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Masters Degrees (Aquatic Ecology)

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Aquatic ecosystems are under continued and growing threats such as habitat loss, invasive species and pollution. Read more

Aquatic ecosystems are under continued and growing threats such as habitat loss, invasive species and pollution. To conserve, manage and provide responsible and sustainable solutions to these threats requires a fundamental understanding of the structural and functional elements of ecosystems, from shallow lakes to the open oceans.

Our Aquatic Ecology by Research programme provides comprehensive practical training by application in the laboratory or field, rather than by formal tuition in the lecture theatre. This format places special emphasis on developing practical skills and the transferal of science to hands-on conservation and applied research. QMUL is home to a leading research group in aquatic ecology, which means you will receive expert supervision and have access to advanced research facilities.

You will take three taught modules and conduct a nine-month extended project, an integral part of this programme as it will help you develop the skills required to progress onto further academic or applied research. During the research project you will be co-supervised by either established PhD students or potential employer organisations. You will also be encouraged to publish your project work.

Research and teaching 

You will have access to analytical research facilities within our Centre for the Aquatic and Terrestrial Environment, developed from an investment of £1.8 million in analytical equipment and specialist laboratory facilities. You will also have access to the Freshwater Biological Association’s River Laboratory on the River Frome in Dorset, through our River Communities research group, and to mesocosm and temperature controlled facilities at QMUL. 

By choosing to study at a Russell Group university you will have access to excellent teaching and top class research. You can find out more about our research interests and view recent publications on the School of Biological and Chemical Science's Aquatic Ecology Research group page.

MSc students on a recent aquatic field trip:

Facilities and events

Centre for the Aquatic and Terrestrial Environment (CATE)

CATE at QMUL is an interdisciplinary collaboration between the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences and the School of Geography.

CATE builds on existing research strengths in areas of environmental research such as biogeochemistry, freshwater and marine ecology, terrestrial ecology and conservation. These facilities are used either in the formal teaching of this programme or are available for individual research projects.

Dorset Field Facilities 

The Aquatic Ecology Group has a complementary unit (the River Communities Group) who do more applied research, based at the River Laboratory of the Freshwater Biological Association in Dorset. For example, we have a suite of ponds, 50% of which are heated above ambient temperatures, in which we run long-term climate change experimentation. You will have the opportunity to conduct both field work and lab projects at this site.

Aquatic Science lectures in London

You will also be able to benefit from the wealth of world-leading aquatic sciences research and lecture series taking place in London, including the following:

  • QMUL Aquatic and Whole Organism Biology Group seminar series
  • Queen Mary Geography seminar series
  • UCL Centre for Ecology and Evolution
  • London Freshwater Group
  • Institute of Fisheries Management
  • The Linnean Society

You will receive a programme of relevant lectures by email.



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Aquatic ecosystems and species are under intense anthropogenic threats. These threats directly affect services such as sustainable fisheries, drinking water or ecosystem resilience. Read more

Aquatic ecosystems and species are under intense anthropogenic threats. These threats directly affect services such as sustainable fisheries, drinking water or ecosystem resilience. To adequately respond to these 21st century challenges and conserve these goods and services, a fundamental understanding of the biodiversity and ecosystem processes is needed, as without knowledge there can be no application or effective management.

Considering both freshwater and marine ecosystems and species, we have designed a programme to equip you with the interdisciplinary practical skills and theoretical understanding to pursue a career in aquatic research, consultancy or environmental protection, and give you a good understanding of applying scientific understanding to science policy. 

This programme balances the latest in ecological theory, conservation biology and evolutionary biology with practical application. You will take part in three residential field-courses (Dorset, Cumbria and Cape Verde) for practical, hands-on training.

You will be supervised by research-active scientists, becoming part of their research groups. We support links with a range of NGOs or potential employer organisations and strongly encourage you to publish your project work.

Programme highlights

  • Balances the latest in ecological theory with practical application
  • Residential field courses for practical, hands-on training in the field
  • Access to analytical, mesocosm and temperature-controlled facilities within the Centre for the Aquatic and Terrestrial Environment
  • Strong foundation for employment with environmental protection and conservation agencies, the water industry and environmental consultancies or PhD research 

Research and teaching 

You will have access to analytical research facilities within our Centre for the Aquatic and Terrestrial Environment, developed from an investment of £1.8 million in analytical equipment and specialist laboratory facilities. You will also have access to the Freshwater Biological Association’s River Laboratory on the River Frome in Dorset, via our River Communities Group, and to mesocosm and temperature controlled facilities at QMUL. Furthermore you can make use of our network of partner NGOs, research labs and industries to create further opportunities.

By choosing to study at a Russell Group university, you will have access to excellent teaching and top-class research. You can find out more about our research interests and view recent publications on the School of Biological and Chemical Science's Aquatic Ecology Research group page.

Centre for the Aquatic and Terrestrial Environment (CATE)

(CATE) at Queen Mary is an interdisciplinary collaboration between the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences and the School of Geography.

CATE builds on existing research strengths in areas of environmental research such as biogeochemistry, freshwater and marine ecology, terrestrial ecology and conservation. These facilities are used either in the formal teaching of this programme or are available for individual research projects.

Dorset Field Facilities

The Aquatic Ecology Group has a complementary unit (the River Communities Group) who do applied research, based at the River Laboratory of the Freshwater Biological Association in Dorset. We have a suite of ponds, 50% of which are heated above ambient temperatures, in which run long-term climate change experimentation. You will have the opportunity to conduct both field work and lab projects at this site.

