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Masters Degrees (Marine Ecology)

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Programme overview. The programme involves a ten week intensive training, focusing on fundamental ecological concepts and theory in the aquatic realm set against the contemporary scenario of global ecological change. Read more
Programme overview

The programme involves a ten week intensive training, focusing on fundamental ecological concepts and theory in the aquatic realm set against the contemporary scenario of global ecological change. Essential theoretical, field and laboratory research skills will be developed and honed via comprehensive modules and seminars: state-of-the-art techniques for whole organism and environmental process research; converting science to policy or management and consultancy via stakeholder engagement; and scientific reporting. Two separate week-long residential field-courses will allow students to put theory into practice: one with our River Communities Group in Dorset on the R Frome, learning about and actually testing some of the ecological tools developed for bio-assessment; and one practicing skills such as hydroacoustics, netting & electric fishing, and observational census methods for cetaceans, fishes, and birds. Students will spend time shadowing the internationally renowned researchers within the Aquatic Ecology Group of SBCS before developing a research proposal and conducting a six-month project. These may be jointly supervised by colleagues at related institutes and agencies such as the Institute of Zoology, the Natural History Museum, NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, and the Environment Agency, or indeed in industry. We will equip science graduates with the essential skills to proceed to further research via PhD or careers in the applied sector.

• Delivered by leading international researchers in the Aquatic Ecology Group, with input from the School of Geography, and in conjunction with multiple external institutes and agencies.
• Designed to ensure contemporary training in practical research skills to promote graduate employability
• Modules developed spanning the aquatic spectrum, accommodating pure theory and applied practical skills in the field
• Access to state-of-the-art analytical facilities from investment by the Science Research Infrastructure Fund.
• Considerable opportunity for projects in the UK and overseas, both in house, and with collaborating institutions across London

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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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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. Read more

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.

Master of Marine Conservation

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.

Postgraduate Certificate in Marine Conservation

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.

Workload

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.

Duration

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.

Community

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.

Careers

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.



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Tropical ecosystems provide important resources locally and globally, and coral reefs are the most diverse of marine ecosystems threatened by human activities. Read more
Tropical ecosystems provide important resources locally and globally, and coral reefs are the most diverse of marine ecosystems threatened by human activities.

Our unique multidisciplinary course, MSc Tropical Marine Biology, is designed to deliver advanced tropical marine biology theory and to facilitate the development of a comprehensive range of practical and professional skills required by today’s employers.

As a student of our School you will benefit from the breadth of research carried out by our internationally recognised academics, and will engage with current research activities both in the UK and abroad. You also have opportunity to put theory into practice and study coral reef conservation first hand during the School’s annual field trip to Wakatobi Marine National Park, Indonesia.

Explore topics including:
-Hands-on experience of coral reef conservation on our pioneering underwater lectures in Indonesia
-The biotechnological ‘treasure chest’ of marine microbes, algae and invertebrates
-Tropical oceans, seagrass beds, mangroves and coral reefs
-Coral reef resource management

During the summer term, you will embark on your own extensive research project under the supervision of researchers at the forefront of their fields. This can be conducted within our in-house Coral Reef Research Unit, or alongside one of our research partners from across the globe, addressing key questions on the functioning of and threats to tropical marine ecosystems.

Two-thirds of our research is rated “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” (REF 2014), and you learn from and work alongside our expert staff.

Professional accreditation

To expand your skillset and boost your employability, we provide you with £125 to spend on externally accredited learning, such as certification as a Marine Mammal Surveyor, participation in Sea Survival courses or gaining the skills and background knowledge needed to drive a powerboat.

Our expert staff

As one of the largest schools at our University, we offer a lively, friendly and supportive environment with research-led study and high quality teaching. You benefit from our academics’ wide range of expertise on important national and international problems using cutting-edge techniques.

Key academic staff for this course include: Dr Leanne Appleby Hepburn, who works on community ecology of coral reefs; Professor Dave Smith, who is researching tropical marine biology and conservation; Dr Michael Steinke, who is working on biogenic trace gases in marine environments; Dr Tom Cameron, who specialises in aquatic community ecology; and Dr Etienne Low-Decarie, who is investigating ecological and evolutionary responses to global change.

The University of Essex has a Women's Network to support female staff and students and was awarded the Athena SWAN Institutional Bronze Award in November 2013 in recognition of its continuing work to support women in STEM.

