MSc Aquatic Science

General information

Environmental issues such as eutrophication, habitat degradation and climate change threaten the sustainability of our aquatic resources. Responding to these threats the Aquatic Science MSc equips students with an interdisciplinary understanding of the structure and functioning of aquatic environments, encompassing lakes, ponds, rivers, wetlands, groundwaters, estuaries and shallow seas.

​The Aquatic Science MSc is run by UCL Geography, which enjoys an outstanding international reputation for its research and teaching. It provides an ideal foundation for PhD research, or for employment within environmental protection and conservation agencies, the water industry and environmental consultancies. 

The programme is taught by members of departmental research groups specialising in environmental change and environmental modelling, and has specialist input from the UCL Thames Estuary Partnership , and in-house aquatic consultancy Environmental Scientific Services. Speakers from other universities and environmental organisations including the UK Environment Agency, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, the UK Wildlife Trusts, the Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Sciences and the Broads Authority are invited to lecture on the programme and take part in fieldwork.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. All students take four core Aquatic Science modules in the first term (60 credits) and choose a further four modules from a range of options in the second term (60 credits). Additionally, students undertake a piece of original research leading to a dissertation (60 credits) of up to 15.000 words with the support of an academic supervisor. The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, practical classes, laboratory sessions, case-studies and residential field classes. 

Core Modules

  • Aquatic Systems
  • Aquatic Monitoring (field-based course in Scotland)
  • Environmental Data Acquisition and Analysis
  • Scientific Basis for Freshwater and Coastal Conservation (field-based course in Norfolk, England)

Options

  • Lakes
  • Coastal Change
  • Politics of Climate Change
  • Marine Conservation
  • Surface Water Modelling
  • Wetlands
  • Aquatic Macrophytes (field-based course in Dorset, England)
  • Impacts of Climate Change on Hydro-ecological Systems
  • Biological Indicators of Environmental Change
  • Non-biological Indicators for Environmental Change
  • Environmental GIS
Learning outcome:

Students gain a sound training in field sampling, study design, instrumentation, numerical analysis and the taxonomy of a range of aquatic organisms. Distinctive features include the integration of aquatic ecology with hydrological and geomorphological processes, analysis of sediment cores, design of aquatic monitoring programmes and modelling of aquatic system dynamics.

Students gain a sound training in field sampling, study design, instrumentation, numerical analysis and the taxonomy of a range of aquatic organisms. Distinctive features include the integration of aquatic ecology with hydrological and geomorphological processes, analysis of sediment cores, design of aquatic monitoring programmes and modelling of aquatic system dynamics.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of four core modules (60 credits), four optional modules (60 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma - 4 core modules and 4 option modules all 15 credits (120 credits, full-time nine months, part-time two years) is offered.

A Postgraduate Certificate - 4 core modules only at 15 credits (60 credits, full-time twelve weeks, part-time two years) is offered.

Objective:

The MSc Aquatic Science seeks to:

  1. develop a strong interdisciplinary understanding of the structure and functioning of aquatic environments.
  2. provide structured training and practical skills in practical field sampling, study design, numerical analysis, monitoring and modelling.
  3. provide training in the identification (in the field and laboratory) of a range of aquatic organisms including aquatic macrophytes, wetland plants, algae, fishes, amphibians and invertebrates.
  4. inform students of the institutional, legislative and decision making background to key issues in aquatic conservation.
Contact Person: Ms Fiona Mannion (geog-masters@ucl.ac.uk)

Content

The highlighted icons, represent the fields of education (in compliance with ISCED Classification) engaged during this course/programme.

0312 - Policy and governance", "0532 - Marine Geology", "0522 - Conservation and environmental management", "0521 - Ecology", "0511 - Biology", "0512 - Biotechnology", "0512 - Toxicology", "0831 - Aquaculture", "0831 - Fisheries

Venue

Venue: University College London
London, United Kingdom

Department of Geography
Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT

Application


Cost:

Full-time Programme

  • UK/EU students: £9.815
  • Overseas students: £18.670

Part-time Programme

  • UK/EU students: £4.935
  • Overseas students: £9.285

Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma and a PG Certificate with fees set accordingly.


Prerequisites:

Who can apply? The programme is particularly suitable for students with a first degree in environmental science, geography, oceanography, biology, chemistry or engineering who wish to develop the skills necessary for further research in the field, or for a career in environmental protection and aquatic conservation.

Entry Requirements
Normally a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Applicants with relevant professional experience in aquatic science or environmental management will also be considered.

English Language Requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency. The English language level for this programme is: Good.

Core Modules

  • Aquatic Systems
  • Aquatic Monitoring (includes field-trip to Scottish Highlands)
  • Environmental Data Acquisition and Analysis
  • Scientific Basis for Freshwater and Coastal Conservation (field-based course in Norfolk, England)

Options

  • Lakes
  • Coastal Change
  • Politics of Climate Change
  • Marine Conservation
  • Surface Water Modelling
  • Wetlands
  • Aquatic Macrophytes (field-based course in Dorset, England)
  • Impacts of Climate Change on Hydro-ecological Systems
  • Biological Indicators of Environmental Change
  • Non-biological Indicators for Environmental Change
  • Environmental GIS

Application Procedure:

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Apply through the University's website where you will find more information about the online application process. You must submit your application yourself and not via an agency. Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver. When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Aquatic Science
  • why you want to study Aquatic Science at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic and/or professional background meets the demands of a challenging academic environment
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

  Applications must be supported by:

  • two references from people who are able to comment on your suitability for the programme for which you are applying
  • transcripts (in English) for all qualifications that are relevant to your application
  • Personal statement
  • English language certificate

Application Deadlines: students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. The applications for September normally open in October in the previous year, and are open until the end of July.


Grant Opportunities:

For information on bursaries available, please visit www.geog.ucl.ac.uk/aquatic. For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Qualification

Academic level: Master

Assessment:

Assessment is through coursework and the dissertation, which includes an oral presentation of the research proposal.


Qualification: Master of Science

Credits:
Scheme: 
UK Credits
Value: 
180
Occupations (not validated):
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