MSc Coastal Engineering

General information

Do you want to be involved in the defence, protection and management of the world’s coastlines? Aimed at engineers and physical scientists, our MSc Coastal Engineering combines the theory of waves and tides with coastal modelling, port engineering and management. Supported by a team of experienced staff in one of the largest coastal engineering research groups in the UK, you’ll gain expertise to help progress your future career.

You’ll study the theory of waves, tides, surges and modern techniques in coastal data collection and analysis, including GIS and remote sensing. You’ll gain research and engineering project management skills, be introduced to numerical modelling techniques and obtain hands-on experience of using state-of-the-art software tools. Additionally, you will examine the broader issues of environmental law and the application of current coastal defence guidelines.

Towards the end of the programme, you’ll have the opportunity to undertake a substantial research project focused on an aspect of coastal engineering, supervised by academic staff actively researching this field. You may also have the option of undertaking a placement year in industry.

Core modules

  • Coastal Engineering
  • Masters Stage 1 Placement Preparation
  • MSc Dissertation
  • Port and Harbour Engineering
  • Research Skills and Methods

Optional modules

  • Assessment of Coastal Resources and Impacts
  • Mechanics of MRE Structures
  • Port Policy and Management
  • Remote Sensing and GIS
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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", "0588 - Scientific modelling", "0713 - Offshore and renewable energy", "0732 - Near- and offshore constructions


Venue: Plymouth University
Plymouth, United Kingdom

School of Marine Science and Engineering
Smeaton building, Drake Circus
Plymouth PL4 8AA


  • UK/EU: £9800
  • International: £14800
  • Islands: £13.250


Degree Requirements
Minimum of a lower second class honours degree (2:2) in engineering or physical science subject eg geography, environmental science or physics. Students with advanced standing who can evidence an academic ability to similar levels may also be considered. Applicants with overseas qualifications can check their comparability with the UK equivalent through NARIC, who provide an advisory service.

Language Requirements
If your first language is not English then evidence of English proficiency is required. The minimum IELTS score for acceptable English proficiency for entry is normally 6.5.

Application Procedure:

Apply using the online postgraduate application form. You will need the following documentation for both application ways:

  • Your fully completed and signed application form.
  • Original, or certified copies, of your qualifications to date, for example first degree certificate and full transcripts. 
  • Two references; at least one from an academic who has taught you. Both must be on headed paper and in sealed envelopes, signed across the seal by your referees.
  • A copy of the information page of your current passport (inform us immediately if you get a new passport at any time before you come to the UK to study).
  • A copy of any previous or current UK visa.
  • Any English language qualification.
  • Your curriculum vitae (CV) or resume detailing relevant work experience, if you feel it will contribute to your application.
  • Your personal statement.

Additional guidance information can also be downloaded on how to fill in the postgraduate application form.

Grant Opportunities:

More information about scholarship opportunities can be found on the website of Plymouth University; similarly for international students here.

Postgraduate Loan (PGL) for masters study.  The new Postgraduate Loan for masters degrees in the UK will be introduced for students commencing in the 2016-17 academic year.  As part of a new government funded masters loan scheme, masters students who are under the age of 60 can now access a loan of up to £10,000 as a contribution towards the cost of their study. The loans will be available for both taught and research masters programmes across all disciplines and subject areas (excluding PGCE, PgCert, PgDip, MClinRes or ResM).

Find out more information on the new postgraduate loan.


This programme is professionally accredited by the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Institution of Structural Engineers and it is also accredited as meeting the requirements for further learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng).


Academic level: Master

Qualification: Master of Science
Occupations (not validated):
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