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Masters Degrees in Marine Biology, United Kingdom

We have 16 Masters Degrees in Marine Biology, United Kingdom

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Tropical ecosystems provide important resources locally and globally, and coral reefs are the most diverse of marine ecosystems threatened by human activities. Read more
Tropical ecosystems provide important resources locally and globally, and coral reefs are the most diverse of marine ecosystems threatened by human activities.

Our unique multidisciplinary course, MSc Tropical Marine Biology, is designed to deliver advanced tropical marine biology theory and to facilitate the development of a comprehensive range of practical and professional skills required by today’s employers.

As a student of our School you will benefit from the breadth of research carried out by our internationally recognised academics, and will engage with current research activities both in the UK and abroad. You also have opportunity to put theory into practice and study coral reef conservation first hand during the School’s annual field trip to Wakatobi Marine National Park, Indonesia.

Explore topics including:
-Hands-on experience of coral reef conservation on our pioneering underwater lectures in Indonesia
-The biotechnological ‘treasure chest’ of marine microbes, algae and invertebrates
-Tropical oceans, seagrass beds, mangroves and coral reefs
-Coral reef resource management

During the summer term, you will embark on your own extensive research project under the supervision of researchers at the forefront of their fields. This can be conducted within our in-house Coral Reef Research Unit, or alongside one of our research partners from across the globe, addressing key questions on the functioning of and threats to tropical marine ecosystems.

Two-thirds of our research is rated “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” (REF 2014), and you learn from and work alongside our expert staff.

Professional accreditation

To expand your skillset and boost your employability, we provide you with £125 to spend on externally accredited learning, such as certification as a Marine Mammal Surveyor, participation in Sea Survival courses or gaining the skills and background knowledge needed to drive a powerboat.

Our expert staff

As one of the largest schools at our University, we offer a lively, friendly and supportive environment with research-led study and high quality teaching. You benefit from our academics’ wide range of expertise on important national and international problems using cutting-edge techniques.

Key academic staff for this course include: Dr Leanne Appleby Hepburn, who works on community ecology of coral reefs; Professor Dave Smith, who is researching tropical marine biology and conservation; Dr Michael Steinke, who is working on biogenic trace gases in marine environments; Dr Tom Cameron, who specialises in aquatic community ecology; and Dr Etienne Low-Decarie, who is investigating ecological and evolutionary responses to global change.

The University of Essex has a Women's Network to support female staff and students and was awarded the Athena SWAN Institutional Bronze Award in November 2013 in recognition of its continuing work to support women in STEM.

Specialist facilities

Recent investment has provided modern facilities for imaging biological systems, aquatic community ecology, photosynthesis and eco-physiology. On our course you have the opportunity to:
-Work in an open and friendly department, with shared staff-student social spaces
-Conduct your research alongside academics and PhD students in shared labs
-Our local marine biology field centre, with direct access to the Colne estuary, a recently designated marine conservation zone (MCZ). -Develop your practical skills through mapping habitats, Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and boat handling
-Learn to use state-of-the-art research facilities

Your future

As the world's environmental problems increase, the demand for qualified marine biologists continues to grow, and postgraduate study is often a requirement for becoming a researcher, scientist, academic journal editor and to work in some public bodies or private companies.

Many of our Masters students progress to study for their PhD, and we offer numerous studentships to support our students in their studies.

Our graduates go on to a range of careers. Some work with governmental and non-governmental environmental agencies, organisations, consultancies and voluntary organisations, or go on to conduct doctorate research. Many overseas students return to comparable posts in their home country.

We work with our university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Example structure

-Tropical Marine Resources
-Tropical Marine Systems
-Methods in Tropical Marine Biology
-Professional Skills in Tropical Marine Biology
-Research Project: MSc Tropical Marine Biology

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Marine biology is an extraordinarily broad and dynamic subject, reflecting the diversity and energy of marine ecosystems and the fantastic array of life they contain, making this a compelling subject to study. Read more
Marine biology is an extraordinarily broad and dynamic subject, reflecting the diversity and energy of marine ecosystems and the fantastic array of life they contain, making this a compelling subject to study. Marine processes exert massive influences on the Earth’s climate and the pattern of biogeochemical cycling. Closely linked with the diverse research pursuits of a range of scientists this programme allows you to apply and develop your particular skills in a marine context.