Structure

  • Ecosystem Structure and Function: Ecosystems are under continued and growing threat from human activity (e.g. habitat loss, invasive species and diffuse pollution) and if we seek to preserve them then we need to understand how ecosystems function and how they respond to either enforced or natural change. Here we focus on the structural and functional elements of many ecosystems, from shallow lakes to tropical forests, with a particular focus on contrasting aquatic environments.
  • Statistics and Bioinformatics: Covers core statistics methods, within the R statistical computing environment. R has become the de facto environment for downstream data analysis and visualisation in biology, thanks to the hundreds of freely available R packages that allow biological data analysis solutions to be created quickly and reliably.
  • Quantitative Techniques for Surveying and Monitoring in Ecology: In the first week, there will be a series of lectures, workshops and practical data analyses classes where you will learn the theory behind designing and initiating surveys and monitoring campaigns for research projects and also for conservation & management. In the subsequent week, you will be able to put the theory into practice in the field at a location such as Lake Windermere and environs: here you will undertake electrofishing and hydroacoustic surveys for fish populations, zooplankton and benthic invertebrate surveys, a census for aquatic birds, and camera-trapping for aquatic mammals. Other skills such as the use of the modern telemetric tools will be demonstrated.
  • Science into Policy and Management – includes week in Dorset: Here a broad spectrum of human environmental impacts and their mitigation will be explored. The first half of the module will bring the student ‘face to face’ with potential regulators, practitioners and potential employers (typically Defra, Environment Agency, Natural England) through a series of guest lectures. These topics are then explored and summarised through an unpacking and feedback workshop. The second half is field based with current practitioners working directly in the field of bioassessment and biomonitoring. National and international legislation and directives are introduced through a series of case studies to look at the link between successful science and policy.
  • Marine Mammals and Turtles – field course to Cape Verde: The module focuses on the diversity, behaviour, ecology, physiology, conservation and management of cetaceans (whales and dolphins), and marine turtles. It covers such issues as the life history and migrations of turtles, their diving ability and behaviours, the social behaviour of dolphins, and the conservation of whales. It also includes (even though they are not mammals or reptiles!) a brief look at the sea-birds and sharks that will likely also be seen during field excursions. For part of the module you will be taught in the archipelago of Cape Verde, with boat trips for whales and shark observations, sea turtle monitoring. Mornings will be dedicated to lectures and workshops while afternoons and evening will be dedicated to hands-on practical experience.
  • Tropical Ecology and Conservation – field course, usually to either Borneo or Cape Verde


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Environmental issues such as eutrophication, habitat degradation and climate change threaten the sustainability of our aquatic resources. Read more

Environmental issues such as eutrophication, habitat degradation and climate change threaten the sustainability of our aquatic resources. Responding to these threats the Aquatic Science MSc equips students with an interdisciplinary understanding of the structure and functioning of aquatic environments, encompassing lakes, ponds, rivers, wetlands, groundwaters, estuaries and shallow seas.

About this degree

Students focus on integrated freshwater and coastal systems and gain extensive training in field sampling, study design and species identification. Distinctive features include: integration of aquatic ecology with hydro-geomorphology, aquatic landscape ecology, analysis of sediment cores for environmental change reconstruction, design of aquatic monitoring programmes and modelling of aquatic system dynamics. Students come away with a sound knowledge of current-day links between aquatic science, legislation and conservation.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of four core modules (60 credits), four optional modules (60 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma - four core modules and four optional modules all 15 credits (120 credits, full-time nine months, part-time two years) is offered.

A Postgraduate Certificate - four core modules only at 15 credits each (60 credits, full-time twelve weeks, part-time two years) is offered.

Core modules

  • Aquatic Systems
  • Aquatic Monitoring (includes field-trip to Scottish Highlands)
  • Environmental Data Acquisition and Analysis
  • Scientific Basis for Freshwater and Coastal Conservation (field-based module in Norfolk, England)

* modules running are dependent on staff sabbaticals

Optional modules

Students choose four of the following:

  • Lakes
  • Coastal Change
  • Politics of Climate Change
  • Marine Conservation
  • Surface Water Modelling
  • Wetlands
  • Aquatic Macrophytes (field-based module in Dorset, England)
  • Climate Risks to Hydro-ecological Systems
  • Biological Indicators of Environmental Change
  • Non-biological Indicators for Environmental Reconstruction
  • Environmental GIS
  • Ocean Circulation and Climate Change

* modules running are dependent on staff sabbaticals

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 12,000 words. Dissertation placement positions are offered linked to external conservation bodies and research-orientated consultancies.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, practical classes, laboratory sessions, case-studies and residential field classes. Assessment is through coursework and the dissertation, which includes an oral presentation of the research proposal.

Fieldwork

Field classes around the UK, these may include trips to Norfolk, Suffolk and the Scottish Highlands.

Optional module Aquatic Macrophytes - approximately £200

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Aquatic Science MSc

Careers

This programme provides an ideal foundation for PhD research, or for employment with environmental protection and conservation agencies, the water industry and environmental consultancies.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Catchment Partnerships Officer, South East Rivers Trust
  • Land Use Adviser, Natural England
  • Education Officer, Norfolk Wildlife Trust
  • PhD in Pond Conservation, UCL
  • PhD in the Macroecology of Deep Sea Jelly Fish, University of Southampton

Employability

The MSc provides students with the science background and practical skills necessary for a career working in aquatic conservation and environmental protection agencies, environmental consultancies and stakeholder agencies. The MSc is also an ideal platform for further PhD study. We aim to expose students to potential employers from the outset and students receive expert tuition in field sampling and monitoring programme design, conservation biology, taxonomy of key species groups, knowledge of important conservation principles and legislation and working with stakeholders.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The Aquatic Science MSc is run by UCL Geography which enjoys an outstanding international reputation for its aquatic environmental research and teaching. The degree has a strong emphasis on field working with three major residential classes to the North Norfolk Coast, Scottish Highlands and Dorset.

The programme is taught by world-leading researchers specialising in Recent Environmental Change & Biodiversity and Environmental Modelling and Observation which has specialist input from the Thames Estuary Partnership

Speakers from environmental organisations including the UK Environment Agency, the Rivers Trusts, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, the UK Wildlife Trusts, National Trust and Natural England lecture on the programme and take part in fieldwork. By bringing together students, researchers and practitioners, a vibrant and informal academic environment is created encouraging mutual discovery and ongoing debate.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Geography

81% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.



