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Masters Degrees (Marine Mammals)

We have 8 Masters Degrees (Marine Mammals)

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The conservation of endangered marine mammal species and concordant management of marine resources, have gained prominent positions in public news items and the attention of both governmental and non-governmental agencies. Read more
The conservation of endangered marine mammal species and concordant management of marine resources, have gained prominent positions in public news items and the attention of both governmental and non-governmental agencies. The need to know more about the lives and behaviours of marine mammals, driven by many agendas, coincides with a period in which improving technology is facilitating novel ways to probe the marine environment, and learn more about its inhabitants. As a result, the rapidly developing, and highly topical, discipline of marine mammal science is an area in which many excellent biology graduates seek to conduct research.

The MSc in Marine Mammal Science is the only research oriented Masters degree in this popular subject worldwide. It is intended to prepare students fully for a professional career involved with the research into and conservation of marine mammals. It is, first and foremost, a programme in quantitative marine ecology and animal behaviour. The programme is led by members of the world-renowned NERC Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) and draws on the wider marine expertise within the Scottish Oceans Institute (SOI).

Research Project (dissertation)

The research project takes place during the whole year with a focus period from May to August and contributes one third of the total mark for the MSc. The project is assessed by submission of a research proposal, a written dissertation and a poster presentation. The topic and plan for the project will be developed by the student in collaboration with one or more academic supervisors at SMRU / St Andrews.

Marine Mammal Science

Whether because of their sheer size, complex behaviour, intriguing social structures or historic persecution, marine mammals in particular have come to symbolise issues in marine ecology. Conservation of endangered marine mammal species and management of their populations, especially those interacting with the human food chain, often attain prominent positions in the news, and in the attentions of both governmental and non-governmental agencies.

The need to know more about the lives and behaviours of marine mammals, driven by many agendas, coincides with a period in which improving technology is making it increasingly possible for us to probe the marine environment, and learn more about its inhabitants.

As a result, the rapidly developing, and highly topical, discipline of marine mammal science is an area in which many excellent biology graduates seek to conduct research.

Additional Entry Requirements

Proof of satisfactory English Language competence for applicants whose first language is not English (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS, Cambridge Proficiency Exam). Students must be able to communicate their ideas effectively in writing, in discussions and presentations. Please see the University of St Andrews list of minimum language requirements for postgraduate study http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/elt/entry/ . Note that additional requirements may apply depending on the test taken, e.g. IELTS of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each paper. Please note that these minimum requirements are not negotiable, and that, even if you meet minimum requirements, we might still require you to attend a pre-sessional English language course.

Where they’ve gone…

The Marine Mammal Science graduates are:
- currently enrolled in PhD programmes at St Andrews and in other institutions in the UK and around the world with the most popular countries being Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the USA.

- now working as Post-Docs at St Andrews and around the globe.

- working as research scientists for government agencies, industry or environmental consultancies such as our linked companies

- SMRU Consulting in the UK, North America or Asia Pacific offices.

- working as research assistants in academic institutions, including with us at SMRU.

- working in policy/science interface in government agencies.

- working for marine conservation organisations.

- pursuing other higher education degrees such as veterinary science or environmental law.

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How does increasing temperatures affect whales and seals? How does the hole in the ozone layer affect plankton? How is biodiversity changing in the Wadden Sea?. Read more
How does increasing temperatures affect whales and seals? How does the hole in the ozone layer affect plankton? How is biodiversity changing in the Wadden Sea?

How are the oceans responding to climate change? In answering such questions, the two-year Master's degree programme in Marine Biology focuses on life in our planet's seas and oceans. Whether you are interested in biological oceanography, conservation of marine mammals, or coastal marine ecology, there are plenty of opportunities: you can design your own study programme to fit your personal preferences. In 2015, we start the renewed Marine Biology Master program in Groningen.

The modernized program is open for all students with a bachelor in biology. It includes a number of newly developed master courses which are jointly taught by several research groups in Marine Biology at the University of Groningen, and in close co-operation with the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (Texel, Yerseke). The programme is strongly research oriented. You will conduct research under the supervision of experienced scientists.

Why in Groningen?

- Wadden Sea nearby: unique in the world (on UNESCO World Heritage list)
- Research projects on the level of cells, organisms, populations in seas and oceans
- In cooperation with Dutch national research institutes on marine life

Job perspectives

- About one third of the graduates continue in academic research with the pursuit of their PhD degree in The Netherlands or abroad.
- About one third of the graduates continue in various kinds of research and management related to fisheries and coastal zone management.
- About one third of the graduates work in the public sector, for example in journalism, teaching or communication.

