MRes Structural Molecular Biology

An ideal training course for students, providing vital experience for a successful career in industry.

Key information

Duration: 1 year full-time
Start dateOctober 2022
Location: South Kensington
ECTS: 90 credits
Apply now

Overview

Gain in-depth training of all major structural molecular biology techniques including its applications in drug discovery. This course provides excellent training for students to pursue a career in research with a focus on structural biology.

This one-year research-based postgraduate course is based mainly in the structural biology labs in the South Kensington campus.

Knowing the structure of a protein is vital to understanding how the protein works. With many structure determination techniques becoming semi-automatic and routine, there is demand for structural biology researchers who can understand how to use complementary techniques to derive biological function from structure.

This makes it essential that trained structural biologists have a solid background across all macromolecular structural determination techniques. Whether working in academia or industry.

This Masters in Research seeks to give you such a foundation. You will spend the majority of the year in laboratory-based research in one or two structural biology labs at, or associated with, Imperial. You will have opportunities to learn a wide range of skills in biological NMR, electron cryomicroscopy, structural bioinformatics, molecular dynamics, x-ray crystallography, or mass spectrometry.

You will attend a series of lectures covering protein structural principles and structure determination techniques. Also, you will benefit from skills workshops, helping you to succeed in research including networking, time management, writing, and wellbeing.

Workshops and seminars in transferable skills are organised by the Graduate School.

Structure

This page reflects the latest version of the curriculum for this year of entry. However, this information is subject to change.

The curriculum of this programme is currently being reviewed as part of a College-wide process to introduce a standardised modular structure. As a result, the content and assessment structures of this course may change for this year of entry.

We recommend you check this page before finalising your application and again before accepting your offer. We will update this page as soon as any changes are confirmed by the College.

Find out more about the limited circumstances in which we may need to make changes to or in relation to our courses, the type of changes we may make and how we will tell you about any changes made.

Page last reviewed on 25 October 2021.

Structure

Core modules

You take all of the core modules below.

  • Research Project 1
  • Literature Dissertation and Research Project 2

Research project areas

Below are examples of subject areas conducted by supervisors:

  • Membrane protein structure-function
  • Human disease and infection
  • Photosynthesis and bioenergetics
  • Transcriptional regulation and mechanism
  • Enzyme catalysis
  • Macromolecular machines

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods

  • Class based lectures
  • Computer lab on experimental data analysis in structural biology
  • One literature dissertation
  • Training in structural bioinformatics
  • Two individual lab research projects (16 weeks each)
  • Web tools for the analysis of protein sequences and structures

Assessment methods

  • Individual research project reports (three assessments)
  • Laboratory performance (two assessments)
  • Oral presentations (two assessments)
  • Vivas (two assessments)

Entry requirements

We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis.

Entry requirements

Minimum academic requirement

Our minimum requirement is a 2.1 degree in a physical sciences based subject.

International qualifications

We also accept a wide variety of international qualifications.

The academic requirement above is for applicants who hold or who are working towards a UK qualification.

For guidance see our Country Index though please note that the standards listed are the minimum for entry to the College, and not specifically this Department.

If you have any questions about admissions and the standard required for the qualification you hold or are currently studying then please contact the relevant admissions team.

English language requirement (all applicants)

All candidates must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.

For admission to this course, you must achieve the standard College requirement in the appropriate English language qualification. For details of the minimum grades required to achieve this requirement, please see the English language requirements for postgraduate applicants.

Competence standards

Our competence standards highlight the core skills students should be able to demonstrate by the end of this course.

View the Department of Life Sciences' competence standards [pdf]

We believe in providing the widest practicable access to all of our degree programmes and will make reasonable adjustments wherever possible to support your study. For more information, please contact the Department using the contact details below.

Department of Life Sciences

E: L.Barron@imperial.ac.uk

How to apply

How to apply

Making an application

Apply online

All applicants must apply online.

Visit our Admissions website for details on the application process.

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

Application fee

If you are applying for a taught Master’s course, you will need to pay an application fee before submitting your application.

The fee applies per application and not per course:

  • £80 for taught Master's applications (excluding MBAs)
  • £135 for MBA applications

There is no application fee for MRes courses, Postgraduate Certificates, Postgraduate Diplomas or research courses, such as PhDs and EngDs.

If you are facing financial hardship and are unable to pay the application fee, we encourage you to apply for our application fee waiver. 

Find out more about the application fee and waiver

ATAS certificate (overseas candidates)

An ATAS certificate is required for all visa-nationals, with the exception of EEA/Swiss nationals and nationals of the following countries: Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the USA.

To apply for an ATAS certificate online, you will need your programme’s Common Aggregation Hierarchy (CAH) code and ‘descriptor’, as well as your university supervisor name. For this course, these are:

CAH codeDescriptorSupervisor name
CAH03-01-02 biology (non-specific) Professor Anne Dell

Your student visa application, or extension of stay, will automatically be refused if you need an ATAS certificate and cannot provide one.

For further guidance on obtaining an ATAS certificate please see the information on our International Student Support website.

