Detailed course guide
Programme lead: Dr Mark Hartl
Distance Learning Inquiries: Dr Joanne Porter, firstname.lastname@example.org
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
Applied Research Skills
GIS for Marine and Environmental Scientists
(students can choose 2)
Marine Renewable Energy Technology
Marine Resources and Sustainability
Climate Change, Sustainability and Adaptation
Diversity of Marine Organisms
Introduction to Marine Planning
Marine Ecology and Fisheries
(students can choose 3)
Practical Skills in Marine Biotechnology
1 Marine Biotechnology
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.
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) Calli nectes 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.
See our full list of
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 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 and Teaching Support Team via email@example.com, 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. 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)