Research project

Masters rserach project

All our courses offer significant opportunities for conducting research, and your research project is one of the most important and potentially fulfilling parts of the degree. 

Your project will give you the chance to engage with the area you’re most passionate about and develop specialist knowledge in that area.

Projects cover a wide range of topics and usually include around six to eight weeks of practical work. A significant number of students are based overseas for their project. 

MSc students conduct a single research project, usually in the summer, while MRes students conduct two research projects, with one typically one in term-time and the other in the summer.

The two projects are chosen to differ in methodology, rather than duplicating one type of project. However, it is often convenient to choose conceptually linked projects.

MRes students need to begin to develop project ideas with potential supervisors soon after arrival in Leeds, as work on the term-time project begins as soon as possible.

The first step in any project is to choose and develop a research topic. A list of suggestions for MRes students is circulated shortly after arrival in September and for MSc students before Christmas, but students are also encouraged to develop research topics of their own.

You’ll have a supervisor for each project and, if conducting your project overseas, you’ll usually have a second in-country supervisor.

At the end of the summer, you will write a report on your project, and also present a short seminar on your work.

Example research projects

Students have undertaken a huge range of research projects on a number of topics. Some titles have included:

  • Competition and parasitism in the native White Clawed Crayfish Austropotamobius pallipes and the invasive Signal Crayfish Pacifastacus leniusculus in the UK 
  • Dispersal of fig seeds in the Cook Islands: introduced frugivores are no substitutes for natives 
  • Hitchhiking and the removal of microbial contaminants by the leaf-cutting ant Atta colombica 
  • Waste management in the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior: the role of worker size, age and plasticity 
  • The effects of different predator species on antipredator behavior in the Trinidadian guppy, Poecilia reticulata