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Advanced Biological Sciences

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Related courses

There are thirteen courses related to Advanced Biological Sciences that you might be interested in.

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Master of Research

A Master of Research (MRes) is a research-based postgraduate degree awarded in any academic discipline that offers research training.

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Course overview

Immerse yourself in biological science research on a course that introduces you to contemporary research methods, advanced statistical techniques and specialist subject knowledge. You’ll be supported in undertaking an extended research project in preparation for potential PhD study and a career as a research scientist.

Introduction

If you’re looking to move into a career in science, whether in academia, industry or biomedicine research, this MRes will enable you to develop advanced knowledge, skills and understanding in biological sciences.

A year-long research project, under the supervision of an expert tutor, forms the central part of the course. Selecting the right project is a key decision and we’ll help you choose a topic relevant to your interests and career plans. For ideas about the focus of your research project, please see our MRes Advanced Biological Sciences research projects page.

Complementing the research project are taught modules. These provide key underpinning knowledge of the research methods and technologies that drive contemporary research in biological sciences.

A range of optional modules provide the opportunity to undertake further tailored research training, receive a grounding in essential statistical techniques and study specialist areas of biological science in-depth. Whichever pathway you choose, you’ll discover contemporary debates, controversies, concepts, challenges and innovations that are relevant to your research project. The title of your degree award will reflect your chosen route.

An important component of the programme is the opportunity for non-native English speakers to take a specially designed module in communication skills. This module, delivered by our English Language Centre, is designed to improve your English in a scientific context.

Please note, this programme is also suitable for intercalating medical students.

What you'll learn

  • Contemporary methods, processes and technologies underpinning biological science research and evidence-based practice
  • Effective communication with professional and lay audiences
  • Major issues and challenges in biological sciences
  • Enhanced problem-solving and critical thinking skills
  • Information retrieval and referencing skills
  • Statistical inference techniques for hypothesis testing in biological science research
  • How to plan and conduct a major piece of original, independent research
  • How to collect, interpret and analyse data and present your findings
  • Tailored advanced skills training, enhancing your expertise and proficiency in areas determined by your individual needs
  • Supporting knowledge in specialist areas of biological science that are relevant to your research project

Course content

Discover what you'll learn, what you'll study, and how you'll be taught and assessed.

Studying this course part-time

International students may be able to study this course on a part-time basis but this is dependent on visa regulations. Please visit the Government website for more information about student visas.

If you're able to study part-time, you'll study the same modules as the full-time master's degree over a longer period, usually 24 months. You can make studying work for you by arranging your personal schedule around lectures and seminars which take place during the day. After you complete all the taught modules, you will complete your final dissertation or project and will celebrate your achievements at graduation the following term.

Studying part-time means you can study alongside work or any other life commitments. You will study the same modules as the full-time master's degree over a longer period, usually 24 months. You can make studying work for you by arranging your personal schedule around lectures and seminars which take place during the day. After you complete all the taught modules, you will complete your final dissertation or project and will celebrate your achievements at graduation the following term.

Semester one

Compulsory modules

RESEARCH METHODS AND APPLICATIONS IN BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES (LIFE731)

Credits: 15 / Semester: whole session

This module will provide students with an understanding of the processes and methods required for the successful planning and delivery of research projects. It will also Introduce students to the latest, cutting edge technologies that will support their research field of interest. It will develop in students the transferrable communication skills that will enable them to disseminate their findings to both scientific and general audiences.

Advanced Biological Sciences Research Project 1 (Full-Time) (LIFE737)

Credits: 30 / Semester: semester 1

The MRes in Advanced Biological Science provides students with high level research training within the Institute of Systems, Molecular and Integrative Medicine (ISMIB). Our aim is to develop research knowledge, skills and attributes including confidence and expertise, to contribute to the pursuit of further study or undertake roles in academia, or in the health sector, industry, education or other service sectors. The programme is suitable for bioscience graduates, intercalating medical or veterinary students, and science graduates who are interested in training in advanced biological sciences. Students will become full members of a research group and take advantage of first-class facilities and an active research environment.
This is a 30-credit module that gives direct authentic experience in developing and planning a novel empirical research project. The module represents the first part of a two-part research project for students who are studying MRes in Advanced Biological Sciences programme. Typically, students will work on a dedicated research project. The teaching approach relies upon research-led and enquiry-based learning with authentic assessments in the form of scientific reports, a scientific presentation and continual assessment of the student’s performance (Hallmarks of the Liverpool Curriculum Framework).

