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Masters Degrees (Marine Science)

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Coastal erosion. Threatened resources. Pollution. With increasing awareness of the importance of the world's oceans as a natural resource and of their role in the stability of the global climate and environment, marine science specialists are in high demand. Read more
Coastal erosion. Threatened resources. Pollution. With increasing awareness of the importance of the world's oceans as a natural resource and of their role in the stability of the global climate and environment, marine science specialists are in high demand. Our vocational programme provides you with the scientific knowledge, skills and experience – together with practical field experience carried out with local marine partners and companies – you need for an exciting career in marine science.

Key features

-Join a long established (1991), well-respected programme with an excellent record for employment in the marine sciences sector.
-Develop confidence and competence in the theoretical and practical dimensions of marine science, deepening your scientific knowledge of the coastal environment and the pressures placed on it.
-Gain the skills and knowledge required to work as a marine scientist through a vocationally relevant programme, while also benefitting from our strong research-based teaching, supported by our marine research groups.
-Become experienced in coastal zone management using a range of practical techniques and approaches to problem solving.
-Connect with local marine organisations through the Plymouth Marine Sciences Partnership, which includes the Universities' Marine Institute, Marine Biological Association, Plymouth Marine Laboratory and the National Marine Aquarium.
-Make the most of our links to commercial consultancy companies, local councils and environmental organisations that can provide project ideas and supervision on your dissertation.
-Access an extensive range of field/laboratory equipment, including the COaST laboratories, our research vessel RV Falcon Spirit and a new waterfront marine centre.
-Build the skills required to assimilate knowledge over a wide range of disciplines and apply them to environmental analysis.
-Benefit from the option of studying this programme part time.

Course details

Our programme is 100 per cent coursework assessed and teaching activities are based around taught modules, field and laboratory work and an extended research project. There are visits to local bays and estuaries and a field week working with complex instrumentation in the lab and at sea. Semester one modules include management of coastal environments, marine science and research skills and methods. In the second semester students follow one core module in contemporary issues in marine science and choose two option modules from: remote sensing and geographical information systems, managing marine ecosystems, coastal erosion and protection, economics of the marine environment and modelling marine processes. You can carry out your research project and dissertation over both semesters in any area of marine science, working with experts within the University and external bodies (e.g. PML, Fugro-GEOS) in the UK and abroad. Topics include projects in both pure and applied research.

Core modules
-MAR513 Research Skills and Methods
-MAR515 Management of Coastal Environments
-MAR514 Marine Science
-MAR524 MSc Dissertation
-MAR516 Contemporary Issues in Marine Science

Optional modules
-MAR517 Coastal Erosion and Protection
-MAR530 Managing Marine Ecosystems
-MAR507 Economics of the Marine Environment
-MAR518 Remote Sensing and GIS
-MAR519 Modelling Marine Processes

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

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Coastal erosion. Threatened resources. Pollution. With increasing awareness of the importance of the world's oceans as a natural resource and of their role in the stability of the global climate and environment, marine science specialists are in high demand. Read more
Coastal erosion. Threatened resources. Pollution. With increasing awareness of the importance of the world's oceans as a natural resource and of their role in the stability of the global climate and environment, marine science specialists are in high demand. Our vocational programme provides you with the scientific knowledge, skills and experience – together with practical field experience carried out with local marine partners and companies – you need for an exciting career in marine science.

Key features

-Join a long established (1991), well-respected programme with an excellent record for employment in the marine sciences sector.
-Develop confidence and competence in the theoretical and practical dimensions of marine science, deepening your scientific knowledge of the coastal environment and the pressures placed on it.
-Gain the skills and knowledge required to work as a marine scientist through a vocationally relevant programme, while also benefitting from our strong research-based teaching, supported by our marine research groups.
-Become experienced in coastal zone management using a range of practical techniques and approaches to problem solving.
-Connect with local marine organisations through the Plymouth Marine Sciences Partnership, which includes the Universities' Marine Institute, Marine Biological Association, Plymouth Marine Laboratory and the National Marine Aquarium.
-Make the most of our links to commercial consultancy companies, local councils and environmental organisations that can provide project ideas and supervision on your dissertation.
-Access an extensive range of field/laboratory equipment, including the COaST laboratories, our research vessel RV Falcon Spirit and a new waterfront Marine Station.
-Build the skills required to assimilate knowledge over a wide range of disciplines and apply them to environmental analysis.
-Benefit from the option of studying this programme part time.

