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Masters Degrees (Freshwater)

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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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This programme is delivered in close collaboration with our advisory board of representatives from the water industry, and provides fundamental and applied training in the science and management of freshwater environments. Read more

Overview

This programme is delivered in close collaboration with our advisory board of representatives from the water industry, and provides fundamental and applied training in the science and management of freshwater environments. Combining hydrology, geomorphology, biogeochemistry and ecology, the degree is designed to produce outstanding scientists capable of developing interdisciplinary environmental solutions to priority water resource and catchment issues. It involves fieldwork at our research sites including the near-natural Tagliamento River, Italy, and heavily impacted rivers within London and the south-east of England.

This programme:

- facilitates networking within the water and environmental sectors
- lets you develop core understanding of freshwater environmental systems and the key policy and legal frameworks that underpin their management
- provides hands-on training in flood estimation and inundation modelling using industry-standard software
- allows you to broaden your skills and knowledge in the monitoring and management of pollutants, nutrient levels and greenhouse gas emissions in aquatic systems
- provides training in river assessment methods
- develops your skills and knowledge in the theory and practice of river restoration
- learn transferable skills in field and lab methods, project management, statistical analysis, Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and the use of remotely sensed data, report writing, problem solving and presenting
- follow in the footsteps of our graduates who have secured positions in the water and environmental sectors including Jacobs, Halcrow Group, JBA Consulting, River Trusts, Thames Water, Environment Agency, Parish Geomorphic and ESIS Inc.

Why study at QMUL Geography?

- Professional and friendly environment: We are recognised as an international centre for excellence in teaching and research. Our work is at the forefront of human geography, shaping debates and providing significant new insight and understanding. We are also known for our friendly, collegial and welcoming ethos and are home to many of contemporary human geography's best known scholars.
- Research excellence: Almost 80 per cent of our research outputs (books and articles) are rated as world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*) placing us 5th in the UK for this measure. Our research scores increased across all areas in the latest UK score of research excellence (REF 2014) and we're ranked joint 11th for geography in the UK overall. We're also proud to feature in the top 100 departments in the world to study geography (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016)
- Employability: 94% of respondents from our postgraduates were in work or further study six month after graduation; 91% at graduate level (DLHE 2015).
- You will develop knowledge and understanding relevant to employment in organisations such as Environment Agency, Defra, Natural England, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, British Geological Survey and environmental consultancies.

Funding:

A bursary of up to £4,000 is available from the Worshipful Company of Water Conservators for this programme. Contact Dr Gemma Harvey at to find out more.

Fieldwork

Students visit our researchers' site at the near-natural Tagliamento River in Italy as well as heavily-impacted rivers in London and the south east of England.

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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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Why choose this course?. This course is accredited by the Institution of Environmental Sciences. Gain an in-depth and holistic understanding and knowledge of contaminated land and freshwater environments, as well as strategies to prevent, manage, and control contamination of these environments. Read more

Why choose this course?

This course is accredited by the Institution of Environmental Sciences

Gain an in-depth and holistic understanding and knowledge of contaminated land and freshwater environments, as well as strategies to prevent, manage, and control contamination of these environments

You'll have the opportunity to undertake a work placement to experience working with employers in a range of settings, from practical-based training to practitioner-based learning

This course will prepare you to apply the knowledge gained to real world situations and critically evaluate the outcomes to make strategic decisions

This course provides study aspects that develop an insight and skills for professionals in the government, industry, consultancy, academia, and other statutory bodies within the UK and overseas to evaluate contaminated land and freshwater management policies and strategies to achieve effective governance of these environments

We offer a learning approach suitable for recent graduates seeking a full-time study approach, and mature students in current employment a part-time route to suit their time commitments.

About this course

This is a creative programme that addresses human intervention strategies towards problem-solving in the real world, on examples such as flood defence, through the processes involved in decision-making at local authorities. This will be achieved by linking with external organisations to include practical experience through field and laboratory work, and practitioner training through placements.

Aspects of contaminated land will include legislation and regulation, identification, analysis and remediation, and human health exposure assessment through a case study approach using research informed teaching, as well as practitioner training. Within the water aspects of our course, you will focus on the environmental monitoring and assessment of freshwater, legislation and regulatory aspects, management of freshwater towards prevention and control of contamination, drinking water quality and human health, and a focus on flood defence.