Advanced Biological Sciences Research Project 2 (Full-Time) (LIFE738)

Credits: 90 / Semester: semester 2

The MRes in Advanced Biological Science provides students with high level research training within the Institute of Systems, Molecular and Integrative Medicine (ISMIB). Our aim is to develop research knowledge, skills and attributes including confidence and expertise, to contribute to the pursuit of further study or undertake roles in academia, or in the health sector, industry, education or other service sectors. The programme is suitable for bioscience graduates, intercalating medical or veterinary students, and science graduates who are interested in training in advanced biological sciences. Students will become full members of a research group and take advantage of first-class facilities and an active research environment.

This is a 90-credit module that gives a direct authentic experience of conducting biological research. The module represents the second part of a two-part research project in the MRes Advanced Biological Sciences programme. Typically, students will work on a dedicated research project. The teaching approach relies upon research-led and enquiry-based learning with authentic assessments in the form of scientific reports, a scientific presentation and continual assessment of the student’s performance (Hallmarks of the Liverpool Curriculum Framework).

Optional modules

Negotiated Research Skills (LIFE714)

Credits: 15 / Semester: whole session

This module provides students with the opportunity to undertake training necessary for, and complimentary to, the successful completion of their research project. The specific training to be undertaken will depend on the nature of their individual research; for example, it may include acquiring expertise in new computer languages, proficiency in the use of specialised equipment, or demonstrating relevant numeracy skills. The program of training will be defined in a learning contract that will be agreed between the student and their project supervisor at the start of the module. The contract will specify individual training goals. Successful completion of the module will be assessed by three pieces of work: an initial report outlining the student’s understanding of the proposed training (including a learning contract), why it is necessary, and how it will be achieved; a final report reflecting on the success of the training agreed; a portfolio providing evidence of the training activities undertaken, and proficiency in the relevant learning objectives.

Cellular Biotechnology and Biological Imaging (LIFE749)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

Modern biotechnology and bioimaging applies novel tools and approaches to address today’s global challenges.
You will learn a variety of methods in mammalian cell biotechnology as well as imaging technologies that range from the microscopic scale to cellular and organ imaging in vivo. You will develop knowledge of a diversity of cell analysis techniques. Furthermore, the use of reporter genes for various types of imaging will be explained, including imaging technologies for cell analysis on the microscopic level as well as for cell imaging and functional analysis in animal models of disease.

The lectures will convey basic knowledge and include examples of applications from actual research publications, or the lecturer’s own research work, in equal measure. The students will have learning tutorials on critical appraisal of literature. There will also be a practical workshop on contemporary microscopy.
The module will be taught through a combination of lectures, workshops and practical exercises. There are two written assessments in this module.

Emerging Infections and Pandemics (LIFE751)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This is a key module for students on the MSc Infection and Immunity Programme and might also be taken by other MSc, MBioSci and MRes students whose interests include infection and immunology. The module is topical in light of the pandemic and will address areas of research-connected infection biology teaching across areas of broad relevance to infectious disease, as well as to coronavirus. The module includes research connected lectures, workshops and structured discussions on selected texts as student-led topics. The content will focus on areas of infectious disease that support the programme and are relevant in that: (i) they are current/topical or (ii) they address fundamental questions of general importance. In addition, students will also be supported with key research and ideas in emerging infections and pandemics, showing how interconnected interconnected nature of health and disease through integrating aspects of biology and society. The module assessments are aimed at: 1) writing a report on a selected emerging pathogen that communicates the multifactorial considerations for researchers and society 2) presentation of a key factor that contributes to or affects disease emergence and the response by society or an agency. The factor focused on will be selected from workshops and student-led discussions

Applied Geographic Information Science (ENVS609)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module introduces how the tools of GIS can be used to create digital representations of the world and, through a framework of Geographic Information Science, reviews the potential problems and pitfalls of doing so. The module is delivered through lectures supplemented by practical labs that develop familiarity and skills in the application of GIS.

