Coastal erosion. Threatened resources. Pollution. With increasing awareness of the importance of the world's oceans as a natural resource and of their role in the stability of the global climate and environment, marine science specialists are in high demand. Our vocational programme, involving local marine partners and companies, provides you with the scientific knowledge, skills and practical experience that you need for an exciting career in marine science.
Our programme is 100 per cent coursework assessed and teaching activities are based around taught modules, field and laboratory work and an extended research project. There are visits to local bays and estuaries and a field week working with complex instrumentation in the lab and at sea. Semester one modules include management of coastal environments, marine science and research skills and methods. In the second semester students follow one core module in contemporary issues in marine science and choose two option modules from: remote sensing and geographical information systems, managing marine ecosystems, coastal erosion and protection, economics of the marine environment and modelling marine processes. You can carry out your research project and dissertation over both semesters in any area of marine science, working with experts within the University and external bodies (e.g. PML, Fugro-GEOS) in the UK and abroad. Topics include projects in both pure and applied research.
Attractive programme features:
- Plymouth has a long association with marine science, which is reflected in the many marine organisations based in the city such as the Marine Biological Association, the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science and the National Marine Aquarium. The University has a memorandum of understanding with Plymouth Marine Laboratory and close links with other marine organisations. Many of our students have taken advantage of this and carried out their dissertations in collaboration with these organisations. In addition, we have links to commercial consultancy companies, local councils and environmental organisations, which have provided both project ideas and supervision.
- About half the candidates each year undertake their research dissertation in association with an external organisation.
- There are various site visits to the local bays and estuaries, including a field week when you gain practical experience of working with complex instrumentation both in the laboratory and at sea.
- These are long-established, well-respected programmes with an excellent overall rating. For example, the MSc Applied Marine Science was previously awarded up to six (the maximum) NERC advanced course studentships, before NERC withdrew these studentships nationally.
- An extensive range of field/laboratory equipment, including the COaST laboratories, our research vessel RV Falcon Spirit and a new waterfront marine centre within walking distance.
When to apply
Most of our taught programmes begin in September. Applications can usually be made throughout the year, and are considered until programmes are full.
Before you apply
Familiarise yourself with the information required to complete your application form. You will usually be required to supply:
- evidence of qualifications (degree certificates or transcripts), with translations if not in English, to show that you meet, or expect to meet the entry requirements
- evidence of English language proficiency, if English is not your first language
- a personal statement of approximately 250-400 words about the reasons for your interest in the course and outlining the nature of previous and current related experience. You can write this into the online application form, or include it as a separate document
- your curriculum vitae or résumé, including details of relevant professional/voluntary experience, professional registration/s and visa status for overseas workers
- proof of sponsorship, if applicable.
If you require further information take a look at our application guidance.
If you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by University of Plymouth, please visit our Disability Services website.
Submitting an application
Once you are happy that you have all of the information required you can apply using our online postgraduate application form (the blue 'Apply now' icon on this page).
What happens after I apply?
You will normally receive a decision on your application within four weeks of us receiving your application. You may be asked to provide additional information; two academic/professional references, confirming your suitability for the course; or to take part in an interview (which in the case of overseas students may be by telephone or video conference) and you will be sent a decision by letter or email.
We aim to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. Our Admissions and Course Enquiries team is on hand to offer help and can put you in touch with the appropriate faculty if you wish to discuss any programme in detail.
If you would like any further information please contact the Admissions and Course Enquiries team:
Telephone: +44 (0)1752 585858
More information and advice for applicants can be referenced by downloading our Student Admissions Policy Prospective students are advised to read the policy before making an application to the University.
EU applicants should refer to our dedicated Brexit webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.
|Home/EU||£9,800||To be confirmed|
|International||£14,800||To be confirmed|
|Part time (Home/EU)||£550||To be confirmed|
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances.
Alumnus loyalty reward for postgraduate study
The University applies a discretionary alumni reward where alumnus meet certain criteria on particular postgraduate taught courses.
- a 20 per cent discount on home/EU tuition fees
- or a £2,000 discount on international tuition fees.
- a 10 per cent alumni discount is available on the following programmes: MSc Advanced Psychology, MSc Clinical Psychology, MSc/PgDip Psychology and MSc Occupational Therapy.
PGCE programmes, Master of Architecture, MChem, MEng, MGeol, MPsych, MSci, ResM, MSc Environmental Consultancy, MSc Sustainable Aquaculture, MSc Environmental Geochemistry and postgraduate research degrees are not included in this reward.
Please note that students must have applied directly to be eligible.