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Application period/deadline. March 14 - 28, 2018. A unique combination of studies in ecology, population genetics and molecular ecology with emphasis in northern issues. Read more

Application period/deadline: March 14 - 28, 2018

• A unique combination of studies in ecology, population genetics and molecular ecology with emphasis in northern issues

• The study programme is a combination of field work in the arctic and subarctic and in old-growth boreal forests and mires as well as molecular lab work

• Prepares the students for future leadership positions in conservation biology and environmental ecology

International master’s degree programme in Ecology and Population Genetics (ECOGEN) is a two-year programme concentrating on conservation issues and population genetics of endangered animals and plants. The programme will give you relevant skills and core knowledge of the latest methods and tools in:

• Molecular ecology

• Microbial ecology

• Metagenomics and microbiomes of organisms

• Conservation genomics of large mammals

• Distribution history of plants and their phylogeography

• Bioinformatics

The two-year programme has two specialisation options:

• Ecology

• Genetics

Optional courses make it possible to widen your expertise into:

• Aquatic ecology

• Microbial ecology

• Conservation ecology

• Restoration ecology

• Plant evolutionary genomics

The master’s programme is based on high quality and productive research in the fields of evolutionary ecology and genetics. Field research stations in natural reserves as well as Biodiversity Unit offer great opportunities for courses and research. Study environment is multicultural. ECOGEN provides positions as a trainee or a master’s thesis student, and an excellent background for PhD studies.

The skills gained in the master’s programme offer you a solid academic training and essential knowledge on wildlife conservation ecology and genetics, as well as their management. After graduation you are capable of evaluating risks, conducting management on small populations of endangered species, and doing research in the field and in lab. You are able to use molecular and bioinformatic tools.

Possible titles include:

• Project manager

• Researcher

• Planning coordinator of conservation issues

• Conservation biologist

Students applying for the programme must have a B.Sc. degree in biology or in closely related fields.

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This programme is jointly organized by the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. It is one of the International Course Programmes supported by the Flemish Interuniversity Council (VLIR-UOS). Read more

International Course Programme

This programme is jointly organized by the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. It is one of the International Course Programmes supported by the Flemish Interuniversity Council (VLIR-UOS).

The Master of Water Resources Engineering addresses water-related issues in developed and developing countries, with a focus on problems in the latter. The MSc programme provides multi-disciplinary and high-quality higher education in the field of water resources engineering.

Water Resources Engineering deals with the methods and techniques applied in the study of:
- water needs for agriculture, industry, households, recreation, navigation, hydroelectric power generation;
- problems related to storm water drainage and flood damage mitigation;
- problems related to water quality in streams and aquifers, erosion, sedimentation, protection of ecosystems and other natural resources;
- integrated water management; and
- institutional, socio-economic, and policy issues related to water resources development and management.

This is an initial Master's programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.

Curriculum

Details available on http://www.iupware.be/

The Interuniversity Programme in Water Resources Engineering offers a two year Master of Water Resources Engineering course, which is intended for graduates (or equivalent) in engineering, agriculture, hydrology and other related subjects. The main goal is to offer comprehensive training in water resources engineering to engineers and scientists from developing as well as industrialized countries. The programme blends various basic and applied courses, hydrology and engineering sciences associated with water resources development with appropriate organizational and managerial skills. The course is specially tailored for those who want to develop their knowledge and understanding of water resources engineering, and are or expect to be involved in the design, operation or day-to-day management of water resources schemes in developing countries or anywhere in the world.

The first year curriculum is common for all participants while in the second year, a common base with optional courses. After successful completion of the 2-year study programme, a Master of Water Resources Engineering degree is offered.

In the 1st year of the study programme a review of the basic knowledge is proposed, in order to achieve a common base level between students with different backgrounds. The 1st year is primarily organized at the K.U.Leuven. This programme consists of a number of courses (Advanced mathematics for water engineering, Statistics for water engineering, Irrigation agronomy, Aquatic ecology, Hydraulics, Surface Hydrology, Groundwater Hydrology and Water quality assessment, monitoring and treatment) and 4 workshops: (1) Hydrological data processing; (2) GIS; (3) Hydrological measurements and (4) Remote sensing.

In the the 2nd year of the Master programme, a broad spectrum of topics is given to ensure the coverage of the main aspects related to water resources engineering. The topics in the second year are intended to broaden the water resources engineering knowledge and to provide a deeper understanding in either Hydrology, Irrigation, Water Quality or Aquatic Ecology depending on the area of specialization. The 2nd year is primarily organized at the V.U.B. The courses in the programme make extensive use of modelling tools relevant to various aspects of the design, operation and management of water resources development projects.

Admission requirements

Candidates must hold a Bachelor's degree from a four-stage programme in agricultural, civil or environmental engineering. Study results should reflect the equivalent of a 70% pass rating in Flanders. Students should have a proven proficiency in English. Applicants from non-English-speaking countries should have a TOEFL score of at least 550 on the written test and 213 on the computer-based test or equivalent results on similar language test.

Students from a 5-stage engineering or equivalent degree, including the prerequisites to the second stage courses, can be exempted from 60 ECTS. Applications are evaluated on an individual basis.

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This Graduate Diploma in Ecology consists of a range of Honours level units covering topics in Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Conservation Biology. Read more
This Graduate Diploma in Ecology consists of a range of Honours level units covering topics in Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Conservation Biology. The course gives you the chance to build on your undergraduate study and develop a deeper understanding of Ecology as well as an excellent range of transferrable skills.

The Diploma is great preparation for further study or a variety of exciting careers – whatever your path, you’ll have the chance to customise the course with optional modules in topics like Aquatic Ecology, GIS Skills, and Environmental Politics and Policy Making. You’ll also be trained in field work, team work, data mining and analysis, critical writing, and communication.

We have very strong academic expertise in Ecology, based around UEA’s Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Conservation (CEEC) – one of the largest groups of its kind in Europe with strong links to major institutions like the RSPB and CEFAS.

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Aquaculture is defined as the production of aquatic plants and animals for human consumption. Read more
Aquaculture is defined as the production of aquatic plants and animals for human consumption. Under the pressure of the increasing world population on the one side and the stagnating or even declining fishery landings on the other side, aquaculture is considered as the only option to respond to the growing demand for healthy and sustainable seafood. Commercial aquaculture is a relatively young, diverse and dynamic bio-industry with growth figures exceeding any other traditional primary production sector.

