and private sector organisations.
Applications for research degrees differ substantially from applications for taught courses such as Masters degrees. Although the application form is the same, the way in which you approach your application can make all the difference.
As with all of our courses, you can apply to fund yourself through a PhD/Mphil at Bangor, or you may already have sourced external funding (e.g. from your employer or government), and we warmly welcome all expressions of interest in so doing. However, rather than simply filling in an application form, there are a few steps that you can take in order that your application stands a greater chance of being successful.
All PhD/Mphil students require supervision from at least one academic member of staff at the University, and if you are considering a PhD/Mphil, you will already have a good idea of the specific area or theme that you want to research. In order to ascertain that we hold sufficient expertise in your chosen topic to provide supervision, you should first look at our staff pages. This will provide you with a breakdown of each staff member’s area of academic focus.
Once you have found a member of staff whose research interests broadly accord with your own, you should contact them directly with a concise research ‘brief’ that outlines your proposal and ask whether s/he would consider supervising your project. If the academic expresses his/her interest, you may then further discuss your ideas and develop a full PhD/Mphil research proposal.
At this stage, you should formally apply online for the PhD/Mphil programme. You should fill the form out thoroughly, including academic references, your research proposal and the name of the academic member of staff under whose supervision you intend the research to be conducted.
Your research proposal
A good research proposal is essential if you are applying for a PhD or MPhil. The proposal should include:
- Overview – give a brief abstract of the subject area you wish to research and include information on the key theoretical, policy or empirical debates that will be addressed.
- Planning – you need to demonstrate that you are aware of the research timescales and have a plan in place to conduct your work. You need to demonstrate that the research is manageable in the given time period.
- Literature references – you need to show that your planned area of research has not been studied before. Provide references to key articles and texts relevant to your area of study.
- Methodology – you need to show that you are aware of the methodological tools available and have identified which ones would be suitable for your research.
Online applications can now be made by prospective applicants for all postgraduate taught programmes and postgraduate research programmes at the University (with the exception of the PGCE, Diploma in Occupational Therapy and DClinPsy).
- Please read through the Guidance Notes before you begin the online application form
- Apply online yourself through our online application system.
CAREERS AND EMPLOYABILITY
As well as finding specific employment based on the specialist knowledge acquired during postgraduate training, your general employability will be enhanced by evidence of your ability to work independently, to think analytically and innovatively, and to conceptualise and question. During your studies, you will also have the chance to develop essential professional skills such as good communication, teamwork and leadership skills and enhance your practical experience. Our past graduates have gone on to careers in research (both in academia and research institutes) as well as in commercial environmental consultancies, DEFRA, water authorities, scientific publishing, landscape architects and many others.
RESEARCH AND LINKS WITH INDUSTRY
Extensive national and international staff contacts mean that you are often able to carry out their research projects in association with commercial consultancies, local councils, environmental organisations (e.g. the Environment Agency, Countryside Council for Wales, RSPB, British Trust for Ornithology, many of whom have regional offices based in Bangor), and government research institutes (e.g. Centre for Ecology and Hydrology) in the UK, and abroad (past projects have involved fieldwork in the West Indies, Africa, Maldives, and various European countries).