For further details, and contact information, please review our alumni discount policy.
Postgraduate scholarships for international students
We offer several scholarships for international students who wish to study postgraduate taught (PGT) degree programmes.
MAR513 Research Skills and Methods- This module aims to equip students with the practical skills and contextual framework for conducting high quality research. Emphasis is placed on workshop opportunities to acquire and practice research planning, analysis, communication, writing and oral presentation skills.
MAR514 Marine Science- This module provides an introductory overview of basic oceanography including physical, chemical, geological and biological aspects of the subject. There is particular emphasis on methods of quantifying and predicting coastal conditions, as well as interplay between physical, chemical and biological aspects of ocean science.
MAR515 Management of Coastal Environments- This module introduces the process, method and framework used to manage change in coastal and marine environments. It will focus on Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) with emphasis on the importance of collectively considering physical, ecological and socio-economic factors and processes. It will illustrate the range of the management processes available using field-, lecture- and seminar-based case studies.
MAR516 Contemporary Issues in Marine Science- This module utilises acknowledged experts to teach students about 'hot topics' in their field of marine science. The content of this module will be dynamic and will evolve to keep up-to-date with the latest developments in marine science. Current indicative content might include climate change, sea level rise, coastal flooding, ocean acidification, coral bleaching, marine biofuels and developments in nanotechnology, for example.
MAR524 MSc Dissertation- The student will complete a research project that they have designed in the semester 1 research skills module. The project can be submitted in the format of a journal paper or dissertation. The write-up will communicate the project aims, methodology, data analysis, interpretation, synthesis and conclusions.
MAR507 Economics of the Marine Environment- This module will provide students with a clear overview of the problems associated with economic activity in marine environment and the potential solutions to these problems.
MAR517 Coastal Erosion and Protection- This module applies knowledge of waves and coastal processes to understand and predict coastal erosion and accretion. The hard and soft engineering methods used for coastal protection are covered, with an emphasis on how improved understanding of the natural processes (waves, currents, sediment transport) can improve coastal management decisions).
MAR518 Remote Sensing and GIS- This module introduces the principles of geographical information systems and remote sensing of marine, polar and coastal environments. Field data will be acquired using GPS and radiometric instrumentation. Emphasis is placed on the critical evaluation of remote sensing data and analysis tools in varied scenarios and on developing practical computing skills.
MAR519 Modelling Marine Processes- This module introduces the fundamental concepts of modelling marine processes. Emphasis will be placed on the mechanisms that drive marine environment and principles of their numerical implementation. The methods of modelling and the-state-of-the-art oceanic models are also introduced. The key element is development of practical skills in operation with numerical models and critical analysis of the model output.
MAR530 Managing Marine Ecosystems- The module will provide students with an understanding of marine ecosystems and their vulnerability to anthropogenic threats. Anticipatory and responsive management measures will be discussed, including relevant marine conservation agreements, legislation and policy.
Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.
The following programme specification(link is external) represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change.
You'll develop the skills required to assimilate knowledge over a wide range of disciplines and apply them to marine environmental assessment and management.
- Join a long established (1991), well-respected programme with an excellent record for employment in the marine sciences sector.
- Develop confidence and competence in the theoretical and practical dimensions of marine science, deepening your scientific knowledge of the coastal environment and the pressures placed on it.
- Gain the skills and knowledge required to work as a marine scientist through a vocationally relevant programme, while also benefitting from our strong research-based teaching, supported by our marine research groups.
- Become experienced in coastal zone management using a range of practical techniques and approaches to problem solving.
- Connect with local marine organisations through the Plymouth Marine Sciences Partnership, which includes the University's Marine Institute, Marine Biological Association, Plymouth Marine Laboratory and the National Marine Aquarium.
- Make the most of our links to commercial consultancy companies, local councils and environmental organisations which can provide project ideas and supervision on your dissertation.
- Access an extensive range of field/laboratory equipment, including the COAST laboratories, our research vessel RV Falcon Spirit and a new waterfront marine centre.
- Build the skills required to assimilate knowledge over a wide range of disciplines and apply them to environmental analysis.
- Benefit from the option of studying this programme part time.
You should have:
- A good honours degree or equivalent preferably in a science or engineering subject. If you don’t have any recent formal qualifications, we may accept workplace experience.
- If you have overseas qualifications you can check how they compare with the UK equivalent through UK NARIC, who provide an advisory service.
- If English is not your first language then we’ll need evidence of your proficiency in English. The minimum IELTS score usually accepted is 6.5. Our International Office has more information.
We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.