Modern aquaculture is a strongly research-driven bio-industry requiring constant innovation and highly skilled entrepreneurs. On the other hand, it is also a very diverse discipline with a wide range of involved species (plants, molluscs, crustaceans, fish), climates, environments (freshwater, brackishwater, marine), and exploitation modes (developing versus developed economies; subsistence versus business aquaculture).

The MSc in Aquaculture, established at Ghent University in 1991, offers a constantly actualised programme that balances a broad multidisciplinary approach and an in-depth research-based training. It prepares its students for fulfilling leading roles in scientific research, as well as in policy-making as aquaculture businesses.

Structure

The programme is conceived along a gradient of increasingly specialized and research-driven courses across the four semesters of the two years’ programme. In the first semester basic knowledge related to topics such as biology, microbiology, aquatic ecology, statistics is consolidated, broadened and deepened, in order to come to a homogeneous profile of the students.

The following semesters focus on specialized aquaculture-related topics underpinned by the expertise of the ARC (especially in terms of live food production and applications and larviculture microbiology). The programme is concluded with the fourth semester, which is available for thesis work. Thesis work is generally integrated within ongoing research projects, thus providing the student with a broader context of current research and applications.

Students advance their presentation techniques, communication skills and other generic skills through a variety of for teaching forms other than classical classroom teaching (e.g. practical exercises; case-study approaches, group work, lab work reporting).

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the programme, the graduated student:
-Possesses a broad knowledge at an advanced level in a number of basic disciplines (biology, ecology, pathology, genetics, zootechnology, nutrition, management, economics and statistics) relevant to aquaculture.
-Understands the processes ongoing in different forms and systems of aquatic production.
-Has acquired a broad knowledge on the production of aquatic organisms.
-Can identify and analyze the interactions between aquatic biological production systems and their environmental context, and can implement potential mitigating interventions.
-Can identify and analyze the interactions between aquatic biological production systems and their socio-economic context, and is familiar with the practicalities and organization of commercial ventures.
-Understands the ethical issues of animal production and experimentation.
-Can design and implement strategies for future development in aquaculture.
-Has acquired a scientific approach to formulate and test hypotheses to design research protocols, and to collect and analyze data.
-Is able to interact with peers, with various stakeholders in the aquaculture sector, and with a general public concerning personal research, thoughts, ideas, and research proposals, both written and orally.

Other admission requirements

The applicant must be proficient in the language of the course or training programme, i.e. English. The English language proficiency can be met by providing a certificate (validity of 5 years) of one of the following tests: (TOEFL/IELTS predictive tests and TOEIC will not be accepted):
-TOEFL IBT 80
-TOEFL PBT 550
-ACADEMIC IELTS 6,5 overall score with a min. of 6 for writing
-CEFR B2 Issued by a European university language centre
-ESOL CAMBRIDGE English CAE (Advanced)

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Are you up to the challenge of finding innovative methods and sustainable solutions to the threats facing the environment? The Environmental Sciences master's programme in Wageningen has its roots in the natural, technological and social sciences. Read more

Are you up to the challenge of finding innovative methods and sustainable solutions to the threats facing the environment? The Environmental Sciences master's programme in Wageningen has its roots in the natural, technological and social sciences. Students will gain insight into the socio-economic causes and the characteristics of pollution and degradation of the natural environment, including the effects on human beings, the atmosphere, ecosystems and other organisms. This two-year programme is based on an interdisciplinary approach. Students learn to develop analytical tools and models, as well as technologies, socio-political arrangements and economic instruments to prevent and control environmental and sustainability issues.

Study programme

The Environmental Sciences MSc programme of Wageningen University is an international programme containing one year of course work and and one year of research. It is thesis-oriented with the individual research project (major) as its core. Compulsory elements are kept at a minimum, thus enabling the coursework to be tailored to the wishes and needs of the individual student. Study adviser and thesis supervisor both assist the student in selecting the most relevant courses from what Wageningen University has to offer.  Read more about the background of the programme.

Thesis tracks

Within the master's programme you can choose from the following Thesis tracks to meet your personal interests:

Your future career

Graduates find jobs at many different organisations. Professional job possibilities can be found as:

  • A researcher at a university or a research institute
  • An adviser at governmental authorities (ministries, provinces and municipalities) or waterboards
  • An engineer or a consultant in the industry

Read more about the career perspectives and opportunities.

Related programmes:

MSc Climate Studies 

MSc Urban Environmental Management

MSc Earth and Environment 

MSc Forest and Nature Conservation

MSc Aquaculture and Marine Resource Management.



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Global ecological change is occurring at a rapid rate and we are seeing an unprecedented spread of diseases, collapses in biodiversity and disruption to ecosystems. Read more

Global ecological change is occurring at a rapid rate and we are seeing an unprecedented spread of diseases, collapses in biodiversity and disruption to ecosystems. We aim to understand not just patterns in the natural environment, but the ecological and evolutionary factors that drive them, from the behaviour of individual organisms to population and whole community dynamics.

You will study the concepts and theories that will help you understand factors underpinning global ecology and evolutionary change, including modern techniques for environmental process research, invasive species ecology and conservation genetics. Students also learn techniques important for environmental policy and management and as such, our graduates are well placed to progress onto PhD research or careers in industry, consultancy and conservation. 

You will conduct your own substantive six-month research project, which may be jointly supervised by contacts from related institutes or within industry. Students also take part in a field course in Borneo - see photos from a recent trip on Flickr - giving you the opportunity to develop first hand experience of theory in action.

You will have access to advanced analytical research facilities at the Freshwater Biological Association's River Laboratory in Dorset through our River Communities Research Group. You will have the opportunity to conduct both fieldwork and lab projects at this site.

Programme highlights

  • Two-week tropical ecology field trip (currently in Borneo), as well as fieldwork in Dorset, UK
  • Modules that develop pure research and applied practical skills
  • Guest lectures by stakeholders and potential employers
  • Opportunities for research projects in UK and overseas, and in conjunction with collaborators such as the Institute of Zoology, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and the Natural History Museum

Research and teaching

By choosing to study at a Russell Group university, you will have access to excellent teaching and top-class research. You can find out more about our research interests and view recent publications on the School of Biological and Chemical Science's Evolution and Genetics group page.