BIOLOGICAL DATA SKILLS (LIFE707)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

Data skills are essential for a career in modern biology. Biological studies increasingly involve the generation of large or complex sets of data, and the ability to analyse data is a core component of a successful biologist’s skill set. Digital fluency is also required more widely outside biological research and a grounding in data analysis is in demand by a broad range of employers. Here you will learn the ability to visualise data, critically test hypotheses, and to interpret and present results.

The learning and teaching materials are delivered as an online set of resources (available through Canvas) coupled with computer-based practical workshops. The module will also introduce students to the powerful open access statistical software package, R.

The module will be assessed by a written data analysis report and an open-book exam

For any students studying off-campus – due to a placement in industry or studying at an overseas University – on-line drop-in sessions will be provided instead of the practical workshops.

CODING FOR LIFE SCIENCES (LIFE733)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module is aimed at postgraduate students in the Life Sciences, wishing to learn about methods for use in data-intensive research. The module provides a broad introduction to the use of Python coding for performing basic tasks in the biological sciences. The student will get practical experience in writing their own Python scripts for basic bioinformatics tasks, such as manipulating DNA, RNA and protein sequences, file input/output and working with other programs, such as BLAST. There is also an introduction to data visualisation using Python, and simple techniques used in data science, including a basic introduction to machine learning.

Around 10 hours of lectures will be provided on core topics, with a strong emphasis on practical activity in workshops (totalling around 40 hours), allowing students to gain confidence in writing scripts for their own tasks. The module will be assessed by two short coding assignments, one team working coding assignment building a bioinformatics pipeline, and a data science mini-project.

EVOLUTION AND BEHAVIOUR (LIFE709)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module serves as a focal point for students on the M.Biol.Sci, M.Sc. & M.Res whose interests include evolution, ecology and behavioural biology

The module will make use of varied teaching methods including structured discussions on selected texts as student-led seminars.

The content will focus on areas of evolutionary and behavioural biology that are currently important in the senses (i) that they are progressing rapidly and (ii) that they address fundamental questions of general importance. In addition we will also highlight the key papers and ideas in recent evolutionary biology, showing how research fields develop after pivotal work is published.

The module will have two coursework assessments which are designed to show depth of understanding and an evaluative approach to theory and data in evolutionary biology. There will be some group work, related to one of the assessments.

INFORMATICS FOR LIFE SCIENCES (LIFE721)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

Bioinformatics is a key skill needed in many research settings. This module gives students a theoretical and technical grounding in a range of application areas including bioinformatics-related topics such as sequence analysis, phylogenetics, and the modelling of proteins, and others. While lectures are provided on core topics, there is a strong emphasis on practical exercises to demonstrate the application of common tools and data sources in these contexts. Teaching is delivered in the form of a weekly lecture and workshops. Students will be given guided reading and online activities to support their learning. The module will be assessed by two coursework assessments. The assessments will allow students to demonstrate their understanding of the tools used in workshops and interpretation of results.

Programme details and modules listed are illustrative only and subject to change.

Our curriculum

The Liverpool Curriculum framework sets out our distinctive approach to education. Our teaching staff support our students to develop academic knowledge, skills, and understanding alongside our graduate attributes:

  • Digital fluency
  • Confidence
  • Global citizenship

Our curriculum is characterised by the three Liverpool Hallmarks:

  • Research-connected teaching
  • Active learning
  • Authentic assessment

All this is underpinned by our core value of inclusivity and commitment to providing a curriculum that is accessible to all students.

Course options

Studying with us means you can tailor your degree to suit you. Here's what is available on this course.

Study as an intercalated degree

Intercalation allows you take a break from your medical degree, usually after year 3 or 4, and study an additional qualification. Most intercalating students choose to study a master's degree. This gives you the opportunity to explore a subject of interest at an advanced level and acquire new skills and knowledge that will enhance and/or complement your medical degree.

Your experience

Your course is delivered by the School of Biosciences, which has over £30 million of recent investment in facilities where your day-to-day teaching will take place. These investments in our Biology Teaching Centre, the state-of-the-art Biosciences Building, the Biomedical Sciences Building and the Human Anatomy Resource Centre will ensure your studies are fully supported by the very best in teaching and research equipment. You will have access to extensive library facilities.