Course details

Our programme includes taught modules, research training, laboratory work, coursework, exams, a research project and dissertation. There are visits to local bays and estuaries and a field week working with complex instrumentation in the lab and at sea. Period one concentrates on research training and a multi-disciplinary overview of the marine sciences. Periods two and three are spent on your research project and dissertation. You can carry out your research project and dissertation with external bodies (e.g. PML, Fugro-GEOS, Astra-Zeneca) in the UK and abroad. Topics include projects in both pure and applied research. Due to the extended nature of the MRes research project, you take an additional module on project planning at the start of your dissertation period that provides underpinning and support for the development of your research project. You are also required to successfully defend your completed dissertation by viva voce with an external examiner.

Core modules
-MAR513 Research Skills and Methods
-MAR515 Management of Coastal Environments
-MAR514 Marine Science
-MAR525 MRes Dissertation

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

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Ocean acidification, energy resources, coastal erosion and flooding are just some of the issues that make ocean science such an important component when addressing the world’s most pressing environmental, energy and construction challenges. Read more
Ocean acidification, energy resources, coastal erosion and flooding are just some of the issues that make ocean science such an important component when addressing the world’s most pressing environmental, energy and construction challenges. This course allows you to tailor your study towards employment in a specific sector including oceanographic and environmental research and consultancy, marine renewable energy, marine conservation management, offshore exploration and hydrographic surveying.

You will equip yourself for a career in hydrographic surveying by choosing the hydrography pathway in the final year - study the exploration and sustainable management of marine resources, construction and environmental support. You’ll conduct a research or consultancy-type project closely linked to one of our marine science research groups or industrial partners, providing an experience of working with established marine scientists and contributing to current work in a wider context.

Key features

-Gain a sound knowledge base across all areas of ocean science with options to develop specialist skills in marine conservation, oceanography or hydrography.
-Specialise in subjects that most interest you including coastal dynamics, seafloor mapping, physical oceanography, meteorology, remote sensing, offshore exploration, biological oceanography, marine pollution and conservation.
-Equip yourself for a career in hydrographic surveying by choosing the hydrography pathway in the final year (with potential high-level professional FIG/IHO/ICA accreditation) - study the exploration and sustainable management of marine resources, construction and environmental support.
-Conduct a research or consultancy-type project closely linked to one of our marine science research groups or industrial partners, providing an experience of working with established marine scientists and contributing to current work in a wider context.
-Develop your range of practical skills with our own fully-equipped fleet of boats, a new £4.65 million Marine Station used as a base for fieldwork afloat, industry standard oceanographic and surveying equipment and a type-approved ship simulator.
-Option to take the industry-recognised professional diving qualification (HSE Professional SCUBA) alongside your degree, and an optional scientific diving module to provide training and qualification for diving-based research projects and employment (limited places and additional costs apply).
-Experience an overseas field course that's aimed at integrating ocean science knowledge and understanding across the different sub-disciplines.

Course details

Year 1
Your first year, shared across the Marine Science Undergraduate Scheme, introduces the full range of topics within the degree and develops your underpinning scientific knowledge and practical skills. You’ll develop your understanding of the Earth’s oceans and the key physical, chemical, biological processes that occur in these systems. You’ll build practical skills and enhance your ability to analyse, present and interpret scientific data through field-based activities.

