The Master of Science by Research degree in Marine Biology is a 12-month, research only degree, in which the candidate will undertake a supervised research project in the area of Marine Biology, in the School of Biology, University of St Andrews.
The candidate will be based in the interdisciplinary Scottish Oceans Institute (SOI), based at East Sands, St Andrews. The SOI is home to the world famous Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU), and hosts a wide-range of researchers with interests ranging from the deep oceans to the coasts, and from the people who use and interact with the sea, to the biological and physical processes that make the oceans function.
There are four research themes running through the SOI: Global Change and Planetary Evolution; Ecology, Fisheries and Resource management; Developmental and Evolutionary Genomics; the Sea Mammal Research Unit. As such, the SOI brings together behavioural and population ecologists, evolutionary biologists, geneticists, conservationists, mathematicians and environmental scientists to contribute towards understanding and managing the future of our oceans and the organisms, big and small, that live within them. Further details about the SOI can be found here: http://soi.st-andrews.ac.uk/.
Candidates may approach potential supervisors in the SOI directly (https://synergy.st-andrews.ac.uk/research/phd-study/phd-study-supervisors/phd-study-soi-supervisors/) or via advertised projects listed here (https://synergy.st-andrews.ac.uk/research/mscres/). We strongly recommend that potential candidates make contact with a potential supervisor before applying.
The School of Biology provides a unique and supportive environment for scholarship, amid a beautiful setting for university life. We are a highly research active School, with a diverse and vigorous post-graduate community. The School comprises a large number of research groups organised into three interdisciplinary Research Centres: the Scottish Oceans Institute (SOI), the Biomedical Sciences Research Complex (BSRC) and the Centre for Biological Diversity (CBD). Together these centres encompass the full spectrum of research in biological sciences, spanning investigations on the properties and behaviour of individual molecules through to planetary environmental dynamics. Our postgraduate students enjoy a supportive and welcoming environment, including the student-led ‘Bionet’ society that provides a wide range of networking and social opportunities.
Students in the MSc(Res) program will be assigned an Internal Examiner (IE) and Post-Graduate Tutor by the School. There will be a progress review meeting at three months to monitor and evaluate student progression, convened by the IE, with the student and Tutor in attendance.
In addition to the project-specific training that you will receive during your degree, Msc(Res) students will also have access to a wide range of training in transferable skills through the award-winning University of St Andrews GradSkills program, run by our Professional Development Unit CAPOD. Specific post-graduate programs run within the School of Biology may also offer additional training, for instance in statistical, bioinformatics or molecular techniques.
The degree requires submission and examination of a dissertation at the end of the one-year program. This thesis will consist of up to 30,000 words. The thesis will be evaluated by the IE and an External Examiner appointed at time of submission. Evaluation will be based on the written submission and there is no requirement for a viva voce examination.
For details of post-graduate tuition fees relevant to our research degrees including the MSc(Res), please visit:
Please apply via the University’s Post-Graduate Application portal: https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/pgr/home.htm
With the increasing pressures on the marine environment, both in the South Pacific region and worldwide, experts in the conservation and management of marine organisms and ecosystems are in demand.
As a world-leader in marine conservation, New Zealand is a great place to develop your expertise in the field. Its unique and lengthy coastline is home to numerous marine organisms—from the tiny phytoplankton to the endangered New Zealand sea lion.
Study with Victoria's School of Biological Sciences, a leader in marine biology research. Examine marine conservation issues and practice using examples from New Zealand, Australia, South Pacific and wider Indo-Pacific region, which can be applied worldwide.
Marine Conservation can be studied through two qualifications. The Master of Marine Conservation (MMarCon) is a taught Master's with no thesis component and is the only taught Marine Conservation Master's degree in New Zealand.
Or you can choose to study the Postgraduate Certificate in Marine Conservation (PGCertMarCon), a shorter qualification for those who want to expand their expertise into a new area of interest.
The 180-point Master of Marine Conservation consists of three core courses and three courses chosen from a range of marine biology, biodiversity, ecology, ecological restoration and conservation courses. You can also choose courses that specialise in environmental management and conservation issues relating to New Zealand Māori and Pacific Island communities.
Two of your core courses, BIOL 424 New Zealand Conservation Practice and BIOL 529 Tropical Marine Conservation Practice, are field courses. You'll visit several world-renowned marine conservation sites in New Zealand and overseas.
The field courses will have costs over and above the course fees.
You'll also examine marine conservation issues of cultural and socioeconomic significance to Māori and Pacific peoples, such as exploitation of coastal regions and ecotourism, seabed and foreshore rights, and community-led conservation strategies.
The Postgraduate Certificate is made up of three courses totalling 90 points chosen from any of the courses in the MMarCon programme; however, you must include at least one of the core courses.