Virtual tour

Supporting your learning

From arrival to alumni, we’re with you all the way:

An exciting place for postrgradute study

  • Programmes taught by internationally-renowned scientists and clinicians
  • Research-connected education covering the full life science spectrum from biochemistry to zoology
  • Access to world-class facilities
  • Provide specialist training with taught and research components
  • Options for intercalating students
  • Vibrant postgraduate community.

What students say...

I’ve enjoyed the size of the course as it’s small so I know I will always be heard and it’s easier to make friends, I’ve met so many people with similar interests to me! Also, being able to be a part of real research is amazing. I feel like I learn so much every day and I have accomplished so much already, it’s all very exciting.

, MRes Advanced Biological Sciences

Careers and employability

You’ll graduate with the expertise and confidence needed to enter a wide range of modern biological science-based professions on completion of this MRes. This includes embarking on careers in research, industry and leadership roles.

Your combination of advanced knowledge of biological sciences alongside transferable skills including research, communication, data analysis and problem-solving will be highly appealing to prospective employers in a variety of sectors.

Career planning

Three career coaches standing outside the Careers Studio

Our campus Career Studio is a space for students and graduates to drop into and talk to a career coach. Career coaches are highly trained to help no matter what stage you are at in your career planning. You can access support to find and apply for full-time and part-time roles, placements, internships and graduate schemes. You will also find the help you need if you have a start-up idea or want to create a business plan. You can explore the world of work, prepare for job interviews, and access careers events and workshops. The Career Studio is open Monday to Friday from 10am-5pm, simply drop in at a time that works for you.

From education to employment

Two graduates in postgraduate robes.

We develop our programmes with employers in mind. You will be supported to enhance your long-term employment prospects as you learn. We do this by exposing you to professionals, a variety of sectors and supporting you to work collaboratively with others to develop transferable skills. You are equipped with a clearer view of what to focus on in your area of interest, and to reflect on your studies. Our digital employability tools give you a tech-enhanced curriculum experience and make it easy for you to prepare for the world of work. You can use tools like the Handshake platform to connect with employers and message the Career Studio 24/7.

Networking events

Postgraduate students hold a discussion while sat round a table in in the Liverpool Guild of Students.

You can start building good professional networks by attending events and employability activities. Our events are designed to develop your skills and expose you to many different employers, as well as to help you make contacts in your field. We help you improve your confidence when speaking to employers and give you access to unique opportunities. Our networking events also boost your understanding of the competencies and skills that employers are looking for in their recruitment process, giving you a competitive edge.

Your future

You’ll graduate with the skills and knowledge required for PhD study and be well prepared for a career as a research scientist in academia or industry.

In the public sector, graduates in biological sciences are in demand in research institutes, government departments, the National Health Service, and the Environment Agency. Commercial sectors that actively recruit biological science graduates include the pharmaceutical, food, biotechnology, conservation, water and agriculture industries.

These trends are only likely to intensify given the anticipated increases in the use of next-generation sequencing and the corresponding data analysis that will be required.

Alternative career options include entering the teaching profession, where science teachers are in high demand, after further training on a PGCE. You’ll also have many of the transferable skills which are sought after by employers in management, accountancy and human resources.

4 in 5 biosciences students from the University of Liverpool find their main activity after graduation meaningful.

Graduate Outcomes, 2018-19.

Fees and funding

Your tuition fees, funding your studies, and other costs to consider.

Tuition fees

UK fees (applies to Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland)
Full-time place, per year £4,786
Part-time place, per year £2,393
International fees
Full-time place, per year £29,750
Part-time place, per year £14,900
Please note, the fees shown are for the academic year 2024-25. Some MRes courses incur additional bench fees. You will be notified of any fee which applies to you in your offer letter.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching and assessment, operating facilities such as libraries, IT equipment, and access to academic and personal support.

If you're a UK national, or have settled status in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for a Postgraduate Loan worth up to £12,167 to help with course fees and living costs. Learn more about paying for your studies..