Specialist facilities

Recent investment has provided modern facilities for imaging biological systems, aquatic community ecology, photosynthesis and eco-physiology. On our course you have the opportunity to:
-Work in an open and friendly department, with shared staff-student social spaces
-Conduct your research alongside academics and PhD students in shared labs
-Our local marine biology field centre, with direct access to the Colne estuary, a recently designated marine conservation zone (MCZ). -Develop your practical skills through mapping habitats, Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and boat handling
-Learn to use state-of-the-art research facilities

Your future

As the world's environmental problems increase, the demand for qualified marine biologists continues to grow, and postgraduate study is often a requirement for becoming a researcher, scientist, academic journal editor and to work in some public bodies or private companies.

Many of our Masters students progress to study for their PhD, and we offer numerous studentships to support our students in their studies.

Our graduates go on to a range of careers. Some work with governmental and non-governmental environmental agencies, organisations, consultancies and voluntary organisations, or go on to conduct doctorate research. Many overseas students return to comparable posts in their home country.

We work with our university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Example structure

-Tropical Marine Resources
-Tropical Marine Systems
-Methods in Tropical Marine Biology
-Professional Skills in Tropical Marine Biology
-Research Project: MSc Tropical Marine Biology

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Your programme of study. Ecology is an important discipline to inform many different environmental management issues which often involve wider impacts being assessed for planning and other purposes. Read more

Your programme of study

Ecology is an important discipline to inform many different environmental management issues which often involve wider impacts being assessed for planning and other purposes. There is an increasing desire to utilise sites which are environmentally sensitive and this puts pressure on ecology and habitat survival. There are many other types of environmental impacts which are often hidden but also affect Ecology such as the many different pollutants which are often highlighted monthly. Species decline is becoming a well known issue globally and the ability to maintain and continue species and grow is important in a declining environment.

The programme comes from a very strong department which has been ranked consistently at number 1 in soil science and soil ecology in the UK (REF 2014). The Master's in Ecology has very solid foundations as it has been taught to generations for over 50 years and with this comes considerable knowledge and experience. With this programme you get a chance to influence how we utilise our environment and manage it to the best ability to preserve our ecology.

Our MSc programme provides flexibility to enable you to gain knowledge and skills to meet your career aspirations, whether in research or as a practicing ecologist. The programme runs through a full year, starting with a field course and culminating in a major research project. You will have the opportunity to gain hands on experience of everything from field survey to chairing discussions, from statistics and modelling to report writing and from identifying important ecological questions to researching them and writing a scientific paper. Previous graduates have gone on to the top of their chosen profession in research, consultancy, conservation, policy, education and advocacy.

Courses listed for the programme

Semester 1

  • Experimental Design and Analysis
  • Introduction to GIS
  • Plant Ecology
  • Population and Community Ecology

Optional Courses

  • Statistics for Complex Study Designs
  • Introduction to Ecological Field Research in Northern Scotland
  • Molecular Ecological Techniques
  • Soils for Food Security
  • Aquaculture
  • Introduction to Bayesian Inference

Semester 2

Compulsory

  • Research Project Planning

Optional

  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Spatial Information Analysis
  • Marine Spatial Management and Top Predators
  • Readings in Ecology, Conservation and Environment
  • Ecology, Conservation and Society
  • Catchment Management
  • Environmental Management Plan
  • Applied Forest Ecology
  • Advanced Modelling for Ecology and Conservation

Semester 3

  • Project in Ecology

Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page

Why study at Aberdeen?

  • Ecology has been taught at Aberdeen for over 50 years and Plant Ecology and Soil Science is No 1 in the UK (REF 2014)
  • You will be taught be known ecologists who are active in research, management and nature conservation
  • Aberdeen is ideally situated to take full advantage of coastal, inland, rural and wild landscapes and environments

Where you study

  • University of Aberdeen
  • Full Time and Part Time
  • 12 Months or 24 Months
  • September

International Student Fees 2017/2018

Find out about international fees:

  • International
  • EU and Scotland
  • Other UK

Find out more about fees on the programme page

*Please be advised that some programmes also have additional costs.

