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Biological Sciences×

Masters Degrees in Freshwater Biology

Masters degrees in Freshwater Biology provide advanced study of the relationship between living organisms and their physical environments. It includes analysis of the chemical compositions of these environments, with consideration given to waste management and water purification processes.

Courses in this field are typically taught MSc programmes, though research-based MRes degrees may also be available.

Why study a Masters in Freshwater Biology?

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The world’s aquatic ecosystems and environment are increasingly under threat. Pollution, overfishing, global climate change and many other impacts have highlighted the importance for us to understand their function at all levels, from the molecular to the global. Read more

Why take this course?

The world’s aquatic ecosystems and environment are increasingly under threat. Pollution, overfishing, global climate change and many other impacts have highlighted the importance for us to understand their function at all levels, from the molecular to the global.

This is what our course sets out to do and thanks to our close proximity to many types of temperate marine habitats and internationally protected conservation areas, we offer the perfect location for investigation.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

Research at our internationally-renowned Institute of Marine Sciences or carry out microbiological work at the University’s Field Centre for Environmental Technology at Petersfield Sewage Works
Rear coldwater species for restocking programmes or trial fish food at Sparsholt College’s National Aquatics Training Centre
Study abroad through Erasmus or various other conservation and research schemes

What opportunities might it lead to?

You’ll be taught by leading international researchers and the course has been designed with strong input from outside agencies including environmental consultancies, a range of government bodies and industry. This ensures your training links directly to UK and international employment opportunities.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

Consultancy work
Government-based research
Conservation
Teaching
Further study

Module Details

You will cover a variety of topics in advanced laboratory and field skills, and choose from units that cover marine ecology, aquaculture, ecotoxicology and pollution, and scientific journalism. A large amount of your time will also be spent on the research project that will enable you to apply the skills and knowledge you have gained.

Core units are:

• Research Toolkit: This covers a range of key professional skills for research methods (communication skills, ethics and report writing), advanced field skills (boat sampling, taxonomy, and marine and freshwater sampling methods), advanced laboratory skills (genomics, monitoring and pollution monitoring methods) and remote sensing technology (such as GIS).

• Research Project: Your final project allows you to select from a range of marine and freshwater projects provided by staff within the School, government research laboratories, NGOs and private research companies. During the project you will write literature reviews and develop skills in data analysis and presentation.

Then choose any three optional units from:

• Ecotoxicology and Pollution: This provides an introduction to environmental toxicology using model and non-model organisms.

• Aquaculture: This unit focuses on the principles of aquaculture production, global production and diversity of aquaculture species. It is taught by academic staff and staff from the National Aquatics Training Centre at Sparsholt College. Areas covered include larval culture, diseases and pathology, feeding and growth, reproductive manipulation, and business and management.

• Marine Policy, Planning and Conservation: Planning and Conservation: This unit explores contemporary debates on coastal and marine management with a specific focus on marine policy, planning and conservation.

• Science and the Media: Science communication is increasingly becoming an important part of science. This unit firstly addresses the skills required by scientists to effectively communicate with the media and general public and secondly, provides an understanding of the skills needed for a career in science journalism.

• Subtidal Marine Ecology: Selected topics of current interest in marine ecology, incorporating both theory and applied aspects, culminating in a week-long practical field course in the Mediterranean Sea. The unit carries an additional cost for the field trip, and requires a minimum level of training and experience in SCUBA diving to participate.

Programme Assessment

Hands-on laboratory-based work teamed with field trips means that practical learning underpins the theory learned in lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops. You’ll also find that some aspects of your course may be taught online using our virtual learning environment.

You will be assessed using a range of methods from exams to coursework and presentations, with great opportunities to present your final-year projects to industry and researchers from other departments and organisations.

Student Destinations

Once you have completed this course, you will be particularly well placed to enter a wide range of interesting and rewarding careers in the UK and abroad. We will ensure you have all the relevant knowledge and skills that employers require, giving you the opportunity to either pursue a scientific career, enter the teaching profession, or further study should you want to continue your research.

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Thank you for your interest in the University of Alabama’s marine science program Tuscaloosa is located inland, about a 4 hour drive to the coast. Read more
Thank you for your interest in the University of Alabama’s marine science program Tuscaloosa is located inland, about a 4 hour drive to the coast.

