This course provides students with high-level research training in the latest developments in tropical forest ecology.
It covers the physical and biological aspects of the forest ecosystem, with an emphasis on understanding the linkages between these two components, with a focus on developing practical research skills to best prepare students for a career in tropical forest ecology research or in preparing for a PhD.
The classed based modules develop research skills and background knowledge of models used in tropical forest ecology, with topics such as:
Field skills will be taught in a three-week field course held in Sabah, Malaysia. You will be trained in the taxonomic identification of plants, vertebrates and invertebrates and will obtain practical experience in designing, collecting and managing meteorological, hydrological, biogeochemical and biodiversity field data.
You will spend most of the year working on a research project in your chosen area, accounting for more than half of your work during the year. We encourage you to develop project ideas with supervisors in tropical nations and will work with you to find contacts and placements that make this a smooth process.
The course consists of class based teaching, field work and a major research project.
Week 1 Registration, induction and introductory workshops Week 2 Statistics and programming module Week 3 Experimental design and advanced statistics Week 4 GIS/Environmental data module Week 5 Scientific writing and science communication Week 6 Forests as linked ecological systems Practical assignment Week 7 Climatology Week 8 Hydrology Week 9 Biogeochemistry Week 10 Community ecology Week 11 Metabolic ecology Science communication assignment Week 12 Private revision, grant proposal Week 13 Private revision, grant proposal Week 14 Private revision, grant proposal.
Week 15 Field safety, project + data plan Grant proposal Week 16 Field course: Sampling methods and taxonomy module Week 17 Field course: Hydrology and meteorology modules Hydrology and meteorology practicals Week 18 Field course: Biogeochemistry and community ecology modules Biogeochemistry and community practicals; taxonomy test Week 19 Research project Week 20 Research project Week 21 Research project Week 22 Research project Week 23 Research project Week 24 Research project Week 25 Research project Week 26 Research project Week 27 Research project Week 28 Research project Week 29 Research project.
Week 30 Research project Week 31 Research project Week 32 Research project Week 33 Research project Week 34 Mid-project report Press release Week 35 Mid-term viva and feedback Week 36 Research project Week 37 Research project Week 38 Research project
For Master’s Programmes – June –Sept:
Week 39 Research project Week 40 Research project Week 41 Research project Week 42 Research project Week 43 Research project Week 44 Research project Week 45 Research project Week 46 Research project Week 47 Research project Week 48 Research project Week 49 Private study Week 50 Private study Week 51 MRes conference, oral examination, results announced.
Part-time option Students will take the whole 18 week coursework module and submit all items of coursework for assessment in Year 1. Students will have two options for completing the project: 1. Carry out the project full-time for 30 weeks in Year 2 2. Work at 50% of FT and complete the project in 60 weeks over the 2 year period. In this case supervision time will be allocated pro rata and mid-term reports and vivas timed appropriately. The student will have the oral examination at the end of year 2.
Universities in the United Kingdom use a centralized system of undergraduate application: University and College Admissions Service (UCAS). It is used by both domestic and international students. Students have to register on the UCAS website before applying to the university. They will find all the necessary information about the application process on this website. Some graduate courses also require registration on this website, but in most cases students have to apply directly to the university. Some universities also accept undergraduate application through Common App (the information about it could be found on universities' websites).
Both undergraduate and graduate students may receive three types of responses from the university. The first one, “unconditional offer” means that you already reached all requirements and may be admitted to the university. The second one, “conditional offer” makes your admission possible if you fulfill some criteria – for example, have good grades on final exams. The third one, “unsuccessful application” means that you, unfortunately, could not be admitted to the university of you choice.
All universities require personal statement, which should include the reasons to study in the UK and the information about personal and professional goals of the student and a transcript, which includes grades received in high school or in the previous university.
We expect the MRes course to be attractive to students with a broad range of scientific degrees (e.g. biology, environmental science, engineering, physics and geography). We expect the course to appeal both to students who have just finished their undergraduate degree, and wanting to acquire skills relevant to a career in tropical ecology, as well as to those with a few years of relevant work experience wishing to move to the next level. We aim also to attract professionals working within NGOs or research institutes, who wish to develop their skills in tropical forest ecology research. The part time option for the course will be particularly attractive to these candidates. Candidates will generally be expected to hold a good first degree in an appropriate subject (at least an upper second) from a UK university or an equivalent qualification if obtained outside the UK. Candidates with extensive relevant work experience but a lower degree will be considered for the course as special cases, based on experience that these students can be very high achievers if carefully screened. In line with Imperial College policy, students whose native language is not English and who did not undertake their undergraduate degree in English will be expected to pass relevant tests (e.g. British Council IELTS test at grade 6.5 or above, with a score of 5 in writing. A TOEFL qualification with a score >600, with a writing (TWE) element of not less than 4.5, is an acceptable alternative).