Core modules
-OS101 Introduction to Ocean Science
-OS103 Biology and Hydrography of the Ocean
-OS105 Mapping the Marine Environment
-OS102 Physical and Chemical Processes of the Ocean
-OS104 Measuring the Marine Environment

Optional modules
-GEES1002PP Climate Change and Energy
-GEES1003PP Sustainable Futures
-GOV1000PP One Planet? Society and Sustainability
-ENGL405PP Making Waves: Representing the Sea, Then and Now
-GEES1001PP Natural Hazards
-OS106PP Our Ocean Planet
-OS107PP Space Exploration

Year 2
In your second year, the emphasis will be on understanding core aspects of ocean science, including topics in ocean exploration, oceanography and marine conservation, and enhancing your practical and research skills. You’ll participate in a field work module based at our Marine Station, learning how to use industry standard instrumentation and software for measuring a variety of parameters in the coastal zone and you’ll develop a proposal for your final year project. There's also opportunity to apply scientific diving skills gained alongside the degree for suitably qualified individuals.

Core modules
-OS201 Global Ocean Processes
-OS202 Monitoring the Marine Environment
-OS206 Researching the Marine Environment

Optional modules
-OS208 Meteorology
-OS209 Marine Remote Sensing
-OS207 Scientific Diving
-OS203 Seafloor Mapping
-OS204 Waves, Tides and Coastal Dynamics
-OS205 Managing Human Impacts in the Marine Environment

Year 3
You’ll focus on topics with special relevance to your future plans including options across the specialisms offered through the related BSc Marine Science courses. A residential field course allows you to develop a group-based in-situ investigative study. A large part of the year is spent completing a research project, carrying out an in-depth investigation under the guidance of a member of academic staff.

Optional modules
-BPIE338 Ocean Science Placement

Year 4
Pathway options in the final year provide both an opportunity for you to pursue your choice of topic in greater depth and an opportunity to increase the breadth of your study through modules from the applied contemporary offerings of our Marine Science MSc programmes: Applied Marine Science, Marine Renewable Energy and Hydrography. You’ll conduct a research or consultancy-type project closely linked to one of our internationally-leading marine science research groups or industrial partners, providing an experience of working with established marine scientists.

Optional modules
-MAR517 Coastal Erosion and Protection
-MATH523 Modelling Coastal Processes
-MAR520 Hydrography
-MAR522 Survey Project Management
-MAR515 Management of Coastal Environments
-MAR518 Remote Sensing and GIS
-MAR521 Acoustic and Oceanographic Surveying
-MAR507 Economics of the Marine Environment
-MAR523 Digital Mapping
-MAR516 Contemporary Issues in Marine Science
-MAR519 Modelling Marine Processes

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

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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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The MPhil programmes provide research training, supervision and collaboration to international standards. You can choose a wide range of topics within our marine science research groups. Read more
The MPhil programmes provide research training, supervision and collaboration to international standards. You can choose a wide range of topics within our marine science research groups.

Your research project will be in one of the areas covered by the marine science research groups:

Marine Resources and Renewable Energy (MRRE)
-Antifouling and ballast water treatment
-Bacterial bioactive products
-Bioenergy

Marine Biology, Ecosystems and Governance
-Structural and functional integrity of ecosystems
-Biological and socio-economic drivers of ecosystem change
-Governance and management of resource use

Oceans and Climate focuses on the production, consumption and air-sea exchange of greenhouse gases.

Depending on your previous academic training and the requirements of the project, you receive formal instruction through taught modules in important areas such as laboratory safety and sea survival.

The research community in the School of Marine Science and Technology includes 30 research students, 10-20 MSc students, six to 10 post-doctoral scientists, six technicians and 13 full-time academic staff. This provides you with abundant opportunities to progress your scientific career in any sector. Our research students have been successful at finding work across industry, academia, government agencies and non-governmental organisations.

Delivery

This research degree operates through the Postgraduate Researcher Development Programme (PGRDP). This is part of the Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering (SAgE) Graduate School.

Your original research project is managed in the marine science research groups. There is flexibility in how your research outputs are achieved. Supervisory inputs and collaborations with other schools and faculties are common. Input from outside the University, eg Research Council (RCUK) CASE studentships, is also encouraged.

