Today more than ever, quantitative skills form an essential basis for successful careers in ecology, conservation, and animal and human health. This Masters programme provides specific training in data collection, modelling and statistical analyses as well as generic research skills. It is offered by the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine (IBAHCM), a grouping of top researchers who focus on combining field data with computational and genetic approaches to solve applied problems in epidemiology and conservation.
Key Research Skills
Course Aims: The aims of this course are to ensure that all students enrolled in the MSc/PGdip programme in Biodiversity, Conservation and Animal Welfare receive advanced and evidence-based training in the key skills essential for any modern ecology/evolution-based research career and for the courses that they will take later in the programme. This includes principles of Scientific Writing and Effective Communication in English, Introduction to the Programming Environment R, Advanced Statistics, and Experimental Design and Power Analysis.
Measuring Biodiversity & Abundance
Course Aims: The aim of the course is to provide students with evidence-based core training in the use of a wide range of sampling techniques currently available for invertebrate and vertebrate organisms in a terrestrial environment, as well as to explore techniques used for the quantification of biodiversity and the measurement of abundance.
Programming in R (prerequisite for all modelling and epidemiology)
Course Aims: The aim of this course is to provide hands-on training in programming in the R environment, and teach students to use the data structures and libraries provided by the R project appropriately to solve problems.
Course Aims: The aim of this course is to have students undertake a quantitatively oriented independent research project, in which they will use the knowledge gained in the taught course components to design a feasible experiment, write a proposal, and implement, analyse and write up a discrete project.
Modelling and Epidemiology
Infectious Disease Ecology & the Dynamics of Emerging Disease
Course Aims: The aim of this course is to equip students with the mathematical and programming skills and theoretical background to be able to create simple epidemiological models, to interpret
Introduction to Bayesian Statistics
Course Aims: The aim of the course is to provide the student with an evidence-based founding in the basic theory and practice of Bayesian statistics, using Markov Chain Monte Carlo approaches and Metropolis-Hastings and Gibbs sampling procedure.
Course Aims: This course will introduce students to the theory and practice of formulating multi-species population models. It will aim to introduce students to the different ways these models can be formulated in theory, and implemented in practice (this will be undertaken in the R programming environment). Students will be asked to review a range of previous uses of these forms of models, and be asked to develop critical views of them. Emphasis will be placed on identifying the key assumptions of these different models, and when different formulations are most appropriate.
Course Aims: This course will introduce students to the theory and practice of single-species population models. It will aim to introduce students to the different ways these models can be formulated in theory, and implemented in practice (this will be undertaken in the R programming environment). Students will be asked to review a range of previous uses of these forms of models, and be asked to develop critical views of them. Emphasis will be placed on identifying the key assumptions of these different models, and when different formulations are most appropriate.
Spatial and Network Processes in Ecology & Epidemiology
Course Aims: The aim of this course is to introduce students to the importance of spatial processes in ecological and epidemiological interactions. There is a substantial change in the assumptions of models that are ‘well-mixed’ and essentially ‘non-spatial’, and a spatially explicit representation – be it in continuous or discrete, point based, network-based or patch-based. The primary aim of this course is to equip students to critically appreciate, understand, describe and work with these different model formulations and their correct interpretation.
Biodiversity Measurement and Informatics
Molecular epidemiology and phylodynamics
Course Aims: This course will introduce students to current analytical methods for answering applied questions in evolution and epidemiology based on pathogen genetic data. Topics will include tree building, molecular clocks, inferring demographic histories using coalescent approaches, ancestral state reconstruction and phylogeography, focussing on the widely used software BEAST as well as other computer programs.
Molecular analyses for biodiversity and conservation
Course Aims: To provide practical training in and the theoretical basis for analytical techniques used for the molecular identification and characterisation of biodiversity. Hands-on training will be integrated with the theoretical underpinning of the manipulation and analysis of DNA sequence and microsatellite genotype data, as applied to problems in the assessment of biodiversity. This will include approaches to DNA barcoding for identification and population genetics analyses of population structure and genetic history. The goal will be for students to learn these analyses at a level sufficient to perform independent analysis of their own data. The course will also highlight recent advances in sequencing technology and approaches to genotyping, along with the new challenges that this will bring for analytical approaches.