Key features

-Study in Plymouth, an internationally renowned city for marine biological research.
-Participate in a specifically designed, topical programme jointly hosted by Plymouth University and the Marine Biological Association (MBA) of the UK.
-Choose between two pathways to suit your research interests, biodiversity and ecology or cellular and molecular biology.
-Benefit from being taught by recognised experts with worldwide links to research organisations and projects.
-Draw on our expertise, working alongside research staff on a personal project.
-Undertake an extensive, original and innovative research project, often in collaboration with MBA Research Fellows, or one of our other partner institutions (Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science and the National Marine Aquarium), either in the UK or abroad.
-Excellent training for further research.
-See the benefit from close links with the research community worldwide.

Course details

In your first term you will study core modules which concentrate on building up your general research and academic skills. You’ll also be introduced to the research and organisation of the MBA and the Marine Biology and Ecology Research Centre at the University, with a focus upon raising your awareness of potential dissertation topics and advisors. You’ll take a specific module based on your chosen specialisation. The ecology option includes additional training in the analysis of ecological data and conservation/biodiversity assessments. The cellular and molecular option meanwhile focuses on DNA and microbiological techniques, biological imaging, and electrophysiological methods. The majority of time from mid-January onwards is spent on your research project and dissertation. You’ll undertake your project working directly with researchers at the MBA, Plymouth University or one of our other partner institutions. It may also be possible to conduct your project abroad.

Core modules
-MBAM5106 Advanced Research in Marine Biology
-MBAM5109 Marine Biology MRes Dissertation
-BIO5131 Postgraduate Research Skills & Methods

Optional modules
-MBAM5108 Marine Ecology and Conservation
-MBAM5107 Molecular and Cellular Approaches in Marine Biology

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

Advice from graduate Olivia Durkin

"Although I may have not followed the typical path of a marine biology graduate, I have always remained flexible in the available job opportunities and therefore gained a very varied skill set, enabling me to adapt to different roles and projects. Do what you enjoy and it’s ok if you don’t end up being the dolphin trainer you thought you might be."

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This MSc is a full-time one-year course, consisting of 9 months taught course and 3 months research project, and examined by continuous assessment. Read more
This MSc is a full-time one-year course, consisting of 9 months taught course and 3 months research project, and examined by continuous assessment. The course provides advanced training in marine biology with a strong emphasis on practical training.

The course provides training addressing the following major themes:

Marine Ecology Skills
Habitat Ecology / Coastal Survey
Marine Fisheries
Marine Vertebrates
Marine Invertebrates
Research Design & Planning
Research Project / Dissertation
The programme is achieved through a series of compulsory modules encompassing theory, practical, private study and practical research.

The School of Ocean Sciences at Bangor University has over 50 years experience of teaching at postgraduate level, and excellent teaching and research facilities for the study of the marine biology. Undergraduate teaching was graded excellent in the last Teaching Quality Assessment, and research was graded 4* in the Research Assessment Exercise. NERC has designated the School as a Centre of Excellence in Coastal Seas, Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography.

The MSc course in Marine Biology is one of a suite of 4 focused MSc courses in marine science run within the School. New students on this course are inducted to the University and School via an introductory course consisting of orientation through site tours, excursions and social events, and 5 weeks of quantifying biological variability, learning Information Technology, and practising presentation skills. Pre-sessional English language training courses are also available for overseas students.