The programme of work is tailored to your project requirements. You will achieve a certain number of credits through the PGRDP and School in your first two years. You will also:
-Write a thesis for viva voce examination
-Attend regional and international conferences in your chosen subject area
-Prepare papers for publication in academic journals

Work experience

Many research projects include industrial work experience. Other projects involve working with other universities, government institutes and scientific associations. The marine science research groups form part of extensive national and international networks. Recent collaboration includes:
-The Environment Agency
-Natural England
-Northumberland Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority
-University of the West Indies (Barbados)
-National Oceanographic Centre Southampton (NOCS)
-University of Costa Rica,
-North Sea Regional Advisory Council
-Haribon Foundation

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

The course provides training addressing the following major themes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Our International Marine Environmental Consultancy course meets the growing demand for marine consultants and coastal managers in UK, European and international business. Read more
Our International Marine Environmental Consultancy course meets the growing demand for marine consultants and coastal managers in UK, European and international business. You draw on key skills in industry-specific modules, learn to develop the commercial value of your knowledge and enhance your career prospects by working with industry partners on your final project.

The course brings together core ecological skills with the business elements required to compete in this growing sector. Expert academic staff maintain an extensive network of contacts. A four month consultancy project provides opportunities for developing a proposal to collaborate with a world-leading marine consultancy.

This interdisciplinary course attracts a wide range of honours graduates. Your background skills may come from geography, the law and politics as well as marine biology and the environmental sciences. An interest in the marine environment and its management, and a professional, committed attitude are essential.

You will do a research project in one of the areas of the Marine Biology, Ecosystems and Governance (MBEG) research group and key consultancies operating across these areas:
-Structural and functional integrity of ecosystems
-Biological and socio-economic drivers of ecosystem change
-Governance and management of resource use

Opportunities in other marine science research groups may exist:
-Marine Resources and Renewable Energy (MRRE):
-Antifouling and ballast water treatment
-Bacterial bioactive products
-Bioenergy

Oceans and Climate focuses on the production, consumption and air-sea exchange of greenhouse gases.

The marine science research groups form part of extensive national and international networks. Recent partnerships and collaborations include:
-The Environment Agency
-Natural England
-Northumberland Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority
-University of the West Indies (Barbados)
-National Oceanographic Centre Southampton (NOCS)
-University of Costa Rica
-North Sea Regional Advisory Council
-Haribon Foundation

You have the support of a marine science research community including 30 research students, six-10 post-doctoral scientists, six technicians and 13 full-time academic staff. This provides you with abundant opportunities to progress your scientific career, whether in industry or academia. Students have been successful at finding employment in industry, academia, government agencies and non-governmental organisations. You will also train to produce final projects of publishable quality.

Delivery

Modules are block taught, with intensive teaching weeks and weeks of private study. Each semester is 60 credits (in full-time mode). The intensive teaching weeks run Monday to Friday from 9am-5pm.

Teaching is delivered via lectures, seminars, practical sessions (in computer labs, on boats and shores) and personal supervision. Projects may be analytical, experimental, or field based, designed to give you the skills you need for future research.

The course finishes with a four month project. This is delivered in conjunction with consultancy partners in the UK or overseas.

Modules are delivered on the University's main campus but the Dove Marine Laboratory and the RV Princess Royal are also used as teaching venues.

Accreditation

Our course is accredited by Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST), the first Institute to bring together marine engineers, scientists and technologists into one international multi-disciplinary professional body.

Our accreditation gives you an additional benchmark of quality to your degree, making you more attractive to graduate employers.

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

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

Introducing your course

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

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

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

Overview

The MSc Oceanography degree is designed primarily for students with no previous specialisation in marine science. For example, if you are a graduate with a degree in biological sciences, chemistry or materials science, physics, maths, environmental science, physical geography or related disciplines. 

The programme includes compulsory introductory modules that provide a foundation in interdisciplinary marine science, along with the opportunity to specialise in particular areas through an option of modules, as well as research project experience with marine scientists at the National Oceanography Centre Southampton (NOCS).