Course Aims: To provide evidence-based advanced practical training in using web services to aggregate and visualise biodiversity data, using an interactive and open-access based approach.
Course Aims: The aim of the course is to provide students with core evidence-based training in techniques for identifying key vertebrate groups, including bird songs and mammalian scats.
Freshwater Sampling Techniques
Course Aims: The aim of the course is to provide students with core hands-on training in the use of a wide range of sampling techniques currently available for invertebrate and vertebrate organisms in a freshwater environment.
Course Aims: The aim of this course is to provide students with in depth hands-on training to enable them to identify key vertebrate groups, using field guides, identification keys, and vocalizations, as required for assessment of biodiversity.
Animal Welfere Science, Ethics & Law
Animal Welfare Science (core for AWSEL; option for QMBCE)
Course Aims: The aim of the course is to provide students with an evidence-based critical and detailed understanding of welfare assessment methodologies and practical experience of how welfare issues are addressed at sites that keep animals for different forms of human use, including research on wild animals.
Assessment of Physiological State
Course Aims: The aim of the course is to provide students with an evidence-based understanding of methods and techniques used to assess physiological state of wild animals and provide them with the competence to identify the health state of wild animal and to respond appropriately to this.
Biology of Suffering
Course Aims: The aim of the course is to provide students with an advanced understanding of issues on consciousness, sentience and suffering in animals and how this relates to ethical and legal considerations.
Care of Captive Animals
Course Aims: The aim of the course is to provide students with a critical awareness of issues relating to care of captive animals and relate these to legislation and welfare science.
Enrichment of Animals in Captive Environments
Course Aims: The aim of the course is to provide students with the underlying principles that will guide enrichment and the design of enclosures and encourages students to creatively think about their own solution to welfare issues.
Legislation Related to Animal Welfare (core for AWSEL; option for QMBCE)
Course Aims: The aim of the course is to provide students with a rigorous evidence-based understanding of the different pieces of legislation underlying the use of animals in scientific research, in zoos and in farms.
"I honestly cannot recommend Glasgow's QMBCE program enough. I had a great experience here. Regardless of whether your interests lie in ecology, genetics, conservation, or epidemiology, the program can help prepare you to move forward with your career, either further into academia or into the public and private sectors. As someone who had never coded before, the coursework's heavy focus on R really helped me to get comfortable with coding and tailoring my analyses to the data. More and more these days, as datasets grow in size and analytical techniques become more sophisticated, the sciences are looking for researchers with a strong, quantitative and computational background, and the QMBCE program does a great job of establishing that foundation."
“Being a vet working on diseases that involve wild animals, this course was what I was looking for. The combination of epidemiology and ecology methodologies allowed me to deepen the (very light) smattering of ecology I had and to freshen up some of the concepts I had been exposed to before. I found no other University in Europe offers such a mixture of disciplines, which is very useful for either the animal health worker that needs to have some smattering in ecology or the biologist/ecologist who needs to learn methodologies applied to epidemiology.
I think one of the strengths of the course is the mixture of different disciplines, I did not find any similar offer when I was collecting information on the possible courses in Europe.”
“The combination of practical biodiversity techniques and quantitative measurements elements attracted me to this programme. I learned much more than I was expecting. It was very interesting to learn about other subjects that I originally thought wouldn’t be that important to me. It is a course that teaches multiple skills. The staff involved in the course did actually have experience on every topic taught and knew very well their subjects. It is also a great opportunity to learn from top quality research leaders.
This course involves lots of subjects that in many ways can be useful for any area we would like to focus on. It’s good to learn about statistics along with laboratory work and writing for example.”
“This course has greatly exceeded my expectations. I now have an advantage in today’s job market. It has expanded my knowledge base and given me the skills needed to excel further in this field. This course also provided me with the knowledge and skills needed to pursue a PhD and the opportunity to get hands on in the field of animal welfare through a variety of field trips and lectures from leading individuals in the field. Whether you are looking to get ahead in today’s job market or wanting a stepping stone into a PhD, this course covers it all. It will provide you with the practical knowledge you need while introducing you to some of the leading individuals in the field.”
To hear students talk about the programme, listen to this podcast: https://naturallyspeakingpodcast.wordpress.com/2015/12/03/episode-33-masters-of-science-quantifying-life/
We ask that you apply online for a postgraduate taught degree. Our system allows you to fill out the standard application form online and submit this to the University within 42 days of starting your application.