Structure

Your taught modules take place in blocks of two weeks of full-time teaching (normally 9am-5pm), followed by week-long study breaks for independent learning and coursework. This structure allows for an intensive learning experience, giving students the opportunity to immerse themselves in their subject.

This programme combines taught modules with individual and collaborative research projects. You will apply the knowledge and techniques from your taught modules in a practical setting and may be able to publish your project findings.

Taught modules

  • Ecological Theory and Applications: Look at the theory behind our understanding of ecological systems and how that theory can be applied to ecological problems in the real world. Starting with populations of a single species we will progress to understanding two-species interactions including predation, competition and parasitism and then to whole communities of interacting organisms. We will then study how ecological theory, used in concert with population genetics and evolutionary theory, can be applied to understanding ecological issues such as the conservation of small populations, harvesting natural populations and predicting responses to environmental change.
  • Ecosystem Structure and Function: Ecosystems are under continued and growing threat from human activity (e.g. habitat loss, invasive species and diffuse pollution) and if we seek to preserve them we need to understand how ecosystems function and how they respond to either enforced or natural change. Here we focus on the structural and functional elements of many ecosystems, from shallow lakes to tropical forests, with a particular focus on contrasting aquatic environments.
  • Statistics and Bioinformatics: Covers core statistics methods, within the R statistical computing environment. R has become the de facto environment for downstream data analysis and visualisation in biology, thanks to the hundreds of freely available R packages that allow biological data analysis solutions to be created quickly and reliably.
  • Research Frontiers in Evolutionary Biology: Explore the frontiers of research in evolutionary biology. Topics covered will include: incongruence in phylogenetic trees, neutral versus selective forces in evolution, the origin of angiosperms, the origin of new genes, the evolution of sociality, the significance of whole genome duplication and hybridisation. Current methods being used to tackle these areas will be taught, with an emphasis on DNA sequence analysis and bioinformatics.
  • Tropical field course - usually in Borneo; see photos from a recent trip on Flickr. Topics will encompass aspects of taxonomy, ecology, biogeography, conservation and evolution. Specific areas of content will include ecological processes in tropical rainforests (decomposition, pollination and seed dispersal); rainforest structure and defining characteristics (including the importance of rainforests as centres of biodiversity) and anthropogenic factors affecting rainforests (including disturbance, forest fragmentation and agriculture). There will be strong emphasis on practical training. In particular, students will be trained in a range of survey methods covering diverse terrestrial and aquatic taxonomic groups. The module will also provide training in data collection, analysis and presentation.
  • Science, Policy and Management: Here a broad spectrum of human environmental impacts and their mitigation will be explored. The first half of the module will bring the student ‘face to face’ with potential regulators, practitioners and potential employers (typically Defra, EA, Natural England) through a series of guest lectures. These topics are then explored and summarised through an unpacking and feedback workshop. The second half is field based with current practitioners working directly in the field of bioassessment and biomonitoring. National and international legislation and directives are introduced through a series of ‘Case Studies’ to look at the link between successful science and policy.

Research module

  • Research project (90 credits)

Part-time study

You can take the MSc over two years via studying part-time; you should aim to register for 50% of taught modules per year. You can discuss the exact combination of modules with the programme director, Dr Christophe Eizaguirre

Projects can also be undertaken over a two-year period, subject to finding an approved schedule of work which equates to the same time requirements as a full-time MSc. You may also enrol on a Postgraduate Certificate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (60 credits), which is comprised of four taught modules.



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Around the world, the quality and quantity of water in streams, rivers, lakes, wetlands and underground is significantly affected by human activity. Read more

Around the world, the quality and quantity of water in streams, rivers, lakes, wetlands and underground is significantly affected by human activity. At Cranfield University, we capitalise on our industry connections to provide students with the up-to-date skills and knowledge needed to tackle these challenges in a career in today’s environmental water management sector.

Who is it for?

The course is ideal for graduates wishing to develop the expertise needed to solve environmental water management problems. It is designed to complement and expand your existing knowledge of science, policy and practice, making it suitable for students from a range of backgrounds. Recent students have joined us from undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in engineering (civil, hydraulic, agricultural), physical geography, chemistry and environmental sciences, as well as from professional careers.

Our strong industry links make the course particularly suited for those looking to work in the water industry, government or environmental and engineering consultancy, and in a wide range of roles including water quality, water resources, aquatic habitat and wildlife, flood defence, and policy.

The option to undertake the course on a part-time basis allows you to extend your professional development within your current employment.

Why this course?

At the UK’s only exclusively postgraduate university, students get the unique experience to work with researchers whose primary purpose is to understand the needs of their sector. Therefore all components of the Environmental Water Management course are designed with the same end goal in mind: to produce the best graduates for jobs in water resources, hydrology, water quality, habitat conservation and creation, and flood risk management.

To do this, you will first reinforce your knowledge of topics and methods in eight core areas (hydrology, ecology, water quality, modelling, drought, flood risk, urban water, and catchment management). You then integrate this learning and apply it to a real-world problem in the group project. Over a 10-week period, you will work in a team of 6-8 students from a range of MSc courses on a consultancy project, handling all stages of project design and delivery from initial meetings to scope out the work to the final report and presentation. Topics vary yearly as they respond to the needs of our industrial partners, put typically relate to water resources, aquatic ecology and flood risk management. Finally, you will delve into a single topic for your individual thesis project, strengthening your skills in project design and management; data collection, analysis and interpretation; and report writing, all of which are essential for your future career.

By completing this course, you will become part of a long line (>30 years) of environmental water management alumni who can now be found across the entire water sector, from entry-level scientists to senior managers and regulators, in the UK, Europe and beyond.

Informed by Industry

Our courses are designed to meet the training needs of industry and have a strong input from experts in their sector. Industrial involvement comes in the form of sponsored group and thesis projects, and oversight from an Industrial Advisory Panel.