To highlight the specialisations possible through the option modules of the programme, we have developed "pathways" of suggested module choices, which include:

  • Marine Biology and Ecology
  • Physical Oceanography and Climate Dynamics
  • Marine Biogeochemistry
  • Marine Geology and Geophysics
  • Climate Dynamics

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

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

View the programme specification document for this course



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Renewable energy is a cornerstone of the green economy and marine wind, wave and tidal energy are key elements of the UK, European and global renewable energy roadmaps. Read more
Renewable energy is a cornerstone of the green economy and marine wind, wave and tidal energy are key elements of the UK, European and global renewable energy roadmaps. Begin your voyage to being a part of this vital transformation by studying on the UK’s first MSc Marine Renewable Energy programme. Building on our international reputation for marine research and teaching along with regional and national initiatives, this distinctive degree focuses on the growing marine renewable energy sector.

Key features

-Be at the forefront of the emerging field of marine renewable energy at a time when such expertise is increasingly sought after.
-Develop knowledge and confidence in the critical areas which will help you to be an integral part of the effort to develop and promote marine renewable energy.
-Benefit from our research team’s expertise – our staff achieved ratings of ‘world leading’ and ‘internationally excellent’ in the UK Government’s most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014).
-Take advantage of Plymouth University’s active role in the Southwest Marine Energy Park and the Offshore Renewables Development Programme to stay abreast of the latest developments and make contacts with key players in the field.
-Gain experience in the use of world leading facilities such as the COAST Lab test tanks and the Falcon Spirit research vessel as part of your taught programme and your research.
-Learn in an environment which benefits from PRIMaRE investment in new staff expertise and facilities.
-Benefit from a programme fully-integrated with the £42 million wave hub project, the world's largest wave energy test site, off north Cornwall.
-Live and study in ‘Britain’s Ocean City’, with easy access to businesses and the natural environment involved in your area of study this is an ideal location to study marine renewables.
-Take the opportunity to study abroad in the research project phase and be supported by one Plymouth University supervisor and one supervisor overseas.

Course details

The taught modules in the first period are compulsory and are designed to provide you with a broad background on marine renewable as well as a solid basis for the option modules in period two. You’ll undertake three modules in period one that provide a background in marine renewable energy: introduction to marine renewable energy, economics, law and policy for marine renewable energy, research skills and research methods. In period two you can choose three options from a choice of five: assessment of coastal resources and impacts, marine planning, economics of the marine environment, mechanics of marine renewable energy structures, and wave and current modelling for marine renewable energy. During period three you’ll undertake a research project and dissertation. Due to the extensive staff research expertise there is a wide range of potential projects spanning marine science, engineering and socio-economics. You may also carry out projects with external organisations that have interests in marine renewable energy.

Core modules
-MAR513 Research Skills and Methods
-MAR526 Introduction to Marine Renewable Energy
-MAR527 Economics, Law and Policy for Marine Renewable Energy
-MAR524 MSc Dissertation

Optional modules
-MAR529 Marine Planning
-MATH523 Modelling Coastal Processes
-MAR528 Mechanics of MRE Structures
-MAR507 Economics of the Marine Environment
-MAR512 Assessment of Coastal Resources and Impacts

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

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Galway’s identity is intertwined with the coast. The Discipline of Geography, with strong links with The Ryan Institute which identifies marine and coastal processes as a Priority Research Area, is delighted to offer a brand new structured postgraduate programme in NUIG. Read more

PROGRAMME OVERVIEW

Galway’s identity is intertwined with the coast. The Discipline of Geography, with strong links with The Ryan Institute which identifies marine and coastal processes as a Priority Research Area, is delighted to offer a brand new structured postgraduate programme in NUIG. This programme is designed to train skilled personnel, who can advise on, organise and regulate an informed development of coastal and marine resources and activities in Ireland, the European Union and worldwide. Ireland’s coastal and marine environments are a vital natural resource. This value is reflected in a broad range of current EU directives and strategies aimed at taking full advantage of these resources while also enhancing our natural environments. The Irish Government has recently launched an integrated plan (Our Ocean Wealth), seeking to put into operation these EU policies for our coastal and marine resources. While rapid growth is expected as these new plans come into action, they are not without risks. A recent report by the Marine Institute outlined some challenges: a need to develop our environmental understanding; the challenge posed by climate change; protecting biodiversity; enhancing monitoring capability; greater integration of science, management and advice. The key to achieving the true sustainable development of our coastal and marine resources may be through new educational programmes. On the one hand, facilitating existing managers and planners through targeted learning in this expanding field, while on the other hand, training our current students to be the future decision-makers in these coastal and marine environments.