If you are studying full time you can expect a workload of 40–45 hours a week for much of the year. Part-time students doing two courses per trimester will need to do around 20–23 hours of work a week. Make sure you take this into account if you are working.
You can estimate your workload by adding up the number of points you'll be doing. One point is roughly equal to 10–12 hours work.
The Master of Marine Conservation can be completed in 12 months of full-time study, or in 24 months part time.
The Postgraduate Certificate in Marine Conservation can be completed in six months of full-time study or in 12 months part time.
Postgraduate study at Victoria will help you build valuable relationships and networks with peers, university staff and future colleagues. You'll have opportunities to attend events, workshops, social functions and seminars.
The Postgraduate Students' Association can give you information and provides a voice for you on campus.
You'll gain skills and knowledge in a wide range of areas within the conservation and management of marine organisms and ecosystems, in both temperate and tropical climates. You might find work at Crown Research Institutes, private research institutes or with national government agencies managing marine conservation and fisheries.
Other organisations you may work with include regional authorities such as city, regional and district councils, consultancy firms carrying out contract marine biology work or non-government agencies and not-for-profit organisations.
Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Environmental Biology: Conservation & Resource Management at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).
The MSc Environmental Biology: Conservation and Resource Management course focuses on the relationships between living organisms and the terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments, coupled with the interactions that result from natural and anthropogenic processes.
On the Environmental Biology: Conservation and Resource Management course you will benefit from advanced training in the interpretation of local and global environmental issues, field and theoretical aspects of biology and ecology, and in analytical techniques. You will also develop the skills necessary to work confidently in vocational areas such as conservation, environmental impact assessment, environmental management, monitoring and education, and foster an objective, scientific and realistic approach to environmental biological issues that you may have to face in a professional capacity.
Graduates from the Environmental Biology: Conservation and Resource Management course go on to work for government agencies such as CCW, Environment Agency, English Nature, Scottish Heritage, Fisheries Research Services, CEFAS. Other organisations include zoos, wildlife parks and reserves, national parks, environmental departments, research and development of SMEs as well as large companies. Graduates also go on to do postgraduate research.
Modules on the Environmental Biology: Conservation & Resource Management MSc include:
Core Science Skills and Research Methods
Conservation of Aquatic Resources
Term papers in Environmental Biology
Environmental Assessment and Management
Remote sensing of the changing environment
Geographical Information Systems
Please visit our website for a full description of modules for the Environmental Biology: Conservation & Resource Management programme.
As a student on the MSc Environmental Biology: Conservation & Resource Management programme, you will benefit from a range of facilities such as:
Our excellent facilities include a unique built Animal Movement Visualisation Suite (£1.35m), incorporating an electronic wall linked to a computer-tesla cluster for high-speed processing and visualisation of complex accelerometry and magnetometry data derived from animals. Coupled with this facility is the Electronics Lab with capacity for research, development and realisation of animal tags with new capacities (sensors, energy-harvesting systems, miniaturization, 3-D printing of housings etc.); a custom-designed 18m on coastal research vessel; a recent investment of £4.2m on a new suite of state-of-the art Science laboratories; and the £2m unique Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Research (CSAR) with a 750 m2 controlled environment building, with programmable recirculating aquatic systems, unique within the UK’s higher-education sector. These are tailored for research on a diverse range of organisms, ranging from temperate to tropical and marine to freshwater. Coupled with this are nutrient and biochemical analytical capabilities.
“I’ve spent four years as a student at Swansea University, three years as an undergraduate studying Marine Biology and a year as a postgraduate undertaking the MSc in Environmental Biology: Conservation and Resource Management. Whether studying or partying I can honestly say I had a fantastic time the whole way through! It was through my undergraduate study that I realised how amazingly diverse the marine ecosystem is, but also how vulnerable it can be and the level of exploitation it endures. This prompted me to undertake the MSc, which furthered my knowledge in many aspects of conservation and environmental issues around the world on sea and land. With my experience and expertise gained from studying at Swansea I have secured a job working with WWF Cymru in Cardiff as Marine Policy Officer where I am helping work towards a sustainable future for the Welsh marine environment.”
BSc Marine Biology
MSc Environmental Biology: Conservation & Resource Management
Marine Policy Officer, WWF Cymru, Cardiff
We are 7th in the UK and top in Wales for research excellence (REF 2014)
93.8% of our research outputs were regarded as world-leading or internationally excellent and Swansea Biosciences had the highest percentage of publications judged ‘world-leading’ in the sector. This is a great achievement for the Department, for the College of Science and indeed for Swansea University.
All academic staff in Biosciences are active researchers and the department has a thriving research culture.