The MSc course is managed by a course team comprising of the Course Director, Deputy Course Director and Postgraduate Course Administrator. The team report to the School Course Board, which in turn reports to the College of Natural Sciences. Each student has a personal tutor drawn from the teaching staff. The School has 30 academics teaching and researching across the marine science disciplines of Marine Biology (15), Biogeochemistry (2), Physical Oceanography (6) and Geological Oceanography (7) with a similar overall number of technical staff. Teaching on the MSc Marine Biology will be provided from 'in house' in the main, but additional teaching will be provided from the University's School of Biological Sciences and the National Museum of Wales.

The MSc course is housed in a fully serviced and dedicated postgraduate suite. The School is located on the shores of the Menai Strait which separates the Isle of Anglesey from the mainland. The Menai Strait is a proposed Statutory Marine Resource and EU Special Area of Conservation and there are unspoilt marine environments relatively close by.

The University's newly refurbished science library is located in nearby in Bangor. Specialist facilities in the School include temperate and tropical aquaria, satellite imaging processing and Geographical Information System computing, diving and field survey operations (including ROVs and sledges) and laboratories for benthic analysis, nutrition, microbiology, genetics, radiochemical analysis, stable isotopes, sediments and organic chemistry, scanning electron microscopy. An additional strength in our field teaching, is work at sea aboard the only ocean-going research vessel in the Higher Education sector (RV Prince Madog), which entered service in 2001.

MSc course students can benefit from the School's links with other institutions, especially for research project opportunities. Such links presently include the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, U.S.A., University of Mauritius, Catholic University Chile etc.

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This MSc programme is delivered by the International Centre for Island Technology (ICIT) at our Orkney Campus. It has been designed to promote an integrated, participatory approach to nurture and strengthen quantitative skills in science and environmental graduates using locally relevant issues. Read more

Integrative Marine Data Skills

This MSc programme is delivered by the International Centre for Island Technology (ICIT) at our Orkney Campus. It has been designed to promote an integrated, participatory approach to nurture and strengthen quantitative skills in science and environmental graduates using locally relevant issues. It will build a broad understanding of marine ecosystems, ecosystem services and associated management issues. Teaching is strongly reinforced with laboratory, fieldwork and project work, with emphasis placed on simulating real work situations. Strong links with industry partners, policy-makers and regulators ensure relevance within this sector. It will produce students who are quantitatively competent and literate, capable of interpreting and communicating findings, with work-ready skills (field and industry) to facilitate employment in a competitive marketplace where demand for data-savvy students is high.

Course content

Semester 1:

Advanced Research Skills 1 – Data Collecting and Handling (core)
Data is increasingly important in today’s society with huge quantities generated by the maritime sector to address a range of environmental and economically important issues. However, a specific set of skills are required to handle, extract, manipulate, analyse and communicate these data sets. Students will collect data across three platforms: shoreline, oceanic and remote, providing work-ready technical, laboratory and field skills. This course will build quantitative confidence and competency, providing graduates with the skills essential to understanding, responding to, and mitigating today’s environmental challenges.

Advanced Research Skills 2 – Statistical and Numerical Techniques (core)
The ability to problem-solve, think critically and apply mathematics has been severely eroded across education sectors, with this deficit being transferred to the working environment. Skills in numeracy, data mining, data management and modelling have been highlighted as being in demand. This course will utilise environmentally relevant, local long-term data sets collected in Advanced Research Skills 1 to strengthen skills in data analysis using a range of methods. This course is not targeting students with a strong numerical or modelling background, instead it aims to build confidence with analytical techniques and provide a broad, yet solid depth of knowledge.

Oceanography and Marine Ecology (core)
This course will give an understanding of the science of waves and tides, and how this affects efforts to exploit energy from these resources and to develop other maritime industries. The challenges and impacts associated with engineering operations in the marine environment are examined. Marine ecosystems and ecosystems services are also studied and how these are impacted by human activities.

Introduction to Marine Planning (core)
Introduces students to the emerging policy and practice of marine planning (global and regional). It examines political, jurisdictional and rights issues in the introduction of economic activities into the marine commons (the ‘Blue Growth Agenda’). The framework of marine legislation is explained and methods of conflict resolution are explored. A series of international case studies will identify the various tools and techniques being used around the world to manage human activity and balance conservation interests with demands for economic growth.

