Study modes: Full-time, Part-time
Programme website: Marine Systems & Policies
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.
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.
Through consultation with your Programme Director you will choose three option courses from areas such as:
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.
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.
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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.
Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:
All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:
Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than two and a half years old at the beginning of your degree programme. Language tests must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.
Find out more about our language requirements:
For detailed information on fee status, policies and payment see:
See Scholarships and Student Funding Services for other funding opportunities:
Select your programme and preferred start date to begin your application.
We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. We may consider late applications if we have places available, but you should contact the relevant Admissions Office for advice first.