This degree is designed primarily for students with no previous specialisation in marine science such as graduates with a degree in biological sciences, chemistry or materials science, physics, mathematics, environmental science, physical geography or related disciplines. The programme includes compulsory introductory modules that provide a foundation in interdisciplinary marine science, along with the opportunity to specialise in particular areas through an option of modules, as well as research project experience. To highlight the specialisations possible through the option modules of the programme, we have developed “pathways” of suggested module choices, which include:
– Marine Biology and Ecology
– Physical Oceanography and Climate Dynamics
– Marine Biogeochemistry
– Marine Geology and Geophysics
Students can either follow one of these ‘pathways’, or mix options from different pathways, where the timetable allows, to pursue broader interests.Graduates often pursue careers in the marine environmental sector or undertake PhD research in marine sciences.
Core introductory modules: Biological Oceanography; Chemical Oceanography; Marine Geology; Physical Oceanography Plus: Key Skills and Literature Review
Optional modules: two from: Applied and Marine Geophysics; Biogeochemical Cycles in the Earth System; Coastal Sediment Dynamics; Computational Data Analysis for Geophysicists and Ocean Scientists; Deep-sea Ecology; Geodynamics and Solid Earth Geophysics; International Maritime and Environmental Law; Introductory Remote Sensing of the Oceans; Large-scale Ocean Processes; Microfossils, Environment and Time; Zooplankton Ecology and Processes
Optional modules: three from: Global Ocean Carbon Cycle, Ocean Acidification and Climate; Applied Coastal Sediment Dynamics; Climate Dynamics; Ecological Modelling; Environmental Radioactivity and Radiochemistry; Global Climate Cycles; Global Ocean Monitoring; Seafloor Exploration and Surveying 2; Structure and Dynamics of Marine Communities; UN Convention on the Law of the Sea
Plus: Key Skills and Literature Review Research project: From June to September, students work full-time on an independent research project that represents one-third of the MSc degree.
This programme provides broad knowledge of marine geological and geophysical techniques and advanced training in marine geophysical exploration techniques, mathematical modelling, geodynamics, coastal processes, micropalaeontology or palaeoceanographic expertise.
You will gain hands-on research experience through an advanced project with leading international researchers. The MRes focuses less on taught modules and more on the research project (about two-thirds of the year).
Core modules: Contemporary Topics in Ocean and Earth Science; Introduction to Marine Geology; plus one from Introduction to Chemical Oceanography or Introduction to Physical Oceanography
Optional modules: Applied and Marine Geophysics; Basin Analysis; Coastal Sediment Dynamics; Computational Data Analysis for Geophysicists and Ocean Scientists; Geodynamics and Solid Earth Geophysics; Microfossils, Environments and Time
Optional modules: Applied Coastal Sediment Dynamics; Ecological Modelling; Global Climate Cycles; High-resolution Marine Geophysics
Plus research project
You will focus on a particular area of oceanography, which may be influenced by the subject area of your first degree, and develop specific knowledge and skills in areas determined by the modules you select and the nature of the research you undertake. The MRes is a research-led programme that differs from the MSc in focusing less on taught modules and more on the research project (about two-thirds of the year).
Semester one Core modules: Contemporary Topics in Ocean and Earth Science; plus one from: Introduction to Biological Oceanography; Introduction to Chemical Oceanography; Introduction to Marine Geology; Introduction to Physical Oceanography
Optional module: one from: Biogeochemical Cycles in the Earth System; Computational Data Analysis for Geophysicist and Ocean Scientists; Deep-sea Ecology; International Maritime and Environmental Law; Introductory Remote Sensing of the Oceans; Large scale Ocean Processes; Zooplankton Ecology and Processes
Optional module: one from: Applied Biogeochemistry and Pollution; Applied Coastal Sediment Dynamics; Climate Dynamics; Ecological Modelling; Environmental Radioactivity and Radiochemistry; Global Climate Cycles; Reproduction in Marine Animals; Sea Floor Exploration and Surveying 2; Structure and Dynamics of Marine Communities; UN Convention on the Law of the Sea
Plus research project
The MER master program provides high quality teaching in general oceanography with a specialization in marine environment (ecology, ecotoxicology, biochemistry, geochemistry, sedimentology, paleo-oceanography) and living or non-living marine resources. The MER program benefits from a consortium of four EU universities (Bilbao - Spain, Bordeaux-France, Southampton-UK and Liège-Belgium) and a worldwide network of associated partners.
The MER master program is organized according to three teaching semesters (Semester 1-3: coursework) plus a research master thesis (Semester 4) carried out via an internship at any partner research institution worldwide. Mobility is mandatory and three different mobility opportunities are proposed for the coursework:
Coursework is organized according to six mandatory and optional modules (total: 90 ECTS).
Module 1 to 6: Content
The MSc thesis research (Module 6) is carried out during Semester 4 (30 ECTS) at any Marine Research Institute worldwide.
