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Masters Degrees (Aquatic Science)

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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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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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Food from aquatic systems is essential for much of the world’s population – but wild catches are declining. Fortunately Aquaculture (farming of aquatic animals) is an alternative source of high quality nutrition and employment. Read more

Introduction

Food from aquatic systems is essential for much of the world’s population – but wild catches are declining. Fortunately Aquaculture (farming of aquatic animals) is an alternative source of high quality nutrition and employment. Aquaculture has been very successful but diseases can be damaging. Aquaculture has over 40 years of experience in investigating and controlling fish and shrimp diseases worldwide, which it utilises to improve your problem-solving skills, equipping you to make a real contribution to the sustainability of aquaculture.

Key information

- Degree type: MSc, Postgraduate Diploma
- Study methods: Full-time
- Start date: September
- Course Director: Dr Trevor Telfer

Course objectives

The course is specifically aimed at students with a veterinary science qualification with the object of giving training in the wide range of disciplines and skills necessary for the investigation, prevention and control of aquatic animal diseases. You will gain an understanding of the biology, husbandry and environment of farmed aquatic species, in addition to specialist expertise in aquatic animal diseases. It is also intended to prepare students who plan to pursue a PhD in the area of aquatic animal health or disease.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:
- IELTS: 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
- Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
- Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
- IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

For more information go to English language requirements https://www.stir.ac.uk/study-in-the-uk/entry-requirements/english/

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View the range of pre-sessional courses http://www.intohigher.com/uk/en-gb/our-centres/into-university-of-stirling/studying/our-courses/course-list/pre-sessional-english.aspx .

Structure and content

The full Master’s course for each degree outcome is divided into four taught modules containing 12 subject areas or topics; two Foundation modules, two Advanced modules and a single Research Project module. The overall course is divided into three parts:

- Foundation modules
The Foundation modules are taught between September and December. There are six compulsory topics of study within two taught modules, taken consecutively, giving instruction in basic aquaculture concepts and skills. Successful completion of both Foundation modules will qualify you for a Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Aquaculture.

- Advanced modules
The two Advanced modules consisting of six compulsory topics of study are taught between January and April. Successful completion of the advanced modules, subsequent to the Foundation modules, will qualify you for a Postgraduate Diploma in Aquatic Pathobiology.

- Research Project module
The Research Project module is normally completed between April and August, and involves research in many areas of aquatic animal health. These projects mostly laboratory based and often result in peer reviewed publications. Successful completion of the module, subsequent to foundation and advanced modules, will qualify you for an MSc in Aquatic Veterinary Studies.

Delivery and assessment

The course is delivered through a variety of formats including lectures, practical classes, seminars, field visits and directed study. Assessment consists of a number of assignments in a range of formats. The Research Project is graded on activities undertaken during the project, the thesis and a presentation you make in front of your peers, supervisors and examiners. The dissertation is examined by internal and external examiners.

Why Stirling?

REF2014
In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.

Rating

The Institute of Aquaculture, with a rating of 2.45 in the latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), was graded the top aquaculture department in the UK.

Strengths

The degree has been taught for almost 40 years and only one of its kind. It gives students the unique opportunity to study the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of aquatic animal diseases in cultured organisms in one of the top institutions of the world.

Career opportunities

The course has run for almost 40 years and has trained over 200 students (in combination with Aquatic Pathobiology) from all over the world. It equips you with expertise applicable to a wide range of potential careers. Our graduates generally find employment in their area of interest, and the world employment market in the area of aquatic animal health remains buoyant.
The course provides a natural career progression for most candidates and a conversion course for others wishing to enter the field. It also provides training for those who wish to pursue a PhD, especially in aquaculture, aquatic health, fisheries and aquatic resources management.
Over the last five intakes, in combination with the Aquatic Pathobiology degree, about 30 percent of graduates have gone on to a PhD or further research, about 25 percent have taken employment as fish health consultants or veterinarians, about 20 percent work in government fisheries departments, about 15 percent are university lecturers and the remainder are managers of farms or aquaria or have other types of employment.

