MSc Marine Planning and Management

General information

The Marine Planning and Management MSc is a new multidisciplinary programme, designed to equip graduates with the knowledge and skills required to take up the exciting job opportunities arising from recent changes to the planning system for UK marine areas.

There is a growing demand for professionals who understand marine science and management on the one hand, and spatial planning, as has long been practiced on land, on the other. This postgraduate programme of study bridges the gap between these two disciplines, and equips students with the knowledge and skills needed to embark on a career within marine management, with a particular focus on the newly emerging practice of marine spatial planning.

Marine spatial planning is now developing as a key component of marine management. It aims to deliver a more organised sharing of sea space between demands as diverse as nature conservation, tourism, ports and shipping, renewable energy, fishing, aquaculture and mineral extraction.  It seeks to integrate social, economic and environmental uses of the coast and sea. Marine planning is being taken up by coastal nations around the world, including Australia, China, the United States of America, South Africa and several European nations, such as Germany, Portugal, the Netherlands, Poland, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Some nations, such as the UK, now have statutory provisions for planning their coastal and marine waters and bodies and procedures for preparing marine plans and implementing them.  All European Union coastal states are now required to introduce marine planning, following a Directive passed in 2014. So there is a growing demand for professionals who understand marine science and management on the one hand, and spatial planning, as has long been practised on land, on the other. This postgraduate programme bridges the gap between these two disciplines, and equips students with the knowledge and skills needed to embark on a career within marine management.

This programme leads to the award of a Master of Science degree. It is a full-time, one-year course, though it is also possible to study part-time over two years, combining studies with other responsibilities. This is the first programme of its kind to be accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute as a specialist Masters course. Gaining the degree is a step towards professional membership of the Institute.

Module details
The course is delivered by taught modules which explore the inter-relationships between human activities and the natural world, marine science, environmental management, planning practices and the international development of marine planning. The modules are followed by a supervised research project on a topic of choice, giving students the opportunity to develop an individual area of specialism, which may be geared towards future career interests.

Compulsory Modules Optional Modules
Marine Planning Theory and Practice Coastal Environments: Spatial and Temporal change 
Environmental Assessment of Policies, Plans, Programmes and Projects Politics of the Environment
Geographical Information Systems Theory Power and Ethics
Marine Planning & Management in Action Marine Ecology: Theory and Applications
Making Plans Advanced Conservation Biology
Dissertation Mcd/ma/msc Planning Planning Practice Placement
  Tackling Environmental Issues
Learning outcome:

The course aims to prepare future employees of organisations that will be closely involved in marine management and marine planning initiatives in the coming years.  Potential employers include: national government departments and agencies with marine responsibilities; regional and local government coastal authorities; and marine NGOs, stakeholder groups and industrial interests concerned with maritime sectors such as energy, fisheries, nature conservation, ports and shipping, leisure and tourism and the coastal economy.  Career opportunities are likely to arise in many geographical contexts around the world, including in less and more developed nations and emerging economies.

Contact Person: Dr Stephen Jay (


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

0312 - Policy and governance", "0731 - Marine spatial planning", "0522 - Conservation and environmental management


Venue: University of Liverpool
Liverpool, United Kingdom

School of Environmental Sciences
Roxby Building, Liverpool L69 7XT



UK/EU students: £6.000 and 
International students: £13.950

These fees are for the full-time programme and cover the tuition, registration, examinations (but not re-sits) and graduation costs. An additional research support fee of £150 will also apply for both student categories.
More information


Degree Requirements
The normal entry requirement is a good first degree (2:1) or above, in a related area from an approved university or equivalent. Applications from those with non traditional qualifications and relevant work experience are also welcomed and will be considered on their individual merits.

Language Requirements
Where English is not an applicant’s first language, an English qualification is also required:

  • IELTS: 6.5 (with no band lower than 6.0)
  • TOEFL iBT*: 88 or above with minimum scores in components as follows: Listening and Writing 21, Reading 22, Speaking 23.
  • International Baccalaureate: Standard Level 5​
  • Hong Kong use of English AS level: C​
  • INDIA Standard XII: 70% or above from Central and Metro State Boards​
  • WAEC: C4-6

*Please be advised that TOEFL is no longer classified by UK Visas and Immigration as a Secure English Language Test (SELT). However, at the current time the university is continuing to accept TOEFL, at the required level, for entry on to Undergraduate and Postgraduate academic programmes.

Application Procedure:

The easiest way to make an application is to apply online and use the online application form. If you are unable to apply online, you can apply by downloading a copy of the Postgraduate Application Form and returning it by post or email, or by completing a hard copy of the form, available from the Student Recruitment and Admissions Office. In addition to the information required on the application form, you will need to send copies of the following documents to the Postgraduate Admissions team with your application:

  • School or college transcripts/certificates
  • University transcripts and certified translations if applicable
  • Degree certificates
  • Evidence of English Language proficiency (EU and international applicants only)
  • Personal statement
  • Two references (on letter headed paper, signed and dated)

Application Deadlines: there are no strict application deadlines but applicants are encouraged to apply in good time, particularly if they require visas or have special requirements.

Grant Opportunities:

Fundacion Iberdrola, the charitable arm of Scottish Power, is inviting future energy leaders to join their scholarship programme. If you’re from the UK, Spain or the United States, this scholarship, only available to 5 preferred UK universities, offers you full tuition fees and a substantial monthly living allowance of £1,200 to help you achieve a masters qualification in one of our energy and environment related programmes.  

Taught Programmes Information on other potential sources of funding may be obtained by visiting the University web pages.

Postgraduate Student Awards. A range of awards, scholarships and bursaries are available for those undertaking postgraduate study at the University. See our scholarships pages for more information.

International Students. The University of Liverpool administers and participates in many scholarship schemes for international students. The majority of the scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit rather than hardship and students must normally hold an offer of a place on a course before they can apply. More details of all of these awards are listed on our scholarships pages.


Academic level: Master

Qualification: Master of Science
Occupations (not validated):
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