MSc Applied Aquatic Biology

General information

Our aquatic ecosystems are under threat. If you want to face the issues of pollution, overfishing and climate change from the frontline – and take your studies and experience to postgraduate level too –then this MSc Applied Aquatic Biology course will meet your ambitions.

The University of Portsmouth is the perfect place to dive into aquatic biology, thanks to the temperate marine habitats and internationally-protected conservation areas on our doorstep. We're also home to some of the best facilities in the country.

Your skills and knowledge can lead to exciting careers in conservation, consultancy and research, but you’ll also be prepared to take on roles in teaching, or pursue further study.


Careers and opportunities

Teaching by leading international researchers, and close links with environmental consultancies, government bodies and the industry, ensures your training links directly to UK and international employment opportunities.


What can you do with a Applied Aquatic Biology degree?

Previous graduates have gone on to pursue:

  • consultancy work
  • government-based research
  • conservation
  • teaching
  • further study


What you'll study on this MSc Applied Aquatic Biology degree course

Core modules in this year include:

  • Aquatic Biology Research project
  • Research Toolkit

Optional units in this year currently include:

  • Aquaculture
  • Ecotoxicology and Pollution
  • Marine, Policy, Planning and Conservation
  • Science and the Media
  • Subtidal Marine Ecology

How you'll spend your time

The MSc in Applied Aquatic Biology is a 12 month course.

The first three months (September – December) are dominated by taught modules and organising your Research Project. The balance between the project and taught materials from January–May depends on which optional taught modules you select.

From May, you'll work full time on your research project until submission in mid-August. There's then a one-month period to prepare for the final research presentation in late September which completes the course. 

Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. There’s no teaching on Wednesday afternoons. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.

  • Research at the Institute of Marine Sciences, or carry out microbiological work at the University’s Field Centre for Environmental Technology at Petersfield Sewage Works
  • Rear coldwater species for restocking programmes, or trial fish food at the Sparsholt College National Aquatics Training Centre
  • Cover ecosystem function and management, and learn advanced laboratory and field skills
  • Learn from leading international researchers and outside agencies, including environmental consultancies, government bodies and the industry
  • Go on field trips, taking part in freshwater stream surveys, learning sampling techniques, and the opportunity to take part in a week-long practical in the Mediterranean Sea
  • Get the chance to study abroad through Erasmus+, or other conservation and research schemes
Contact Person: (


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

0511 - Biology", "0512 - Toxicology", "0521 - Ecology", "0522 - Conservation and environmental management", "0831 - Aquaculture


Venue: University of Portsmouth
Portsmouth, United Kingdom

School of Biological Sciences
University House, Winston Churchill Avenue
Portsmouth PO1 2UP



UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students

  • Full time: £8,700 (may be subject to annual increase)
  • Part time: £4,350 (may be subject to annual increase)

International students

  • Full time: £15,900 (may be subject to annual increase)
  • Part time: £7,950 (may be subject to annual increase)

You can view the full tuition fees and conditions here.


Qualifications or experience

A 2:1 honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject. Professional experience and other qualifications may be taken into consideration for applicants not meeting this requirement.

English language requirements

English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Application Procedure:

Apply for this course using the online application form. Our courses fill up quickly, so submit your application as soon as you decide which course you want to study.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study with us, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply. 

Grant Opportunities:

The University website offers several opportunities for postgraduate funding and international funding

Full time course is eligible for Government Postgraduate Loan
Part time course is eligible for Government Postgraduate Loan


Academic level: Master


You’ll be assessed through:

  • exams
  • coursework
  • presentations
  • final year project

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

Qualification: Master of Science

UK Credits
Occupations (not validated):
Spotted a mistake in this page? Click here to request a change.