We offer a dual degree program, in biology (or geology or chemistry) and marine science, that requires our students to spend several summers at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, located just south of Mobile (please check out the website at http://www.disl.org/).

This program allows our students to work on a biology degree here on main campus during the academic year, where the bulk of our courses are geared toward freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems, and then spend time in highly intensive, hands-on marine science courses during the summers.

This schedule permits the students to complete their general requirements (e.g., general chemistry, math, geology) as well as the university’s required core courses for graduation at main campus with the maximum of options.

In order to fulfill the requirements of our marine science program, students take 2 semesters of general chemistry, geology, and physics, and a single semester of statistics on main campus.

Required marine science classes at the sea lab include:

Marine Biology,
Marine Geology,
Oceanography,
Marine Technical Methods, and
an Elective.


These courses are in addition to the liberal arts core curriculum designated by the university and the requirements of the chosen co-major. With two summers of marine science courses at Dauphin Island Sea Lab and a realistic load of classes each semester, graduation in four years is very possible.

Please feel free to contact us for additional information or to arrange a tour of the UA biology facilities.

The program is highly regarded and our graduates are very conversant in the sciences, making them well suited for a number of career options after graduation.

Hopefully we’ll see you at UA next year!

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Environmental issues such as eutrophication, habitat degradation and climate change threaten the sustainability of our aquatic resources. Read more
Environmental issues such as eutrophication, habitat degradation and climate change threaten the sustainability of our aquatic resources. Responding to these threats the Aquatic Science MSc equips students with an interdisciplinary understanding of the structure and functioning of aquatic environments, encompassing lakes, ponds, rivers, wetlands, groundwaters, estuaries and shallow seas.

Degree information

Students focus on integrated freshwater and coastal systems and gain extensive training in field sampling, study design and species identification. Distinctive features include: integration of aquatic ecology with hydro-geomorphology, aquatic landscape ecology, analysis of sediment cores for environmental change reconstruction, design of aquatic monitoring programmes and modelling of aquatic system dynamics. Students come away with a sound knowledge of current-day links between aquatic science, legislation and conservation.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of four core modules (60 credits), four optional modules (60 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma - 4 core modules and 4 optional modules all 15 credits (120 credits, full-time nine months, part-time two years) is offered. A Postgraduate Certificate - 4 core modules only at 15 credits (60 credits, full-time twelve weeks, part-time two years) is offered.

Core modules
-Aquatic Systems
-Aquatic Monitoring (includes field-trip to Scottish Highlands)
-Environmental Data Acquisition and Analysis
-Scientific Basis for Freshwater and Coastal Conservation (field-based module in Norfolk, England)

*modules running are dependent on staff sabbaticals.

Optional modules - students choose four of the following:
-Lakes
-Coastal Change
-Politics of Climate Change
-Marine Conservation
-Surface Water Modelling
-Wetlands
-Aquatic Macrophytes (field-based module in Dorset, England)
-Impacts of Climate Change on Hydro-ecological Systems
-Biological Indicators of Environmental Change
-Non-biological Indicators for Environmental Change
-Environmental GIS
-Ocean Circulation and Climate Change

*modules running are dependent on staff sabbaticals.

Dissertation/report
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words. Dissertation placement positions are offered linked to external conservation bodies and research-orientated consultancies.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, practical classes, laboratory sessions, case-studies and residential field classes. Assessment is through coursework and the dissertation, which includes an oral presentation of the research proposal.

Careers

This programme provides an ideal foundation for PhD research, or for employment with environmental protection and conservation agencies, the water industry and environmental consultancies.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Education Officer, Norfolk Wildlife Trust
-PhD in Pond Conservation, UCL
-PhD in the Macroecology of Deep Sea Jelly Fish, University of Southampton
-Land Use Adviser, Natural England
-River Catchment Planner, Norfolk Rivers Trust

Employability
The MSc provides students with the science background and practical skills necessary for a career working in aquatic conservation and environmental protection agencies, environmental consultancies and stakeholder agencies. The MSc is also an ideal platform for further PhD study. We aim to expose students to potential employers from the outset and students receive expert tuition in field sampling and monitoring programme design, conservation biology, taxonomy of key species groups, knowledge of important conservation principles and legislation and working with stakeholders.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The Aquatic Science MSc is run by UCL Geography which enjoys an outstanding international reputation for its aquatic environmental research and teaching. The degree has a strong emphasis on field working with three major residential classes to the North Norfolk Coast, Scottish Highlands and Dorset.

