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    Key information

    Location
    Edinburgh, Orkney
    Mode of delivery
    On-campus
    Delivery type
    Full-time, Part-time
    Start date
    September
    Duration
    1 year
    Qualification
    MSc

    Contact

    Contact our enquiries team

    Contact us

    Overview

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

    The highly interdisciplinary field of Marine Science aims to understand the biology, chemistry, geology and physics of this dynamic system so central to all our lives. It also considers the overarching influence of climate change and how policy can be brought to bear on managing the resources of the ocean as part of the Blue Economy.

    The course has three mandatory courses in Oceanography, Applied Research Design and Analysis, and GIS for Marine and Environmental Scientists, and offers a wide variety of options with maximum flexibility, allowing students to pursue their studies according to their academic interests.

    This course also offers students incredible opportunities during their MSc to work extensively with academics in active research groups, often leading to co-authorship on peer-reviewed publications. There are also fieldwork opportunities to Malaysia through the optional Tropical and Coral Reefs: Monitoring and Management course which involves a two-week field trip to Malaysia where students are given the opportunity to explore the marine environment whilst learning different techniques for surveying and monitoring coral reefs. Watch our tropical coral reef monitoring video from a recent trip to Bidong Island in Malaysia.

    September 2024 entry

    The deadline for applications from UK students is 30 August 2024. For EU and overseas applicants, we guarantee to consider applications submitted by 2 August 2024.

    Why study MSc International Marine Science at Heriot-Watt University?

    • Students benefit from internal expert supervision as well as opportunities to work with external partners, both in the UK and internationally
    • Opportunities to develop skills in practical hands-on data gathering from tropical and temperate environments
    • Opportunity to conduct research projects around the world
    • Opportunities to develop skills in scientific diving including surveying, imaging and media aspects

    Flexible study options

    This course can be studied full-time or part-time at our Edinburgh Campus or full-time at our Orkney Campus.

    It can also be studied via Online Learning, ideal for those in employment or with other commitments, providing flexible study options that fit around work or family.

    Programme duration

    MSc: 1 year (full-time), 2 years (part-time), 3-7 years (independent distance learning)

    Industry links

    Throughout the course, students are provided with internal expert supervision as well as opportunities to work with external partners, both in the UK and internationally including Marine Conservation InternationalScottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) and 5 Oceans  (5OES) as well as other industry partners. 

    Nature-based solutions

    In the first episode of 'A Future Made', Anna Ploszajski and Robbie Armstrong join Professor Bill Sanderson and Professor Lindsay Beevers, sampling oysters and pondering flooding solutions.

    Listen now

    Video

    Course content

    Year 1

    Programme lead: Dr Mark Hartl

    Semester 1

    Mandatory
    • Applied Research Design and Analysis
    • Oceanography
    Optional (choose two)
    • Environmental Processes
    • Climate Change, Sustainability and Adaptation
    • Introduction to Marine Planning
    • Marine Renewable Energy Technology
    • Marine Resources and Sustainability
    • Diversity of Marine Organisms
    • Marine Ecotoxicology
    • Transition Engineering - Achieving zero carbon InTIME

    Semester 2

    Mandatory
    • GIS for Marine and Environmental Scientists
    Optional (choose three)
    • Marine Biotechnology
    • Environmental Evidence Synthesis
    • Tropical and Coral Reefs: Monitoring and Management
    • Marine Environmental Monitoring
    • Energy Transition Lab
    • Practical Skills in Marine Biotechnology
    • Renewable Technology Commercialisation
    • Practical Skills in Marine Surveying

    Semester 3

    • Environment Dissertation (MSc students only)

    This research project allows you to focus on a specific area of interest, with opportunities to collaborate with businesses and other stakeholders. You choose your dissertation subject, in discussion with your supervisor.

    Mandatory courses: Semester 1 

    Oceanography

    Introduces the fundamentals of oceanography, providing an essential foundation at the beginning of the course for students who either do not have a background in the subject area, or whose background is largely limited to marine biology.

    Applied Research Design and Analysis

    Enables the student to effectively plan and design research and survey projects, devise a sound experimental design, and analyse and present data in a rigorous scientific manner. In particular, students will gain an understanding of the theoretical basis of scientific method and training in the general skills needed for planning a scientific research project. Students will learn about scientific method, experimental design, testing hypothesis, simple data analyses and data presentation, and the legal and ethical principles involved in scientific research. Students will also develop skills in simple quantitative statistical methods needed for research projects.

    Mandatory courses: Semester 2

    GIS for Marine and Environmental Scientists

    Aims to provide students with a substantial introduction to geographical information systems so that you will be able to understand the theoretical background to GIS and be able to make practical use of a widely used GIS program.

    Go Global

    Some of our Postgraduate Taught Masters Programmes are eligible for Inter-Campus Transfer. Please contact studywithus@hw.ac.uk for further information.

    Fees and funding

    Tuition fees

    Tuition fees
    Status [footnote 1] Full-time Part-time
    UK 10736 5368
    Overseas [footnote 2] 26976 13488

    Footnotes

    1. Your residency 'status' is usually defined as the country where you have been ordinarily resident for the three years before the start of your course. Find out more about tuition fees.
    2. Overseas includes applications from European Union countries who do not hold Pre-Settled or Settled status in the UK. Read more about the application process for EU nationals.

    Scholarships and bursaries

    We aim to encourage well-qualified, ambitious students to study with us and we offer a wide variety of scholarships and bursaries to achieve this. Over £6 million worth of opportunities are available in fee and stipend scholarships, and more than 400 students benefit from this support.