Semester 2:

Case Study and Project Design (core)
This course will facilitate the interpretation and communication of data and promote teamwork skills and engagement with a broad range of end-users, fostering responsive management skills. It is an essential follow-on core component from Advanced Research Skills 1 and 2 in Semester 1 to further consolidate the quantitative learning experience and promote synergies with local industry, stake-holders and communities. The course will capitalise on the strong networks already in place at ICIT with staff, local industry and community groups.

GIS for Marine and Environmental Scientists (optional)
Geographic Information System mapping is a tool which is now widely used by both developers and regulators in the management and development of marine resources. Within the context of Marine Spatial Planning the use of GIS has rapidly become the standard means of collating and analysing spatial information regarding resource use. This course will explain the principles and provide hands-on experience of applying state of the art mapping software in project based case studies.

Environmental Policy and Risk (optional)
This course explores the legal and policy context of marine governance. You will gain an understanding of international law, particularly the Law of the Sea, property rights and how these relate to different energy resources. The course examines regulatory issues at the international, European and UK level, as well as risk assessment and management in the context of marine developments. A practical EIA exercise is undertaken.

Practical Skills in Marine Surveying (optional)
Students entering employment in marine conservation or marine resource management are often required to plan or manage surveys of the marine environment in the role of either client or contractor. Diving is often the most effective method for conducting surveys to monitor or map marine biota. This course will provide students with the requisite knowledge for designing and managing such projects utilising scientific diving techniques.

Marine Environmental Monitoring (optional)
This course will provide an understanding of: the scientific background of natural processes in estuarine and coastal environments as a necessary prerequisite for understanding monitoring and management; the fundamentals of the design and applications of environmental monitoring programmes; the role of impact assessment in resource management, conservation and pollution control and legal framework supporting this process; and the importance of the scientific dimension underpinning estuarine and coastal management.

Tropical Coral Reefs: Monitoring and Management Field Course (Malaysia) (optional)
(Additional fee for flights and subsistence)
Students will experience different techniques used for surveying and monitoring coral reefs, to provide an understanding of the sampling and other issues which influence choice of method. It will provide students with an impression of the environmental pressures affecting reef habitats as a result of climate change, tourism related development, and of the range of management measures which may be introduced to promote sustainable use of reef resources. It will familiarise students with the main forms of fish, coral and invertebrates which characterise reefs. In addition, the course gives the chance to examine other marine habitats that are often closely inter-related with reefs: e.g. sea-grass beds.

More information:

https://www.hw.ac.uk/uk/orkney.htm
https://www.hw.ac.uk/schools/energy-geoscience-infrastructure-society/research/icit/orkney.htm
https://www.hw.ac.uk/study/why/our-rankings.htm

Fees and Scholarships

https://www.hw.ac.uk/study/fees/scholarships-bursaries.htm

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The oceans do not exist in isolation but are in constant interaction with the atmosphere and underlying geology receiving energy from the sun and to a lesser extent from geothermal sources. Read more
The oceans do not exist in isolation but are in constant interaction with the atmosphere and underlying geology receiving energy from the sun and to a lesser extent from geothermal sources. The highly interdisciplinary field of Marine science, the study of the oceans from the deep sea to shallow coastal seas, aims to understand the biology, chemistry, geology and physics of this dynamic system so central to all our lives.

This programme offers students with a background in marine biology, geology or geography the opportunity to integrate their expertise in the wider marine science context.

The programme has one core course and offers a wide variety of options with maximum flexibility allowing students to pursue their studies either at our Orkney Campus or in Edinburgh.