Additional costs

Please note, this programme may have additional costs associated with it depending on your choice of a lab or computational/fieldwork-based project.

Find out more about the additional study costs that may apply to this course.

Additional study costs

Please note, this programme may have additional costs associated with it depending on your choice of a lab or computational/fieldwork-based project.

Find out more about additional study costs.

Scholarships and bursaries

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries that could help pay your tuition and living expenses.

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Postgraduate Global Advancement Scholarship

  • International students

If you’re an international student starting this course with us from September 2024, you could be eligible to receive a discount of up to £5,000 off your master’s tuition fees, if you haven’t studied with us before.

Graduate Loyalty Advancement Scholarship

  • Home and international students

If you’re a University of Liverpool graduate starting this master’s degree with us from September 2024, you could be eligible to receive a loyalty discount of up to £2,500 off your master’s tuition fees.

ANID Chile Scholarship

  • International students
  • Chile

If you’re a Chilean student joining a master’s degree, you could be eligible to apply for a 20% discount on your tuition fees with an ANID Chile Scholarship.

Chevening Scholarships

  • International students

If you’re an international student from an eligible country, joining a one-year master’s course, you could apply to have your master’s fees paid, up to a maximum of £18,000, and receive additional help with living costs.

CONACYT Award

  • International students
  • Mexico

If you’re a Mexican student joining a master’s degree, you could be eligible to apply for a 30% discount on your tuition fees with a CONACYT Award.

FIDERH Award

  • International students
  • Mexico

If you’re a Mexican student joining a master’s degree and you’re in receipt of a FIDERH graduate loan, you could benefit from a 20% discount on your tuition fees with a FIDERH Award.

Fulbright Scholarship

  • International students
  • United States

If you’re a USA student joining a master’s degree, you can apply to be considered for a tuition fee discount of £20,000 with a Fulright Scholarship. One Fulbright Scholarship for master’s study is available in each academic year.

FUNED Awards

  • International students
  • Mexico

If you’re a Mexican student joining a master’s degree and you’re in receipt of a FUNED loan, you can apply to be considered for a 20% tuition fee discount. A total of up to ten awards will be available to master’s and PhD students per academic year.

Graduate Association Hong Kong & Tung Postgraduate Scholarships

  • International students
  • China
  • Hong Kong

If you’re a master’s student from Hong Kong or the People’s Republic of China who can demonstrate academic excellence, you may be eligible to apply for a scholarship worth up to £10,000 in partnership with the Tung Foundation.

HRH Princess Sirindhorn University of Liverpool Scholarship (Thailand)

  • International students
  • Thailand

If you’re a student from Thailand joining a one-year master’s degree, you might be eligible to apply to have your tuition fees paid in full and receive help with living costs. One award is available and only students who are new to the University will be considered.

JuventudEsGto Scholarship

  • International students
  • Mexico

If you’re a resident of the state of Guanajuato in Mexico joining a master’s degree, you could be eligible for a 10% discount on your tuition fees with a JuventudEsGto Scholarship.

Marshall Scholarship

  • International students
  • United States

If you’re a USA student joining an eligible master’s with us, you could apply to be considered for a Marshall Scholarship. If your application is successful, your master’s tuition fees will be paid in full. One Marshall Scholarship for master’s study is available in each academic year.

Postgraduate Opportunity Bursary

  • Home students

If you’re a UK University of Liverpool graduate joining a master’s degree with us, you could be eligible to receive £3,000 off your tuition fees. You must have graduated in the last two years and received a widening access scholarship during your undergraduate studies.

Turkish Ministry of Education Scholarship

  • International students
  • Turkey

If you’re a Turkish student joining a master’s degree, you could be eligible to apply for a 20% discount on your tuition fees with a Turkish Ministry of Education Scholarship.

Humanitarian Scholarships for Master’s Programmes

  • International students

Do you have recognised status as a refugee or person with humanitarian protection outside the UK? Or are you a Ukrainian who’s sought temporary protection in the EU? You could be eligible to apply for the full payment of your master’s fees and additional financial support.

University of Liverpool International College Excellence Scholarship

  • International students

Completed a Pre-Master’s at University of Liverpool International College (UoLIC)? We’re offering a £5,000 fee discount off the first year of master’s study to some of the highest achieving students joining one of our non-clinical master’s courses from UoLIC.

