MSc By Research

MSc By Research

The MSc (by Research) is very similar to a PhD, but with a research project designed to take 12 months. It is not intended as a first step towards a PhD, but rather as an alternative to a PhD. There are no associated lectures, classes or written examinations. However, if you wish, you can still decide to change programme and register for MPhil/PhD and use your MSc (by Research) year as the first year of a PhD. The project can be in any of the subject areas for which supervision is available.

Typical Projects

The projects available for the MSc (by Research) do not cover all subject areas, therefore it is recommended that you enquire whether the MSc (by Research) can be offered in an area/s of your choice before you apply. Please contact Research Admissions at to discuss further.

Professor Colin Davidson

Examining the neuropharmacology of psychostimulants
MA. Sahai, C Davidson, G Khelashvili, V Barrese, N Dutta, H Weinstein, J Opacka-Juffry (2016) Combined in vitro and in silico approaches to the assessment of stimulant properties of novel psychoactive substances – The case of the benzofuran 5-MAPB. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry 75, 1-9.

Modelling stroke in brain slices
Baresse V, Greenwood IA, Davidson C (2015) Protective role of Kv7 channels in anoxia-induced damage in caudate brain slices. J Cerebral Blood Flow Metab 35, 1593-600.

Modelling psychiatric conditions in invertebrates
J Prados, B Alvarez, J Howarth, K Stewart, CL Gibson, CV Hutchinson, AMJ Young & C Davidson (2013) Cue competition effects in the planarian. Animal Cognition 16, 177-186.

Dr Vicky Jones

Exploring the role of Alzheimer-associated genes in astrocyte function

New molecular markers for brain tumours

Targeting reactive astrocytes as therapies for neurodegeneration, chronic pain and paralysis

Diagnostic biomarkers for motor neurone disease

Molecular determinants of astrocyte morphology in health and disease

Developing biomarkers for the diagnosis and prognosis of brain tumours

Dr Tim Snape

The synthesis and in-vitro antiproliferative activity of small heterocycles against glioblastoma multiforme
C Sherer, I Tolaymat, F Rowther, T Warr, T Snape (2017) Preliminary SAR on indole-3-carbinol and related fragments reveals a novel anticancer lead compound against resistant glioblastoma cells. Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett., 27, 7, 1561-1565.

Synthesis of amphiphilic guanidine oligomers as potential membrane interactive compounds for the treatment of brain tumours
Y Patil-Sen, S Dennison and T Snape (2016) Functional foldamers that target bacterial membranes: the effect of charge, amphiphilicity and conformation. Bioorg. Med. Chem., 24, 4241-4245. S Fahs, F Rowther, S Dennison, Y Patil-Sen, T Warr, T Snape (2014) Development of a novel, multifunctional, membrane-interactive pyridinium salt with potent anticancer activity, Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett., 24, 15, 3430–3433.

Dr Vassilios Beglopoulos

Epigenetic and cellular mechanisms underlying memory impairment in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease
Beglopoulos V, Tulloch J, Roe AD, Daumas S, Ferrington L, Watson R, Fan Z, Hyman BT, Kelly PAT, Bard F, and Morris RGM. (2016) Early detection of cryptic memory and glucose uptake deficits in pre-pathological APP mice. Nature Communications 7:11761, 1-10.

Dr Lisa Shaw

Aptamers in the diagnosis and treatment of glioma
Shraddha Aptekar, Clare Louise Lawrence, Robert William Lea, Jane Elizabeth Alder and Lisa Shaw 2015. Selective targeting to glioma with nucleic acid aptamers. PLoS One. Aug 7;10(8):e0134957. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0134957. eCollection 2015

Role of dysregulated miRNA in glioma
Josie L Hayes; Helene Thygesen; Charlotte Bellamy; Alastair Droop; Marjorie Boissinot; Thomas Hughes; David Westhead; Lisa Shaw; Jane Alder; Susan Short; Sean Lawler (2015). Robust prediction of clinical outcome in glioblastoma using a biologically relevant nine-microRNA signature. Mol Oncol. 2015 Mar;9(3):704-14

Characterisation of in vivo models of brain tumours

Graduate Destinations

Graduates from MSc (by Research) degrees tend to go on to further research (e.g. PhD) or careers in industry. Please see our Case Studies page for details of previous research students in the Faculty.

Entry Requirements

For UK and EU applicants, entry requirements would typically be a recognised UK first degree, second class honours or above, or equivalent qualification, in a relevant subject area. Please check our latest requirements.

Funding and Costs

The latest information on fees and studentships is available on the University of Central Lancashire website.

>> How much will it cost?

>> UCLan Research Bursaries and Studentships

>> Postgraduate Loans – please visit to see if you are eligible

>> International students

How to Apply

For the latest information on how to apply, please see our research page on the UCLan website

>> How to apply

Alternative Options

The Faculty also offer a range of taught MSc courses. For more information, please see the UCLan course search.