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Friendly, supportive community

When you study with us, you'll join a vibrant and welcoming department. We have a collaborative international community of students, staff, and alumni.

You'll be supported by approachable academic staff, who take the time to get to know you and enable you to make the most of your experience studying with us.

Three students carrying out field work in a meadow

Your work/life balance

We’ve worked to ensure that the MSc by Research Entomology course is very flexible, giving you the opportunity to design how you spend your time around your studies. We appreciate that you may wish to find part-time employment during your studies, and the programme has been designed to facilitate this.

Almost all the work on the MSc Ecological Survey Skills with Placement (formally MSc Species Identification and Survey Skills) course is hands-on: in the field, in the laboratory, and actively working with peers and employers. While you will have a busy timetable, there is plenty of time to socialise and undertake part-time work. And, because you’ll be engaging with animals, plants, vegetation, wildlife and your peers, the learning process is always fun too.

Meet our course directors

The MSc Ecological Survey Skills with Placement course director is Dr Jonathan Mitchley, a passionate botanist with years of experience working in ecological consultancy.

The MSc by Research Entomology course director is Associate Professor Dr Graham Holloway, who has worked as an ecological consultant for the British Museum and has taught entomology at the University for decades. 

Learn more about our academics in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Award-winning campus

You will study on our parkland campus at Whiteknights, which has been voted among the best and most popular green spaces in the UK for 13 consecutive years in the Green Flag awards.

We treat our campus as a living laboratory; both staff and students make the most of their immediate surroundings for field work.

Reading Students' Union societies and volunteering

Reading Students' Union offers multiple societies that may be of interest to biological sciences students. 

Zoology Society

Open to anyone with a passion for the natural world, this society organises animal handling events, professional guest speakers and day trips.

Bird Society

Join this society if you’re interested in learning more about birds. Enjoy walks around the campus and trips to the Living Rainforest, BirdWorld, Dinton Pastures and other local nature reserves.


Students can volunteer to work directly with our collections, in the Herbarium, Cole Museum of Zoology or with ITALIC, our new entomological collection group run by students.

Our courses

Take your expertise to a higher level and stand out to employers in the field. Explore Master’s programmes; MSc by Research Entomology and MSc Ecological Survey Skills with Placement (formally MSc Species Identification and Survey Skills)


Students carrying out fieldwork by Whiteknights lake

How you'll study

Our master's courses are extremely practical, with hands-on learning out in the field. The courses are focused towards preparing you for your future career.

Why study with us?

Learn from our expert entomologists, zoologists, botanists and ecologists, access collections and samples on our biodiverse campus, benefit from our close links with industry and enhance your career.
Athena SWAN Silver Award