Scholarships

View all funding options on our funding database via the programme page and the latest postgraduate opportunities

Living in Aberdeen

Find out more about:

  • Your Accommodation
  • Campus Facilities
  • Aberdeen City
  • Student Support
  • Clubs and Societies

Find out more about living in Aberdeen and living costs 



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This course provides you with an exceptional grounding in marine environmental research. You’ll develop your understanding of key concepts and issues. Read more
This course provides you with an exceptional grounding in marine environmental research. You’ll develop your understanding of key concepts and issues. You’ll also develop the skills and qualities required for a career in academia or industry.

Through a combination of taught and research modules, our course develops your understanding of:
-The roles of science, policy, technology and economic development in the marine environment
-Marine environmental issues, their origins and possible solutions
-The principal processes maintaining and altering structure, function and ecosystem services of coastal waters
-The key concepts and methodologies used in ecosystem, environmental management and conservation science
-The context, purpose and implementation of resource mapping and evaluation
-The theory, principles, concepts and practices in marine governance

Our staff have over 30 years of research and teaching experience, both in the UK and overseas. Their expertise spans the natural and social sciences in coastal-marine science and management.

Our taught modules will ground your understanding of marine ecosystem dynamics, research methodologies and environmental governance. You will develop your research skills by designing and completing a supervised project.

Major sites for projects include the:
-Red Sea
-Maldives
-Bahamas
-Northumberland coast (UK)

The project will develop a detailed knowledge of your chosen research topic by drawing on the research communities within the School of Marine Science and Technology. These include:
-Marine Biology, Ecosystems and Governance (MBEG)
-Oceans and Climate (OC)

These research groups have had notable successes in their work on:
-Coral reefs (Prof John Bythell, Prof Alasdair Edwards, Prof Nicholas Polunin)
-Physical oceanography and climate modelling (Prof Andrew Willmott, Dr Miguel Maqueda)
-Marine spatial mapping and systems planning (Dr Clare Fitzsimmons)
-Marine protected areas and management (Prof Nicholas Polunin, Prof Selina Stead)
-Food webs (Prof Nicholas Polunin)

They are also active in:
-Marine mammal monitoring (Dr Per Berggren)
-Citizen science and outreach (Dr Jane Delaney)
-Deep sea ecology and marine time series (Dr Ben Wigham)

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The emergence of the Law of the Sea Convention and establishment of Exclusive Economic Zones has given coastal states extensive and comprehensive rights and obligations over marine resources in vast areas of ocean. Read more
The emergence of the Law of the Sea Convention and establishment of Exclusive Economic Zones has given coastal states extensive and comprehensive rights and obligations over marine resources in vast areas of ocean. Wise management of ocean resources is essential if the full economic potential of these new entitlements is to be realised. To ensure the continuing biological productivity of these areas, the level and type of development of activities such as waste dumping, mineral extraction, recreation, industrial and urban growth, fisheries and aquaculture, need to be controlled, and interactions of these often conflicting activities resolved by management.

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 theoretical and practical training in measuring and quantifying marine resources and the effects of conflicting usage upon them. It provides a sound scientific basis on which to develop policy and make decisions on marine resource exploitation and protection around the world.

Course Aims
To broaden the student's awareness of the economic potential of the ocean, to generate an understanding of the major marine biological resources and the physical processes controlling these resources, to provide theoretical and practical training in measuring and quantifying these resources and the effects of conflicting usage upon them, to enhance those skills necessary to manage effectively the sea area of national jurisdiction, and to produce graduates with appropriate experience for developing policy and making decisions on marine resources and other marine uses for their individual countries or regions. To date, most graduates have taken up employment in the field of marine environmental protection in the UK and abroad.

You will receive training in the following major modules:

Marine Ecology Skills
Marine Fisheries
Coastal Habitat Ecology and Survey
Marine Environmental Impacts and their Assessment
Marine Conservation and Coastal Zone Management
Research Project design and Planning
Research Project and Dissertation
Modules combine different learning approaches, including taught lectures, seminars and working groups, practicals in the laboratory, on the shore or at sea, as well as personal study and practical research.

Skills Trained
The broad areas covered in each module are outlined below. For more detail on what our current students are studying you can take a look at our online module information.