A number of factors ensure you are prepared for the workforce you will seek to join on completion of the programme; these include placement experience with employers, and field and laboratory skills. Additionally, the course is currently undergoing accreditation with the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES), meaning students could be studying on a professional body accredited course with free student membership of the professional body and eligibility to apply for higher levels of membership upon completion.

Face-to-face delivery of modules and placements will aid your development of transferrable soft leadership and management, and communication skills required to meet the demands of current employers. Most of our student employment will be within collaborative and multi-disciplinary teams. Moreover, you will be supported in your PDP through reflection upon your own learning, performance and achievement, and planning for your personal, educational, and career development.



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What you will study. Tropical Ecology- 20 credits (Optional). This module encompasses dive training; a 16-day excursion (variable destinations, e.g. Read more

What you will study

  • Tropical Ecology- 20 credits (Optional)
  • This module encompasses dive training; a 16-day excursion (variable destinations, e.g. Borneo, Honduras, Philippines); one-week tropical forest surveys, one-week coral reef diving – organism identification and surveying.
  • Environmental Management and Legislation - 10 credits
  • We look at how legislation protects the environment, planning laws and policies, environmental economics and cost-benefit analysis.

  • Wildlife Surveying - 10 credits
  • You will conduct pond and river water quality surveys (BMWP and PSYM methods) and river habitat surveys (RHS). You will learn freshwater invertebrate identification skills and plant identification.

  • Tools for Sustainable Development - 20 credits (Optional)
  • This 100% coursework module includes a four-day workshop. We look at energy use/resources and climate change. We also investigate sustainable alternatives to current lifestyles, consumerism, fossil fuel use and the implications for conservation policy and practices, plus how to obtain funding for community and sustainability projects.

  • Restoration Ecology - 20 credits
  • In this module we study ecology and biodiversity; re-wilding: beaver, lynx, wolf reintroduction; restoration approaches for various habitats and tropical forest management.
  • Terrestrial and Aquatic Conservation - 20 credits
  • You will study protected areas and their management; the impact of climate change on terrestrial habitats; agricultural systems and impact on conservation; the 
  • ecology of rivers, lakes and marine habitats; the human impacts on freshwater habitats and identifying freshwater life.

  • European Field Expedition - 20 credits
  • You will study vegetation surveys (forest structure surveys, thermal zone assessment, various transect techniques, habitat mapping); land use and management issues; bird survey methods (bird identification skills); offshore marine surveys and measurements.

  • Work Based Learning Project - 20 credits (Optional)
  • The optional Work Based Learning module enables our students to gain 60 hours work experience under the supervision of an employer. You will also be assigned an academic supervisor who will advise you on a suitable employer based on your area of interest. Recent organisations who have hosted our students include Capita Symonds, Natural Resources Wales, Wales Heritage Coastal Path and Warwickshire Wildlife Trust.

  • MSc Project - 60 credits 
  • This project is often done in co-operation with conservation organisations such as National Parks; English Nature / Countryside Council for Wales; National Botanic Garden; Environment Agency and Wildlife Trusts. Examples of recent projects include coral reef conservation in the Bahamas; feeding habits of Groupers off Honduras; deforestation in SE Asia; invasive species in Cardiff Bay; biodiversity increase with organic farming; butterfly reintroduction and habitats; recognition of Japanese Knotweed by remote sensing.

  • Tropical Environmental Monitoring - 20 credits (Optional)
  • This module is all about conservation and wildlife / safari management. We look at field monitoring techniques and identification skills, and animal tracking on both foot and by vehicle.
  • Applied Geospatial Analysis - 20 credits
  • This offers a practical introduction to Geographical Information Systems and their use in environmental management. We will look at remote sensing techniques; animal population modelling; pollution modelling and the use of statistical software for parametric and non-parametric analysis, correlation, regression and ANOVA analysis. 

Teaching

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.

Assessment

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.



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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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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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Several agencies at a national and international level are required to manage our environment sustainably by implementing policy and legislation. Read more
Several agencies at a national and international level are required to manage our environment sustainably by implementing policy and legislation. The study of Applied Environmental Science is critical for establishing policies in environmental assessment, evaluating potential change in environmental quality in response to various land use and other activities, and in the development of management and conservation strategies, as well as contributing to policy formulation.

