This course is designed to provide an advanced education in the principles and practice of marine spatial planning. Graduates of the course are expected to have a broad overview of the management of the marine and coastal resources and allied fields of integrated coastal zone management. The award is intended to provide students with an appreciation of the scientific basis underpinning the management of coastal land and water resources and to enable those successfully completing the course to operate at a professional level in the emerging field of marine governance, planning and management.
The specific objectives of the course are to develop:
To take this course, you will need access to a computer with a fast internet connection. The course uses the Blackboard learning environment and the modules are delivered using online lectures, including practical and tutorial material. Students and staff interact via email, discussion boards, online chat and telephone. You will find that this course is much more flexible than traditional on-campus university courses as you can study using your own computer and the internet, at your own pace, any place and any time (within given timeframes).
Fully online - part-time by distance learning. You do not need to visit Ulster at any stage to successfully complete this course.
The Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) Marine Spatial Planning and the Master of Science (MSc) Marine Spatial Planning are linked courses. You must successfully complete the PgDip (120 credit points) before transferring to the MSc (a further 60 credit points), i.e. to get the full MSc you complete 180 credit points in total.
The PgDip takes two years part-time (4 semesters) as one module is taken each semester. Modules are available on a two year rotational basis so the order in which they are studied is dependent upon when you start the course.
For the MSc an additional two semesters are required to complete the project module i.e. three years in total part-time. (6 semesters).
The students taking this course predominantly fall into two groups; those who are already working in the field and who wish to up-skill and refresh their knowledge; and those who are interested in making a career change. For the former group the progression opportunities focus on promotion within their current workplace or a change of job but within the same discipline. Others who are working within either the coastal environment or the planning environment will see this course as an opportunity to broaden their knowledge base and make themselves more employable by developing a wider range of skills.
There is already evidence from within Government and Local Authority planning departments that personnel from a terrestrial planning background are being required to work within newly created posts in Marine Spatial Planning but in addition to this students will be seeking to enter jobs in the newly developing field of Marine Spatial Planning within governments, policy making bodies, Non-Governmental organizations and charities.
This programme is unique in Europe and beyond. It embraces a holistic, interdisciplinary approach to understanding the roles of humans and their connection to marine ecosystems for survival and prosperity.
This MSc approaches marine systems as an integrated socio-ecological system through focusing on three spheres of marine systems:
(Revised 18 October 2017 to provide more comprehensive information). This programme involves two semesters of classes followed by an individual research project. The curriculum consists of compulsory and optional taught courses followed by a period of individual dissertation project work. There will also be local and international field trips.
Compulsory courses typically include:
Through consultation with your Programme Director you will choose three option courses from areas such as:
Courses are offered subject to timetabling and availability and are subject to change.
Our field trips provide site-based learning of both natural and social science practices, a key dynamic of this MSc. The core field trip has historically taken place in tropical locations such as Jamaica and the Maldives.
This MSc provides a foundation for work up to international level, for government bodies, think-tanks, consulting firms and NGOs where an integrated understanding of marine ecosystems, policies and practice is required.
If you want to save our oceans from ever increasing amounts of development affecting the natural world or you want to study man made effects on marine life, or you want to work in statutory conservation bodies, government regulators, departments, consultancies assisting private and public sector organisations with their marine environmental reports and assessments, this programme will support you towards that goal.
Human activity in our oceans affect marine environments and conservation. We have increasing shipping lanes and worldwide logistical needs, marine based wind farms, energy production and extraction, and many other industry sectors impacting on the marine environment. There is a need to ensure that the balance for economic benefit does not conflict with the natural world and its long term sustainability. There are also sensitive receptors and geographical areas which must be protected and sustained and which provide essential knowledge to transfer.
You develop practical and analytical skills to apply to marine ecosystems. Contributors to the programme include Marine Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee and you study ecology, fish biology, design and analysis of experiments, population, GIS, conservation management, literature in ecology, conservation and environment, research and conservation management in the marine environment
Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page
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Find out more about fees on the programme page
*Please be advised that some programmes also have additional costs.
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