Marine Ecology Skills
Experimental and survey design
Statistical techniques
Ship work
Taxonomic Workshop
Marine benthos survey
Statistical analysis
Report writing
Marine Fisheries
Fisheries biology
Fisheries resources
Fisheries survey at sea
Population dynamics of fin fish
Coastal Habitat Ecology and Survey
Coastal habitat ecology
Survey techniques
Planning biological surveys
Risk assessment
Team field survey
Marine Environmental Impacts and their Assessment
Physical and chemical processes causing impacts
Development of the coastal zone
Environmental Impact Assessment
Preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement
Consultant / Developer interviews
EIA public meeting
Marine Conservation and Coastal Zone Management
Environmental remote sensing and Geographical Information Systems
Coastal Zone Law
Socioeconomics
Biodiversity
Conservation
Sustainability
Integrated Coastal Zone Management
Coastal Zone Management Conference
Research Project Design and Planning
Literature review
Project proposal development
Scientific peer review
Research Project and Dissertation
Health and Safety
Practical research at home or overseas
20,000 word dissertation

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JCU’s programs in tropical marine ecology and fisheries biology are dedicated to the study of tropical, shallow water marine systems. Read more
JCU’s programs in tropical marine ecology and fisheries biology are dedicated to the study of tropical, shallow water marine systems. There is an emphasis on whole organism biology, the ecology and biogeography of tropical marine organisms, and the evolutionary mechanisms that underlie their diversity.
Proximity to the Great Barrier Reef provides unparalleled opportunities for investigating ecological and evolutionary questions for reef fish, corals, and other marine organisms.
Students will develop their knowledge and skills in quantitative marine ecology, conservation biology, and the biology, life history and taxonomy of tropical marine organisms. Preliminary coursework subjects consist of semester-long offerings. More advanced subjects are offered by block mode, which are 2-week intensive sessions on campus. The courses are flexible, with a range of electives available. Students devise a study program to meet their professional goals, in consultation with the course coordinator. Programs may include a research component if approved.

Course learning outcomes

On successful completion of the Graduate Certificate of Science, graduates will be able to:
*Integrate and apply specialised theoretical and technical knowledge in one or more science disciplines
*Retrieve, analyse, synthesise and evaluate knowledge from a range of sources
*Plan and conduct reliable, evidence-based laboratory and/or field experiments/practices by selecting and applying methods, techniques and tools, as appropriate to one or more science disciplines
*Organise, analyse and interpret complex scientific data using mathematical, statistical and technological skills
*Communicate complex scientific ideas, arguments and conclusions clearly and coherently to a variety of audiences through advanced written and oral English language skills and a variety of media
*Identify, analyse and generate solutions to unpredictable or complex problems, especially related to tropical, rural, remote or Indigenous contexts, by applying scientific knowledge and skills with initiative and high level judgement
*Explain and apply regulatory requirements, ethical principles and, where appropriate, cultural frameworks, to work effectively, responsibly and safely in diverse contexts
*Reflect on current skills, knowledge and attitudes to manage their professional learning needs and performance, autonomously and in collaboration with others.

Award title

Graduate Certificate of Science (GCertSc)

Course articulation

Students who complete the Graduate Certificate of Science are eligible for entry to the Graduate Diploma of Science, and may be granted advanced standing for all subjects completed under the Graduate Certificate.

Entry requirements (Additional)

English band level 1 - the minimum English Language test scores you need are:
*Academic IELTS – 6.5 (no component lower than 6.0), OR
*TOEFL – 570 (plus minimum Test of Written English score of 4.5), OR
*TOEFL (internet based) –90 (minimum writing score of 21), OR
*Pearson (PTE Academic) - 64

If you meet the academic requirements for a course, but not the minimum English requirements, you will be given the opportunity to take an English program to improve your skills in addition to an offer to study a degree at JCU. The JCU degree offer will be conditional upon the student gaining a certain grade in their English program. This combination of courses is called a packaged offer.
JCU’s English language provider is Union Institute of Languages (UIL). UIL have teaching centres on both the Townsville and Cairns campuses.

Minimum English language proficiency requirements

Applicants of non-English speaking backgrounds must meet the English language proficiency requirements of Band 1 – Schedule II of the JCU Admissions Policy.

Why JCU?

James Cook University is a leading education and research centre for biology in the tropics.
*Internationally-recognised undergraduate, postgraduate and research programs in biological sciences
*dedicated research vessel, and research stations at Orpheus Island and Paluma
*more tropical courses and subjects than any other institution in the world
*teaching and research facilities including the Advanced Analytical Centre and the Aquaculture Research Facility.

