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Marine Systems & Policies (MSc)

Course Description

Programme description

This programme is unique in Europe and beyond. It embraces a holistic, interdisciplinary approach to understanding the roles of humans and their connection to marine ecosystems for survival and prosperity.

This MSc approaches marine systems as an integrated socio-ecological system through focusing on three spheres of marine systems:

•Marine natural systems – exploring diverse scales and functions of key marine biomes, habitats and species, spanning islands, coasts, estuaries, continental shelves, polar seas and global oceans.

•Marine policy systems – examining different approaches to marine spatial planning and governance of marine ecosystems and services, through formal policies, laws and informal customs and practices.

•Marine built systems – exploring ‘blue growth’ opportunities e.g. the ingenuity and impact of human built environments in marine settings, from reshaping coastlines for cities, travel and trade, to the urbanisation of ocean environments through innovations in energy infrastructure.

Programme structure

This programme involves two semesters of classes followed by an individual research project. The curriculum consists of compulsory and optional taught courses followed by a period of individual dissertation project work. There will also be local and international fieldtrips.

Compulsory courses:
•Marine Systems and Policies
•Marine Infrastructure and Environmental Change
•Marine Field Methods in Research and Practice
•Research Project in Marine Systems and Policies

Option courses:

Through consultation with your Programme Director you will choose three option courses from areas such as:

•International Law of the Sea
•International Law of the Marine Environment
•Human Dimensions of Environmental Change and Sustainability
•Foundations in Ecological Economics
•Applications in Ecological Economics
•Global Environmental Politics
•Energy Policy and Politics
•Energy and Society

•Ecosystem Dynamics and Functions
•Ecosystem Values and Management
•Water Resource Management
•Values and the Environment

•Environmental Impact Assessment
•Principles of GIS
•Fundamentals for Remote Sensing

Field trips

Our field trips provide site-based learning of both natural and social science practices, a key dynamic of this MSc. The core field trip is provisionally during April at the Discovery Bay Marine Laboratory in Jamaica. In addition, there will be Scottish field trips throughout the year.

Career opportunities

This MSc provides a foundation for work up to international level, for government bodies, think-tanks, consulting firms and NGOs where an integrated understanding of marine ecosystems, policies and practice is required.

Student experience

Would you like to know what it’s really like to study at the School of GeoSciences?

Visit our student experience blog where you can find articles, advice, videos and ask current students your questions.

Visit the Marine Systems & Policies (MSc) page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in natural sciences or social sciences, but with clear evidence of experience and interest in marine topics.

Course Fees

Home/EU - £13000, Overseas / International - £19,000

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