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The Institute of Aquaculture is one of a handful of institutions worldwide wholly devoted to aquaculture science and is the only university department of its kind in the UK. Read more

Introduction

The Institute of Aquaculture is one of a handful of institutions worldwide wholly devoted to aquaculture science and is the only university department of its kind in the UK. The Institute is internationally recognised for both research and teaching and has more than 70 staff and 80 postgraduate students.
Our goal is to develop and promote sustainable aquaculture and in pursuit of this carry out research across most areas of aquaculture science including:
- Reproduction and Genetics
- Health Management
- Nutrition
- Environmental Management
- Aquaculture Systems and International Development

Key information

- Degree type: Postgraduate Diploma, MSc
- Study methods: Full-time
- Start date: September The course is available on a block-release basis (by selecting individual or a series of modules) over a period not exceeding five academic years.
- Course Director: Dr Trevor Telfer

Course objectives

You will gain an understanding of the biology, husbandry and environment of farmed aquatic species, in addition to specialist expertise in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of aquatic animal diseases in cultured organisms. It is also intended as preparation for students who plan to pursue a PhD in the area of aquatic animal health or disease.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:
- IELTS: 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
- Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
- Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
- IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

For more information go to English language requirements https://www.stir.ac.uk/study-in-the-uk/entry-requirements/english/

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View the range of pre-sessional courses http://www.intohigher.com/uk/en-gb/our-centres/into-university-of-stirling/studying/our-courses/course-list/pre-sessional-english.aspx .

Structure and content

The full Master’s course for each degree outcome is divided into four taught modules containing 12 subject areas or topics; two foundation modules, two advanced modules and a single Research Project module. The overall course is divided into three parts:

- Foundation modules
The Foundation modules are taught between September and December. There are six compulsory topics of study within two taught modules, taken consecutively, giving instruction in basic aquaculture concepts and skills. Successful completion of both Foundation modules will qualify you for a Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Aquaculture.

- Advanced modules
The two advanced modules consisting of six compulsory topics of study are taught between January and April. Successful completion of the advanced modules, subsequent to the Foundation modules, will qualify you for a Postgraduate Diploma in Aquatic Pathobiology.

- Research Project module
The Research Project module is normally completed between April and August, and involves research in many areas of aquatic animal health. These projects are mostly laboratory based and often result in peer-reviewed publications. Successful completion of the module, subsequent to foundation and advanced modules, will qualify you for an MSc in Aquatic Pathobiology.

Delivery and assessment

The course is delivered though a variety of formats including lectures, practical classes, seminars, field visits and directed study. Assessment consists of a number of assignments in a range of formats. The Research Project is graded on your activities during the project, your dissertation and a seminar presentation made in front of your peers, supervisors and examiners. The dissertation is examined by Aquaculture and external examiner.

Why Stirling?

REF2014
In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.

Rating

The Institute of Aquaculture, with a rating of 2.45 in the latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), was graded the top aquaculture department in the UK.

Strengths

The degree has been taught for almost 40 years and only one of its kind. It give students the unique opportunity to study the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of aquatic animal diseases in cultured organisms in one of the top institutions of the world.

Career opportunities

This course has run for almost 40 years and has trained over 200 students (in combination with Aquatic Veterinary Studies) from all over the world. It equips graduates with expertise applicable to a wide range of potential careers. The career path selected depends on your personal interests, as well as your previous experiences. Our graduates generally find employment in their area of interest and the world employment market in the area of aquatic animal health remains buoyant.
The course provides a natural career progression for most candidates and a conversion course for others wishing to enter the field. It also provides training for those who wish to pursue a PhD, especially in aquaculture, aquatic health, fisheries and aquatic resources management.
Over the last five intakes, in combination with the Aquatic Veterinary Studies degree, about 30 percent of graduates have gone on to a PhD or further research, about 25 percent have taken employment as aquatic health consultants, about 20 percent work in government fisheries departments, about 15 percent are university lecturers and the remainder are managers of farms or aquaria or have other types of employment.

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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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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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This taught one-year course will give students a thorough understanding of all aspects of wetland science and ecology. Students will also gain experience and knowledge on the complex conservation, restoration and management issues associated with wetlands. Read more
This taught one-year course will give students a thorough understanding of all aspects of wetland science and ecology. Students will also gain experience and knowledge on the complex conservation, restoration and management issues associated with wetlands. Field and laboratory work will cover the latest techniques in environmental analysis needed for contemporary wetland monitoring and experimentation.