Application deadlines

*1st February for commencement in semester one (February)
*1st July for commencement in semester two (mid-year/July)

Read less
JCU’s programs in tropical marine ecology and fisheries biology are dedicated to the study of tropical, shallow water marine systems. Read more
JCU’s programs in tropical marine ecology and fisheries biology are dedicated to the study of tropical, shallow water marine systems. There is an emphasis on whole organism biology, the ecology and biogeography of tropical marine organisms, and the evolutionary mechanisms that underlie their diversity.
Proximity to the Great Barrier Reef provides unparalleled opportunities for investigating ecological and evolutionary questions for reef fish, corals, and other marine organisms.
Students will develop their knowledge and skills in quantitative marine ecology, conservation biology, and the biology, life history and taxonomy of tropical marine organisms. Preliminary coursework subjects consist of semester-long offerings. More advanced subjects are offered by block mode, which are 2-week intensive sessions on campus. The courses are flexible, with a range of electives available. Students devise a study program to meet their professional goals, in consultation with the course coordinator. Programs may include a research component if approved.

Course learning outcomes

The graduates of James Cook University are prepared and equipped to create a brighter future for life in the tropics world-wide.
JCU graduates are committed to lifelong learning, intellectual development, and to the display of exemplary personal, professional and ethical standards. They have a sense of their place in the tropics and are charged with professional, community, and environmental responsibility. JCU graduates appreciate the need to embrace and be acquainted with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples of Australia. They are committed to reconciliation, diversity and sustainability. They exhibit a willingness to lead and to contribute to the intellectual, environmental, cultural, economic and social challenges of regional, national, and international communities of the tropics.
On successful completion of the Graduate Diploma of Science, graduates will be able to:
*Integrate and apply advanced theoretical and technical knowledge in one or more science disciplines
*Retrieve, analyse, synthesise and evaluate knowledge from a range of sources
*Plan and conduct reliable, evidence-based laboratory and/or field experiments/practices by selecting and applying methods, techniques and tools, as appropriate to one or more science disciplines
*Organise, analyse and interpret complex scientific data using mathematical, statistical and technological skills
*Communicate complex scientific ideas, arguments and conclusions clearly and coherently to a variety of audiences through advanced written and oral English language skills and a variety of media
*Identify, analyse and generate solutions to unpredictable or complex problems, especially related to tropical, rural, remote or Indigenous contexts, by applying scientific knowledge and skills with initiative and high level judgement
*Explain and apply regulatory requirements, ethical principles and, where appropriate, cultural frameworks, to work effectively, responsibly and safely in diverse contexts
*Reflect on current skills, knowledge and attitudes to manage their professional learning needs and performance, autonomously and in collaboration with others.

Award title

GRADUATE DIPLOMA OF SCIENCE (GDipSc)

Course articulation

Students who complete the Graduate Diploma of Science are eligible for entry to the Master of Science, and may be granted advanced standing for all subjects completed under the Graduate Diploma.

Entry requirements (Additional)

English band level 1 - the minimum English Language test scores you need are:
*Academic IELTS – 6.5 (no component lower than 6.0), OR
*TOEFL – 570 (plus minimum Test of Written English score of 4.5), OR
*TOEFL (internet based) –90 (minimum writing score of 21), OR
*Pearson (PTE Academic) - 64

If you meet the academic requirements for a course, but not the minimum English requirements, you will be given the opportunity to take an English program to improve your skills in addition to an offer to study a degree at JCU. The JCU degree offer will be conditional upon the student gaining a certain grade in their English program. This combination of courses is called a packaged offer.
JCU’s English language provider is Union Institute of Languages (UIL). UIL have teaching centres on both the Townsville and Cairns campuses.

Minimum English language proficiency requirements

Applicants of non-English speaking backgrounds must meet the English language proficiency requirements of Band 1 – Schedule II of the JCU Admissions Policy.

Why JCU?

James Cook University is a leading education and research centre for biology in the tropics.
*Internationally-recognised undergraduate, postgraduate and research programs in biological sciences
*dedicated research vessel, and research stations at Orpheus Island and Paluma
*more tropical courses and subjects than any other institution in the world
*teaching and research facilities including the Advanced Analytical Centre and the Aquaculture Research Facility.

