Our MSc by Research and PhD programmes in Biodiversity Management encourage you to undertake original, high-quality research, which culminates in the submission of a thesis. We welcome students with the appropriate background for research.
During postgraduate research (PGR) studies students research and write a thesis of under the supervision of an academic team. The length of the thesis varies according to the mode of registrations (i.e. no more than 100,000 words for a PhD, or no more than 40,000 words for an MSc by research). Students participate in the vibrant postgraduate community of the School, and have opportunities to attend a number of seminar series organised by the Research Themes and the Research Centres of the School.
Due to the diversity and international nature of many field-orientated research projects, the amount of time that individual research students spend at the School campus varies. However, students are expected to spend the first months of the PGR study at the School campus to obtain training in research methods and attend a number of research seminars.
Queen’s Anniversary Prize
The University of Kent was awarded a highly prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for the work of the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE).
DICE leads projects in over 50 countries, including research on human wellbeing and nature, human-elephant conflict, oil palm deforestation, online illegal trade in protected species, national park planning and ecotourism projects and the mapping of biodiversity through eDNA.
Choosing a topic
Although sometimes we have specific MSc / MPhil / PhD research projects funded by external research grants in which the research project has already been specified, most of our research students choose their own research topics. Once you have decided on the nature of your project, you should then contact by email the member of staff in the School whose expertise and interests most closely match your area of research and ask them if they will act as your supervisor. It is extremely important that you attach to your email an updated CV, a 2-page research proposal (including background statement, aims and objectives and research methods) and that you indicate how you are planning to fund your PGR studies. You then work with your proposed supervisor on refining your research proposal which provides the starting point for your subsequent research.
Each student is supervised by a supervisory team that consists of at least two members of academic staff one of them designated to act as the student’s Main supervisor. Occasionally, particular projects require more than two supervisors depending on the expertise that each supervisors brings in the project. It is also possible that co-supervision is provided by a member of staff from different School.
Students meet (or, while in the field, make contact) with their supervisor(s) several times over the course of each term. These meetings involve intensive discussion of the way the project is developing, the readings and training that have been done and that need to be done, and the way field research and writing-up is progressing.
If the research project requires that the student has to spend a significant amount of time in the field (away from the School), local supervision is usually organised. Overseas students who wish to spend most of their time in their home country while undertaking PhD research may register as an external student or for a split PhD.
The University’s Graduate School co-ordinates the Research Development Programmefor research students, providing access to a wide range of lectures and workshops on training, personal development planning and career development skills.
MSc 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time; PhD 3 to 4 years full-time, 5 to 6 years part-time
Knowledge and understanding