Ecosystem Biology and Sustainability

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Key Programme Information

Entry Year


Programme length

2 year(s)


Biological Sciences


The primary focus of the Ecology, Evolution, Behaviour and Environmental Economics research cluster is fundamental and applied aspects of ecology, environmental economics, conservation, aquaculture, animal behaviour, molecular taxonomy and molecular genetics, particularly involving links between these aspects. The cluster has a high level of research activity involving academic staff, Postdoctoral scientists and postgraduate research students. The cluster has a high level of research activity involving academic staff, Postdoctoral scientists and postgraduate research students.


  • Animal behaviour/communication
  • Biodiversity and ecosystem services
  • Coastal and deep-water marine biology
  • Ecological management
  • Economics of water quality and sustainable catchment management
  • Ecosystem ecology, modelling and mathematical biology
  • Freshwater biology/fish biology
  • Invasive species and their impact
  • Molecular ecology, systematics and phylogeography in algae, plants, invertebrates, fish and mammals
  • Sustainable aquaculture of shellfish and algae
  • Urban land use, economics and management
  • Valuing biodiversity, agri-environment schemes and outdoor recreation including use of GIS and spatial econometrics
  • Wildlife ecology, especially of birds and mammals

Entry Requirements

A research degree offers you the opportunity to develop your research skills and prove yourself as a researcher. Queen's is committed to the enhancement of research training and teaching and offers postgraduate research opportunities across all fields of study. The following postgraduate research study routes for this subject area are:



The minimum academic requirement for admission to a research degree programme is normally an Upper Second Class Honours degree from a UK or ROI HE provider, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Further information can be obtained by contacting the School.


For information on international qualification equivalents please select Your Country from the list on our International Students website.


Registration is on a full-time or part-time basis, under the direction of a supervisory team appointed by the University. You will be expected to submit your thesis at the end of three years of full-time registration for PhD, or two years for MPhil (or part-time equivalent).


International students (where English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes. Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component (*taken within the last 2 years) is required.

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see:

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this programme, our partner INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this programme.

Please click the links below for more information:

English for University Study - an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level.

Pre-sessional English - a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.


For fees, funding and further information see:


Queen's Direct Applications Portal Steps to Postgraduate Study Guidance (HEFCE) 

How To Apply

Applicants for Postgraduate programmes are strongly advised to carefully read the important information and follow the steps set out here before submitting their application via the Postgraduate Direct Applications Portal.

If you have queries on course content please contact the school representative below.

School of Biological Sciences Medical Biology Centre
Tel: 9097 5787

How To Apply

Career Prospects

Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.

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Special Features

The group has a wide range of strong international and national links and it benefits from applied research centres such as Quercus, which specialises in conservation biology and biodiversity. The School is also closely involved in the University's Institute for a Sustainable World.

Students have access to modern laboratories and offices based in the Medical Biology Centre, close to the main Lanyon site. Students also have access to the University's Marine Laboratory, which is located in Portaferry, directly at the Narrows of Strangford Lough (the largest sea lough in the British Isles) and these facilities are used by resident staff and students as well as associated researchers from Queen's and international visitors.

Due to Northern Ireland's unique geology, mild climate, relatively long coastline and a long history of settled agriculture we have a wide variety of interesting habitats, which provide a stimulating and challenging environment for those wishing to pursue research in these areas.

Fees & Funding

There is a range of funding and scholarship options available to those considering study at Queen's.

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For tuition fee information see //

PhD Funded Studentships
We offer fully funded studentships to outstanding postgraduate researchers across our three faculties and five Doctoral Training Centres. Find PhD funding opportunities.

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Biological Sciences

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