Application deadlines

*1st February for commencement in semester one (February)
*1st July for commencement in semester two (mid-year/July)

Read less
JCU’s programs in tropical marine ecology and fisheries biology are dedicated to the study of tropical, shallow water marine systems. Read more
JCU’s programs in tropical marine ecology and fisheries biology are dedicated to the study of tropical, shallow water marine systems. There is an emphasis on whole organism biology, the ecology and biogeography of tropical marine organisms, and the evolutionary mechanisms that underlie their diversity.
Proximity to the Great Barrier Reef provides unparalleled opportunities for investigating ecological and evolutionary questions for reef fish, corals, and other marine organisms.
Students will develop their knowledge and skills in quantitative marine ecology, conservation biology, and the biology, life history and taxonomy of tropical marine organisms. Preliminary coursework subjects consist of semester-long offerings. More advanced subjects are offered by block mode, which are 2-week intensive sessions on campus. The courses are flexible, with a range of electives available. Students devise a study program to meet their professional goals, in consultation with the course coordinator. Programs may include a research component if approved.

Course learning outcomes

On successful completion, graduates will be able to:
*Demonstrate an advanced level of scientific knowledge from with their chosen major
*Critically analyse scientific theory, models, concepts and techniques from within their chosen major
*Critically read and evaluate quantitative and qualitative research findings from within their chosen major
*Apply analytic tools and methodologies to define and describe scientific problems from within their chosen major
*Communicate effectively and persuasively, both orally and in writing.

Award title

MASTER OF SCIENCE (MSc)

Entry requirements (Additional)

English band level 1 - the minimum English Language test scores you need are:
*Academic IELTS – 6.0 (no component lower than 5.5), OR
*TOEFL – 570 (plus minimum Test of Written English score of 4.5), OR
*TOEFL (internet based) – 90 (minimum writing score of 21), OR
*Pearson (PTE Academic) - 64

If you meet the academic requirements for a course, but not the minimum English requirements, you will be given the opportunity to take an English program to improve your skills in addition to an offer to study a degree at JCU. The JCU degree offer will be conditional upon the student gaining a certain grade in their English program. This combination of courses is called a packaged offer.
JCU’s English language provider is Union Institute of Languages (UIL). UIL have teaching centres on both the Townsville and Cairns campuses.

Minimum English Language Proficiency Requirements

Applicants of non-English speaking backgrounds must meet the English language proficiency requirements of Band 1 – Schedule II of the JCU Admissions Policy.

Why JCU?

James Cook University is a leading education and research centre for biology in the tropics.
*Internationally-recognised undergraduate, postgraduate and research programs in biological sciences
*dedicated research vessel, and research stations at Orpheus Island and Paluma
*more tropical courses and subjects than any other institution in the world
*teaching and research facilities including the Advanced Analytical Centre and the Aquaculture Research Facility.

Application deadlines

*1st February for commencement in semester one (February)
*1st July for commencement in semester two (mid-year/July)

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The oceans do not exist in isolation but are in constant interaction with the atmosphere and underlying geology receiving energy from the sun and to a lesser extent from geothermal sources. Read more
The oceans do not exist in isolation but are in constant interaction with the atmosphere and underlying geology receiving energy from the sun and to a lesser extent from geothermal sources. The highly interdisciplinary field of Marine science, the study of the oceans from the deep sea to shallow coastal seas, aims to understand the biology, chemistry, geology and physics of this dynamic system so central to all our lives.

This programme offers students with a background in marine biology, geology or geography the opportunity to integrate their expertise in the wider marine science context.

The programme has one core course and offers a wide variety of options with maximum flexibility allowing students to pursue their studies either at our Orkney Campus or in Edinburgh.

Core course

- Oceanography and Marine Ecology
- Research Project (MSc only)

Optional courses

- Marine Resources and Sustainability
- Diversity of Marine Organisms1
- Applied Research Design & Analysis1
- Climate Change: Causes and Impacts
- Marine Ecotoxicology
- Practical Marine Ecotoxicology1
- Marine Ecology & Fisheries
- Introduction to Marine Planning
- Economics of Renewable Energy
- Environmental Processes
- Energy in the 21st Century
- Marine Biotechnology
- Practical Skills in Marine Biotechnology (Edinburgh Campus only owing to labs and practicals)
- Marine Environmental Monitoring
- Climate Change: Mitigation and Adaptation Measures
- GIS for Marine and Environmental Scientists
- Tropical Coral Reef Field Course
- Practical Skills in Marine Surveying (Orkney Campus only - field work)
- Environmental Policy & Risk
- Development Appraisal
- Development Project