This programme provides graduates with a thorough knowledge of Environmental Science and there is a heavy emphasis on practical training in fieldwork, laboratory analyses, information sourcing, data analysis,planning, reporting and communication. You will work with an interdisciplinary team of experts covering the key aspects of Environmental Science, encompassing marine, freshwater and terrestrial systems, to make this an exceptionally practical multidisciplinary programme.

Key Fact

This Applied Environmental Science course has been running for over 20 years, it’s the only such MSc in Ireland to include a major input from civil engineering, relating particularly to water quality, hydrology and waste treatment processes. This MSc also offers a 2 month work placement in the environmental sector providing relevant work experience.

Core Modules

Samples of modules include:
• Water Resources Engineering
• Vegetation Ecology
• Environmental Impact Assessment
• Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Data Analyses
• Freshwater Resources Assessment
• Remote Sensing
• Global Change Ecology
• Ecological Modelling
• Wildlife & Resources Management
• Integrated Municipal Solid Waste
• Marine/Coastal Ecology
• Soil Ecology
• Water, Waste & Environment Modelling
• Environmental Geology
• Ecotoxicology & Air Quality Monitoring


The course gives due consideration to key legislative requirements and policy developments. Modules and topics shown are subject to change and are not guaranteed by UCD.

Career Opportunities

Our graduates are building successful varied careers in environmental resources assessment, management and protection. A considerable number have been employed in consultancy positions and some are also with the Inland Fisheries Ireland, the Department of the Environment and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Some graduates have also continued their studies at PhD level in the areas of fisheries, biomass fuels, soil, water engineering and invertebrate ecology.

Facilities and Resources

The School of Biology and Environmental Science has 14 state-of the-art research laboratories that are equipped to support a very wide range of research activities at the cellular or whole organism level. The UCD Rosemount Environmental Research Station can also support glasshouse or field-based experiments.

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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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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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The International Community increasingly faces the task of addressing a plethora of environmental challenges. Read more
The International Community increasingly faces the task of addressing a plethora of environmental challenges. The LLM Environmental law provides an insight into the international legal response to these various challenges which include global warming, ozone layer depletion, the over-exploitation by mankind of wildlife species and the destruction of vital habitat sites.

Many environmental problems require an international response. This course aims to provide the student with an insight into international environmental law with a focus on the general themes and principles in this area, the law relating to the protection of biodiversity, and that which endeavours to prevent or at least minimise the impact of transfrontier pollution.

The modules taught on this course cover a wide range of issues of contemporary relevance. The underlying purpose is to provide a solid grounding in the basic principles of European Community and international environmental law as applied in a particular context.

How has international environmental law evolved historically? Who are the main actors in the field? What key principles underpin regulation? What do we mean by the pursuit of “sustainable development”? How is the law in this area enforced? Treaty regimes explored include those relating to acid deposition, climate change, ozone layer depletion, nuclear contamination and freshwater pollution. In addition, an insight will be given to the various treaty regimes that seek to address the continuing pressures on the world’s biodiversity. For example, how is commercial whaling now regulated? What system is in place to regulate trade in endangered species? What of the protection of wetlands, Antarctica, world heritage and of migratory species?

Modern techniques of environmental regulation are also addressed, such as the funding mechanisms for international environmental treaties (e.g. Biodiversity Convention, Ozone Layer Convention) and the procedural requirement for environmental impact assessment of certain activities under international and European Community law.

Since its introduction in 1987, our LLM programme has continued to grow in popularity and prestige. Offering a wide and diverse range of over 50 options, the programme now attracts some 150 to 180 candidates each year, from more than 50 countries, confirming its status as one of the leading and most exciting LLM programmes available.

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This interdisciplinary programme is designed to provide an opportunity to explore the interplay between scientific knowledge and law. Read more
This interdisciplinary programme is designed to provide an opportunity to explore the interplay between scientific knowledge and law. You may take courses that address the international legal response to the growing number of pressures on the global environment, and complement these by studying a variety of courses designed to give an introduction to physical and/or biological sciences.

Climate change, acid rain, biodiversity conservation, species extinction, contaminated land - these are but a few of the environmental issues that constitute headline news today. Modules offered by the School of Law are designed to give a wider understanding of EC and international law perspectives on environmental problems that frequently can only be addressed through regional or international regulation. How has international environmental law evolved historically? Who are the main actors in the field? What key principles underpin regulation? What do we mean by the pursuit of “sustainable development”? How is the law in this area enforced?

