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.
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.
* modules running are dependent on staff sabbaticals
Students choose four of the following:
* modules running are dependent on staff sabbaticals
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Environmental Biology: Conservation & Resource Management at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).
The MSc Environmental Biology: Conservation and Resource Management course focuses on the relationships between living organisms and the terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments, coupled with the interactions that result from natural and anthropogenic processes.
On the Environmental Biology: Conservation and Resource Management course you will benefit from advanced training in the interpretation of local and global environmental issues, field and theoretical aspects of biology and ecology, and in analytical techniques. You will also develop the skills necessary to work confidently in vocational areas such as conservation, environmental impact assessment, environmental management, monitoring and education, and foster an objective, scientific and realistic approach to environmental biological issues that you may have to face in a professional capacity.
Graduates from the Environmental Biology: Conservation and Resource Management course go on to work for government agencies such as CCW, Environment Agency, English Nature, Scottish Heritage, Fisheries Research Services, CEFAS. Other organisations include zoos, wildlife parks and reserves, national parks, environmental departments, research and development of SMEs as well as large companies. Graduates also go on to do postgraduate research.
Modules on the Environmental Biology: Conservation & Resource Management MSc include:
Core Science Skills and Research Methods
Conservation of Aquatic Resources
Term papers in Environmental Biology
Environmental Assessment and Management
Remote sensing of the changing environment
Geographical Information Systems
Please visit our website for a full description of modules for the Environmental Biology: Conservation & Resource Management programme.
As a student on the MSc Environmental Biology: Conservation & Resource Management 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.
“I’ve spent four years as a student at Swansea University, three years as an undergraduate studying Marine Biology and a year as a postgraduate undertaking the MSc in Environmental Biology: Conservation and Resource Management. Whether studying or partying I can honestly say I had a fantastic time the whole way through! It was through my undergraduate study that I realised how amazingly diverse the marine ecosystem is, but also how vulnerable it can be and the level of exploitation it endures. This prompted me to undertake the MSc, which furthered my knowledge in many aspects of conservation and environmental issues around the world on sea and land. With my experience and expertise gained from studying at Swansea I have secured a job working with WWF Cymru in Cardiff as Marine Policy Officer where I am helping work towards a sustainable future for the Welsh marine environment.”
BSc Marine Biology
MSc Environmental Biology: Conservation & Resource Management
Marine Policy Officer, WWF Cymru, Cardiff
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.
All academic staff in Biosciences are active researchers and the department has a thriving research culture.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The course comprises eight assessed modules, a group project and an individual 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.
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.
Taught modules 40%, Group project 20%, Individual project 40%
To help students find and secure appropriate funding we have created a funding finder where you can search by filtering the results to suit your needs. Scholarships and bursaries are available to contribute towards fees and/or living costs for graduates applying for full-time Masters courses in the themes of Water, Energy and Environment. Please see below for the specific funding that is available and the eligibility criteria. Visit the funding finder.
Future Finance Student Loans Future Finance offer student loans of up to £40,000 that can cover living costs and tuition fees for all student at Cranfield University.
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.
Full-time students spend two days at University, usually Wednesday and Thursday, and around 12 hours per week in lectures and practical sessions.
Part-time students attend one day per week. First year part-time students attend on Wednesdays and second years attend on Thursdays.
We teach using a combination of lectures, laboratory sessions, problem solving tutorials, video presentations and practicals. You will also undertake fieldwork excursions within the UK and overseas (additional costs apply). The number of hours of formal teaching will vary depending on your module choice. You will also be encouraged to take responsibility for your own learning by completing guided reading and various interactive computer packages. Based on individual circumstances the MSc Project may be extended into your third year of study and will be agreed as part of a discussion with the course leader. Please note some field trips will take place on weekdays besides Wednesdays and Thursdays.
You will be assessed through a range of methods depending on your module choice, these include: examinations, coursework such as writing reports of field excursions. You will also analyse case studies, undertake presentations, participate in workshops and analyse data.
The course focuses on developing the professional skills required for a rewarding career as a water focused environmental scientist. The importance of accurate assessment of the potential and existing impacts on the water environment from industrial practices, abstraction and agriculture sit at the heart of this course.
Highly skilled water scientists and engineers are vital for the conservation and enhancement of our aquatic environment, both locally and globally. The MSc Water Resources Management course provides graduates with the ability to accurately assess the potential and existing impacts on the water environment from industrial practices, abstraction, and agriculture.
This masters degree focuses on developing the professional skills and advanced knowledge required for a rewarding career as a water focused environmental scientist.
On this course you will explore the scientific and engineering management of our aquatic resources. You will gain an in-depth understanding of freshwater ecosystems, visit river restoration sites and examine the state of fisheries.
In your first semester, you will study the science behind pollutants and their effect on the wider environment.You will measure and monitor pollution, remediate problems, study the impacts of engineering structures, and examine the latest processes and technologies in the field. You will also study Natural Resource Governance, helping you develop the critical skills sets you need to pursue a career as a water resources scientist.
In the second semester, we develop your practical research skills to prepare you for a diverse range of roles, from water quality monitoring to aquatic species conservation. You will learn to apply innovative research techniques, present arguments and understand how research funding works. Throughout the semesters we aim to equip you with a diverse range of professional and transferable skills. We will teach you to critically evaluate data and mitigate environmental problems. You will also undertake computer lab sessions and learn to apply modelling tools to support your decision making. Emphasis is placed on building a sound scientific basis alongside practical application.
Each semester, you have the option to specialise in modules related to your interests and career aspirations, from Water and Wastewater Engineering to Coastal Flood Defence to River Basin Management
The last part of the year will centre on your individual research, where you will put your learning into practice to complete an advanced research project.