This is a highly opportune time for an MSc in Coastal and Marine Environments: physical processes, policy and practice. This MSc programme, theoretically informed and with a strong field-based and applied focus, is offered in direct response to newly emerging discourses on the long term health of coastal and marine environments. It seeks to challenge and facilitate students to engage with but go beyond established scientific conceptual and theoretical perspectives, engage new ways of understanding the complexities of our evolving physical coastal and marine environments, and develop critical insights that can support policy and practice in sustaining these increasingly vulnerable environments.

PROGRAMME STRUCTURE

The MSc in Coastal and Marine Environments is a full-time postgraduate course delivered over 3 semesters (12 months). The programme was devised by a team of academics from the Discipline of Geography who have been involved in priority EU-funded and US National Science Foundation (NSF) research on contemporary and future challenges facing coastal and marine areas, including the ANCORIM (Atlantic Network for Coastal Risk Management) (INTERREG) and MARNET (Marine Atlantic Regions Network) (FP7) projects, as well as local and national-level projects on the same. The team is engaged in a broad range of scientific investigation of the physical environment, with an excellent international publication record. Students will become active members of ongoing research programmes and will learn the research and publication process.

There is a strong focus on the formulation of coastal and marine policies and strategies; the identity and role of stakeholders; the nature and impact of local, national and European governance; and the historic and contemporary approaches used to understand the physical processes that control the characteristics of our coast. Development of skills is supported by a significant focus on practical and field-based learning, including short field courses in Ireland and work placements.

It is directed at graduates from Geography, Natural Sciences and other related disciplines in the social and natural sciences, and at professionals in the field who are interested in furthering their knowledge of coastal and marine environments. Students will be required to conduct socially relevant research that addresses the roles of agencies and policy structures in coastal and marine environments.

CAREER OPPORTUNTIES

With coastal and marine resources increasingly promoted as being central to revitalising the Irish economy, the coming years will require well-informed and educated leaders who understand the complexities of the interaction between the economy and health of these environments. This, added to the broader national and European focus on the coastal zone and the urgent need for more Higher Education courses which recognise the renewed importance of sustainability of coastal and marine activities and the multifunctional facets of these areas, should present graduates of this course with opportunities across various fields ( coastal and marine science, environmental consultancy, local/regional/state management agencies, government and policy institute research, politics and governance of the environment, sustainable energy, research laboratories and programmes, teaching, heritage, tourism, etc.). The work placement programme will aid in professional development and offer links with potential employers, giving our students realistic and desirable career opportunities, and built-in work experience upon graduation.

PhD Entry: the MSc Programme can be used as a platform for potential doctoral PhD candidates for research programmes in Geography and our partners in NUIG, especially the Ryan Institute, and abroad. This will encourage the growth and visibility, at home and abroad, of the coastal and marine priority theme research clusters in NUIG.

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Get a degree that's recognised worldwide and contribute to knowledge in your field. A Master of Science (MSc) will develop your technical, laboratory and academic writing skills to prepare you for a career in science. Read more

Get a degree that's recognised worldwide and contribute to knowledge in your field. A Master of Science (MSc) will develop your technical, laboratory and academic writing skills to prepare you for a career in science.

The MSc will take you between two and two and half years of full-time study or up to four years part time. In the first year of your MSc you'll take several courses related to your specialist subject area. Next, you'll carry out in-depth supervised research for 12–15 months and write a thesis. During your studies you might also author publications for peer-reviewed journals.