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This two-year taught MSc is a joint European programme that provides the opportunity to study in Southampton, Bilbao, Bordeaux and Liege and will develop your ability to make a difference in marine environmental resource management. Read more

Summary

This two-year taught MSc is a joint European programme that provides the opportunity to study in Southampton, Bilbao, Bordeaux and Liege and will develop your ability to make a difference in marine environmental resource management. You will spend a full semester at three out of the four European universities (Southampton, Bilbao, Bordeaux, Liege) and will study in English. Your dissertation can be taken at any of these institutions or at any other MER partner institution worldwide. This experience of mobility, along with the emphasis on environment and resources in the programme, will empower you in the pan-European job and research market.

Modules

Semenster one delivered by the University of Southampton or the University of Bordeaux
Modules offered at Southampton:

Core modules: Contemporary Topics in Marine Science Policy and Law; Introduction to Biological Oceanography; Introduction to Chemical Oceanography; Introduction to Marine Geology; Introduction to Physical Oceanography
Optional modules: Coastal Sediment Dynamics; Marine GeoArchaeology; Microfossils, Environment and Time; Applied and Marine Geophysics; Biogeochemical Cycles in the Earth System; International Maritime and Environment Law; Introductory Remote Sensing of the Oceans; Largescale Ocean Processes; Deep-sea Ecology; Zooplankton Ecology and Processes

Semester two delivered by the University of the Basque Country, Bilbao.

Semester three delivered by the University of Southampton or the University of Liege.
Modules offered at Southampton:

Option modules: four from: Deep-sea Ecology; Zooplankton Ecology and Processes; and any option not taken in the first semester Specialisation in: Biodiversity and Preservation of the Marine Environment and its Resources; Design of Sampling Schemes and Data Analysis in Research Projects; Ecotoxicology; Integrated Assessment of the Quality of the Marine Environment; Sustainable Management of Marine Living Resources; Sustainable Management of Marine Non-living Resources

Visit our website for further information...



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Will the otter be able to recover? How do plants settle in new areas? Why do geese always travel south at exactly the same time? How do species of plants and animals live together in a habitat?. Read more
Will the otter be able to recover? How do plants settle in new areas? Why do geese always travel south at exactly the same time? How do species of plants and animals live together in a habitat?

During this two-year Master's programme Ecology and Evolution, you will gain insight into the living organism in relation to its environment.

Ecology is an internationally oriented field and the degree programme has a strong focus on research. You will therefore conduct one or two independent research projects in various fields. But as you can design most of the programme yourself, you can specialize in the area of your interest. This programme also offers a Top Programme in Evolutionary Biology.

The Master's degree programme Ecology and Evolution is offered by t he Groningen Institute of Evolutionary Life Sciences (GELIFES), which conducts research in four relevant areas:
* Evolutionary Ecology & Genetics
* Behavioural Ecology & Ecophysiology
* Conservation Biology
* Community Ecology

Why in Groningen?

- Design most of your programme yourself !
- Offers Top programme Evolutionary Biology!
- Research projects possible in various fields!

Job perspectives

As a graduate of this programe you can for example become a researcher at a university or at an institution for applied research. You also have the options of becoming a project officer, consultant or policy officer.

Job examples

- PhD research position
- Project officer
- Consultant

Research Projects in Various Fields

The Master's degree programme is coordinated by the Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences. GELIFES is part of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences and embraces fourteen research groups, which perform research in the fields of:

-Evolutionary Ecology & Genetics
On the importance of genetic variation: how do genetic variation and natural selection result in reproductive systems, adaptation of organisms to their environment and the emergence of new species? We try to answer this question by means of an experimental, molecular approach (genomics) and via model-based studies.

-Behavioural Ecology & Ecophysiology
Both the morphology and physiology of an organism and its behaviour are formed by selection. Behaviour – for example the timing of reproduction, partner choice and time and route of bird migration – and physiology – for example the degree of plasticity to regulate energy use and temperature – are products of evolution. Theoretical models are paired with experimental ones to study these issues, both in the field and in the laboratory.