Sponsored projects stem from the active research and consultancy work of the Cranfield Water Science Institute, a leader in water research, whose researchers have expertise in water and wastewater treatment, water supply and irrigation, flood risk management, and water policy and economics.

The Industrial Advisory Panel performs an essential role in course review and the proposition of new content. As it is composed of members from consultancy, government, industry and charitable sectors, the panel ensures that Cranfield graduates have the knowledge and skills to be immediately employable. 

Accreditation

This MSc, PgDip and PgCert has been accredited by the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM). As a graduate of the MSc course, you are eligible for graduate membership in this leading professional body.

Course details

The course comprises eight assessed modules, a group project and an individual project.

Group project

A unique component of a Cranfield University taught MSc is the group project. Group projects are usually sponsored by industry partners and provide students with experience of working on real challenges in the workplace along with skills in team working, managing resources and developing reporting and presentation skills. Experience gained is highly valued by both students and prospective employers.

Interested? Find out more about the past group projects.

Individual project

The individual project provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to carry out independent research, think and work in an original way, contribute to knowledge, and overcome genuine problems. Students have the choice to work on projects sponsored by industry or related to current Research Council, EU or industry funded research. 

Assessment

Taught modules 40%, Group project 20%, Individual project 40%

Your career

Cranfield University environmental water management graduates are found all over the UK, EU and world working at all levels of the water industry, government, environmental and engineering consultancy, and charitable sector. Therefore you will join a large and supportable alumni network.



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The MSc in Environmental Management meets the needs of a future environmental professional. It provides the key vocational skills and training to allow you to respond and find solutions for problems, to exploit opportunities and meet challenges in environmental management. Read more

About the course

The MSc in Environmental Management meets the needs of a future environmental professional. It provides the key vocational skills and training to allow you to respond and find solutions for problems, to exploit opportunities and meet challenges in environmental management. We provide core environmental management modules, as well as opportunities for more specialist training in particular disciplines. Topics include recent advances on environmental issues, research skills and approaches, environmental auditing, project management, environmental law and environmental impact assessment (EIA). Much of the delivery of the course is based on ‘learning by doing’ through engaging with real life problems and challenges.

Modules are delivered by academics and professional practitioners at the forefront of activity in the field. Students from the UK and abroad who have completed the course have gone on to careers as consultants, regulators, conservation managers and researchers.

Why study Environmental Management at Aberystwyth University?

This MSc programme was established at IBERS in 2005 and is regarded as one of the best vocational MSc courses in the country. It holds a significant international profile attracting students from all over the world.

The programme is concentrated into one year and involves a core of key management skills with the opportunity to specialise.

The MSc combines vocational and professional training in environmental management but also introduces new technological advances and developments.

We provide a programme at the cutting edge of the subject. You will interact with professionals in the field and develop a network of contacts that will help you to establish your future career.

We have a long and distinguished history of environmental teaching and world class research at IBERS. This course and structure was also designed with employers from industry, environmental agencies and governmental and non-governmental organisations.

Students benefit from interaction with these external bodies and develop skills that environmental employers target when recruiting.

We benefit for fieldwork opportunities from our wonderful location.

Aberystwyth is a coastal town which lies between the Cambrian and Snowdonia mountain ranges in Wales, offering habitats ranging from coastal to upland.

The course is taught by internationally recognised researchers, consultants and professionals operating across a wide range of environmental topics such as climate change, EIA, environmental auditing, environmental pollution, habitat conservation and restoration, terrestrial and aquatic ecology, and molecular ecology.

Course structure and content

IBERS offers excellent core and specialist MSc training under the umbrella title of Environmental Management. The course structure was developed to provide students with both a breadth and specialism of skills making them more competitive in the jobs market. Altogether we provide our students with world class experience and ensure that students make those all-important links and career networks both in the UK and abroad.

The course includes 20 credit modules on Frontiers in Bioscience, Research Methods, Environmental Auditing & Management, and Introduction to Environmental Law and Impact Assessment that provide a strong grounding in key environmental management skills. In the 40 credit Environmental Management in Practice module you apply these skills to real life problems through a series of case studies and practical investigations which also provide opportunities to develop your particular areas of interest. The 60 credit Research project/dissertation module offers a further option for specialising in particular aspects of Environmental Management, often in collaboration with external organisations.

Importantly, the unique MSc structure provided at IBERS offers scope for employment in a wide range of environmental areas.

Core modules:

Dissertation
Environmental Auditing and Management skills
Frontiers in the Biosciences
Introduction to Environmental Law and Environmental Impact Assessment
Research Methods in the Biosciences

Optional modules:

Environmental Management in Practice
OR
Restoration and Conservation - UMEA Exchange

Employability

Graduates from the course have moved on to successful careers in environmental consultancy, in environmental regulation and monitoring, and in a wide range of research areas.

Our students are provided with a range of vocational skills to enable them to enter professional employment in the Environmental sector or in research.

1. Provision of top quality internationally recognised MSc training in Environmental Management with the opportunity to specialise.

2. Developing and expecting levels of professionalism and excellence so that you are able to enter and excel in the work environment.

3. Industrial and research experiences and interactions integrated into the course so that you are able to develop a vocational network for future success.

4. Your own personal tutor that will help you through the journey from learning to employment.

5. Your dissertation project allows for a degree of specialism within the general field of environmental management.

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Details available on http://www.iupware.be/ . The MSc in Water Resources Engineering addresses water-related issues in developed and developing countries. Read more

Details available on http://www.iupware.be/ ;

The MSc in Water Resources Engineering addresses water-related issues in developed and developing countries. It is jointly organized by KU Leuven and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). The general programme objective is to educate professionals and scientists through multidisciplinary and high-quality university education to contribute effectively to the development and management of local and global water resources. The programme trains students with cutting-edge technical and managerial knowledge and skills to  

(i) successfully plan, design, operate and manage water resources projects; and (ii) advise and support authorities in decision-making and policy-making that enhance the safe exploitation and re-use of wastewater and the equitable distribution and conservation of local, regional, and global water resources.  

A strong focus is put on the use of state-of-the-art numerical simulation tools for integrated water management. 