Core course

- Oceanography and Marine Ecology
- Research Project (MSc only)

Optional courses

- Marine Resources and Sustainability
- Diversity of Marine Organisms1
- Applied Research Design & Analysis1
- Climate Change: Causes and Impacts
- Marine Ecotoxicology
- Practical Marine Ecotoxicology1
- Marine Ecology & Fisheries
- Introduction to Marine Planning
- Economics of Renewable Energy
- Environmental Processes
- Energy in the 21st Century
- Marine Biotechnology
- Practical Skills in Marine Biotechnology (Edinburgh Campus only owing to labs and practicals)
- Marine Environmental Monitoring
- Climate Change: Mitigation and Adaptation Measures
- GIS for Marine and Environmental Scientists
- Tropical Coral Reef Field Course
- Practical Skills in Marine Surveying (Orkney Campus only - field work)
- Environmental Policy & Risk
- Development Appraisal
- Development Project

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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. 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, 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

Optional

  • Field Trip - Cromarty
  • Aquaculture
  • Statistics for Complex Study Designs
  • Molecular Ecological Techniques
  • Introduction to Bayesian Inference

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
  • 12 Months
  • September

International Student Fees 2017/2018

Find out about international fees:

  • International
  • EU and Scotland
  • Other UK

Find out more about fees on the programme page

*Please be advised that some programmes also have additional costs.

Scholarships

View all funding options on our funding database via the programme page

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 and living costs 



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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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The MSc in Marine Mammal Science is a one-year taught programme run by the. Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU). , the only UK institution dedicated exclusively to marine mammal research, and draws on the quantitative and diverse academic expertise within the University's. Read more

The MSc in Marine Mammal Science is a one-year taught programme run by the Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU), the only UK institution dedicated exclusively to marine mammal research, and draws on the quantitative and diverse academic expertise within the University's Scottish Oceans Institute (SOI)

Highlights

  • Modules include intense training in quantitative techniques (for example, statistical modelling and GIS) and applied research methods, including a field course to practice survey techniques (at no additional cost).
  • Students have the exciting opportunity to conduct fieldwork and training in Antarctica as part of the optional module in polar ecology (requiring additional payment of a substantial expedition fee). See the students' Antarctic expedition blog.
  • The core curriculum is complemented by advanced optional modules in topical research areas of biologging, bioacoustics, behaviour and cognition, and population biology.
  • Stimulating, small class sizes with a focus on student-led, experiential learning.

Teaching format

The course consists of two taught semesters followed by an independent research project culminating in a 15,000-word dissertation and poster presentation. The research project takes place during the entire year with particular focus during the last three months from June to August. 

Teaching takes the form of lectures, seminars, debates, workshops and tutorials. Practicals involve lab work, field work, modelling and computer-based data analysis. Assessment comprises coursework and end-of semester written examinations. Class sizes range from 5 to 30 students, depending on the module.

Further particulars regarding curriculum development.

Modules

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 for 2018 entry.



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Summary. This degree is designed primarily for students with no previous specialisation in marine science such as graduates with a degree in biological sciences, chemistry or materials science, physics, mathematics, environmental science, physical geography or related disciplines. Read more

Summary

This degree is designed primarily for students with no previous specialisation in marine science such as graduates with a degree in biological sciences, chemistry or materials science, physics, mathematics, environmental science, physical geography or related disciplines. The programme includes compulsory introductory modules that provide a foundation in interdisciplinary marine science, along with the opportunity to specialise in particular areas through an option of modules, as well as research project experience. To highlight the specialisations possible through the option modules of the programme, we have developed “pathways” of suggested module choices, which include:

– Marine Biology and Ecology

– Physical Oceanography and Climate Dynamics

– Marine Biogeochemistry

– Marine Geology and Geophysics

Students can either follow one of these ‘pathways’, or mix options from different pathways, where the timetable allows, to pursue broader interests.Graduates often pursue careers in the marine environmental sector or undertake PhD research in marine sciences.

