MSc Marine Biodiversity and Biotechnology

General information

The biodiversity of the marine environment is of enormous importance to humans as a resource for food, pharmaceuticals and ecosystem services. The School's Centre for Marine Biodiversity and Biotechnology (CMBB) focuses on research using traditional and newly developing molecular methods to study these important marine resources and products. The rapid loss of biodiversity both on land and in the sea makes it especially important that good knowledge is obtained to enable the appropriate management of the lesser known marine resources.

The programme covers a broad range of issues in four taught core courses enabling students to choose four other taught courses from a variety of options available within the School and elsewhere in the University's programme of MSc programmes.

Core (Mandatory) courses

  • Diversity of Marine Organisms
  • Marine Resources and Sustainability
  • Applied Research Design & Analysis
  • Marine Biotechnology
  • Practical Skills in Marine Biotechnology
  • Research Project (MSc only)

Please see the Detailed Course Guide for further particulars and optional courses.

Learning outcome:

Understanding, Knowledge and Cognitive Skills

Understanding

  • Critical understanding of the theory underpinning biodiversity and biotechnology
  • An understanding of basic techniques used to identify potential sources of naturally occurring substances
  • An understanding of the use of biotechnological techniques • An understanding of how to approach and plan research, keep accurate records and present the results

Knowledge

  • A detailed knowledge of techniques, their applications, advantages and shortcomings, will be obtained
  • How to use this theoretical knowledge in practical applications 
  • A knowledge of how to present scientific data in written and oral forms to a diverse audience

Cognitive skills

  • Develop critical skills in research planning
  • Develop and demonstrate critical knowledge on how to merge and apply skills from various disciplines
  • Develop critical skills in research data evaluation
  • Develop critical skills in research data presentation

Scholarship, Enquiry and Research (Research Informed Learning) 

Core skills

  • Develop and demonstrate skills and techniques in oral and written communication skills with peers and academic staff, using a range of appropriate methods to suit different levels of knowledge and expertise within the audience
  • Develop and demonstrate scientific writing skills
  • Develop and demonstrate critical knowledge on how to merge and apply skills from various disciplines
  • An ability to identify, formulate and resolve problems

Personal Abilities

Industrial, Commercial and Professional Practice

  • Adopt a mature, ethical and professional attitude to research
  • Be able to make informed judgements with incomplete or inconsistent data
  • The students will be in a position to work in both a marine field setting as well as a high-tech laboratory environment

Autonomy, Accountability and Working With Others

  • Be able to work autonomously or within teams, where appropriate, demonstrating a capability for both taking and critically reflecting on roles and responsibilities

Communication, Numeracy & Information and Communications Technology

  • Select appropriate methods to data reduction and statistical analysis
  • Communicate effectively at all levels, using a range of media
  • Produce scientific reports for conferences and journal papers
Objective:

The aims of this course are to provide students with a clear understanding of taxonomic groups, their ecology and physiology, as well as biotechnological techniques. This interdisciplinary approach will not only allow students to recognise potential sources of naturally occurring substances, but also provide them with the tools to exploit them. The students will be in a position to work in both a marine field setting as well as a high-tech laboratory environment.

Contact Person: Dr Mark Hartl (M.Hartl@hw.ac.uk)

Content

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

0031 - Project management", "0312 - Policy and governance", "0512 - Biotechnology", "0521 - Ecology", "0522 - Conservation and environmental management", "0713 - Offshore and renewable energy", "0724 - Oil, gas and mineral resources", "0731 - Marine spatial planning

Venue

Venue: Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Application


Cost:
Status* Full-time Part-time Per course
Scotland/Non-UK EU £8,448 £4,224 £1056**
England / Northern Ireland / Wales £8,448 £4,224 £1056**
Overseas £20,760 £10,380 £2595**

* 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 (module). Refer to the Course Content to see how many courses comprise the full programme.

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.

Additional scholarship information

Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) Scholarships

For students interested in MSc research projects in the area of aqauculture, a limited number of fees-only scholarships are available. For more information, please contact Dr Mark Hartl on m.hartl@hw.ac.uk


Prerequisites:

Entry requirements

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 courses within a programme based on an existing academic qualification. Note that the prior learning must have been rated at the level of the courses 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 programme 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)

Application Procedure:

Application form

You can apply for all postgraduate programmes (except Edinburgh Business School programmes) using our online application form. You must create an account to use the online application form. You don't have to complete the application in one session; you can save what you have done so far and return to complete it at a later date.

Supporting documents

In order for us to assess your suitability for the programme you have applied for, you need to submit various supporting documents. You can view the documents you are required to submit and upload them by logging into your application account.

You may delay an offer being made to you if you do not submit your supporting documents as soon as you can.

When to apply

There is no official deadline for postgraduate applications; we accept them right up until the beginning of term. However, if you are applying for a popular programme, it is in your best interest to submit your application as soon as you can so that you have the best chance of getting a place.

You should also bear in mind that in order to secure accommodation on campus you must have received and accepted your offer and submitted your accommodation requirements by the deadline (usually mid-August).

How we process your application

All applications will be carefully considered by appropriate staff in the relevant school and you will receive a response as soon as possible.  For some programmes, where the volume of applications is very high, this may be several weeks but for most programmes, you should hear from us within 2 weeks.

The response that you receive from the School will be either:

  • an unconditional offer
  • a conditional offer (further supporting documentation will be required, such as a copy of your degree certificate if you had not completed your degree when you first submitted your application)
  • regretfully, a decision to reject your application

Responding to an offer

You will be able to view our decision by logging into your application account.  If you receive an offer, please respond to it as soon as possible.

Once you have accepted your place you will be sent a confirmation letter, which you may use to help you obtain an entry visa to the UK (if you need one) or to obtain funding for your studies.

Information about how to register in September will be available during the summer.

Overseas offer holders

We operate a tuition fee advance instalment payment, which means that you can secure your place at Heriot-Watt University by paying the first instalment of your first year's tuition fees. This payment will mainly apply to overseas or self-financing postgraduate students.

If you wish to study for a postgraduate award and are able to demonstrate that your tuition fees will be paid for by a third party (a sponsoring company or government agency, for example), you can be exempted from paying the advance instalment at the discretion of your School.

We operate a tuition fee advance instalment payment, which means that you can secure your place at Heriot-Watt University by paying the first instalment of your first year's tuition fees. This payment will mainly apply to overseas or self-financing postgraduate students.

If you wish to study for a postgraduate award and are able to demonstrate that your tuition fees will be paid for by a third party (a sponsoring company or government agency, for example), you can be exempted from paying the advance instalment at the discretion of your School.


Grant Opportunities:

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.
There are a number of Heriot-Watt Bursaries available to eligible students. For all Heriot-Watt Scholarships and bursaries please click here.

Qualification

Academic level: Master

Assessment:

The assessment policy for the course incorporates a range of assessment types. There is a strong emphasis on formative assessment to provide feedback on student performance and is used to inform further development. Continuous assessment during modules and summative assessment at the conclusion of the theory modules both contribute to the overall assessment and are used to measure formal achievement in specified learning outcomes. Understanding, knowledge and subject-specific skills are assessed by a variety of means such as coursework assignments, laboratory notebooks, group and individual project work and presentations. Personal abilities are reviewed by interviews based on individual personal development portfolios, self-assessment, performance review sessions and appraisal interviews which provide feedback on performance and assessment. Approaches to assessment are continually reviewed. Specific details about methods of assessment are provided in the individual module descriptors.


Qualification: Master of Science
Occupations (not validated):
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