The programme deals with the methods and techniques applied in the study of 

- water needs for agriculture, industry, households, recreation, navigation, hydroelectric power generation - problems related to storm water drainage and flood damage mitigation - problems related to water quality in streams and aquifers, erosion, sedimentation, protection of ecosystems and other natural resources - integrated water management - institutional, socio-economic, and policy issues related to water resources development and management 

Employment prospects 

A combination of theory and practice ensures that students are equipped with excellent knowledge for further research and exciting job opportunities across the world. Graduates of the programme are primarily employed as 

(i) academics or scientists at universities and research institutions. Their major task is to strengthen the training and research capacity of those institutions in the field of water resources 

(ii) engineers or managers in public administrations, water user associations or private companies. 

Water resources engineers and scientists play a decisive role in the development and management of aquifers and river basins, and in deciding who does what, how much services cost, and who pays. They are the decision-makers and water managers of the future, who are capable of taking into account increased user demand and environmental needs, i.e. managing limited water resources in a sustainable and responsive way. 

International Mobility 

The master programme takes place in an intercultural and international environment. Students have the possibility to join excursions and field trips abroad and to carry out master thesis research in cooperation with our partner universities. 

Curriculum 

The full programme comprises 120 ECTS. Students with a relevant Master degree can apply for the 1-year abridged programme (60 ECTS) and will mainly follow second year courses. 

The first year curriculum builds a common foundation and is the same for all students. In the second year students design a personal programme through the selection of three elective courses, an integrated project and their master thesis research. Courses are held both at KU Leuven and the VUB campus.  

Year 1 (compulsory) 

- Advanced Mathematics for Water Engineering - Statistics for Water Engineering - Hydraulics - Groundwater Hydrology - Surface Water Hydrology - Irrigation Agronomy - Aquatic Ecology - Waste Water Treatment and Resource Recovery - Water Quality - Integrated Water Management - GIS & Data Processing for Water Resources Engineering - Remote Sensing and Measuring Techniques for Water Resources Engineering 

Year 2 

Compulsory 

- Systems Approach to Water Management - Social, Political, Institutional, Economic and Environmental Aspects of Water Resources 

Electives (three courses to be chosen) 

- Surface Water Modelling - Groundwater Modelling - River Modelling - Soil Water Modelling - Irrigation Design and Crop Water Productivity Management - Urban Hydrology and Hydraulics - Environmental Programming - Freshwater and Marine Ecology 

 

Integrated Project: Students work in groups on a particular watershed and travel to the case study area. They define problems and tackle them from different angles using modelling as well as nonmodelling tools



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Land (soil) and water are two essential resources required to sustain the human goals of food security and maintenance of environmental goods and services, including all forms of useable energy. Read more

General Information

Land (soil) and water are two essential resources required to sustain the human goals of food security and maintenance of environmental goods and services, including all forms of useable energy. Managed, as an integrated system, provides a framework to aid society to achieve food security and environmental services.

The goal of the innovative Master of Science in Land and Water Systems is to offer a professional degree that will serve both practicing resource managers, and recent graduates from cognate undergraduate academic programs, the necessary credentials to address the emerging concerns of land and water resources conservation and management.

Quick Facts

- Degree: Master of Land and Water Systems
- Specialization: Land and Water Systems
- Subject: Specialty
- Mode of delivery: On campus
- Program components: Coursework only
- Faculty: Faculty of Land and Food Systems

The MLWS program provides an opportunity for students to obtain science-based skills, training and knowledge to address emerging environmental issues of food security, effects of increasing urbanization, maintenance of ecological services, restoration of degraded lands, adapting to climate change, and resource conservation. The program draws from a broad range of academic and professional expertise in disciplines including geochemistry, biology, soil science, hydrology, terrestrial and aquatic ecology, forest sciences and more. The program is aimed at both recent graduates and practicing professionals who are seeking additional academic qualification.

Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of the program, graduates will:
1. Have the necessary background and analytical skills to address the issues related to land and water systems based on an understanding of the integration of the ecological, carbon (energy), hydrological and pedalogical cycles and the impacts of human activity.
2. Obtain proficiency in developing analytical frameworks for the identification, articulation and analysis of land and water resource issues and concerns.
3. Develop skills to develop, apply, evaluate, and adapt alternate practices through scenario frameworks.
4. Develop professional communication skills.

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The world’s aquatic ecosystems and environment are increasingly under threat. Pollution, overfishing, global climate change and many other impacts have highlighted the importance for us to understand their function at all levels, from the molecular to the global. Read more

Why take this course?

The world’s aquatic ecosystems and environment are increasingly under threat. Pollution, overfishing, global climate change and many other impacts have highlighted the importance for us to understand their function at all levels, from the molecular to the global.

This is what our course sets out to do and thanks to our close proximity to many types of temperate marine habitats and internationally protected conservation areas, we offer the perfect location for investigation.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

Research at our internationally-renowned Institute of Marine Sciences or carry out microbiological work at the University’s Field Centre for Environmental Technology at Petersfield Sewage Works
Rear coldwater species for restocking programmes or trial fish food at Sparsholt College’s National Aquatics Training Centre
Study abroad through Erasmus or various other conservation and research schemes

What opportunities might it lead to?

You’ll be taught by leading international researchers and the course has been designed with strong input from outside agencies including environmental consultancies, a range of government bodies and industry. This ensures your training links directly to UK and international employment opportunities.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

Consultancy work
Government-based research
Conservation
Teaching
Further study

Module Details

You will cover a variety of topics in advanced laboratory and field skills, and choose from units that cover marine ecology, aquaculture, ecotoxicology and pollution, and scientific journalism. A large amount of your time will also be spent on the research project that will enable you to apply the skills and knowledge you have gained.

Core units are:

• Research Toolkit: This covers a range of key professional skills for research methods (communication skills, ethics and report writing), advanced field skills (boat sampling, taxonomy, and marine and freshwater sampling methods), advanced laboratory skills (genomics, monitoring and pollution monitoring methods) and remote sensing technology (such as GIS).

• Research Project: Your final project allows you to select from a range of marine and freshwater projects provided by staff within the School, government research laboratories, NGOs and private research companies. During the project you will write literature reviews and develop skills in data analysis and presentation.

