Research ( full-time, part-time)
January, April, September
For application deadlines visit our how to apply page.
As a postgraduate researcher you will join an interdisciplinary group, within the School of Life Sciences, which is well-connected with industry and fellow research institutions worldwide. PhD candidates are encouraged to take an active role in the School's research community in areas currently spanning global change ecology, conservation and animal behaviour and welfare.
We have a large multidisciplinary academic team ready to support you in your studies working across our two groups, Applied Ecology Research Group (AERG) and Behavioural Ecology Research Group. By combining this expertise with wider specialisms we’ve been able to create exciting projects addressing today’s key issues. As a result our research has had real impact on the human-dominated and ‘natural’ landscapes, from furthering scientific understanding to shaping environmental policy and practice.
In the Applied Ecology Research Group our primary focus is to assess, understand and mitigate anthropogenic impacts such as plastic pollution, climate change, invasive species, agriculture and urbanisation, on biodiversity and ecosystem services in terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems. We use a range of modern tools, including ecological network analysis, ecosystem modelling, satellite tracking and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) along with interdisciplinary techniques, such as combining the disciplines of biology and ecology with molecular biology, biogeochemistry and microbiology.
The Behavioural Ecology Research Group are an active community with core areas of interest currently including animal communication, cognition, social behaviour, and animal welfare. We cover a wide range of study organisms, including mammals, birds, insects, crustaceans, fish and cephalopods. Our research involves fieldwork in many countries and we also carry out work in museums, zoos, and laboratories.
With our wide-ranging expertise we're well-placed to provide the specialist supervision you need for your project, within an inspiring research community that values and involves its postgraduates.
As part of your programme you’ll enjoy formal research training and opportunities to gain experience working with conservation NGOs and others based in Cambridge.
There will be opportunities to present your work and represent us at internal, national and international scientific conferences, and you'll be fully immersed in the groups research activities. We also encourage cross-discipline interaction with other research groups in our University.
In addition to our Biology PhD, we've also identified a range of innovative research project opportunities for you as a postgraduate researcher.
MPhil: full-time 1-3 years, part-time 2-4 years.
PhD via progression from MPhil, including that period: full-time 2.5-5 years, part-time 3.5-6 years.
PhD: full-time 2-4 years, part-time 3-6 years.
For further guidance on the duration of research degrees please refer to the Research Degrees Regulations.
We’ll provide high-quality supervision formally and informally, so you can get the most from your programme - and we’ll fully involve you in our calendar of research meetings, seminars and workshops.
Our supervisory staff are recognised experts in their field. Their research expertise includes:
The Faculty of Science & Engineering is one of the largest of the four faculties at Anglia Ruskin University. Whether you choose to study with us full-time or part-time, on campus or at a distance, there’s an option whatever your level – from a foundation degree, BSc, MSc, PhD or professional doctorate.
Whichever course you pick, you’ll gain the theory and practical skills needed to progress with confidence. Join us and you could find yourself learning in the very latest laboratories or on field trips or work placements with well-known and respected companies. You may even have the opportunity to study abroad.
Everything we do in the faculty has a singular purpose: to provide a world-class environment to create, share and advance knowledge in science, technology and engineering fields. This is key to all of our futures.
Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.
In some cases extra costs known as bench fees will be charged for a postgraduate research degree. These are to cover additional/exceptional costs directly related to a specific research project.
Some examples of these costs are (the list is not exhaustive): equipment hire, access costs to specialist equipment/workshops, volunteer expenses, specialist tissue/cell culture, specialist reagents or materials, specialist software, access to specialist databases, data collection costs, specialist media, recording or digital storage needs.
We charge bench fees in bands. They may apply for every year of your course. These bands are the same for full- and part-time students.
If you have to pay bench fees this will be made clear at your interview, and stated in your offer letter.
For 2021/22 the bench fee bands are:
Initial registration: £1,300
Full registration: £4,000
Part time: £1,000
Full time: £1,800
You can pay your fees upfront, in full or in instalments – though you won't need to pay until you've accepted an offer to study with us. Find out more about paying your fees.
For advice on the doctoral loan and other sources of funding, including ARU scholarships, visit our finance guide for postgraduate researchers.
You might also find The Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding helpful.
ARU's academic excellence was recognised in 2021, as part of the Research Excellence Framework (REF), an exercise which assesses the quality of academic research. Sixteen areas of our work were classed as generating world-leading research. The results showed that we're making a significant impact on the societies we live in.
There are opportunities in our field for you to combine studying with working in an area relevant to your future career. This is especially so given that Cambridge is a major centre internationally for conservation non-government organisations and bodies such as The Cambridge Conservation Forum.
You’ll also develop transferrable skills during your postgraduate research training, ranging from report-writing and presentation to statistical analysis and use of GIS packages.
If you're interested in finding out more about research study opportunities, please email [email protected]
MPhil or PhD with progression from MPhil: You’ll need a Bachelors degree or equivalent with first or upper second class honours, in a related subject area.
PhD: You’ll need a Masters degree or equivalent in a related subject area.
Please note we consider candidates for PhD with progression from MPhil in the first instance. If you want to be considered for direct entry to the PhD route then this can be discussed at interview if you are shortlisted. Please note you’ll also need to provide academic justification for this request.
If English is not your first language, you'll require a minimum IELTS score of 6.5, with a minimum of 5.5 in each component (or equivalent test). If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry.
Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the programme as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Contact our postgraduate research degree team for more information about studying a PhD, MPhil or Professional Doctorate at ARU.
You'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your research programme. Before starting, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning.
Studying during COVID-19
Due to national restrictions all universities in England, including ARU, are only able to provide face to face access to research resources in limited circumstances where access can be justified under movement restrictions. Visit our restrictions page for details. All assessments and supervision are currently conducted online.
In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic and related Government guidance, your research programme will be framed, wherever possible, to be conducted away from campus and in line with movement restrictions. For some types of research attendance on campus will be essential for some activities, and these activities will need to be undertaken in a COVID-19 safe manner in line with our risk management procedures.
In the event that there are further changes to the current restrictions that are in place within the UK due to the pandemic, we may need all of our researchers to work online only at short notice to remain in line with Government guidelines and ensure the continued safety of our students and staff.
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