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Tropical Coral Reef course
Tropical Coral Reefs: Monitoring and Management (A11CR) is an optional course available to all students on any of our PGT Marine programmes. It involves a two week field trip where students are given the opportunity to explore the marine environment whilst learning different techniques for surveying and monitoring coral reefs. See this short film from the 2016/17 course.
Large global changes, and climate change in particular, are having significant impacts on the environment. The study of impacts and mitigation/adaptation measures in the marine environment requires a truly interdisciplinary approach. It is essential that scientists, engineers and environmental decision-makers understand the fundamentals of the causes, impacts and management measures involved in dealing with such important issues. The programme specialises in the challenges facing the marine environment and is part of the University's programme of teaching and research in climate change related issues. There are a variety of optional courses available but the core courses are listed below.
Course contentDetailed course guide
Core (mandatory) courses
- Marine Resources and Sustainability
- Applied Research Design and Analysis
- Climate Change: Sustainability and Adaptation
- Marine Environmental Monitoring
- GIS: Geographic Information System for Marine Environmental Scientists
- Research Project (MSc only)
Recent publications resulting from MSc research projects (student co-authors high-lighted):
- 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.
- Miller, M.A., Bankier, C., Al-Shaeri, M.A.M., Hartl, M.G.J. (2015. Neutral Red cytotoxicity assays for assessing in vivo carbon nanotube ecotoxicity in mussels – comparing microscope and microplate methods. Mar Pollut Bull. (101): 903-907.
- Rouse, S., Jones, M.E.S., Porter, J.S., 2014. Spatial and temporal patterns of bryozoan distribution and diversity in the Scottish sea regions. Mar Ecol-Evol Persp. 35, 85-102
- Al-Shaeri, M., Ahmed, D., Mc Cluskey, F., Turner, G., Paterson, L., Dyrynda, E.A., Hartl, M.G.J., 2013. Potentiating toxicological interaction of single-walled carbon nanotubes with dissolved metals. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 32, 2701-2710.
- Jennifer Loxton, Piotr Kuklinski, James M Mair, Mary Spencer Jones, Joanne S Porter (2012) Patterns of Magnesium-Calcite Distribution in the Skeleton of Some Polar Bryozoan Species Mineralogy of Polar Bryozoan Skeletons. Lecture Notes in Earth Sciences 143:169-185
- Hartl, M.G.J., Grigson, S., Sinet, E., 2010. Maintenance of bivalve haemocytes for the purpose of delayed DNA strand break assessment using the Comet assay. Environ. Molecul. Mutagen. 51, 64-68.
- Harper, S. J. M., Bates, C. R., Guzman, H. M. & Mair, J. M. (2010) Acoustic mapping of fish aggregation areas to improve fisheries management in Las Perlas Archipelago, Pacific Panama In : Ocean and Coastal Management. 53, 10, p. 615-623.
- Kennedy, E. V., Holderied, M. W., Mair, J. M., Guzman, H. M. & Simpson, S. D. 15-Nov-2010 Spatial patterns in reef-generated noise relate to habitats and communities: Evidence from a Panamanian case study In : Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 395, 1-2, p. 85-92. 8 p.
- McGowan, T., Cunningham, S. L., Guzman, H., Mair, J. M., M Guevara, J. & Betts, T. (2010) Mangrove forest composition and dynamics in Las Perlas Archipelago, Pacific Panama. In : International Journal of Tropical Biology and Conservation. 58/3, p. 857-869
Below are just a few examples of the wide breadth of employment or PhD positions our recent graduates have secured:
- Blair Easton (2018) is a researcher at St Abbs Research Station
- Allan Cochrans (2016) has secured a PhD at Stirling University
- David Hill (2015) is Strategic Business and Finance Manager, Scottish Government
- Theofilos Sidiropoulos (2015) has secured a position at Gardine Geosciences Ltd.
- Cristina Pullan (2014) Christina holds a BSc in Environmental Sciences from the University of Brighton and a MSc in Climate Change from Heriot Watt University. She joined the science team in October 2016 with 4 years of experience in delivering marine education and conservation. She has previously worked as an Assistant Marine Conservation and Engagement Officer for Sussex Wildlife Trust, a Trainee Marine and Coastal Conservation Officer for the Cumbria Wildlife Trust, a Shark Tagging Research Assistant for the Marine Life Trust, and a Marine Education and Conservation Officer for the NGO Ecoteer in Malaysia. She brings excellent knowledge of Madagascar’s marine ecosystems to the team, having previously spent time in the north of Madagascar as a Marine Research Assistant with the NGO Frontier. In her role as Science Officer, she is responsible for conducting regular marine research, training our volunteers/interns, and helping to run our coral reef restoration programmes.
- Tetrienne Box (2013) is now Underwater Noise Advisor at JNCC.
- Melodie Hermier (2010) is now clinical data manager with Aptiv Solutions.
- Kerri Gardiner (2010) initially worked for Jacobs engineering and is now a senior scientist with Intertek involved in developing EIAs (risk/toxicity) for drilling and pipelines for the oil industry as well as subsea cable projects.
- Cella Carr (2010) has secured an internship with the Zoological Society of London, working on their Biodiversity and Oil Palm Programme in Indonesia
- Renier (Dutch) Zoutenbier (2011) is an Environmental Consultant with Royal Haskoning at their Exeter Offices, responsible for Industry, Energy and Mining
- Charles-Eric Deplanck (2010) works as a fisheries observer for Oceanic Développement, based in Concarneau (Brittany)
You can find more examples and discuss the programme and the effect it has had on their careers with current students and alumni at our dedicated Facebook site.
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
Heriot-Watt University is committed to providing opportunities to applicants who have a wide range of prior experiences through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Prior learning at postgraduate level is normally recognised to gain exemption from individual courses within a programme based on an existing academic qualification. Note that the prior learning must have been rated at the level of the courses for which RPL is sought, yet credits from an award already held by an applicant can only contribute to a higher award in the same discipline, e.g. from PG Diploma to MSc. If you believe that you qualify for RPL, please contact the Learning and Teaching Support Team via firstname.lastname@example.org, who will guide you through the RPL application procedure.
The school will only consider students' requests for RPL at the time of application for their programme of study.
English language requirements
If English is not your 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:
- 14 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with no more than one skill at 4.5)
- 10 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with minimum of 5.0 in all skills)
- 6 weeks English (for IELTS 5.5 with minimum of 5.5 in reading and writing and minimum of 5.0 in speaking and listening)
|Scotland / Non-UK EU||£8448||£4224||£1056**|
|England / Northern Ireland / Wales||£8448||£4224||£1056**|
* If you are unsure which category you fall in to, you should complete a fee status enquiry form, which allows us to assess your fees.
** Fee per course (module). Refer to the Course Content to see how many courses comprise the full programme.
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 taught scholarships.