Job examples

- PhD research position
- Research and Management related to marine biology
- Work in the public sector

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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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The MSc Marine Biology aims to train graduates in multiple areas of marine biology and equip them with professional certificates in Sea Survival, Powerboat Handling, Marine Radio and First Aid as well as necessary field skills. Read more
The MSc Marine Biology aims to train graduates in multiple areas of marine biology and equip them with professional certificates in Sea Survival, Powerboat Handling, Marine Radio and First Aid as well as necessary field skills.

The areas of marine biology covered in this master’s course include fisheries and aquaculture, genetics, marine ecology and conservation, marine mammals and ecological aspects of Geographic Information System (GIS). In addition, the course has a significant field work component including ship work as well as survey and sampling techniques training. This course, run entirely by the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences at University College Cork, will provide an understanding of these various disciplines and skills needed in order to meet the growing demand for trained marine biologists at home and abroad.

Visit the website: http://www.ucc.ie/en/ckr38/

Course Details

On successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

- demonstrate a clear understanding and integration of knowledge of marine flora and fauna, the marine environment and its biological and physical properties and processes
- assess the sustainability of exploitation (fisheries and aquaculture) and assess the impact of other anthropogenic factors on the marine environment
- define the roles of management and conservation across the marine environment
- demonstrate a wide range of research skills (field and laboratory) including safety-related and professional qualifications
- apply the knowledge and skills acquired in this course in the working environment enabling the development of policy.

Format

This full-time 12-month course is split into Part I taught modules running from September to April and Part II, a four-month research project for students passing Part I. The course includes ship time experience aboard the Irish State research vessel, Celtic Voyager and field work day trips to various locations in County Cork as well as a week-long residential field course in the West of Scotland in March. In addition, students undertake professional certificate courses in January and February at the National Maritime College of Ireland in Ringaskiddy, Cork

Part I of the course consists of eight taught modules to the value of 60 credits involving lectures, practicals, seminars and fieldwork. Part II is a substantial research project (BL6017) to the value of 30 credits for those passing Part I. Each of the prescribed taught modules will be examined by a written paper and/or continuous assessment. Each student progressing to Part II of the course must submit the research project in an area of marine biology by a date as prescribed by the School of BEES.

Part I

BL6010 Characteristics of the Marine Environment (5 credits)
BL6012Marine Megafauna (10 credits)
BL6013Marine Fisheries and Aquaculture (10 credits)
BL6014Marine Fieldwork and Survey Techniques (10 credits)
BL6015Practical Marine Workplace Skills (5 credits)
BL6016Marine Ecology and Conservation (10 credits)
BL6019 Ecological Applications of Geographical Information Systems (5 credits)
BL6020 Genetics and the Marine Environment (5 credits)

Part II - Four-Month Research Project

BL6017Marine Biology Research Project (30 credits)

Assessment

The taught modules in the course are assessed by a combination of written examinations and continuous assessment elements (including essays, practical reports, critiques, seminars, dossiers and analytical elements). The four-month research project is assessed by a dissertation, project seminar and an assessment of your practical ability throughout the duration of the project.

Careers

As well as a number of professionally certified courses that will be provided throughout the course, students will also gain a variety of technical skills associated with research and computer skills (GIS in particular). Many transferable skills are also fostered through different learning approaches, including critical thinking, problem solving, report writing, oral presentations, statistical analysis, independent research and time management.

How to apply: http://www.ucc.ie/en/study/postgrad/how/

Funding and Scholarships

Information regarding funding and available scholarships can be found here: https://www.ucc.ie/en/cblgradschool/current/fundingandfinance/fundingscholarships/

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Taught by internationally recognised experts active at the science/policy interface, this interdisciplinary programme examines both scientific and policy-oriented aspects of conservation. Read more
Taught by internationally recognised experts active at the science/policy interface, this interdisciplinary programme examines both scientific and policy-oriented aspects of conservation. Teaching covers the breadth of this field, examining how conservation goals may be achieved under climate change scenarios, in combination with food security requirements, and taking account of social justice. The breadth of the degree gives flexibility to pursue those areas most relevant to your professional development and contains a significant research component supported by leading researchers.

The degree is designed to offer you considerable scope to tailor your studies to focus on the topics you wish to pursue. Integral to the whole programme is extensive liaison with conservation practitioners from a wide range of collaborating governmental and non-governmental organisations such as Butterfly Conservation, Marine Conservation Society and Natural England; and a broad suite of organisations in Africa including Kenya Wildlife Service, Solio Ranch and Wildlife Direct. Key individuals from some of these organisations contribute to classes and field visits and a number of our project students will be placed with such organisations.