Modules

Semester one

Core introductory modules: Biological Oceanography; Chemical Oceanography; Marine Geology; Physical Oceanography Plus: Key Skills and Literature Review

Optional modules: two from: Applied and Marine Geophysics; Biogeochemical Cycles in the Earth System; Coastal Sediment Dynamics; Computational Data Analysis for Geophysicists and Ocean Scientists; Deep-sea Ecology; Geodynamics and Solid Earth Geophysics; International Maritime and Environmental Law; Introductory Remote Sensing of the Oceans; Large-scale Ocean Processes; Microfossils, Environment and Time; Zooplankton Ecology and Processes

Semester two

Optional modules: three from: Global Ocean Carbon Cycle, Ocean Acidification and Climate; Applied Coastal Sediment Dynamics; Climate Dynamics; Ecological Modelling; Environmental Radioactivity and Radiochemistry; Global Climate Cycles; Global Ocean Monitoring; Seafloor Exploration and Surveying 2; Structure and Dynamics of Marine Communities; UN Convention on the Law of the Sea

Plus: Key Skills and Literature Review Research project: From June to September, students work full-time on an independent research project that represents one-third of the MSc degree.

Visit our website for further information.



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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. Read more

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.

Highlights

  • Flexible modular e-learning allows students to complete their studies while continuing in their employment.
  • The course uses an online e-learning platform with tutorial support, direct contact with tutors, video stream and access to student bulletin boards.

Teaching format

Classes are taught through a combination of weekly lectures and tutorials and are assessed through a combination of written examinations and coursework.

Further particulars regarding curriculum development.

Modules

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 for 2018 entry.

  • Aquaculture and Fisheries: the global importance of aquaculture and fisheries industries worldwide.
  • Biology for Aquaculture: the fundamental biology, anatomy and physiology of both invertebrate and vertebrate aquaculture species. 
  • Biology for Aquaculture Vertebrates: the fundamental biology, anatomy and physiology of vertebrate aquaculture species.
  • Biology for Aquaculture Invertebrates: the fundamental biology, anatomy and physiology of either invertebrate aquaculture species. 
  • Nutrition for Aquaculture: the anatomy, physiology and nutritional requirements of key fish and invertebrate species.
  • Nutrition for Vertebrates: the anatomy, physiology and nutritional requirements of key fish.
  • Nutrition for Invertebrates: the anatomy, physiology and nutritional requirements of invertebrate species.
  • Management, Husbandry and Sustainability: production management and business management of modern aquaculture practices.
  • Health and Disease: the factors that influence disease processes in cultured fish and invertebrates. 
  • Health and Disease Vertebrates: the factors that influence disease processes in cultured fish.
  • Health and Disease Invertebrates: the factors that influence disease processes in invertebrates.
  • Markets, Products, Processing and Food Safety: advanced knowledge of aquaculture markets, products, processing and food safety.
  • Local and Global Impacts of Aquaculture: the environmental impact of aquaculture practices on both local and global scales.
  • Breeding and Genetics: selective breeding programmes and modern genetic techniques applied in aquaculture practices.
  • Advanced Welfare and Ethics: the welfare and ethical issues raised by current aquaculture practices.
  • Recirculation Aquaculture Systems: the use of recirculating aquaculture systems in modern aquaculture practices.
  • Ornamental and Aquaria Production: advanced knowledge of animals produced for the ornamental and aquaria section of the aquaculture business.
  • Larval Rearing: the larval production techniques used in the aquaculture business.

The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2018 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.



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Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Biosciences at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017). Read more

Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Biosciences at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).

This MRes in Biosciences programme will provide you with research training in one or more of our Research Pathways and you will benefit from training in our Specialist Research Facilities. Research staff will share their expertise and assist you in developing the skills necessary to do independent research, leading to a dissertation written as a scientific paper.

All research students in Biosciences undertake taught modules followed by a major research project under the guidance of academic staff in one or more of our Research Pathways, and benefitting from training in our specialist research facilities.

The MRes Biosciences is a one-year programme. All research students undertake taught modules followed by a major research project under the guidance of academic staff in one or more of our Research Pathways , and benefiting from training in our Specialist Research Facilities.