University of Liverpool International College Impact Progression Scholarships

  • International students

If you’re a University of Liverpool International College student awarded a Kaplan Impact Scholarship, we’ll also consider you for an Impact Progression Scholarship. If selected, you’ll receive a fee discount worth £3,000 off the first year of your master’s course.

Vice-Chancellor’s International Attainment Scholarship for Mainland China

  • International students
  • China

Are you a high-achieving graduate from the People’s Republic of China with a degree from a Chinese university? You could be eligible to apply for a £5,000 fee discount if you’re joining an eligible master’s course. Up to 15 eligible students will receive this scholarship.

Entry requirements

The qualifications and exam results you'll need to apply for this course.

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Your qualification Requirements

About our typical entry requirements

Postgraduate entry requirements

You will normally need a 2:1 honours degree or above, or equivalent, in a relevant Biological Sciences subject.

Applicants with a high 2:2 honours degree, at 55% or above, will be considered on an individual basis.

We are able to offer a level of flexibility for applicants. Those with a 2:2 honours degree will be considered on an individual basis.

International qualifications

If you hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, but don’t meet our entry requirements, a Pre-Master’s can help you gain a place. This specialist preparation course for postgraduate study is offered on campus at the University of Liverpool International College, in partnership with Kaplan International Pathways. Although there’s no direct Pre-Master’s route to this MSc, completing a Pre-Master’s pathway can guarantee you a place on many other postgraduate courses at The University of Liverpool.

English language requirements

You'll need to demonstrate competence in the use of English language, unless you’re from a majority English speaking country.

We accept a variety of international language tests and country-specific qualifications.

International applicants who do not meet the minimum required standard of English language can complete one of our Pre-Sessional English courses to achieve the required level.

English language qualification Requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no component below 5.5
INDIA Standard XII National Curriculum (CBSE/ISC) - 75% and above in English. Accepted State Boards - 80% and above in English.
WAEC C6 or above

PRE-SESSIONAL ENGLISH

Do you need to complete a Pre-Sessional English course to meet the English language requirements for this course?

The length of Pre-Sessional English course you’ll need to take depends on your current level of English language ability.

Find out the length of Pre-Sessional English course you may require for this degree.

Pre-sessional English

If you don’t meet our English language requirements, we can use your most recent IELTS score, or the equivalent score in selected other English language tests, to determine the length of Pre-Sessional English course you require.

Use the table below to check the course length you're likely to require for your current English language ability and see whether the course is available on campus or online.

Your most recent IELTS score Pre-Sessional English course length On campus or online
6.0 overall, with no component below 5.5 6 weeks On campus
5.5 overall, with no component below 5.5 10 weeks On campus and online options available
5.5 overall, with no more than one component below 5.5, and no component below 5.0 12 weeks On campus and online options available
5.5 overall, with no component below 4.5 20 weeks On campus
5.0 overall, with no component below 4.5 30 weeks On campus
4.5 overall, with no more than one component below 4.5, and no component below 4.0 40 weeks On campus

If you’ve completed an alternative English language test to IELTS, we may be able to use this to assess your English language ability and determine the Pre-Sessional English course length you require.

Please see our guide to Pre-Sessional English entry requirements for IELTS 6.5, with no component below 5.5, for further details.

About our entry requirements

Our entry requirements may change from time to time both according to national application trends and the availability of places at Liverpool for particular courses. We review our requirements before the start of the new application cycle each year and publish any changes on our website so that applicants are aware of our typical entry requirements before they submit their application.

We believe in treating applicants as individuals, and in making offers that are appropriate to their personal circumstances and background. Therefore the offer any individual applicant receives may differ slightly from the typical offer quoted on the website.

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Why Liverpool?

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Accommodation

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Fees and Finance

Discover what expenses are covered by the cost of your tuition fees and other finance-related information you may need regarding your studies at Liverpool.

Changes to Advanced Biological Sciences MRes

See what updates we've made to this course since it was published. We document changes to information such as course content, entry requirements and how you'll be taught.

23 March 2023: New postgraduate taught course pages

New course pages launched.