Treaty regimes explored include those relating to acid deposition, climate change, ozone layer depletion, nuclear contamination and freshwater pollution. In addition, an insight will be given to the various treaty regimes that seek to address the continuing pressures on the world’s biodiversity. For example, how is commercial whaling now regulated? What system is in place to regulate trade in endangered species? What of the protection of wetlands, Antarctica, world heritage and of migratory species?

The scientific element of the programme is designed to provide a background in biological and/or physical sciences, and also an understanding of relevant mathematical and computer science to facilitate a quantitative understanding of environmental issues.

Addressing these issues to ensure a clean and healthy environment for the enjoyment of future generations is one of the greatest challenges for environmental science and law.

Key facts

The School of Law is rated as ‘internationally outstanding’ (Grade 5A on a scale of 1-5) for its research and as ‘Excellent’ for its teaching quality.
The School enjoys important professional relationships with international institutions; leading firms in the City of London and the provinces; private industry and consultancies; and non-governmental organisations.
The School of Biosciences is one of the largest and strongest Schools of its kind in the UK.
It has consistently achieved high ratings in independent UK assessments of both research and teaching quality, receiving an RAE grade of 5A and 23/24 in the latest Teaching Quality Assessment.
The Sutton Bonington Campus is a self-contained, 16-hectare site in the beautiful countryside of South Nottinghamshire and it offers a number of dedicated facilities applicable to this course.

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The course focuses on developing the professional skills required for a rewarding career as a water focused environmental scientist. Read more

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.

Introducing your 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.

Overview

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.

View the specification document for this course



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Biodiversity loss remains one of the key environmental concerns of our time, and conservation work requires experts who understand the science underpinning practical activities. Read more

Biodiversity loss remains one of the key environmental concerns of our time, and conservation work requires experts who understand the science underpinning practical activities. The MSc Biodiversity and Conservation will develop your understanding, providing excellent preparation for careers in ecological consultancy or conservation management.

Introducing your degree

The conservation and enhancement of our biodiversity relies upon highly skilled environmental scientists. Our MSc Biodiversity and Conservation course draws on our world-class reputation for environmental research and provides an industry-relevant masters education for a career as an environmental scientist in conservation.

Through this course you will be able to accurately monitor species diversity, change, population abundance and distribution, all key skills in the protection and enhancement of our ecosystems.

Overview

In your first semester, you will develop the fundamental skills required for a career in ecology. You will learn about Environmental Impact Assessment, deepen your understanding of freshwater ecosystems and their management, whilst developing skills in spatial ecology and conservation. In the second semester, you will learn to action global change by analysing ecosystems and their impact on populations and communities.

Each semester, you have the option to specialise in modules related to your interests and career aspirations, from Environmental Pollution to Deep Sea Ecology to Environmental Law and Management. You will have the chance to apply geographical information systems, modelling and spatial analysis and acquire the interdisciplinary skills required for effective research project management. We provide students with the knowledge and ability to accurately monitor species diversity, change, population and distribution, in order to protect and enhance our ecosystems, individual species and habitats.

The final part of the year will centre on individual research. You will complete an advanced research project and be encouraged to work with industry to apply your newly deveoped knowledge.

View the specification document for this course



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The MSc in Conservation Biology provides you with a knowledge base and the practical experience to address issues relating to biodiversity conservation and biodiversity management. Read more
The MSc in Conservation Biology provides you with a knowledge base and the practical experience to address issues relating to biodiversity conservation and biodiversity management.

Modern conservation science transcends the traditional boundaries of biology, ecology and environmental management. Today’s managers of biodiversity need to be versed in a broad range of specialist fields, from population ecology and human community development, through to international wildlife trade and the economics of conservation, as well as the latest techniques in endangered species recovery.

Our MSc in Conservation Biology is an interdisciplinary pathway that integrates all of these aspects of conservation biology. It is designed for wildlife managers with practical experience in international conservation work looking to acquire formal scientific training, as well as students with academic qualifications looking to develop a career in conservation.

Visit the website https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/273/conservation-biology

Why study with us?