Successful completion of this program will prepare students for a leadership role in various marine sectors such as conservation and environmental management, fisheries, nongovernmental organizations and all levels of government positions from local to global. Students benefit from a worldwide network of partner institutions.
From the start (2007), the MER program has trained more than 100 students. More than 50% of graduates continue with a PhD. Other graduates integrate public or private organizations in their field of expertise.
Society urgently needs experts with a multidisciplinary education in atmospheric and Earth System sciences. Climate change and issues of air quality and extreme weather are matters of global concern, but which are inadequately understood from the scientific point of view. Not only must further research be done, but industry and business also need environmental specialists with a strong background in natural sciences. As new regulations and European Union directives are adopted in practice, people with knowledge of recent scientific research are required.
Upon graduating from the Programme you will have competence in
Further information about the studies on the Master's programme website.
The six study lines are as follows:
Aerosol particles are tiny liquid or solid particles floating in the air. Aerosol physics is essential for our understanding of air quality, climate change and production of nanomaterials. Aerosol scientists investigate a large variety of phenomena associated with atmospheric aerosol particles and related gas-to-particle conversion using constantly improving experimental, theoretical, model-based and data analysis methods.
Hydrospheric geophysics studies water in all of its forms using physical methods. It includes hydrology, cryology, and physical oceanography. Hydrology includes the study of surface waters such as lakes and rivers, global and local hydrological cycles as well as water resources and geohydrology, the study of groundwater. Cryology focuses on snow and ice phenomena including glacier mass balance and dynamics, sea ice physics, snow cover effects and ground frost. Physical oceanography covers saline water bodies, focusing on describing their dynamics, both large scale circulation and water masses, and local phenomena such as surface waves, upwelling, tides, and ocean acoustics. Scientists study the hydrosphere through field measurements, large and small scale modelling, and formulating mathematical descriptions of the processes.
Meteorology is the physics of the atmosphere. Its best-known application is weather forecasting, but meteorological knowledge is also essential for understanding, predicting and mitigating climate change. Meteorologists study atmospheric phenomena across a wide range of space and time scales using theory, model simulations and observations. The field of meteorology is a forerunner in computing: the development of chaos theory, for example, was triggered by the unexpected behaviour of a meteorological computer model. Meteorology in ATM-MP is further divided into dynamic meteorology and biometeorology. Dynamic meteorology is about large-scale atmospheric dynamics, modelling and observation techniques, whereas biometeorology focuses on interactions between the atmosphere and the underlying surface by combining observations and modelling to study the flows of greenhouse gases and energy with links to biogeochemical cycles, for example.
Biogeochemistry studies the processes involved in cycling of elements in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems by integrating physics, meteorology, geophysics, chemistry, geology and biology. Besides natural ecosystems, it also studies systems altered by human activity such as forests under different management regimes, drained peatlands, lakes loaded by excess nutrients and urban environments. The most important elements and substances studied are carbon, nitrogen, sulphur, water and phosphorus, which are vital for ecosystem functioning and processes such as photosynthesis. Biogeochemistry often focuses on the interphases of scientific disciplines and by doing so, it also combines different research methods. It treats ecosystems as open entities which are closely connected to the atmosphere and lithosphere. You will thus get versatile training in environmental issues and research techniques. As a graduate of this line you will be an expert in the functioning of ecosystems and the interactions between ecosystems and the atmosphere/hydrosphere/lithosphere in the context of global change. You will have knowledge applicable for solving global challenges such as climate change, air pollution, deforestation and issues related to water resources and eutrophication.
Remote sensing allows the collection of information about the atmosphere, oceans and land surfaces. Various techniques are applied for monitoring the state and dynamics of the Earth system from the ground, aircraft or satellites. While Lidar and radar scan from the surface or mounted on aircraft, instruments on polar orbiting or geostationary satellites permit measurements worldwide. In atmospheric sciences remote sensing has found numerous applications such as observations of greenhouse and other trace gases, aerosols, water vapour, clouds and precipitation, as well as surface observations, for example of vegetation, fire activity, snow cover, sea ice and oceanic parameters such as phytoplankton. Synergistic satellite data analysis enables the study of important processes and feedback in the climate system. Remote sensing advances climate research, weather forecasting, air quality studies, aviation safety and the renewable energy industry.
Atmospheric chemistry studies the composition and reactions of the molecules that make up the atmosphere, including atmospheric trace constituents and their role in chemical, geological and biological processes, including human influence. The low concentrations and high reactivity of these trace molecules place stringent requirements on the measurement and modelling methods used to study them. Analytical chemistry is the science of obtaining, processing, and communicating information about the composition and structure of matter and plays an essential role in the development of science. Environmental analysis consists of the most recent procedures for sampling, sample preparation and sample analysis and learning how to choose the best analytical methods for different environmental samples. Physical atmospheric chemistry studies focus on the reaction types and reaction mechanisms occurring in the atmosphere, with emphasis on reaction kinetics, thermodynamics and modelling methods.