The programme is taught by research groups specialising in Environmental Change & Biodiversity, Environmental Modelling & Observation, and has specialist input from the Thames Estuary Partnership, and in-house aquatic consultancy Environmental Scientific Services.

Speakers from environmental organisations including the UK Environment Agency, the Rivers Trusts, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, the UK Wildlife Trusts, National Trust and Natural England lecture on the programme and take part in fieldwork. By bringing together students, researchers and practitioners, a vibrant and informal academic environment is created encouraging mutual discovery and ongoing debate.

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The philosophy of the Environmental Management MSc programmes centres on the need for new environmental professionals. people with a strong cross-disciplinary understanding of the societal, economic, and environmental challenges posed by the emerging sustainable environmental management agenda. Read more
The philosophy of the Environmental Management MSc programmes centres on the need for new environmental professionals: people with a strong cross-disciplinary understanding of the societal, economic, and environmental challenges posed by the emerging sustainable environmental management agenda. The course aims to provide you with the in-depth knowledge and the essential practical and evaluative skills needed to give leadership for low carbon, resource efficient, sustainable futures in diverse global contexts.

Environmental Management (Water Resources) MSc – this pathway has a strong practical component. Our approach encourages you to critically assess geographically specific water management challenges through investigation and debate of UK, European and non-European examples, with specific emphasis on the relationship between water management and sustainable development.

With established and active links with European and American universities, the course ensures a globally relevant curriculum and produces graduates who are able to innovate and respond to new and emerging challenges within environmental management. The programme will provide you with a good basis for careers in local government, NGOs, major international companies, independent consultants, and in education (eg research and enterprise).

Key features
-Practical fieldwork experience.
-Transferable skills in geographical information system (GIS), experimental design and data analysis.
-Exciting interdisciplinary curriculum.

Please note: fieldwork will incur an additional financial cost. Details regarding fees for field trips are specified in relevant module guides or ask the course director.

What will you study?

You will study the theoretical, practical and legal frameworks promoting sustainable environmental management and other drivers for sustainable behaviour at individual, institutional and governmental scales. You will learn how to innovate, respond to new and emerging challenges and work effectively in changing and unfamiliar situations.

The programme is made up of four modules each worth 30 credits and a research project module worth 60 credits. You will have the option of choosing from modules which explore aspects of sustainable environmental management, such as water, energy and land resources management and climate change.

Assessment

Written exams, seen exams, practical exams, essays and research articles.

Work placement scheme

Kingston University has set up a scheme that allows postgraduate students in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing to include a work placement element in their course starting from September 2017. The placement scheme is available for both international and home/EU students.

-The work placement, up to 12 months; is optional.
-The work placement takes place after postgraduate students have successfully completed the taught portion of their degree.
-The responsibility for finding the placement is with the student. We cannot guarantee the placement, just the opportunity to undertake it.
-As the work placement is an assessed part of the course for international students, this is covered by a student's tier 4 visa.

Details on how to apply will be confirmed shortly.

Course structure

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Environmental Management (Water Resources) MSc
-Environmental Management
-Water, Energy and Land Resources Management
-Research Methods and Techniques
-Water Management in Practice
-Research Project

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Guelph’s Water Resource Engineering program is the first of its kind in North America and with the number of prestigious NSERC chairs awarded to our faculty, it is also the most well recognized and respected of its kind. Read more
Guelph’s Water Resource Engineering program is the first of its kind in North America and with the number of prestigious NSERC chairs awarded to our faculty, it is also the most well recognized and respected of its kind. The School of Engineering is excited to offer you two new Graduate Diplomas:
• Modelling Applications in Water Resources Engineering
• Engineering Design of Sustainable Water Resource Systems

The diploma is an opportunity for:
• Canadian Engineering graduates who require further education to facilitate a change in their professional career
• Landed immigrants in Canada with an engineering background looking for Canadian educational experience

