Department of Biological Sciences
Masters Program in Biological Sciences
About our Masters degree
The Department of Biology offers research masters degrees (called the MPhil) in a wide range of biological fields. Click here to see the range of research currently being pursued in the department. We also regularly update a list of potential projects. Please contact staff members who are offering projects that interest you to see if they are prepared to act as your supervisor.
While the MPhil can be used as an alternate route to Honours for entry into the PhD program it is a valuable postgraduate degree in its own right. Being a two year program the MPhil allows time for projects requiring seasonally dependent field work and research programs that are too extensive to be tackled in a single honours year.
The MPhil also provides an opportunity for students who do not qualify for the honours program but are interested in scientific research and want to gain postgraduate qualifications. Students with a Bachelor degree will need to complete the Postgraduate Certificate in Research Preparation (ELS) with credit grades to qualify for admission into the MPhil.
To be eligible for consideration for admission to the MPhil an applicant must normally have a Bachelor degree from a recognised tertiary institution and appropriate evidence of research experience as described below.
- Bachelor's degree with a Postgraduate Certificate in Research Preparation (ELS) completed with a minimum of credit grades.
- Bachelor's degree with demonstrated research experience (co-authorship on a paper or other quantifiable experience able to be assessed by the Committee).
- Bachelor's degree with a satisfactorily completed honours degree which includes a research project normally worth at least 25% of the honours program load.
- Bachelor's degree with a satisfactorily completed coursework Master including a research project normally worth at least 25% of the Master program load.
- Bachelor's degree with a satisfactorily completed postgraduate diploma including a research component worth 25% of the program load and directly related to the acquisition of research skills.
About the MPhil
The minimum period of candidature for full-time candidates is one year, the maximum period two years. For part-time candidates the minimum is two years, the maximum four years. Full-time candidates are expected to commit a minimum of 40 hours per week on their research study program. Part-time candidates must be able to spend on average throughout the year at least 20 hours a week on a program of research and study and attend the University on average at least once a week for consultation with their supervisors.
The research program will be completed by the production of a thesis. The thesis must form a significant and novel contribution to the knowledge in the area with which it deals. Students are encouraged to submit their work for publication in the academic literature during the course of their MPhil. Submitted papers will then form the basis of the thesis. The thesis will have a maximum length of 50,000 words (but will rarely be more than half that length) and will be marked by two examiners from outside Macquarie University. There is recognition of excellence of a completed MPhil through the award of a Vice-Chancellor's commendation.
The MPhil is administered by the Higher Degree Research Committee (HDRU) and application forms are available at (link to http://www.postgradandbeyond.mq.edu.au/Research/Apply.htm).
Local students enrolled in the MPhil are covered by the Research Training Scheme. International students should see the annual fee rates at http://www.research.mq.edu.au/students/documents/HDRU_2007_Booklet_Final.pdf