Taught wetland and conservation modules

Wetland ecology
Classification of wetland types
Properties and functions of wetlands
Wetland zoology and botanical adaptations
Wetland hydrology and biogeochemistry
Carbon sequestration in wetlands
Use of wetlands for carbon offsetting
Wetland conservation and restoration techniques
Use and design of constructed wetlands
Wetland plant identification

Instrumental and environmental analysis

Students will learn a variety of instrumental analysis techniques suitable for ecologists interested in environmental analysis and those studying a wide variety of aquatic and terrestrial habitats – not just wetlands. The theory, practical use and basic maintenance of the instruments will be covered, along with sample collection and analysis.

The lab and field based techniques covered include:

pH, conductivity and Redox potential
Greenhouse gas (GHG) collection and analysis using a gas chromatograph (GC) and infra-red gas analysis (IRGA)
Cation and anion concentration analysis using ion chromatography (IC)
Stable isotope analysis with an isotope ratio mass spectrometer (IRMS)

Wetland-based research project

The research project comprises a third of the MSc and is supervised by research active staff with excellent publication record and experience in their field.
Career Options

Students choosing this MSc will enjoy a modular course that will teach both the practical and theoretical aspects of wetland science and conservation. Successful students will therefore develop the skills and experience required to enable progression onto PhD studies in a wide-range of biological, biogeochemical, environmental and conservation based subjects.

The course will also allow students to seek employment in areas related to wetlands, soil science, water treatment and quality, conservation and environmental consultancy.

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This taught one-year course will give students a thorough understanding of all aspects of wetland science required for understanding, design and construction of treatment wetlands for pollution control. Read more
This taught one-year course will give students a thorough understanding of all aspects of wetland science required for understanding, design and construction of treatment wetlands for pollution control. Students will learn the theoretical and practical skills needed in the application of a range of treatment wetlands for pollution control and water management. Field and laboratory work will also cover the latest techniques in environmental analysis needed for contemporary wetland monitoring and experimentation.

Taught wetland modules include:

Wetland classes and biodiversity
Wetland hydrology and biogeochemistry
Wetland Ecosystem Services
International wetland field trip
Constructed treatment wetlands
Instrumental and environmental analysis: alongside the theoretical and practical design skills needed for the building of constructed treatment wetlands students on this course will learn a variety of instrumental analysis techniques. These will be tailored for constructed wetland engineers and biogeochemists interested in environmental analysis and suitable for those studying a wide variety of aquatic and terrestrial habitats – not just wetlands. The theory, practical use and basic maintenance of the instruments will be covered, along with sample collection and analysis.

The lab and field based techniques covered include:

pH, conductivity and Redox potential
Greenhouse gas (GHG) collection and analysis using a gas chromatograph (GC) and infra-red gas analysis (IRGA)
Cation and anion concentration analysis using ion chromatography (IC)
Stable isotope analysis with an isotope ratio mass spectrometer (IRMS)
Modelling for the design of treatment wetlands
Constructed treatment wetland research project: the research project comprises a third of the MSc and is supervised by research active staff with excellent publication record and experience in their field.

There is the possibility of working alongside a constructed wetland consultancy partner for part of the project.

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The University of Stirling has offered an innovative postgraduate course in Environmental Management with a Conservation specialisation since 2013, leading to the qualification of Diploma or MSc. Read more
The University of Stirling has offered an innovative postgraduate course in Environmental Management with a Conservation specialisation since 2013, leading to the qualification of Diploma or MSc. The course provides the scientific knowledge and approaches for conservation science and practice and the opportunity to specialise in particular areas via the selection of relevant modules and the research project. Areas of potential specialisation include ecosystem services, environmental economics, conservation conflicts, habitat and biodiversity management and application of GIS and remote sensing.

There is a compulsory residential course in field techniques, which takes place in the Cairngorm National Park. The MSc course is equally relevant to recent and mature graduates seeking a career in conservation science, governmental and non-governmental organisations.

Our course gives students:
-An understanding of the science that underpin conservation and sustainability.
-An understanding of the ecological, economic, social, political and legal frameworks for conservation.
-A comprehensive training in quantitative, theoretical, analytical and practical and generic skills.