Further questions?

Find answers to your questions about admissions. Answers cover COVID-19, English language requirements, visas and more.

Visit the FAQs

Tuition fees and funding

The level of tuition fees you pay is based on your fee status, which we assess based on UK government legislation.

Find out more about fees and funding opportunities.

Tuition fees

Home rate of tuition

2022 entry

£13,200

Fees are charged by year of entry to the College and not year of study.

Except where otherwise indicated, the fees for students on courses lasting more than one year will increase annually by an amount linked to inflation, including for part-time students on modular programmes. The measure of inflation used will be the Retail Price Index (RPI) value in the April of the calendar year in which the academic session starts e.g. the RPI value in April 2022 will apply to fees for the academic year 2022–2023.

Fee status

Whether you pay the Home fee depends on your fee status.

Your fee status is assessed based on UK Government legislation and includes things like where you live and your nationality or residency status.

Find out more about how we assess your fee status.

EU/EEA/Swiss students

The Government has confirmed that EU/EEA/Swiss students who begin a course before the 31 July 2021 will be eligible to pay the same fee as Home students and have access to student finance for the duration of their course, as long as they meet certain requirements which are unchanged from previous years. This includes students who begin the course remotely.

EU/EEA/Swiss students starting a course on or after 1 August 2021 will no longer be eligible for the Home fee rate and so will be charged the Overseas fee. Please note, we do not expect this to apply to Irish students or students benefitting from Citizens' Rights under the EU Withdrawal Agreement, EEA EFTA Separation Agreement or Swiss Citizens' Rights Agreement respectively. However, we are currently awaiting the formal publication of the amended Fees and Awards regulations.

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website has useful information on the conditions you currently need to meet to be entitled to pay tuition fees at the Home rate for study on a higher education course in England and reflect the regulations as they currently stand (not the amended regulations which are subject to publication).

UKCISA has also provided some information in response to Questions for students starting their course from the 1 August 2021. 

Overseas rate of tuition

2022 entry

£32,400

Fees are charged by year of entry to the College and not year of study.

Except where otherwise indicated, the fees for students on courses lasting more than one year will increase annually by an amount linked to inflation, including for part-time students on modular programmes. The measure of inflation used will be the Retail Price Index (RPI) value in the April of the calendar year in which the academic session starts e.g. the RPI value in April 2022 will apply to fees for the academic year 2022–2023.

Fee status

Whether you pay the Overseas fee depends on your fee status.

Your fee status is assessed based on UK Government legislation and includes things like where you live and your nationality or residency status.

Find out more about how we assess your fee status.

EU/EEA/Swiss students

The Government has confirmed that EU/EEA/Swiss students who begin a course before the 31 July 2021 will be eligible to pay the same fee as Home students and have access to student finance for the duration of their course, as long as they meet certain requirements which are unchanged from previous years. This includes students who begin the course remotely.

EU/EEA/Swiss students starting a course on or after 1 August 2021 will no longer be eligible for the Home fee rate and so will be charged the Overseas fee. Please note, we do not expect this to apply to Irish students or students benefitting from Citizens' Rights under the EU Withdrawal Agreement, EEA EFTA Separation Agreement or Swiss Citizens' Rights Agreement respectively. However, we are currently awaiting the formal publication of the amended Fees and Awards regulations.

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website has useful information on the conditions you currently need to meet to be entitled to pay tuition fees at the Home rate for study on a higher education course in England and reflect the regulations as they currently stand (not the amended regulations which are subject to publication).

UKCISA has also provided some information in response to Questions for students starting their course from the 1 August 2021. 

Postgraduate Master's loan

If you're a UK national, or EU national with settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you may be able to apply for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan from the UK government, if you meet certain criteria.

For 2022-23 entry, the maximum amount is £11,836. The loan is not means-tested and you can choose whether to put it towards your tuition fees or living costs.

Scholarships

We offer a range of scholarships for postgraduate students to support you through your studies.

See what opportunities you may be eligible for:

Accommodation and living costs

Living costs, including accommodation, are not included in your tuition fees.

You can compare costs across our different accommodation options on our Accommodation website.

A rough guide to what you might expect to spend to live in reasonable comfort in London is available on our Fees and Funding website.

Further information

Life Sciences

Got a question?

Kevin Cahill

E: k.cahill@imperial.ac.uk

The Queen's Tower on our South Kensington Campus

Sign up for our newsletter

Receive regular updates with useful information about studying with us.

Sign up

A student in a laboratory

Download our study guide

Find out more about our courses and how to apply.

Download a copy

Studying at Imperial

London Eye

Living in London

London’s fusion of culture and charm will give you a student experience unlike any other.

Students outside the Union

Student finance

Our tuition fees website has everything you need to know about funding your studies.

Students at graduation

International students

Imperial is ranked as the UK's most international university, welcoming students from over 140 countries.

Terms and conditions

There are some important pieces of information you should be aware of when applying to universities. We've put together this information in a dedicated section of our website.Makerspace

Read our terms and conditions for these areas: