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Masters Degrees (Seabirds)

We have 3 Masters Degrees (Seabirds)

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This multidisciplinary programme is designed to equip graduates with the knowledge and skills required to take up the exciting job opportunities arising from the recent adoption of marine spatial planning and related developments in marine conservation and the maritime industries. Read more
This multidisciplinary programme is designed to equip graduates with the knowledge and skills required to take up the exciting job opportunities arising from the recent adoption of marine spatial planning and related developments in marine conservation and the maritime industries.

Marine spatial planning is now developing as a key component of marine management. It aims to deliver a more organised sharing of sea space between demands as diverse as nature conservation, tourism, ports and shipping, renewable energy, fishing, aquaculture and mineral extraction. It seeks to integrate social, economic and environmental uses of the coast and sea.

Marine planning is being taken up by coastal nations around the world, including Australia, China, the United States of America, South Africa and several European nations, such as Germany, Portugal, the Netherlands, Poland, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Some nations, such as the UK, now have statutory provisions for planning their coastal and marine waters and bodies and procedures for preparing marine plans and implementing them. All European Union coastal states are now required to introduce marine planning, following a Directive passed in 2014.

So there is a growing demand for professionals who understand marine science and management on the one hand, and spatial planning, as has long been practised on land, on the other. This postgraduate programme bridges the gap between these two disciplines, and equips students with the knowledge and skills needed to embark on a career within marine management.
This programme leads to the award of a Master of Science degree. It is a full-time, one-year course, though it is also possible to study part-time over two years, combining studies with other responsibilities. This is the first programme of its kind to be accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute as a specialist Masters course. Gaining the degree is a step towards professional membership of the Institute.

Here is a selection of the topics recently chosen by the MSc students for their dissertations:
• Implementation of Marine Spatial Planning in Portugal
• Global food security: finding space for aquaculture
• Stakeholder Participation in Marine Planning in the UK
• Success factors for offshore wind energy
• China’s system of Marine Functional Zoning
• Assessing the value of sand dune systems in the North West of England
• Stakeholder involvement in the Irish Sea Conservation Zone project
• Reducing the impact of offshore wind farms on seabirds
• Mitigating the impacts of tidal barrages

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Our Conservation and Biodiversity Masters offers great flexibility, with a wide choice of topics from across disciplines, enabling you to construct a programme that suits your individual interests and career ambitions in this increasingly important field. Read more

Our Conservation and Biodiversity Masters offers great flexibility, with a wide choice of topics from across disciplines, enabling you to construct a programme that suits your individual interests and career ambitions in this increasingly important field.

You will have the opportunity to gain a solid foundation in the key theoretical issues, such as wildlife population dynamics and conservation biology, and learn how these are applied to real-world problems, such as managing habitats or dealing with wildlife-human conflicts. Additionally, you will gain and develop the key skills that are valued by employers, such as problem solving, report writing, data analysis and presentation skills.

You will complete six taught modules delivered by world-leading researchers from our three internationally-renowned partner organisations: Lancaster Environment Centre, Rothamsted Research and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. This gives you the opportunity to interact with a wide range of expert specialists, including lake ecologists, political ecologists, food security biologists, earth observation geographers, social scientists and others, so that you can put your learning into a wider context.

Several modules include field trips to the beautiful and topographically varied countryside around Lancaster, and beyond. If you want to travel further afield, we have research projects and partners across the globe that provide exiting opportunities when it comes to selecting your dissertation project.

This project forms a substantial part of your Masters degree. It will enhance your practical and analytical skills and give you the opportunity to apply your learning to a real-world challenge. This may involve a doing a project with a government agency or conservation organisation through our award winning Centre for Global Eco-innovation, which uses our excellent links with the environmental and conservation sectors. Examples of previous dissertation projects are:

  • Effectiveness of habitat management for fritillary butterflies (with Butterfly Conservation)
  • Impact of tourist disturbance on breeding seabirds on the Isle of May (with CEH)
  • Predation impacts on breeding success of black-tailed godwits (with RSPB)
  • Deer and forestry interactions in the Czech Republic (placement with Czech university)
  • Habitat selection by sand lizards in coastal dunes
  • Impact of urbanization on blue tit song behaviour
  • Habitat loss and biodiversity in the Amazon rainforest (with Lavras University, Brazil)
  • Biodiversity in reed fringes on Lake Windermere (with Freshwater Biological Association)

Graduates have gone on to successful careers in the environmental and conservation sectors, as well as further study for a PhD.



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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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