menu icon
Book your open day visit nowClick to book open day
Evolution: From the Galapagos to the 21st Century (MRes)

Evolution: From the Galapagos to the 21st Century (MRes)

Different course options

Study mode

Full time


1 year

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

MRes - Master of Research

Subject areas

Evolutionary Biology

Course type


Course Summary

About this course

Discover the process of evolution, and its impact on modern life, on this master’s course at the University of Southampton. You’ll work with experts in subject areas from biological sciences to philosophy as you explore the subject. You'll take a field trip to the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific, where Charles Darwin developed his theory of natural selection.

On this course, MRes Evolution: From the Galapagos to the 21st Century, you’ll work with academics from across the University while developing knowledge and skills in your chosen specialism.

As an MRes student you’ll spend more time on your research project and less on the taught part of the course.

You’ll gain a unique perspective on the subject through insights from subject areas including:

  • biological sciences
  • archaeology
  • computer sciences
  • engineering
  • maths
  • medicine
  • ocean and Earth sciences

You’ll gain a strong foundation in evolutionary biology, while learning about new methods, current global challenges and the latest research topics, such as:

  • evolutionary medicine
  • evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo)
  • bioengineering
  • computational evolution
  • the philosophy of science

A highlight of the course is a 2-week field trip to the Galapagos, the ‘living laboratory’ that played a key role in Darwin’s theory of evolution. This is an amazing opportunity for you to discover how these remote islands’ unique species helped to shape modern science.


With this degree you’ll be well placed for a career in a range of industries, such as:

  • biotechnology
  • pharmaceutical
  • agricultural

You’ll also be in an ideal position to continue your research at PhD level.


Evolution is a changing model of how we understand life. The Darwin-Wallace model, its integration with Mendellian genetics and its formalisation in the Modern Synthesis built a stable backbone for evolutionary biology over the last 150 years. Today, however, the field is expanding scientifically and conceptually in many new ways. The integration of evolutionary thinking with developmental biology has been one of the biggest extentions in the last decades and more recently there is growing awareness that evolutionary and ecological timescales cannot be treated separately as they have been. Meanwhile, new understanding of epigenetic inheritance, niche construction and phenotypic plasticity challenge conventional frameworks and assumptions – motivating interest in an ‘Extended Evolutionary Synthesis’. The EES is a novel way of looking at evolutionary phenomena, which, rather than replacing the Modern Synthesis, seeks to enhance and energise evolutionary thinking. It focuses on four converging themes, Developmental bias, Developmental plasticity, Inclusive inheritance and Niche Construction (see for more details).

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)


International fees
Course fees for EU and international students

For this course (per year)


Entry requirements

Students will need a 2:1 degree.

University information

The University of Southampton is an institution with a strong heritage, with more than 100 years of history and tradition supporting a modern educational model that focuses on student success. Southampton is one of the founding members of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group, a network of research-focused and prestigious universities. Today, the 2023 Complete University Guide league table places Southampton among the top 13 institutions...more

Similar courses at this uni