    View our full range of postgraduate scholarships.

    Entry requirements

    Entry

    Masters (MSc) level entry applicants must have one of the following:

    • Minimum of 2:2 honours degree or equivalent academic qualification in a related subject area
    • For postgraduate conversion courses, non-related degrees will be considered
    • Corporate (or chartered) membership of relevant professional institutions will also be considered


    PG Diploma level entry applicants must have an ordinary degree in a related subject area and relevant post qualification industry experience.

    Candidates who do not meet the above entry requirements or have no formal academic qualifications will be considered individually based on their CV and possibly interview. Admission via this route will be at the discretion of the Director of Recruitment.

    Recognition of Prior Learning

    We are committed to providing study opportunities to applicants who have a wide range of prior experiences through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). For more information on RPL, please contact the Admissions Team (studywithus@hw.ac.uk) ahead of application. We can only consider requests for RPL at the time of application to a course of study.

    English language requirements

    If English is not the applicant's first language a minimum of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent is required with all elements passed at 6.0 or above. Please refer to English language requirements for further details.

    Some applicants may be asked for alternative evidence in line with UKVI recognised English speaking countries. Applicants who have previously successfully completed courses delivered in the medium of English language may be considered and will be required to provide documentary evidence of this. Examples would be secondary school education or undergraduate degree. A minimum of at least one year of full time study (or equivalent) in the medium of English language will be required.

    All evidence of English language needs to be dated within two years of the commencement of study.

    We also offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement prior to starting your master's programme:

    • 20 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.0 with no skill lower than 4.5)
    • 14 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.0 with minimum of 5.0 in writing and no skill lower than 4.5)
    • 10 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with no skill lower than 5.0)
    • 6 weeks English (for IELTS 5.5 with no skill lower than 5.5)

    Employability

    Our Marine Environment and Climate Change programmes prepare our graduates for a career in Marine Environmental Consultancy, Basic Research and Marine Conservation. Employers include Industry, Government Agencies, Universities and NGOs. 

    Most recent graduate career moves:

    • Lucy Grindall (2019) is now an environmental Specialist with Genesis Oil & Gas.
    • Georgia Waldram (2019) Has commenced a PhD with Dr Tony Gutierrez at Heriot-Watt University

    The International Marine Science MSc takes this approach a step further and will equip our graduates with the skills to operate on an international stage, as marine environmental issues increasingly require attention on a global scale.

    Recent student publications

    These publications result from MSc research projects (student co-authors are highlighted):

    • Kampouris, T . E., Porter, J. S., Sanderson, W. S. (2019) Callinectes sapidus Rathbun, 1896 (Brachyura: Portunidae): An assessment on its diet and foraging behaviour, Thermaikos Gulf, NW Aegean Sea, Greece: Evidence for ecological and economic impacts. Crustacean research 48:23-37.
    • Gore, M., Abels, L., Wasik, S., Saddler, L., Ormond, R., 2018. Are close-following and breaching behaviours by basking sharks at aggregation sites related to courtship? , 1-13.
    • Brash, J. M., Cook, R. L., Mackenzie, C. L. and Sanderson, W. G. (2017). The demographics and morphometries of biogenic reefs: important considerations in conservation management. 1-10.
    • Blumenröder, J., Sechet, P., Kokonnen, J. and Hartl, M. G. J. (2017). Microplastic contamination of intertidal sediments of Scapa Flow, Orkney: a first assessment. Mar Pollut Bull. 130, 293-302.

    Why Heriot-Watt?

    Orkney Campus facilities

    Heriot-Watt University Orkney is located in a stunning setting that brings its unique research and study programmes to life. Orkney's extensive natural resources, ties to the marine industry and friendly community make a distinctive learning environment.

    Online events

    We host online events throughout the year, giving you the opportunity to speak to our academic teaching staff, meet students, find out what it is like to study using our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and discover how to enrol.

    Lifelong connections

    Upon completing your studies you will automatically join the UK's oldest alumni association The Watt Club, with 147k members worldwide.

    Flexibility and affordability

    Study at a time and pace that suits you, and even while you work. HW Online offers pay-as-you-study courses and fees inclusive of exams and study materials, meaning you can focus on success, not extra costs.

    Clubs and activities

    At Heriot-Watt we have an extensive programme of over 90 sports clubs and societies to get involved in. You can try as many as you like or start one of your own!

    Edinburgh campus accommodation

    Living on our beautiful Edinburgh campus is a great way to meet others from all over the world. Our student accommodation is within easy reach of the teaching buildings, sports facilities, catering venues and the Student Union

    Edinburgh Campus facilities

    At Heriot-Watt University, we offer a wide range of services to help you deal with all aspects of your life with us, whether these be academic, personal, technical, financial or just plain fun!

    Health and wellbeing

    Student Wellbeing Services aim to provide a range of support, guidance, activities and advice to help students to be their best, and get the most from their university experience. From counselling to coaching we'll sure you are fully supported.

    Heriot-Watt Student Union

    There's more to university life than simply getting your degree, and Heriot-Watt University Student Union is all about helping you to have the best possible experience while you study here.

    Living in Edinburgh

    Historic and beautiful, a cultural capital that fuels the senses whether you love the arts or nature, nightlife or study life, Edinburgh is stimulating and inspirational and never, ever boring.

    Sport facilities

    Oriam, Scotland Sports Performance Centre offers state-of-the-art sports facilities, for all levels of sport and ability

    Your career

    Employers around the world actively seek out our graduates because they are work-ready. All our degrees are career-focused and relevant to the needs of industry. Around 95% of our students are in employment or further study within six months of graduating.

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