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Masters Degrees in Freshwater Biology, United Kingdom

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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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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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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. Read more

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.

Example module listing

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.

Modes of study

Apart from the usual full-time mode, there are also part-time options. The majority of Bridge, Geotechnical and Structural Engineering modules can be studied by distance learning through the use of an interactive web-based e-learning platform (SurreyLearn).

Distance learning

This programme can be studied via distance learning, which allows a high level of flexibility and enables you to study alongside other commitments you may have. Download our distance learning PDF to learn more.

Facilities and resources

Laboratories and pilot plants

In recent years, CEHE has benefited from investment in new equipment in both the small centre facility, which primarily supports fieldwork, and a larger, more extensively equipped microbiology and chemistry laboratory.

The laboratories are equipped with recently acquired state-of- the-art analytical equipment including ICP-OES, GC/MS, TOC, Ion Chromatograph, Particle Counter, water quality loggers, Delagua kits and so on, available for fieldwork.

A water and wastewater research pilot plant is located at Thames Water’s Shalford and Godalming Water Treatment Works, just a few kilometres away from the University campus. Over the years, many MSc dissertation projects have been completed at this facility, most of them to assist in the development or testing of relief agency systems.

A parallel wastewater research pilot plant has recently been established, again with the support of Thames Water, at Godalming Sewage Treatment Works.

Library facilities

The University library is currently resourced for books, journals and electronic resources, as the postgraduate programme in Water and Environmental Engineering has been well established over the last decade.

The programme draws on science, engineering and other areas of knowledge, and the overall diversity of academic groups within the University ensures that there are library resources to answer most needs.

The provision of British Standards online has reduced the copyright requirements and the quantity of photocopying required. Passwords are available from the library web pages for all other electronic resources.

CEHE resource centre

Provision is made within CEHE to access a limited range of textbooks, previously completed MSc dissertations, a selected range of journals and software mounted on PCs in the Catchment Modelling Laboratory or available on CD.

Professional Institution resources

Library and learning resources are available at the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management and other appropriate professional bodies.

All categories of members of the professional institutions are allowed to borrow books from the institution libraries by post, and in some cases to access other services online.

Computing

There are suitable computing facilities available both within the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences and through central university facilities.

Teaching rooms

Teaching is primarily in flat floor teaching rooms, although there are occasions when formal lecture theatre facilities are used. All of the usual academic support materials and systems are available and pre-printed notes are distributed during every lecture.

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

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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We have a broad range of civil engineering water resource research. Our expertise ranges from climate modelling to developing practical responses to global change challenges. Read more
We have a broad range of civil engineering water resource research. Our expertise ranges from climate modelling to developing practical responses to global change challenges. Our research has global consequences and our academics are leaders in their field.

Our School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences has a successful research group that focuses on water resources. Our mission is to foster, promote and conduct research of international quality. This means that we attract high quality graduates and researchers and train them to international standards.

Our research themes include:
-Catchment hydrology and sustainable management
-Flood risk and coastal management
-Climate change impacts and adaptation

We supervise MPhil and PhD students in the following areas:
-Flow and transport processes in surface and subsurface systems. This includes river mechanics and contaminant and sediment transport
-Planning and control of hydraulic networks
-Sustainable management of the water environment, including urban, rural agricultural and forestry environments
-Climate change impact assessment, including flood risk
-Environmental hazard assessment and mitigation, including landslide hazard
-Integrated surface and groundwater pollution controls
-Integrated assessment of coupled natural, technological and human systems

Our research has access to facilities and centres within the Newcastle Institute for Sustainability:
-Water Resource Systems Research Laboratory
-Centre for Earth Systems Engineering Research (CESER)
-Centre for Land Use and Water Resources Research (CLUWRR)

Delivery

We offer the MPhil and PhD on a full time and part time basis. You will have formal training in research skills and methods. Discipline-specific training is available if you need it. You may be able to undertake paid laboratory demonstrating to gain teaching experience.

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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. Read more

Your programme of study

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 http://www.gov.scot/Topics/marine, 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.

Courses listed for the programme

Semester 1

Compulsory
Marine Ecology and Ecosystem Management
Fish Biology
Population and Community Ecology
Experimental Design and Analysis
Introduction to GIS

Semester 2
Compulsory
Fisheries Technologies and Surveys
Fishery Analysis and Assessment
Research Project Planning

Optional
Sustainable Management of Marine Resources
Marine Spatial management and Top Predators
Spatial Information Analysis
Advanced Modelling for Ecology and Conservation
Ecology, Conservation and Society
Catchment Management

Semester 3
Research Project

Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page

Why study at Aberdeen?

• Aberdeen is an excellent university to study this programme with field sites at Cromarty, Oceanlab and other facilities
• You are taught by renowned researchers and industry experts
• You have opportunities to work with Marine Scotland Science, Scottish Natural Heritage, and the Joint Nature Conservation
Committee
• You get a great range of electives to study according to your own interests

Where you study

• University of Aberdeen
• Full Time
• September

International Student Fees 2017/2018

Find out about fees:
https://www.abdn.ac.uk/study/international/tuition-fees-and-living-costs-287.php

*Please be advised that some programmes have different tuition fees from those listed above and that some programmes also have additional costs.

Scholarships

View all funding options on our funding database via the programme page
https://www.abdn.ac.uk/study/postgraduate-taught/finance-funding-1599.php
https://www.abdn.ac.uk/funding/

Living in Aberdeen

Find out more about:
• Your Accommodation
• Campus Facilities
• Aberdeen City
• Student Support
• Clubs and Societies

Find out more about living in Aberdeen:
https://abdn.ac.uk/study/student-life

Living costs
https://www.abdn.ac.uk/study/international/finance.php

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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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