The course

Delivery
Full-time, Part-time, Per course
Course type
Taught
Location
Edinburgh
Entry date
September

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

Contact

Overview

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.

This 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 course has one core module and offers a wide variety of options with maximum flexibility allowing students to pursue their studies either at our Orkney Campus or in Edinburgh.

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

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

Semester 1 Semester 2

Mandatory module:

Oceanography and Marine Ecology

Mandatory module:

GIS for Marine and Environmental Scientists

Optional modules
(students will choose three):

  • Marine Resources and Sustainability 2
  • Diversity of Marine Organisms 1
  • Applied Research Design & Analysis 1
  • Climate Change: Causes and Impacts
  • Marine Ecotoxicology
  • Marine Ecology & Fisheries
  • Introduction to Marine Planning
  • Economics of Renewable Energy
  • Environmental Processes
  • Energy in the 21st Century

Optional modules
(students will choose three):

  • Marine Biotechnology
  • Practical Skills in Marine Biotechnology 1
  • Marine Environmental Monitoring
  • Climate Change: Mitigation and Adaptation Measures
  • Tropical Coral Reefs: Monitoring and Management (2 week field course)
  • Practical Skills in Marine Surveying 2
  • Environmental Policy & Risk

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 module 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.

Recent publications resulting from MSc research projects (student co-authors are highlighted):

  • 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: p.903-7.
  • 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 structures in Las Perlas Archipelago, Pacific Panama. In : International Journal of Tropical Biology and Conservation. 58/3, p. 857-869

Career

Examples of first employment and career paths of our graduates 

  • Will Whittington (Marine Science 2017) has securred a position as Head Warden at Flatholm Island.

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 programmes, 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.

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 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 & writing and minimum of 5.0 in speaking & listening)

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2017 entry (by residency status)
Status* Full-time Part-time Per course
Scotland / Non-UK EU £7960 £3980 £995
England / Northern Ireland / Wales £7960 £3980 £995
Overseas £19580 £9790 £2447.50

* 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

Additional fees information

**This course consists of a total of 8 modules. The dissertation fees are incorporated into these costs.

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.