To do an MSc you'll need a Bachelor's degree in an appropriate field, with an average grade of B+ or higher in your subject area. You may also be able to qualify for entry if you have appropriate work or other experience.

Range of Master's programmes

Choose to complete this Master's programme or one of the specialist science Master's programmes. Most specialist programmes are 180 points and don't require a thesis.

If you have already done a BSc(Hons) you can apply to go directly into the 120-point MSc by thesis.

Available subjects

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.



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This MSc is based at our ORKNEY CAMPUS in the far north of Scotland. A unique opportunity to study a live marine environment. Marine planning, including spatial planning, is a fast developing discipline of global interest with excellent employment prospects. Read more
This MSc is based at our ORKNEY CAMPUS in the far north of Scotland. A unique opportunity to study a live marine environment.

Marine planning, including spatial planning, is a fast developing discipline of global interest with excellent employment prospects. Ambition to create jobs and growth in the ‘Blue Economy’ is made real by new technologies giving access to the wealth of resources in the oceans and seas. New approaches are needed to govern the interactions among marine industries while maintaining the aspiration for healthy seas and the conservation of ecosystems. Adaptation to the effects of climate change adds to the importance of marine planning as an essential tool in marine management.

The MSc in Marine Planning for Sustainable Development is based at the Orkney Campus but is available also at the Edinburgh Campus. Orkney is a global centre for marine energy research and development. A unique concentration of marine expertise and activity provides students with unparalleled access to key participants in the sustainable development and planning of marine industries.

The MSc involves studying eight taught courses. If you can demonstrate that you have already mastered the subject, you may apply for an exemption from one of the taught courses and undertake a Design Project instead. The MSc programme is completed with a research dissertation equivalent to 4 taught courses.

SEMESTER 1

A11MP Introduction to Marine Planning
Introduces students to the emerging policy and practice of marine planning (global and regional). It examines political, jurisdictional and rights issues in the introduction of economic activities into the marine commons (the ‘Blue Growth Agenda’). The framework of marine legislation is explained and methods of conflict resolution are explored. A series of international case studies will identify the various tools and techniques being used around the world to manage human activity and balance conservation interests with demands for economic growth.

A11OC Oceanography & Marine Ecology
Designed to give an understanding of the science of waves and tides, and how this affects efforts to exploit energy from these resources and to develop other maritime industries. Marine ecosystems are also studied and how these may be impacted by human activities and about the challenges and impacts associated with carrying out engineering operations in the marine environment.

A11ER Economics of Renewable Energy
Orkney is a world leading centre for the research and testing of marine renewables. The economics of the energy sector are studied in the context of the whole renewable energy sector, both marine and terrestrial, with particular focus on wave and tidal projects underway in the vicinity of the University.

A11DM Marine Resource Development
Examines the exploitation and use of marine resources (including oil and gas, fisheries, shipping, marine renewables, aquaculture and tourism), issues associated with development in the marine environment (including pollution and waste) and how these activities are regulated. You will learn about marine technologies in the Blue Economy and the challenges of developing and deploying technologies to exploit resources in the marine environment.


SEMESTER 2

A11PK Environmental Policy & Risk
This course explores the legal and policy context of marine governance. You will gain an understanding of international law, particularly the Law of the Sea, property rights and how these relate to different energy resources. The course also looks at regulatory issues at the international, European and UK level, which affect how energy developments are taken forward, as well as risk assessment and management in the context of marine developments. A practical EIA exercise is undertaken.


A11GI GIS for Marine and Environmental Scientists
Geographic Information System mapping is a tool which is now widely used by both developers and regulators in the management and development of marine resources. Within the context of Marine Spatial Planning the use of GIS has rapidly become the standard means of collating and analysing spatial information regarding resource use. This course will explain the principles and provide hands-on experience of applying state of the art mapping software in project based case studies.

A11DA Development Appraisal
Looking at what happens when renewable energy technologies are deployed, this course examines development constraints and opportunities: policy and regulatory issues (including strategic environmental assessment, environmental impact assessment, landscape assessment, capacity issues and the planning system). It also looks at the financial aspects (valuation of capital asses, financing projects and the costs of generating electricity) and at project management.

