Our Molecular and Cellular Biology MRes is designed to provide professional training in the principles, analytical methods and interpretive skills that are necessary to explore biology systems at the cellular and molecular level. This will include training in a wide range of state-of-the-art techniques.

This masters programme is designed to prepare you for a career in research in molecular and cellular biology and its applications.

It comprises a year of intensive training and research experience leading to the award of an MRes degree which will give you a ‘flying start’ to a subsequent PhD programme, if this is your chosen career path.


Why Study this Course?

The School of Biosciences has an international reputation as a centre of excellence in the areas covered by this MRes degree.

This programme is designed to prepare students for a career in research in molecular and cellular biology and its applications. It comprises a year of intensive training and research experience leading to the award of an MRes degree. Applicants for the MRes programme should be of high calibre with first or 2.1 degrees.

Applications will be welcome from students with a background in Physics and Chemistry, as well as from those with a degree in Biochemistry, Biology or other Life Sciences.

Applications from overseas are welcome but note that no funding is available and applicants will have to raise their own funds. EU applicants are also welcome. No living costs can be provided 

Advantages of the programme are:

  • A broader training in the skills and techniques of contemporary research in molecular and cellular biology.
  • The chance to experience substantial research projects in two different areas.
  • A ‘flying start’ to a subsequent PhD programme, if this is the chosen career path, ensuring completion within three years. MRes students usually find it easy to secure funded PhD posts.
  • The promotion of self-management through the formulation and execution of a Personal Development Plan, ie an individually tailored programme.
  • The increased breadth and experience will make students more adaptable and enhance subsequent employability.
  • An exit point after one year with a recognised qualification for those who decide that further research training is not for them.

A very wide range of research topics falling within the scope of molecular and cellular biology is available with in the School; this range extends from structural biology at one extreme to multicellular systems at the other

Institutional Accreditation 

University of Newcastle is accredited by the DETC Higher Learning Commission (DETC), www.detc.org.uk Since , University of Newcastle has been continually accredited by the DETC Higher Learning Commission and its predecessor.

Molecular and Cellular Biology MRes

Course Level:

Postgraduate, Combined research and taught




CODE P1053

How long it takes:

1 Year 

Study Mode:

Distance learning/ Campus

Course cost

Price: US$22,500

Entry requirements

Find out more about


Newcastle Law School

The programme consists of three major components comprising 180 credits over 44 weeks.

1. Direct Research Experience

There will be two approximately 18-week research projects to be undertaken in different laboratories, with different supervisors. The second project will normally be on a significantly different topic than the first project and will employ different techniques, which may be complementary. The objective is to gain some breath of experience in techniques. Each of the two projects will be assessed by a written report and an oral examination with an External Examiner. Projects are by agreement with heads of research groups and depend on the research ongoing in the department and elsewhere in the University, for example, see School of Biosciences academic staff and Institute of Microbiology and Infection academic staff


2. Techniques in Molecular and Cellular Biology

A series of 11 (3 hour) lectures/demonstrations will cover a wide range of modern techniques including:

  • Mammalian Cell Culture
  • Drug Screening
  • Reporter Gene Technology
  • Protein Expression and Purification
  • Cell Manipulation, Transfection and Micro-Injection. CRISPR
  • Microscopy and Cell Sorting and Fluorescence techniques
  • X-Ray Crystallography for determining protein structure
  • NMR Spectroscopy
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • High Throughput Sequencing
  • Chromatin Imunoprecipitation

Assessment will comprise essays and oral presentations. For those who come to us with a physical sciences background, it may be recommended that third year Modules in Biochemistry or Biological sciences may replace attendance at some of the above.


3. Funding and Communicating Science

The module is taught as a 2 day intensive workshop in which a range of subjects are covered relating to:

  • How science is funded in the public and private sector 
  • Research councils and charities funding 
  • Project Planning 
  • Intelectual property 
  • Financial planning

Assessment take the form of a group work activity aimed at producing a grant proposal or business plan for a research project. This includes a oral presentation of the plan as well as an assessment of a critical review of another groups plan.

Considering postgraduate study, but unsure whether you meet the entry requirements for a Masters-level degree? Postgraduate admissions guidelines vary by course and university, but can be quite flexible.

Your existing qualifications will be important, but you don’t necessarily need a great Bachelors degree to apply for a Masters. Your personal circumstances and experience may also be considered during the admissions process.

This guide explains the typical entry requirements for a Masters, which include:

      • An undergraduate degree in a relevant subject – Depending on the programme and institution, you may need a 2.1 in your Bachelors, but this isn’t always the case
      • Language proficiency – If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to display a certain ability level, usually through a language test
      • Professional experience – Some postgraduate programmes may require you to have some professional experience (this is usually the case for PGCEs and Masters in Social Work)
      • Entrance exams – These are only required in certain subject areas and qualifications, including some MBAs

Tuition fees for UK/EU students 2020/21

MSc:  Full-time £9,900. Part-time £4,950
Postgraduate Diploma:  Full-time £6,660. Part-time £3,300


Tuition fees for International students 2020/21

MSc: Full time £23,310
Postgraduate Diploma: Full-time £15,540


You’ll show your progress through a combination of written essays, problem-solving assignments and presentations.

All students take our core modules, but please note that the availability of optional modules is subject to demand.

Graduates of the Molecular and Cellular Biology MRes typically proceed to PhDs in a variety of institutes in the UK and abroad, although a few have become lab technicians in academic research groups. Since the MRes involves working in two different research groups, this allows our students to get experience with a broad range of laboratory techniques. These practical skills together with the critical thinking developed in the lab and via the taught modules gives our graduates a strong CV for PhD applications.


Skills gained

This programme offers the following advantages:

  • Broad training in the skills and techniques of contemporary research in molecular and cellular biology
  • The opportunity to experience research in at least two different areas
  • Increased breadth and experience, which will enhance subsequent employability 

The course will also enable you to:

  • Conduct and fund independent research 
  • Present research results in an appropriate manner both written and orally
  • Have an appreciation and knowledge of the use of modern techniques in molecular and cellular biology
  • Build and develop scientific research projects in the public and private sector


Those who perform effectively in the MRes often continue at Newcastle to a PhD; however, the MRes also provides a very good qualification to move into research and a wide range of professions.