Research Methods in Ecology
  • Postgraduate taught
  • MSc

Research Methods in Ecology

Gain hands-on experience in a wide suite of methods and skills used in ecological research.

Gain hands-on experience in a wide suite of methods and skills used in ecological research

Deepen your research expertise through extensive field-based activities in the UK and Malaysia

Develop your own ideas on an individual research project exploring an ecological area of interest

Course key facts

  • Qualification

    • MSc

  • Duration

    1 year

  • Start date

    October 2023

  • Study mode


  • Fees

    • £17,700 Home

    • £31,800 Overseas

  • Delivered by

  • Location

    • Silwood Park

Minimum entry standard 2023

  • 2:1 in a science subject

View full entry requirements

Course overview

Gain practical experience of a wide range of ecological research methods on this Master's course.

You'll develop key research skills for a career in ecology as you explore a broad set of real-world ecological questions.

This programme offers a varied coursework component, with six weeks of field-based research activities offered in the UK and Malaysia. You'll work in teams to develop meaningful hypotheses, and have opportunities to test them using your collected field data.

This field work will be complemented by extensive laboratory and computing training, providing you with the tools to manage and interpret ecological data.

You'll also build your soft skills expertise in project planning, project management and logistics, teamwork, and communicating data.

Nested within the Georgina Mace Centre for the Living Planet at Silwood Park, this programme brings together natural scientists, engineers, mathematicians, medics, economists and social scientists.

The field course in Malaysia will also embed you in an active global research network at the SAFE Project.

Your studies will build towards an individual research project, where you'll explore an ecological topic of your choice.


This page is updated regularly to reflect the latest version of the curriculum. However, this information is subject to change.

Find out more about potential course changes.

You'll complete the following core modules.

Core modules

You'll carry out an individual research project, which can be conducted on any ecological topic and in any ecosystem around the world. 

You’lll be encouraged to follow your interests, and will have the opportunity to work with researchers inside and outside of Imperial College London.

Teaching and assessment

Balance of teaching and learning


  • Lectures, practicals and fieldwork
  • Independent study

  • 15% Lectures, practicals and fieldwork
  • 85% Independent study

Teaching and learning methods

  • Practical classes
  • Fieldwork
  • Person at lectern giving speech
  • Person giving seminar
  • Workshops
  • Team-based learning
  • Person participating in classroom discussion.
    Problem-solving sessions
  • A person studying independently
    Independent learning
  • Individual research project
    Research projects

Balance of assessment


  • Practical
  • Coursework

  • 32% Practical
  • 68% Coursework

Assessment methods

  • Poster project
  • Research project proposal document
    Project proposal
  • Research plan
  • Annotated dataset
  • Code on a computer screen
    Computing script
  • Papers from a written report
    Written research reports
  • Oral assessments

Balance of teaching and learning


  • Lectures, practicals and fieldwork
  • Independent study

Teaching and learning methods

Assessment methods

Entry requirements

We consider all applicants on an individual basis, welcoming students from all over the world.

How to apply

Apply online

You can submit one application form per year of entry. You can choose up to two courses.

Application deadlines – Round 5 closes on Friday 7 July 2023

Tuition fees

Home fee

2023 entry


Overseas fee

2023 entry


Your future career

Hand holding a branch of three leaves

Acquire practical research skills that prepare you for a career in the field as an ecologist or for further graduate study.

Person with magnifying glass over head

With its research-intensive approach, you will learn to think like a scientist.

Person in a bubble surrounded by 4 skills

Gain time management, leadership, and problem-solving skills that employers are looking for.

Teacher in front of classroom

Develop your writing and data communication skills while learning about research ethics.

Acorns and oak leaves

With specialised knowledge as a Life Sciences graduate, you'll be highly sought after in a range of sectors.

Chemistry research on computer screen

These include government and industrial research, public health, and careers in business.

Terms and conditions

There are some important pieces of information you should be aware of when applying to Imperial. These include key information about your tuition fees, funding, visas, accommodation and more.

Read our terms and conditions

You can find further information about your course, including degree classifications, regulations, progression and awards in the programme specification for your course.

Programme specifications