Biosciences at Swansea has a good relationship with a wide range of external partners, including SMEs, Government Agencies, Local Government, UK and overseas research institutes and universities.

Research Pathways

1) Behavioural and Movement Ecology

Studying adaptations, and the selective pressures in the social and ecological environment that bring them about. We specialise in the movement ecology of individuals and collectives and can provide specialist research training to understand the role of the environment in structuring the properties of animal movement and behaviour.

2) Evolutionary and Molecular Biology

Understanding the diversity of life from a molecular perspective. We use the latest genetic and genomics techniques to address key questions in ecology, behaviour and conservation from an evolutionary perspective in a range of non-model organisms, from fungi to plants and animals.

3) Marine Biology, Fisheries and Aquaculture

From developing new techniques in fish husbandry and rearing of commercially important aquaculture species, to research in food and fuel security, low carbon technologies, biogeochemical cycles and climate change. Specialist research training can be provided on a diverse range of temperate to tropical aquatic organisms, from microplankton to invertebrates to fish, inhabiting marine to freshwater environments.

4) Mathematical and Statistical Ecology

Research that complements the full range of our academic expertise, from theoretical investigations of ecosystem complexity, stoichiometric ecology, pattern formation and animal movement, to practical agricultural applications and the operation of micro-algal biotechnology.

5) Population and Community Ecology

Combining experimental and theoretical approaches to develop our understanding of how species interactions with their environment (including other species) generate the spatial-temporal biodiversity patterns we observe in nature. Study systems include plankton ecosystems, coastal ecosystem functioning, disease control, conservation, and the impact of spatial-temporal environmental variation on community dynamics.

6) Whole Organism Biology

Our staff comprises world-leading experts on a range of organisms studied around the world, and welcome students who want to develop projects around such species.

7) Wildlife Diseases and Pest Control

Research focused on developing natural agents and solutions for the control of wildlife diseases and invertebrate pests that impact on food security and human and animal health. Research training provided in disease detection methods, disease management, and the socioeconomic benefits of pest control.

Facilities

As a student on the MRes Biosciences programme, you will benefit from a range of facilities such as:

Our excellent facilities include a unique built Animal Movement Visualisation Suite (£1.35m), incorporating an electronic wall linked to a computer-tesla cluster for high-speed processing and visualisation of complex accelerometry and magnetometry data derived from animals. Coupled with this facility is the Electronics Lab with capacity for research, development and realisation of animal tags with new capacities (sensors, energy-harvesting systems, miniaturization, 3-D printing of housings etc.); a custom-designed 18m on coastal research vessel; a recent investment of £4.2m on a new suite of state-of-the art Science laboratories; and the £2m unique Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Research (CSAR) with a 750 m2 controlled environment building, with programmable recirculating aquatic systems, unique within the UK’s higher-education sector. These are tailored for research on a diverse range of organisms, ranging from temperate to tropical and marine to freshwater. Coupled with this are nutrient and biochemical analytical capabilities.

Theoretical/mathematical research uses advanced university computing facilities that includes high-end graphics workstations, high-speed network links and the Blue Ice supercomputer located at the Mike Barnsley Centre for Climatic Change Research.

Several dedicated Bioscience labs housed within our grade 2 listed Wallace Building recently benefitted from a £4.2 million renovation programme, providing world-class research facilities that includes a specialist molecular ecology lab and a dedicated arthropod facility.

Research

We are 7th in the UK and top in Wales for research excellence (REF 2014)

93.8% of our research outputs were regarded as world-leading or internationally excellent and Swansea Biosciences had the highest percentage of publications judged ‘world-leading’ in the sector. This is a great achievement for the Department, for the College of Science and indeed for Swansea University.