Key information

-Degree type: Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma, MSc.
-Study methods: Full time, Campus based.
-Duration: MSc 1 Year, PG Diploma 9 months, PG Certificate 4 months.
-Start date: September.
-Course Director: Dr Nils Bunnefeld.

Course objectives

Graduates from this course will have gained knowledge in the broad field of conservation science, including collecting and analysing relevant data for sustainable decision-making and transferable skills relevant to future employment at national and international level.

About the Faculty

The Faculty of Natural Sciences provides a distinctive and distinguished academic arena that explores the complex and challenging inter-relationships between human behaviours, technologies, biological, environmental and aquatic systems.

The Faculty brings together four divisions:
-Institute of Aquaculture.
-Biological and Environmental Sciences.
-Computing Science and Mathematics.
-Psychology.

World-leading original, significant and rigorous research is found in all of our academic disciplines. Our approach is interdisciplinary and research aspires to be cutting-edge, collaborative and excellent – internationally recognised for its quality and relevance.
In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF), the Faculty participated in six units of assessment where it excelled in a breadth of disciplines:
-1st in the UK in Aquaculture.
-4th in the UK for Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science.
-3rd in Scotland (18th in the UK) for Psychology.
-One of only four UK universities with Psychology research rated as having 100% world-leading impact.

Other course requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:
-IELTS: 6.5 with 5.5 minimum in each skill.
-Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C.
-Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade B.
-Pearson Test of English (Academic): 60 with 51 in each component.
-IBT TOEFL: 90 with no subtest less than 17.

For more information go to English language requirements: https://www.stir.ac.uk/study-in-the-uk/entry-requirements/english/

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View our range of pre-sessional courses: http://www.intohigher.com/uk/en-gb/our-centres/into-university-of-stirling/studying/our-courses/course-list/pre-sessional-english.aspx

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Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Environmental Biology. Read more

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

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

Ecosystems

Remote sensing of the changing environment

Geographical Information Systems

Research Project

Please visit our website for a full description of modules for the Environmental Biology: Conservation & Resource Management programme.

Facilities

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.

Student profiles

“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.”

David Parker

BSc Marine Biology

MSc Environmental Biology: Conservation & Resource Management

Marine Policy Officer, WWF Cymru, Cardiff

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.

All academic staff in Biosciences are active researchers and the department has a thriving research culture.



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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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Goal of the pro­gramme. Global socio-ecological problems call for multidisciplinary solutions that transcend the usual boundaries of science and decision-making. Read more

Goal of the pro­gramme

Global socio-ecological problems call for multidisciplinary solutions that transcend the usual boundaries of science and decision-making. The Environmental Change and Global Sustainability (ECGS) Master’s programme trains you in wide-ranging interdisciplinary thinking skills and provides you with the ability to:

  • Study environmental and sustainability issues in your respective fields of expertise and
  • Solve problems of socio-ecological sustainability in cooperation with various social actors.

Further information about the studies on the Master's programme website.

Pro­gramme con­tents

ECGS is a truly multidisciplinary Master’s programme. It covers an introductory Core Module common to all students, followed by two distinct study tracks.

The introductory Core Module focuses on the methodologies of environmental and sustainability science as well as the interactions between science and society. The Core Module also offers a pool of optional methodological studies, providing you with the necessary research tools to tackle socio-ecological challenges.

If your orientation is in natural sciences, the Environmental Change study line can provide you with an understanding of the functioning of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and can give guidance toward their sustainable use.

If your interests are more in the social sciences and humanities, on the other hand, the Global Sustainability study line provides an understanding of the socio-cultural underpinnings of global sustainability challenges so that you can help to develop solutions that take social and environmental justice into consideration.

Se­lec­tion of the study track

You can apply for one of the two studytracks in the ECGS Master’s programme: the Environmental Change study line or the Global Sustainability study line. You can refine your expertise in your chosen study line by choosing from study modules related to your specialised field of science or from interdisciplinary phenomenon-based modules.

Environmental Change modules are offered in, for example, the following research fields: aquatic sciences, soil and earth sciences, environmental ecology, environmental biotechnology and agroecology. Global Sustainability modules include themes such as environmental and natural resource economics, environmental policy, development studies, public and social policy, consumer research, forest policy and economics, and development geography. ECGS also offers a variety of modules integrating both natural and social scientific perspectives including phenomenon-based modules on the Baltic Sea and the Arctic as well as a variety of interdisciplinary fields such as climate change, food and consumption systems, urban studies and socio-ecological systems studies.

