Applied Marine and Fisheries Ecology gives you the skills and knowledge to understand environmental and other impacts to fish ecology and aquaculture applied to fisheries industries and management. The programme is relevant internationally to major areas of fisheries industries around the Scottish mainland and islands with a need to help to manage and maintain the industry in the short term and long term. There are many new industries within Scotland and established industries which supply mainstream supermarkets and specialist retailers with fish supplies on a regular basis and which need to be managed. Many of these industries are global or specific to the geographical area and type of fish available in that vicinity.
Run in collaboration with staff at Marine Scotland Science, this MSc programme will provide you with an appreciation of the key issues that are central to the management of marine resources, practical skills and field work experience that you can apply to real world situations, and opportunities to expand your professional network.
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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Find out more about living in Aberdeen and living costs
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.
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 - four core modules and four optional modules all 15 credits (120 credits, full-time nine months, part-time two years) is offered.
A Postgraduate Certificate - four core modules only at 15 credits each (60 credits, full-time twelve weeks, part-time two years) is offered.
* modules running are dependent on staff sabbaticals
Students choose four of the following:
* modules running are dependent on staff sabbaticals
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 12,000 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.
Field classes around the UK, these may include trips to Norfolk, Suffolk and the Scottish Highlands.
Optional module Aquatic Macrophytes - approximately £200
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Aquatic Science MSc
This programme provides an ideal foundation for PhD research, or for employment with environmental protection and conservation agencies, the water industry and environmental consultancies.
Recent career destinations for this degree
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.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
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 world-leading researchers specialising in Recent Environmental Change & Biodiversity and Environmental Modelling and Observation which has specialist input from the Thames Estuary Partnership
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.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Geography
81% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
The Sustainable Aquaculture distance learning modular programme is taught part time via an online e-learning platform offering online tutorial support, direct email contact with tutors, video streams and access to student bulletin boards. This structure allows students the maximum flexibility to complete their studies while continuing in their employment.
Both PGDip and MSc students take taught modules covering all aspects of aquaculture both vertebrate and invertebrate over an 18-month period. MSc students then spend the next six months researching and writing a dissertation of no more than 15,000 words to be submitted on a specified date at the end of the course.
Classes are taught through a combination of weekly lectures and tutorials and are assessed through a combination of written examinations and coursework. The course consists of a series of compulsory core modules and a choice of five optional modules matched to students’ specific interests.
The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2017–2018 academic year; some elements may be subject to change.
Students on the MSc programme complete a 15,000-word dissertation at the end of their studies. The dissertation involves the study of a defined problem within the field of sustainable aquaculture. Students are required to collate and analyse data and to discuss their results in the light of existing literature. In some cases, projects might also involve the design of experiments or the gathering of data.
If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MSc, there is an exit award available that allows suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing the exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the taught portion of the programme and receive a PGDip instead of an MSc.
Graduates will typically pursue a career in higher level management, research and development or business development within the global aquaculture business.
The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.