A11VY Practical Marine Survey
A practical field study course into the methods and techniques of marine survey. The opportunity for dive study if suitably qualified.

Additional information
This MSc is based at our ORKNEY CAMPUS. By studying in Orkney you will benefit from a number of activities including field trips, guest lectures and practical activities, which help to develop your skills and knowledge in your field of study, and offer opportunities to meet developers and others involved in the renewable energy industry.


Assistance with funding is available, please visit our website for further details and information on how to apply.

English language requirements

If your first language is not English, or your first degree was not taught in English, we’ll need to see evidence of your English language ability. The minimum requirement for English language is IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. We offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement prior to starting your masters programme:

- 14 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with no more than one skill at 4.5);
- 10 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with minimum of 5.0 in all skills);
- 6 weeks English (for IELTS 5.5 with minimum of 5.5 in reading & writing and minimum of 5.0 in speaking & listening)

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Get a degree that's recognised worldwide and contribute to knowledge in your field. A Master of Science (MSc) will develop your technical, laboratory and academic writing skills to prepare you for a career in science. Read more

Get a degree that's recognised worldwide and contribute to knowledge in your field. A Master of Science (MSc) will develop your technical, laboratory and academic writing skills to prepare you for a career in science.

The MSc by thesis will take you between 12 and 15 months to complete. You'll carry out in-depth supervised research and write a thesis. During your studies you might also author publications for peer-reviewed journals.

To do an MSc by thesis you'll need an Honours degree or postgraduate diploma in an appropriate field, with an average grade of B+ or higher in your subject area.

Available subjects

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 will need to do around 20–23 hours of work a week. Make sure you take this into account if you are working.



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The MPhil programmes in Marine Sciences provide research training, supervision and collaboration to international standards. You can choose a wide range of topics within the marine science research groups of Marine Hydrodynamics and Structures (MHS) and Sustainable Shipping and Marine Engineering (SSME). Read more
The MPhil programmes in Marine Sciences provide research training, supervision and collaboration to international standards. You can choose a wide range of topics within the marine science research groups of Marine Hydrodynamics and Structures (MHS) and Sustainable Shipping and Marine Engineering (SSME).

Your research project will be in one of the areas addressed by the marine technology research groups:
-Marine Hydrodynamics and Structures (MHS)
-Sustainable Shipping and Marine Engineering (SSME)

Depending on your previous academic training and the requirements of the project, you may receive formal instruction through taught modules in important areas.

The substantial marine technology research community including 50 research students, 140 MSc students, six to 10 post-doctoral students, six technicians and 16 full-time academic staff provides you with opportunities to progress your career, whether in industry or academia.

Our annual Postgraduate Research Conference provides you with an opportunity to share research experience and practise vital presentation skills. We also instigated the UK Marine Technology Postgraduate Conference which involves research student presentations from leading UK universities involved in Marine Technology research. These universities take turns to host the conference which is sponsored by Lloyds Register, the Royal Institute of Naval Architects (RINA) and the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST).

Delivery

This research degree operates through the Postgraduate Researcher Development Programme (PGRDP). This is part of the Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering (SAgE) Graduate School.

Your original research project is managed in the marine technology research groups. There is flexibility in how your research outputs are achieved. Supervisory inputs and collaborations with other Schools and Faculties are common.

Aside from the PGRDP, the programme of work suits you and your project requirements. You will achieve a certain number of credits through the PGRDP and School in your first two years. You will also:
-Write a thesis for viva voce examination
-Attend regional and international conferences in your chosen subject area
-Prepare papers for publication in academic journals

Work experience

Leading industrial organisations in the Marine and Renewables sector sponsor many research projects. Other projects involve collaboration between Newcastle and other institutions. The marine technology research groups form part of extensive national and international networks.

Recent partnerships and collaborations include:
-International Paint
-Lloyds Register
-BAE Systems

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