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MSc Biology - Marine Biology

Course Description

The MSc Marine Biology aims to train graduates in multiple areas of marine biology and equip them with professional certificates in Sea Survival, Powerboat Handling, Marine Radio and First Aid as well as necessary field skills.

The areas of marine biology covered in this master’s course include fisheries and aquaculture, genetics, marine ecology and conservation, marine mammals and ecological aspects of Geographic Information System (GIS). In addition, the course has a significant field work component including ship work as well as survey and sampling techniques training. This course, run entirely by the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences at University College Cork, will provide an understanding of these various disciplines and skills needed in order to meet the growing demand for trained marine biologists at home and abroad.

Visit the website: http://www.ucc.ie/en/ckr38/

Course Details

On successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

- demonstrate a clear understanding and integration of knowledge of marine flora and fauna, the marine environment and its biological and physical properties and processes
- assess the sustainability of exploitation (fisheries and aquaculture) and assess the impact of other anthropogenic factors on the marine environment
- define the roles of management and conservation across the marine environment
- demonstrate a wide range of research skills (field and laboratory) including safety-related and professional qualifications
- apply the knowledge and skills acquired in this course in the working environment enabling the development of policy.


This full-time 12-month course is split into Part I taught modules running from September to April and Part II, a four-month research project for students passing Part I. The course includes ship time experience aboard the Irish State research vessel, Celtic Voyager and field work day trips to various locations in County Cork as well as a week-long residential field course in the West of Scotland in March. In addition, students undertake professional certificate courses in January and February at the National Maritime College of Ireland in Ringaskiddy, Cork

Part I of the course consists of eight taught modules to the value of 60 credits involving lectures, practicals, seminars and fieldwork. Part II is a substantial research project (BL6017) to the value of 30 credits for those passing Part I. Each of the prescribed taught modules will be examined by a written paper and/or continuous assessment. Each student progressing to Part II of the course must submit the research project in an area of marine biology by a date as prescribed by the School of BEES.

Part I

BL6010 Characteristics of the Marine Environment (5 credits)
BL6012Marine Megafauna (10 credits)
BL6013Marine Fisheries and Aquaculture (10 credits)
BL6014Marine Fieldwork and Survey Techniques (10 credits)
BL6015Practical Marine Workplace Skills (5 credits)
BL6016Marine Ecology and Conservation (10 credits)
BL6019 Ecological Applications of Geographical Information Systems (5 credits)
BL6020 Genetics and the Marine Environment (5 credits)

Part II - Four-Month Research Project

BL6017Marine Biology Research Project (30 credits)


The taught modules in the course are assessed by a combination of written examinations and continuous assessment elements (including essays, practical reports, critiques, seminars, dossiers and analytical elements). The four-month research project is assessed by a dissertation, project seminar and an assessment of your practical ability throughout the duration of the project.


As well as a number of professionally certified courses that will be provided throughout the course, students will also gain a variety of technical skills associated with research and computer skills (GIS in particular). Many transferable skills are also fostered through different learning approaches, including critical thinking, problem solving, report writing, oral presentations, statistical analysis, independent research and time management.

How to apply: http://www.ucc.ie/en/study/postgrad/how/

Funding and Scholarships

Information regarding funding and available scholarships can be found here: https://www.ucc.ie/en/cblgradschool/current/fundingandfinance/fundingscholarships/

Visit the MSc Biology - Marine Biology page on the University College Cork website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A candidate for the MSc in Marine Biology must have obtained at least a Second Class Honours, Grade II degree in any Biological Science or relevant equivalent area. See detailed entry requirements

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Recipient: University College Cork
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