A special feature of the programme is the Kenya field trip, which includes visits to some of East Africa’s most famous conservation areas, as well as in-depth discussions with a wide range of stakeholders about synergies and trade-offs between conservation and development. The trip provides you with opportunities to see firsthand how conservation science operates within particular policy contexts.

Perfect environment to study conservation science and policy

This Masters is based at the University of Exeter's Penryn Campus in Cornwall in new buildings with state-of-the-art facilities, in a region facing key challenges in balancing conservation with other goals. Cornwall is an exceptional place in which to study issues related to the environment and sustainability. The county is a perfect living laboratory which offers a diverse range of marine and terrestrial habitats, a wealth of natural resources and creative and resilient communities.

The Penryn Campus is home to the University's Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI http://www.exeter.ac.uk/esi/) – a £30 million centre leading cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research into solutions to problems of environmental change and enhancing people’s lives by improving their relationship with the environment. As a student on the MSc Conservation Science and Policy you will benefit from the ESI’s interdisciplinary approach to conservation science and policy and will have the unique opportunity to work on real world scenarios and problem solving in this area. You will be able to take advantage of a wide range of opportunities to engage with local, national and international experts through ESI events, guest lectures and research projects.

Fieldwork

The census research projects will see you spending a considerable amount of time in the field collecting data at several key research sites in West Cornwall and interacting with local NGOs (Cornwall Wildlife Trust, South West Lakes Trust).

This programme includes a two week field course in Kenya and will include visits to some of Africa’s largest and most important game reserves, as well as an introduction to some of the day-to-day problems faced by conservation biologists in developing nations. You will study the behaviour of animals in a natural ecological setting with a focus on large mammals, birds and insects. Travel and subsistence costs for this part of the programme are included in the programme fee.

Find out more about our field course modules at http://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/biosciences/fieldwork/. You can also keep up to date and share the experiences of our students in the field on our Field Course Fortnight website at http://blogs.exeter.ac.uk/fieldcourses/.

Learning and teaching

The taught component of this programme is delivered in the first five months, during which time you will be encouraged to develop your census research projects. The rest of the academic year is dedicated to these projects.

Programme structure

This Programme is modular and consists of four compulsory modules and 2-3 optional modules.

Compulsory modules

The compulsory modules can include; Dissertation; Understanding Environmental Change; Environmental Sustainability in Practice; Key Skills

Optional modules

Examples of the optional modules can include; Terrestrial Biodiversity and Conservation; ; Marine Biodiversity and Conservation; Preparing for Ecological Consultancy; Statistical Modelling; Governing Sustainability and African Conservation Science and Policy Field Course

The modules listed here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

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This one-year full-time Masters programme is taught at our Cornwall Campus by the Centre for Ecology and Conservation (http://biosciences.exeter.ac.uk/cec/) ; the fastest growing institute of its kind in the UK. Read more
This one-year full-time Masters programme is taught at our Cornwall Campus by the Centre for Ecology and Conservation (http://biosciences.exeter.ac.uk/cec/) ; the fastest growing institute of its kind in the UK. The course boasts a significant research component, with substantial fieldwork opportunities in the UK as well as a field course in Africa. A distinctive and integral feature of our MSc is the high degree of input from conservationists in collaborating governmental and non-governmental organisations. This participation takes a variety of forms, including guest lectures, field visits and specific training courses, but may also include providing research projects in their organisations. Collaborating organisations include: Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Butterfly Conservation, Marine Conservation Society, Natural England, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (links open in new windows).

The course provides excellent employability, with our alumni moving into careers such as: ecological consultancy, government conservation in UK and overseas, NGO conservation in the UK (Bat Conservation Trust, RSPB, Wildlife Trusts) and overseas and fully funded PhD positions in ecology and conservation.

Programme overview

- Designed in consultation with multiple external agencies to ensure relevant training that maximises graduate employability;
- Substantial field work opportunities in the UK and overseas;
- Provides opportunities to connect with external agencies and organisations to further enhance your training;
- Delivered by leading international researchers in the Centre for Ecology and Conservation;
- Offers access to excellent facilities including state-of-the-art research laboratories, greenhouses, aviary and controlled environment rooms;
- Modules target both research and practical conservation skills.