-Conservation Biology
Small populations are threatened with extinction because their habitat is fragmented. Their chance of survival depends on their genetic structure, demography, dynamics of distribution, etc. This type of research is important, for example, for the restoration of nature reserves or the development of sustainable fishery. Examples of a research projects include the effects of genetic erosion in fruit flies and the seed dispersal of plants in the Wadden Sea.

-Community Ecology
Species and individuals living in the same area interact with each other and with their environment. Processes of physiological adaptations and restrictions, competition, grazing, predation and succession can change a group of individuals into a community. Combining field observations, laboratory experiments and theoretical models can give us a better understanding of the mechanisms that are active in nature.

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The MER master program provides high quality teaching in general oceanography with a specialization in marine environment (ecology, ecotoxicology… Read more

The MER master program provides high quality teaching in general oceanography with a specialization in marine environment (ecology, ecotoxicology, biochemistry, geochemistry, sedimentology, paleo-oceanography) and living or non-living marine resources. The MER program benefits from a consortium of four EU universities (Bilbao - Spain, Bordeaux-France, Southampton-UK and Liège-Belgium) and a worldwide network of associated partners.

Program structure

The MER master program is organized according to three teaching semesters (Semester 1-3: coursework) plus a research master thesis (Semester 4) carried out via an internship at any partner research institution worldwide. Mobility is mandatory and three different mobility opportunities are proposed for the coursework:

  • Bordeaux/Bilbao/Southampton.
  • Bordeaux/Bilbao/Liège.
  • Southampton/Bilbao/Liège.

Coursework is organized according to six mandatory and optional modules (total: 90 ECTS).

Module 1 to 6: Content

  • Module 1 /Fundamental: Ocean Science
  • Module 2 / Framework: Global Ocean Environment
  • Module 3 / Scientific Challenges and Opportunities: Marine Environment Protection and Resources Exploitation
  • Module 4 / Socio-Economic Commitment: Marine Environment and Resources Management
  • Module 5 / Data Analysis: Interpretation of Environmental Data
  • Module 6 / Discovery: Research in MER

The MSc thesis research (Module 6) is carried out during Semester 4 (30 ECTS) at any Marine Research Institute worldwide.

Strengths of this Master program

  • Successful MER students acquire a high degree of personal and scientific maturity, due to the wide range of topics taught in the domains of oceanography and marine resource management.
  • Students learn to prove strong mobility, autonomy and the capacity to adapt to different cultural and administrative conditions in the different countries involved.
  • At least three major European academic systems are experienced, and practice in applications for funding etc. at an international level is largely acquired.
  • Having studied in (at least 3) different countries and followed all the lectures and practical workshops in the English language, MER students have excellent profiles for starting positions in a scientific career in an international context.

After this Master program?

Successful completion of this program will prepare students for a leadership role in various marine sectors such as conservation and environmental management, fisheries, nongovernmental organizations and all levels of government positions from local to global. Students benefit from a worldwide network of partner institutions.

From the start (2007), the MER program has trained more than 100 students. More than 50% of graduates continue with a PhD. Other graduates integrate public or private organizations in their field of expertise.



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A one year MSc degree focussing on core and specialist competences in key themes of fisheries, marine conservation; sustainability and ecosystem based management. Read more

A one year MSc degree focussing on core and specialist competences in key themes of fisheries, marine conservation; sustainability and ecosystem based management.

Course Overview

Level: 90 ECTS taught MSc, Level 9

Duration: 1 year, starts September

Outline: The course consists of six taught modules (5 ECTS each) and a major research thesis (60 ECTS).

The modules are:

Ecology of Top Predators in Marine Systems

Life History Strategies and Trade-offs

Secondary Impacts of Harvest on Wild Populations and Ecosystems

Applied Geographic Information Systems

Data Analysis Using R and R Studio

Seabird and Marine Mammal Population Assessment techniques

Research Thesis

Course Highlights

Teaching by research-active staff working in the field of Applied Marine Conservation with particular interest in marine mammals, seabirds and fisheries.

A major research thesis on a real conservation problem, in collaboration with a supervisor from GMIT and a supervisor from an external organisation.

Graduates will be well prepared for careers in marine conservation and management, or may continue to PhD research.

How to Apply

To request an application form, please contact Dr Ian O’Connor at:

For any queries about the application process please contact the Admissions Office at +353 (0)91 742305, or at

For any queries about the course please contact the course coordinator: Dr Ian O’Connor, email:



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