- 1 year taught Master's programme

- Teaching which integrates natural and social sciences

- Formal lectures and seminars supported by residential courses and day trips including to the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, Slimbridge, the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, Jersey, previous fieldtrips have also taken place in Scotland and Malta (these change annually)

- Mix of formal academic training and practical field conservation experience

- Research-led pathway taught by academics rated as world-leading and internationally excellent (REF 2014) who are members of DICE

- Benefit from DICE's extensive links with international conservation organisations

About The Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE)

Conservation programmes offered by the School of Anthropology and Conservation are delivered by members of DICE.

DICE is Britain’s leading research centre dedicated to conserving biodiversity and the ecological processes that support ecosystems and people. It pursues innovative and cutting-edge research to develop the knowledge that underpins conservation, and sets itself apart from more traditionally-minded academic institutions with its clear aims to:

- Break down the barriers between the natural and social sciences in conservation

- Conduct research that informs and improves policy and practice in all relevant sectors

- Disseminate knowledge and provide expertise on conservation issues to stakeholders

- Build capacity in the conservation sector through research-led teaching and training

- Strive for sustainable livelihoods and biodiversity conservation that benefits people

Our staff have outstanding international research profiles, yet integrate this with considerable on-the-ground experience working with conservation agencies around the world. This combination of expertise ensures that our programmes deliver the skills and knowledge that are essential components of conservation implementation.

Course structure

The MSc consists of six months of coursework and five months of research. The optional modules allow you the flexibility to devise a pathway that suits your specific interests, with an appropriate balance between natural and social sciences.

Modules

Please note that not all modules necessarily run every year. Please contact the School for more detailed information on availability.

DI876 - Research Methods for Social Science (15 credits)
DI877 - Population and Evolutionary Biology (15 credits)
DI1001 - Interdisciplinary Foundations for Conservation (15 credits)
DI884 - Research Methods for Natural Sciences (15 credits)
SE857 - Advanced Topics in Primate Behaviour (20 credits)
DI836 - Integrated Species Conservation and Management (15 credits)
DI841 - Managing Protected Areas (15 credits)
DI849 - Principles of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing (15 credits)
DI871 - International Wildlife Trade - Achieving Sustainability (15 credits)
DI875 - Principles and Practice of Ecotourism (15 credits)
DI880 - Conservation and Community Development (15 credits)
DI881 - Advanced Topics in Conservation Ecology and Management (15 credits)
DI883 - Special Topics in Conservation (15 credits)
DI885 - Ecotourism and Rural Development Field Course (15 credits)
DI888 - Economics of Biodiversity Conservation (15 credits)
DI889 - Leadership Skills for Conservation Managers (15 credits)
DI892 - Current Issues in Primate Conservation (15 credits)
DI893 - Business Principles for Biodiversity Conservation (15 credits)
DI998 - Dissertation - Conservation (60 credits)

Assessment

Assessment is carried out primarily through coursework with written examinations for some modules. The research dissertation is written up in the format of a paper for publication.

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

- produce postgraduates equipped to play leading roles in the field of international conservation and biodiversity management

- develop new areas of teaching in response to the advance of scholarship and practice

- provide you with opportunities to gain a interdisciplinary perspective on conservation issues through collaborative exchange between DICE and the wider University

- develop your competence in applying theoretical and methodological skills to the implementation of conservation practice and biodiversity management

- develop your critical and analytical powers in relation to policy formulation and data analysis and interpretation

- provide you with the skills to adapt and respond positively to change

- develop critical, analytical problem-based learning skills and the transferable skills necessary for professional development

- enhance the development of your interpersonal skills

- assist you to develop the skills required for both autonomous practice and team-working.

Careers

The School has a very good record for postgraduate employment and academic continuation. DICE programmes combine academic theory with practical field experience to develop graduates who are highly employable within government, NGOs and the private sector.

Our alumni progress into a wide range of organisations across the world. Examples include: consultancy for a Darwin Initiative project in West Sumatra; Wildlife Management Officer in Kenya; Chief of the Biodiversity Unit – UN Environment Programme; Research and Analysis Programme Leader for TRAFFIC; Freshwater Programme Officer, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); Head of the Ecosystem Assessment Programme, United Nations Environment Programme-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC); Community Based Natural Resource Manager, WWF; Managing Partner, Althelia Climate Fund; and Programme Officer, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

Find out how to apply here - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/

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