Fieldwork

The census research projects will see you spending a considerable amount of time in the field collecting data at several key research sites in West Cornwall and interacting with local NGOs (Cornwall Wildlife Trust, South West Lakes Trust).

This programme includes a two week field course in Kenya and will include visits to some of Africa’s largest and most important game reserves, as well as an introduction to some of the day-to-day problems faced by conservation biologists in developing nations. You will study the behaviour of animals in a natural ecological setting with a focus on large mammals, birds and insects. Travel and subsistence costs for this part of the programme are included in the programme fee.

Find out more about our field course modules at http://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/biosciences/fieldwork/.
You can also keep up to date and share the experiences of our students in the field on our Field Course Fortnight website at http://blogs.exeter.ac.uk/fieldcourses/.

Learning and teaching

The taught component of this programme is delivered in the first five months, during which time you will be encouraged to develop your census research projects. The rest of the academic year is dedicated to these projects.

Programme structure

This Programme is modular and consists of three compulsory modules and 2-4 optional modules.

Compulsory modules

The compulsory modules can include; Research Project; Statistical Modelling and Key Skills

Optional modules

Examples of the optional modules can include; Terrestrial Biodiversity and Conservation; ; Marine Biodiversity and Conservation; Preparing for Ecological Consultancy; Approaches in Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology; Ecological Census; African Biodiversity and Conservation Field Course; African Behavioural Ecology Field Course and African Conservation Science and Policy Field Course

The modules listed here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

Read less
This one-year full-time Masters programme is taught by the Centre for Ecology and Conservation (http://biosciences.exeter.ac.uk/cec/) ; the fastest growing institute of its kind in the UK. Read more
This one-year full-time Masters programme is taught by the Centre for Ecology and Conservation (http://biosciences.exeter.ac.uk/cec/) ; the fastest growing institute of its kind in the UK.

The course boasts a significant research component, with substantial fieldwork opportunities in the UK as well as a fieldcourse in Africa. Through taught modules and practical application, you will develop advanced skills in scientific method, ecological census and quantitative biology.

A distinctive and integral feature of our MSc is the high degree of input from ecologists in collaborating governmental and non-governmental organisations. This participation takes a variety of forms, including guest lectures, field visits and specific training courses, but may also include providing research projects in their organisations. Collaborating organisations include: Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Butterfly Conservation, Marine Conservation Society, Natural England, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Food and Environment Research Agency and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

Professional field biology and career development skills are embedded in the programme to enhance your employability. You will learn wildlife photography, geographic information systems, first aid for expeditions and field work, plus how to publish your own website, secure funding and communicate science to the general public.

Programme overview

- Designed in consultation with multiple external agencies to ensure relevant training that maximises graduate employability
- Substantial field work opportunities in the UK and Africa
- Provide opportunities to connect with external agencies and organisations throughout the programme to further enhance your training
- Delivered by leading international researchers in the Centre for Ecology and Conservation, who regularly publish in peer-reviewed journals
- Offers access to excellent facilities including state-of-the-art research laboratories, greenhouses, aviary and controlled environment rooms (http://biosciences.exeter.ac.uk/facilities/cornwall/)
- Ideal for individuals wishing to work in related consultancy and non-governmental organisations
- Includes modules that target both research and practical applied ecology skills

Fieldwork

The census research projects will see you spending a considerable amount of time in the field collecting data at several key research sites in West Cornwall and interacting with local NGOs (Cornwall Wildlife Trust, South West Lakes Trust).

This programme includes a two week field course in Kenya and will include visits to some of Africa’s largest and most important game reserves, as well as an introduction to some of the day-to-day problems faced by conservation biologists in developing nations. You will study the behaviour of animals in a natural ecological setting with a focus on large mammals, birds and insects. Travel and subsistence costs for this part of the programme are included in the programme fee.

Find out more about our field course modules at http://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/biosciences/fieldwork/. You can also keep up to date and share the experiences of our students in the field on our Field Course Fortnight website at http://blogs.exeter.ac.uk/fieldcourses/.

Learning and teaching

The taught component of this programme is delivered in the first five months, during which time you will be encouraged to develop your census research projects. The rest of the academic year is dedicated to these projects.

Programme structure

This Programme is modular and consists of five compulsory modules and one optional module.

Compulsory modules

The compulsory modules can include; Research Project; African Biodiversity and Conservation Field or African Behavioural Ecology Field Course; Ecological Census; Statistical Modelling and Key Skills

Optional modules

Examples of the optional modules can include; Terrestrial Biodiversity and Conservation and Preparing for Ecological Consultancy.
The modules listed here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand

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