As an international applicant, you will be assessed and accepted for the Master’s program based on the scientific relevance of your bachelor’s degree and your success in previous studies.



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

The MSc in High Performance and Scientific Computing is for you if you are a graduate in a scientific or engineering discipline and want to specialise in applications of High Performance computing in your chosen scientific area. During your studies in High Performance and Scientific Computing you will develop your computational and scientific knowledge and skills in tandem helping emphasise their inter-dependence.

On the course in High Performance and Scientific Computing you will develop a solid knowledge base of high performance computing tools and concepts with a flexibility in terms of techniques and applications. As s student of the MSc High Performance and Scientific Computing you will take core computational modules in addition to specialising in high performance computing applications in a scientific discipline that defines the route you have chosen (Biosciences, Computer Science, Geography or Physics). You will also be encouraged to take at least one module in a related discipline.

Modules of High Performance and Scientific Computing MSc

The modules you study on the High Performance and Scientific Computing MSc depend on the route you choose and routes are as follows:

Biosciences route (High Performance and Scientific Computing MSc):

Graphics Processor Programming

High Performance Computing in C/C++

Operating Systems and Architectures

Software Testing

Programming in C/C++

Conservation of Aquatic Resources or Environmental Impact Assessment

Ecosystems

Research Project in Environmental Biology

+ 10 credits from optional modules

Computer Science route (High Performance and Scientific Computing MSc):

Graphics Processor Programming

High Performance Computing in C/C++

Operating Systems and Architectures

Software Testing

Programming in C/C++

Partial Differential Equations

Numerics of ODEs and PDEs

Software Engineering

Data Visualization

MSc Project

+ 30 credits from optional modules

Geography route (High Performance and Scientific Computing MSc):

Graphics Processor Programming

High Performance Computing in C/C++

Operating Systems and Architectures

Software Testing

Programming in C/C++

Partial Differential Equations

Numerics of ODEs and PDEs

Modelling Earth Systems or Satellite Remote Sensing or Climate Change – Past, Present and Future or Geographical Information Systems

Research Project

+ 10 credits from optional modules

Physics route (High Performance and Scientific Computing MSc):

Graphics Processor Programming

High Performance Computing in C/C++

Operating Systems and Architectures

Software Testing

Programming in C/C++

Partial Differential Equations

Numerics of ODEs and PDEs

Monte Carlo Methods

Quantum Information Processing

Phase Transitions and Critical Phenomena

Physics Project

+ 20 credits from optional modules

Optional Modules (High Performance and Scientific Computing MSc):

Software Engineering

Data Visualization

Monte Carlo Methods

Quantum Information Processing

Phase Transitions and Critical Phenomena

Modelling Earth Systems

Satellite Remote Sensing

Climate Change – Past, Present and Future

Geographical Information Systems

Conservation of Aquatic Resources

Environmental Impact Assessment

Ecosystems

Facilities

Students of the High Performance and Scientific Computing programme will benefit from the Department that is well-resourced to support research. Swansea physics graduates are more fortunate than most, gaining unique insights into exciting cutting-edge areas of physics due to the specialized research interests of all the teaching staff. This combined with a great staff-student ratio enables individual supervision in advanced final year research projects. Projects range from superconductivity and nano-technology to superstring theory and anti-matter. The success of this programme is apparent in the large proportion of our M.Phys. students who seek to continue with postgraduate programmes in research.

Specialist equipment includes:

a low-energy positron beam with a highfield superconducting magnet for the study of positronium

a number of CW and pulsed laser systems

scanning tunnelling electron and nearfield optical microscopes

a Raman microscope

a 72 CPU parallel cluster

access to the IBM-built ‘Blue C’ Supercomputer at Swansea University and is part of the shared use of the teraflop QCDOC facility based in Edinburgh

The Physics laboratories and teaching rooms were refurbished during 2012 and were officially opened by Professor Lyn Evans, Project Leader of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. This major refurbishment was made possible through the University’s capital programme, the College of Science, and a generous bequest made to the Physics Department by Dr Gething Morgan Lewis FRSE, an eminent physicist who grew up in Ystalyfera in the Swansea Valley and was educated at Brecon College.



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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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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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