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Masters Degrees (Marine Biogeochemistry)

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This MSc is a full-time one-year course, consisting of 9 months taught course and 3 months research project, and examined by continuous assessment. Read more
This MSc is a full-time one-year course, consisting of 9 months taught course and 3 months research project, and examined by continuous assessment. The course provides advanced training in marine biology with a strong emphasis on practical training.

The course provides training addressing the following major themes:

Marine Ecology Skills
Habitat Ecology / Coastal Survey
Marine Fisheries
Marine Vertebrates
Marine Invertebrates
Research Design & Planning
Research Project / Dissertation
The programme is achieved through a series of compulsory modules encompassing theory, practical, private study and practical research.

The School of Ocean Sciences at Bangor University has over 50 years experience of teaching at postgraduate level, and excellent teaching and research facilities for the study of the marine biology. Undergraduate teaching was graded excellent in the last Teaching Quality Assessment, and research was graded 4* in the Research Assessment Exercise. NERC has designated the School as a Centre of Excellence in Coastal Seas, Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography.

The MSc course in Marine Biology is one of a suite of 4 focused MSc courses in marine science run within the School. New students on this course are inducted to the University and School via an introductory course consisting of orientation through site tours, excursions and social events, and 5 weeks of quantifying biological variability, learning Information Technology, and practising presentation skills. Pre-sessional English language training courses are also available for overseas students.

The MSc course is managed by a course team comprising of the Course Director, Deputy Course Director and Postgraduate Course Administrator. The team report to the School Course Board, which in turn reports to the College of Natural Sciences. Each student has a personal tutor drawn from the teaching staff. The School has 30 academics teaching and researching across the marine science disciplines of Marine Biology (15), Biogeochemistry (2), Physical Oceanography (6) and Geological Oceanography (7) with a similar overall number of technical staff. Teaching on the MSc Marine Biology will be provided from 'in house' in the main, but additional teaching will be provided from the University's School of Biological Sciences and the National Museum of Wales.

The MSc course is housed in a fully serviced and dedicated postgraduate suite. The School is located on the shores of the Menai Strait which separates the Isle of Anglesey from the mainland. The Menai Strait is a proposed Statutory Marine Resource and EU Special Area of Conservation and there are unspoilt marine environments relatively close by.

The University's newly refurbished science library is located in nearby in Bangor. Specialist facilities in the School include temperate and tropical aquaria, satellite imaging processing and Geographical Information System computing, diving and field survey operations (including ROVs and sledges) and laboratories for benthic analysis, nutrition, microbiology, genetics, radiochemical analysis, stable isotopes, sediments and organic chemistry, scanning electron microscopy. An additional strength in our field teaching, is work at sea aboard the only ocean-going research vessel in the Higher Education sector (RV Prince Madog), which entered service in 2001.

MSc course students can benefit from the School's links with other institutions, especially for research project opportunities. Such links presently include the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, U.S.A., University of Mauritius, Catholic University Chile etc.

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With a multidisciplinary emphasis, this MSc Oceanography Masters programme incorporates both taught modules as well as independent research. Read more

With a multidisciplinary emphasis, this MSc Oceanography Masters programme incorporates both taught modules as well as independent research.

Introducing your course

This is the course page for MSc Oceanography at the University of Southampton. Find out everything about Oceanography and what studying here involves.

In this course page we explain a range of key information about the course. This includes typical entry requirements, modules you can take and how assessment works. We also suggest career opportunities open to you as a University of Southampton graduate of MSc Oceanography.

If you still have questions, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to answer any enquiries. See our contact us page for our telephone, email and address information.

Overview

The MSc Oceanography degree is designed primarily for students with no previous specialisation in marine science. For example, if you are a graduate with a degree in biological sciences, chemistry or materials science, physics, maths, 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 with marine scientists at the National Oceanography Centre Southampton (NOCS).

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
  • Climate Dynamics

Students can either follow one of these "pathways", or mix options from different pathways, where the timetable allows, to pursue broader interests.

Employment in the marine environmental sector is a common destination for MSc Oceanography graduates, and as the degree is a "conversion" to marine science from "pure" science backgrounds, around one-third of graduates also go on to PhD research in marine sciences.

