The course

Delivery
Full-time, Part-time, Distance learning
Course type
Taught
Location
Edinburgh, Orkney, Online
Entry date
September

Contact

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 oceans do not exist in isolation but are in constant interaction with the atmosphere and underlying geology receiving energy from the sun and to a lesser extent from geothermal sources. The highly interdisciplinary field of Marine Science, the study of the oceans from the deep sea to shallow coastal seas, aims to understand the biology, chemistry, geology and physics of this dynamic system so central to all our lives.

The course has two core courses in Oceanography and GIS and offers a wide variety of options with maximum flexibility allowing students to pursue their studies either at our Orkney Campus or in Edinburgh. Furthermore the course offers an online study, through our Distance Learning option, with field work options in Malaysia and Orkney. Depending on the courses selected, Distance Learning students will be required to complete practical lab sessions in Edinburgh – students are responsible for meeting the costs of the travel and maintenance during these periods.

Flexible study options

This course can be studied full-time, part-time or via Independent Distance Learning (IDL), 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. Examples of partners we have worked with in the past are:


Course content

Detailed course guide

Programme lead: Dr Mark Hartl

Distance Learning Inquiries: Dr Joanne Porter, j.s.porter@hw.ac.uk

Semester 1: September – December, 2 mandatory course and 2 optional courses
Semester 2: January – April, 1 mandatory course and 3 optional courses
Semester 3: May – August, dissertation (MSc students only)

International Marine Science course breakdown
Semester 1 Semester 2

Mandatory courses:

  • Oceanography
  • Applied Research Skills

Mandatory course:

  • GIS for Marine and Environmental Scientists

Optional Courses:
(students can choose 2)

  • Marine Renewable Energy Technology
  • Marine Resources and Sustainability
  • Climate Change, Sustainability and Adaptation
  • Diversity of Marine Organisms
  • Marine Ecotoxicology
  • Environmental Processes
  • Introduction to Marine Planning
  • Marine Ecology and Fisheries

Optional courses:
(students can choose 3)

  • Practical Skills in Marine Biotechnology1
  • Marine Biotechnoloogy
  • Tropical Coral Reef Monitoring and Management
  • Marine Environmental Monitoring
  • Marine Resources in the Blue Economy
  • Practical Skills in Marine Surveying

1 Edinburgh Campus only due to labs and practicals.
2 Orkney Campus only where students will do field work.

Tropical Coral Reefs: Monitoring and Management

(2 week field course)

This is an optional course available to all students on any of our Postgraduate taught Marine courses. It 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 the video from the latest trip to Bidong Island in Malaysia

Opportunities

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.

Career

Opportunities

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.

Recent student publications

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

  • 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

Entry requirements

Masters (MSc) level entry applicants must have:

  • 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 honours degree in a related subject area plus a minimum of 2 years of relevant experience post qualification.

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

Additional information

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 modules within a course based on an existing academic qualification. Note that the prior learning must have been rated at the level of the modules 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 & Teaching Support Team via egis-enquiries@hw.ac.uk, 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 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.

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.

We offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement prior to starting your masters course:

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 & writing and minimum of 5.0 in speaking & listening)

Fees

Tuition fees for 2018 entry (by residency status)
Status* Full-time Part-time Distance learning
Scotland / Non-UK EU £8200 £4100 £1045/920
England / Northern Ireland / Wales £8200 £4100 £1045/920
Overseas £20160 £10080 £1045/920

* 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.

Additional fees information

**Independent Distance Learning only. The programme is made up of eight taught courses (and a dissertation on the MSc programme). The fee for optional courses Practical Skills in Marine Surveying and Marine Resource and Sustainability is £1420. The fee for optional course Tropical and Coral Reefs: Monitoring and Management is £1920. The fee for these courses is higher as they include field trips. The fee for all other courses is £1045. The dissertation fee is £920.

Financial support

Tuition fee loans of £5,500 are available to Scottish distance learning students on taught postgraduate courses. Full-time distance learning postgraduate students can also access a £4,500 living cost loan. Find out more from the Students Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS)

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.