You need to read the guide to applying online before starting your application. It will ensure you are ready to proceed, as well as answer many common questions about the process.
Do I have to apply online for a postgraduate taught degree?
Yes. To apply for a postgraduate taught degree you must apply online. We are unable to accept your application by any other means than online.
Do I need to complete and submit the application in a single session?
No. You have 42 days to submit your application once you begin the process. You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish to update information, complete sections or upload additional documents such as your final transcript or your language test.
What documents do I need to provide to make an application?
As well as completing your online application fully, it is essential that you submit the following documents:
- A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s) (if you have already completed your degree)
- A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained
- Official English translations of the certificate(s) and transcript(s)
- Two supporting reference letters on headed paper
- Evidence of your English Language ability (if your first language is not English)
- Any additional documents required for this programme (see Entry requirements for this programme)
- A copy of the photo page of your passport (Non-EU students only)
- A two-page personal statement highlighting:
- How your academic career to-date makes this programme a suitable next step
- Why you want to study this programme
- How you think this programme will help you in your future career development
If you do not have all of these documents at the time of submitting your application then it is still possible to make an application and provide any further documents at a later date, as long as you include a full current transcript (and an English translation if required) with your application. See the ‘Your References, Transcripts and English Qualification’ sections of our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.
Do my supporting documents need to be submitted online?
Yes, where possible, please upload the supporting documents with your application.
How do I provide my references?
You must either upload the required references to your online application or ask your referees to send the references to the University as we do not contact referees directly. There is two main ways that you can provide references: you can either upload references on headed paper when you are making an application using the Online Application (or through Applicant Self-Service after you have submitted your application) or you can ask your referee to email the reference directly to email@example.com. See the 'Your References, Transcripts and English Qualifications' section of the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.
What if I am unable to submit all of my supporting documents online?
If you cannot upload an electronic copy of a document and need to send it in by post, please attach a cover sheet to it that includes your name, the programme you are applying for, and your application reference number.
You may send them to:
Recruitment & International Office
71 Southpark Avenue
Fax: +44 141 330 4045
Can I email my supporting documents?
No. We cannot accept email submissions of your supporting documents.
What entry requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?
You should check that you have met (or are likely to have met prior to the start of the programme) the individual entry requirements for the degree programme you are applying for. This information can be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab on each individual programme page, such as the one you are viewing now.
What English Language requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?
If you are an international student, you should also check that you have met the English Language requirements specific to the programme you are applying for. These can also be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab for each specific programme.
Please see the Frequently Asked Questions for more information on applying to a postgraduate taught programme.
Guidance notes for using the online application
These notes are intended to help you complete the online application form accurately, they are also available within the help section of the online application form. If you experience any difficulties accessing the online application then you should visit the Application Troubleshooting/FAQs page.
- Name and Date of birth: must appear exactly as they do on your passport. Please take time to check the spelling and lay-out.
- Contact Details: Correspondence address. All contact relevant to your application will be sent to this address including the offer letter(s). If your address changes, please contact us as soon as possible.
- Choice of course: Please select carefully the course you want to study. As your application will be sent to the admissions committee for each course you select it is important to consider at this stage why you are interested in the course and that it is reflected in your application.
- Proposed date of entry: Please state your preferred start date including the month and the year. Taught masters degrees tend to begin in September. Research degrees may start in any month.
- Education and Qualifications: Please complete this section as fully as possible indicating any relevant Higher Education qualifications starting with the most recent. Complete the name of the Institution (s) as it appears on the degree certificate or transcript.
- English Language Proficiency: Please state the date of any English language test taken (or to be taken) and the award date (or expected award date if known).
- Employment and Experience: Please complete this section as fully as possible with all employments relevant to your course. Additional details may be attached in your personal statement/proposal where appropriate.
- References: Please provide the names and contact details of two academic references. Where applicable one of these references may be from your current employer. References should be completed on letter headed paper and uploaded on to your application.
Standard application deadlines
- International applications (non-EU): 21 July 2017
- UK and EU applications: 25 August 2017
Classes start September 2017 and you may be expected to attend induction sessions the week before.