View the programme specification document for this course



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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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EXPLORE PROCESSES AFFECTING THE EARTH'S LIFE AND ITS ENVIRONMENT. In our Master's programme in Earth, Life, and Climate, you will explore the fundamental processes which regulate the past, present, and future dynamics of sedimentary systems, biodiversity, and climate, as well as their evolution. Read more

EXPLORE PROCESSES AFFECTING THE EARTH'S LIFE AND ITS ENVIRONMENT

In our Master's programme in Earth, Life, and Climate, you will explore the fundamental processes which regulate the past, present, and future dynamics of sedimentary systems, biodiversity, and climate, as well as their evolution. This two-year programme will provide you with the knowledge you need to understand climate change and its impact on natural environments such as soils, sediments, lakes, groundwater, wetlands, estuaries, and oceans.

The main topics you will study include the evolution of life, the development of sedimentary basins, carbon sources and sinks, biogeochemical and geochemical fingerprinting of sedimentary processes/environments, and climate reconstruction.

You can choose one of four tracks based on your specific interests:

SOCIETAL AND SCIENTIFIC CHALLENGES

On this programme, you will learn state-of-the-art reconstruction methods, modelling techniques, and laboratory experiments used in a wide range of earth and beta science disciplines. These disciplines include biogeology, palaeontology, palynology, sedimentology, stratigraphy, environmental geochemistry, organic geochemistry, hydrology, physical geography, geology, biology, climate dynamics, marine sciences and palaeoceanography. You will utilise these skills in your own research project or on the traineeships you can take in preparation for an international career in applied or fundamental research. 

The programme focuses on the following societal and scientific questions:

  • How does the Earth’s climate system respond to higher levels of atmospheric CO2?
  • How fast do ice sheets respond to global warming?
  • How are regional patterns of precipitation controlled by changes in monsoon strength or El Niño?
  • How resilient is the ocean to chemical perturbations?
  • How sensitive are ecosystems and biodiversity to environmental change?
  • How and when did life originate on Earth?
  • How are resources, such as fossil fuels and metal deposits, formed?


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Oceanographers investigate both fundamental and applied problems relating to the physics, mathematics, biology, chemistry, and geology of the sea, often working across traditional academic disciplines. Read more

Program Overview

Oceanographers investigate both fundamental and applied problems relating to the physics, mathematics, biology, chemistry, and geology of the sea, often working across traditional academic disciplines. Research carried out both independently and in collaboration with federal government laboratories occurs in many different oceanographic regimes, including coastal BC fjords, the inland sea of the Strait of Georgia, open ocean regions of the Subarctic Pacific, and many other locations, including the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans. The types of problems that can be studied include fundamental questions about the flow of stratified fluids at scales ranging from tens of meters to thousands of kilometers, applied research in estuaries, coastal, and deep-ocean processes, general ocean circulation and climate change issues, marine chemistry, geochemistry, and biogeochemistry, natural product chemistry, marine viruses, fisheries oceanography, plankton ecology and physiology, and primary production of the sea. The Department is well equipped to carry out research in the field (using either its own boat or larger vessels in the oceanographic fleet), at the laboratory bench, and in the numerical heart of a computer. Most problems involve aspects of all three.

Students in Oceanography may select courses, depending on their interest, from the following areas of specialization:
- biological oceanography
- marine chemistry and geochemistry
- physical oceanography and atmospheric sciences

Students are encouraged to broaden their knowledge by taking courses outside their area of specialization. Courses related to Oceanography are also offered in the Departments of Botany, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Geography, Physics and Astronomy, and Zoology.

Oceanography students normally begin their studies in September but may sometimes arrange to start their thesis/dissertation work in the summer before their first Winter Session. A student wishing to do graduate work in Oceanography should first discuss the proposed program with appropriate faculty in the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences.

Quick Facts

- Degree: Master of Science
- Specialization: Oceanography
- Subject: Science
- Mode of delivery: On campus
- Program components: Coursework + Options
- Faculty: Faculty of Science

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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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