Master of Science by Research (Biology)

The Environmental and Life Sciences Graduate Programme offers Master of Science by Research degree in Biology. It provides a broad laboratory and/or field training, and a comprehensive educational experience in environmental and life sciences, which can lead to a variety of careers in the government agencies and private sectors.

Fields of study include cell and molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry and biotechnology, developmental and reproductive biology, ecology (terrestrial, marine and aquatic) and conservation biology, behavioural ecology, marine and aquatic biology, invasive ecology, plant and animal sciences, microbiology, botany, plant taxonomy and systematics, ethnobotany and medicinal plants, environment and climate change. The excellent laboratory and outdoor field facilities, and a field studies centre in the tropical rainforest (under Institute for Biodiversity and Environmental Research, IBER) strengthen both teaching and research in the broad field of Biology.

Candidates will perform a research project under the supervision of staff from the Environmental and Life Sciences Programme and frequently in collaboration with staff members from other disciplines.

Programme Details

Aims and Scope
The MSc Programme in Biology aims to make scientists with high level specialised training, in order to cover the increased needs of Industry in related aspects. Also, students wishing to continue their studies at a PhD level will be able to prepare for the conduction of PhD research on relevant topics.

The scope of the Programme is to provide students the necessary specific scientific information, as well as to train them to develop their skills and analytical capabilities.

Students conduct an approved research project, with the supervision of one or more staff members. Upon completion of their research, they submit a Thesis, which normally does not exceed 60,000 words. 

Assessment Assessment

  • Compulsory modules SR-5101. These are modules that all postgraduate students must read and pass to satisfy their graduation requirement.
  • Assessment includes examination of the thesis by internal and external examiners. As stipulated in the relevant UBD regulations the examiners may subject a candidate to an oral examination or any other test they think necessary to assess the acceptability of the thesis. Periodic assessment of the progress of the candidate is carried out as stipulated in the relevant UBD regulations.

Areas of Research/ Specialisation

  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Biochemistry
  • Biotechnology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Reproductive Biology
  • Ecology
  • Conservation Biology
  • Plant and Animal Sciences
  • Microbiology, Botany
  • Plant Taxonomy and Systematics
  • Behavioural Ecology
  • Marine and Aquatic Biology
  • Invasive Ecology
  • Ethnobotany and Medicinal Plants
  • Environment and Climate Change

For more information

Contact:   Deputy Dean of Graduate and Research in FOS (Dr. Lim Lee Hoon)

Complete programme details can also be found here .

Faculty Member and Contact Details

Research Interests

Prof. Abdalla Mohamed Jama

Gene therapy
Cellular signalling
Molecular basis of disease

Prof.  Ulmar Grafe

Functional diversity of amphibians
Sensory ecology of frog-biting midges
Community ecology of Bornean frogs
A novel resource-service mutualism between bats and pitcher plants.

AP Dr. Zohrah Hj Sulaiman
Vice-Chancellor, Universiti Teknologi Brunei
Adjunct Associate Professor of UBD

Molecular genetics
Biodiversity of fishes
Molecular phylogeny and biogeography of fishes
Genetic modification to produce biodiesel and robust variety of paddy

AP Dr. Kushan Tennakoon
Director, Institute for Biological and
Environmental Research

Ecophysiological and biochemical attributes of parasitic plants and mycoheterotrophs, their biogeography, structural biology and mechanisms of solute transfer

Restoration of degraded tropical habitats with local native plant species and investigating their
physiological responses to varying environmental conditions

Impacts of alien invasive plant species (i.e. holoparasites, Pinus, Acacia spp) on native
flora and potential arable lands

Alternative energy - Applications of native plant pigments in dye-sensitized solar cells

AP Dr. David J. Marshall

Ecological and evolutionary physiology of marine Intertidal invertebrates
Organismal responses to environmental and climate change
Marine and estuarine benthic community ecology
Estuarine pollution, biomonitoring and ecotoxicology

AP Dr. Ferry Slik

Tropical Tree Biodiversity and distribution
Tropical forest Biomass and Carbon Balance
Flora Projects
Secondary Forest Dynamics
Ecology and Dynamics of Large Trees
Below- and aboveground interactions of plants DNA barcoding
Species distribution modeling
Using remote sensing for plant identification
Plant community phylogenetics
Plant functional trait

Dr. Rahayu Sukmaria Hj Sukri
Dean, Faculty of Science

Tropical forest ecology and conservation
Tropical plant diversity and community ecology
Peat swamp ecology and conservation
The ecological effects and impact of invasive plants in Brunei Darussalam

Dr. Norhayati Hj Ahmad

Developmental biology
Reproductive biology
Diabetes – focus mainly on pancreas regeneration

Dr. Yasuaki Tanaka

Ecophysiology of corals and aquatic primary producers
Water quality monitoring in aquatic environments
Biogeochemical cycles in aquatic ecosystems
Bioremediation of wastewater from aquaculture

Dr. Faizah Hj Metali
Programme Leader

Metal accumulation in plants in tropical plants and crops
Plant and soil nutrition
Growth and physiology of tropical seedlings
Germination and pollination studies
Plant conservation and propagation techniques.

Dr. Gianluca Polgar

Ecology and evolution of tropical coastal wetlands
Ecosystem management and conservation
Biodiversity of fishes and crabs
Ecology and behaviour of wetland macrofauna

Dr. Hussein Taha

Population genetics
Molecular Phylogenetics