The new Graduate Diplomas are unique because they draw upon specializations in the existing Water Resources Engineering program at the University of Guelph. Water Resources Engineering research involves investigations and design of systems for control and utilization of land and water resources as part of management of urban and rural watersheds. Research topics include:
• Water quality control and safety
• Resource use and ground water quality
• Hydrologic modelling
• Design and planning of urban water and sewage infrastructure,
• Rural waste treatment systems,
• Erosion control,
• Non-point source pollution control,
• Sediment and contaminant transport,
• Irrigation and drainage modeling

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This fully accredited MSc programme from the Centre for Environmental and Health Engineering is highly popular and relevant to the needs of future engineers, scientists and professionals in the environmental-health, water, pollution-control, waste-management and environmental sectors. Read more
This fully accredited MSc programme from the Centre for Environmental and Health Engineering is highly popular and relevant to the needs of future engineers, scientists and professionals in the environmental-health, water, pollution-control, waste-management and environmental sectors.

PROGRAMME OVERVIEW

This MSc attracts UK and overseas graduates who wish to take advantage of the considerable global interest in water, wastewater, sanitation and waste to develop their careers.

Many graduates from the programme go on to work for consultancies, water utilities, contractors, relief agencies, regulatory bodies and international organisations.

Graduates from the programme also have the potential to progress to relevant specialist PhD or EngD research programmes in the field.

In the past, scholarship students have been accepted from a range of schemes, including: Foreign Office and British Council Chevening, World Bank, Commonwealth, Thames Water, Commonwealth Shared Scholarships, and the Royal Academy of Engineering, together with students from numerous overseas national schemes.

PROGRAMME STRUCTURE

This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time students must study at least two taught technical modules per academic year. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation project. The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
-Environmental Health
-Water Treatment
-Wastewater Treatment
-Applied Chemistry & Microbiology
-Pollution Control
-Groundwater Control
-Regulation & Management
-European Study Tour
-Water Resources
-Dissertation Project

EDUCATIONAL AIMS OF THE PROGRAMME

The programme aims to provide graduates with:
-A comprehensive and robust understanding of key areas of water and environmental engineering
-Skills that will enable students to explore, critically assess and evaluate problems and produce systematic and coherent solutions integrating core engineering science with practical applications both independently and within a team structure
-An understanding of how this knowledge can be articulated around sustainable development practices
-A sound base for enhanced communication skills both oral and written
-A pathway that will prepare graduates for successful careers in the field including, where appropriate, progression to Chartered Engineer status

PROGRAMME LEARNING OUTCOMES

The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills, qualities and other attributes in the following areas.

Knowledge and understanding
-The fundamental principles underpinning the key topics covered in the subject area
-Investigation and research techniques which provide a sound base for critical evaluation, selection and use of a wide range of scientific, technical and management processes relevant to the field
-The multidisciplinary nature of the subject area and its underlying principles and the importance of developing integrated approaches to solving complex problems
-The importance of identifying emerging trends to existing knowledge structures and theoretical frameworks and propose new alternative application and methodological approaches relevant to the student’ s research interests
-Management, organisation and communication skills including problem definition, project and experimental design, time management, decision making processes, independent and team work, knowledge transfer via written and oral presentations

Intellectual/cognitive skills
-An integrated and multidisciplinary approach to solving complex problems using professional judgment taking into consideration the engineering, economic, social and environmental impacts
-The ability to critically evaluate outcomes and accurately assess and report on own/others work with justification and relate them to existing knowledge structures and methodologies
-The ability to formulate, conduct and write-up a systematic and coherent research programme topic demonstrating in-depth knowledge and high level of problem solving skills

Professional practical skills
-Critical review of the scientific literature for effective justification and support of results and decisions
Acquisition of the necessary skills to collect as well as generate data via laboratory experiments or computer-based programmes
-Critical analysis of results/recommendations and their presentation in a concise and logical manner
-Preparation of technical reports and presentation of work to an informed audience
-Awareness of difficulties and ethical issues likely to arise in professional practice and an ability to formulate solutions in dialogue with peers, industry professionals, institutional professionals and others

Key/transferable skills
-Critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis of complex information and data
-Communication and knowledge transfer through oral presentations and written reports
-Selection and use of appropriate advanced research methods
-Integrated and multidisciplinary approach to problem solving
-Time and resource management
-Effective use of a range of communication and technology tools aimed at different audiences
-Effective learning and working, both independently and as a part of a team

GLOBAL OPPORTUNITIES

We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.

In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.

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