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Aquaculture is now recognised as the fastest growth sector of agribusiness on a global scale – learn about this growing industry through our multidisciplinary approach, which places emphasis on sustainable use of aquatic and marine resources for commercial exploitation for food and products. Read more
Aquaculture is now recognised as the fastest growth sector of agribusiness on a global scale – learn about this growing industry through our multidisciplinary approach, which places emphasis on sustainable use of aquatic and marine resources for commercial exploitation for food and products. You’ll discover the scientific rationale for improving aquatic animal health, production and reducing environmental impact and address the socio-economic factors.

Key features

-Develop an appreciation for the growing aquaculture industry within a sustainable agenda for meeting the needs of culturing fish, crustacean, mollusc, aquatic plants and invertebrates for their products.
-Choose specialised modules and draw on the expertise of research active staff with proven track records of teaching and national as well as international recognition in their fields.
-Seize the opportunity to research an aspect of aquaculture.
-Undertake a variety of projects and technical training with our contemporary facilities such as wet labs/aquaria, nutrition and feed analytical suites as well as teaching laboratories, molecular biology and an electron microscopy centre.
-Learn from internationally recognised scientists and personnel from Plymouth University and the National Lobster Hatchery.
-Gain access to expertise from leaders in industry and commerce in a variety of aquaculture systems, advancing your technical and scientific knowledge.
-Benefit from our strong relationships with government agencies, commercial enterprising and advisory organisations.
-Join our well established postgraduate environment where PhD students interact and engage in related specialised areas to foster a sound academic forum for sharing ideas and technical knowledge.
-Graduate opportunities include various career paths within the aquaculture industry as well as associated fields relating to fish and shellfish health, welfare and research. Previous graduates have progressed into careers in these fields or PhD programmes in the UK, Europe, Asia and Africa.

Course details

You’ll learn about the scale and nature of the global industry and the challenges required to develop sustainable solutions. The programme reflects key aspects of fish, shellfish and algae production relating to modern aquaculture practices with emphasis on nutrition, feed management, health, welfare and sustainable technology. It also incorporates the socio-economic and geo-political developments in this expanding area as well as marketing and enterprise. Topics include: fish nutrition, feed technology, fish and shellfish health management, disease prevention and genetic improvement of stock for aquaculture; management of fish production, ornamental fish culture and global demand for aquatic trades in captive fish species; environmental and legislative regulations in different countries and the problems of aquaculture expansion in rural areas; economics of the marine environment; seafood processing; and a research project leading to your dissertation.

Core module
-BIO504 Health and Production in Aquaculture
-BIO505 Research Project
-BIO5125 Sustainable Use of Resources in Biological Systems
-BIO5131 Postgraduate Research Skills & Methods
-BIO5208 Contemporary Issues in Aquaculture

Optional modules
-MAR529 Marine Planning
-BIO5209 Seafood Processing - Current Perspectives
-MAR507 Economics of the Marine Environment

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

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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. Read more

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.

The award of Postgraduate Certificate requires 60 credits gained from a selection of taught modules. The Postgraduate Certificate provides a shorter programme than the Postgraduate Diploma or MSc Sustainable Aquaculture programme. Students focus either on vertebrate or invertebrate aquaculture species and have a choice of taking two out of the three optional topics. 

Highlights

  • Flexible modular e-learning allows students to complete their studies while continuing in their employment.
  • It is also possible to study single modules rather than the whole programme.
  • The course uses an online e-learning platform with tutorial support, direct contact with tutors, video stream and access to student bulletin boards.
  • Students are able to specialise in either vertebrates or invertebrates.

Teaching format

Classes are taught through a combination of weekly lectures and tutorials and are assessed through a combination of written examinations and coursework.

Further particulars regarding curriculum development.

Modules

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 for 2018 entry.



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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. Read more

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.

Highlights

  • Flexible modular e-learning allows students to complete their studies while continuing in their employment.
  • The course uses an online e-learning platform with tutorial support, direct contact with tutors, video steam and access to student bulletin boards.

Teaching format

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.

Further particulars regarding curriculum development.

Modules

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 for 2018 entry.



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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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