Then choose any three optional units from:

• Ecotoxicology and Pollution: This provides an introduction to environmental toxicology using model and non-model organisms.

• Aquaculture: This unit focuses on the principles of aquaculture production, global production and diversity of aquaculture species. It is taught by academic staff and staff from the National Aquatics Training Centre at Sparsholt College. Areas covered include larval culture, diseases and pathology, feeding and growth, reproductive manipulation, and business and management.

• Marine Policy, Planning and Conservation: Planning and Conservation: This unit explores contemporary debates on coastal and marine management with a specific focus on marine policy, planning and conservation.

• Science and the Media: Science communication is increasingly becoming an important part of science. This unit firstly addresses the skills required by scientists to effectively communicate with the media and general public and secondly, provides an understanding of the skills needed for a career in science journalism.

• Subtidal Marine Ecology: Selected topics of current interest in marine ecology, incorporating both theory and applied aspects, culminating in a week-long practical field course in the Mediterranean Sea. The unit carries an additional cost for the field trip, and requires a minimum level of training and experience in SCUBA diving to participate.

Programme Assessment

Hands-on laboratory-based work teamed with field trips means that practical learning underpins the theory learned in lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops. You’ll also find that some aspects of your course may be taught online using our virtual learning environment.

You will be assessed using a range of methods from exams to coursework and presentations, with great opportunities to present your final-year projects to industry and researchers from other departments and organisations.

Student Destinations

Once you have completed this course, you will be particularly well placed to enter a wide range of interesting and rewarding careers in the UK and abroad. We will ensure you have all the relevant knowledge and skills that employers require, giving you the opportunity to either pursue a scientific career, enter the teaching profession, or further study should you want to continue your research.

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Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Biosciences at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017). Read more

Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Biosciences at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).

This MRes in Biosciences programme will provide you with research training in one or more of our Research Pathways and you will benefit from training in our Specialist Research Facilities. Research staff will share their expertise and assist you in developing the skills necessary to do independent research, leading to a dissertation written as a scientific paper.

All research students in Biosciences undertake taught modules followed by a major research project under the guidance of academic staff in one or more of our Research Pathways, and benefitting from training in our specialist research facilities.

The MRes Biosciences is a one-year programme. All research students undertake taught modules followed by a major research project under the guidance of academic staff in one or more of our Research Pathways , and benefiting from training in our Specialist Research Facilities.

Biosciences at Swansea has a good relationship with a wide range of external partners, including SMEs, Government Agencies, Local Government, UK and overseas research institutes and universities.

Research Pathways

1) Behavioural and Movement Ecology

Studying adaptations, and the selective pressures in the social and ecological environment that bring them about. We specialise in the movement ecology of individuals and collectives and can provide specialist research training to understand the role of the environment in structuring the properties of animal movement and behaviour.

2) Evolutionary and Molecular Biology

Understanding the diversity of life from a molecular perspective. We use the latest genetic and genomics techniques to address key questions in ecology, behaviour and conservation from an evolutionary perspective in a range of non-model organisms, from fungi to plants and animals.

3) Marine Biology, Fisheries and Aquaculture

From developing new techniques in fish husbandry and rearing of commercially important aquaculture species, to research in food and fuel security, low carbon technologies, biogeochemical cycles and climate change. Specialist research training can be provided on a diverse range of temperate to tropical aquatic organisms, from microplankton to invertebrates to fish, inhabiting marine to freshwater environments.

4) Mathematical and Statistical Ecology

Research that complements the full range of our academic expertise, from theoretical investigations of ecosystem complexity, stoichiometric ecology, pattern formation and animal movement, to practical agricultural applications and the operation of micro-algal biotechnology.

5) Population and Community Ecology

Combining experimental and theoretical approaches to develop our understanding of how species interactions with their environment (including other species) generate the spatial-temporal biodiversity patterns we observe in nature. Study systems include plankton ecosystems, coastal ecosystem functioning, disease control, conservation, and the impact of spatial-temporal environmental variation on community dynamics.

6) Whole Organism Biology

Our staff comprises world-leading experts on a range of organisms studied around the world, and welcome students who want to develop projects around such species.

7) Wildlife Diseases and Pest Control

Research focused on developing natural agents and solutions for the control of wildlife diseases and invertebrate pests that impact on food security and human and animal health. Research training provided in disease detection methods, disease management, and the socioeconomic benefits of pest control.

Facilities

As a student on the MRes Biosciences programme, you will benefit from a range of facilities such as:

Our excellent facilities include a unique built Animal Movement Visualisation Suite (£1.35m), incorporating an electronic wall linked to a computer-tesla cluster for high-speed processing and visualisation of complex accelerometry and magnetometry data derived from animals. Coupled with this facility is the Electronics Lab with capacity for research, development and realisation of animal tags with new capacities (sensors, energy-harvesting systems, miniaturization, 3-D printing of housings etc.); a custom-designed 18m on coastal research vessel; a recent investment of £4.2m on a new suite of state-of-the art Science laboratories; and the £2m unique Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Research (CSAR) with a 750 m2 controlled environment building, with programmable recirculating aquatic systems, unique within the UK’s higher-education sector. These are tailored for research on a diverse range of organisms, ranging from temperate to tropical and marine to freshwater. Coupled with this are nutrient and biochemical analytical capabilities.

Theoretical/mathematical research uses advanced university computing facilities that includes high-end graphics workstations, high-speed network links and the Blue Ice supercomputer located at the Mike Barnsley Centre for Climatic Change Research.

Several dedicated Bioscience labs housed within our grade 2 listed Wallace Building recently benefitted from a £4.2 million renovation programme, providing world-class research facilities that includes a specialist molecular ecology lab and a dedicated arthropod facility.

Research

We are 7th in the UK and top in Wales for research excellence (REF 2014)

93.8% of our research outputs were regarded as world-leading or internationally excellent and Swansea Biosciences had the highest percentage of publications judged ‘world-leading’ in the sector. This is a great achievement for the Department, for the College of Science and indeed for Swansea University.



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