MSc/MRes Applied Marine and Fisheries Ecology

General information

Do you want to help find new solutions to manage our marine natural resources?

Run in collaboration with staff at Marine Scotland Science, this MSc programme will provide you with an appreciation of the key issues that are central to the management of marine resources, practical skills and field work experience that you can apply to real world situations and opportunities to expand your professional network.

Taught by renowned researchers and leading practitioners you will gain valuable insights into marine ecosystems in Scotland and internationally. You will learn to analyse and interpret marine data sets, understand relevant policy, write professional reports and apply your knowledge and skills to the challenging task of managing marine resources.

Studying at world class facilities, you will have the opportunity to undertake field research in marine ecology at several stations like Oceanlab and Cromarty Lighthouse. There are also opportunities to carry out research in partnership with professional agencies such as Marine Scotland Science (MSS), Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC).

This MSc is aimed at individuals with a relevant undergraduate degree who wish to gain specialist knowledge and technical skills. The programme will benefit individuals looking to progress to PhD level and those already working in marine sciences who are keen to upgrade their knowledge and skills.

The taught part of our MSc Applied Marine and Fisheries Ecology programme requires students to take eight compulsory courses over two terms. In addition, students will also choose from a diverse range of elective courses according to their individual learning objectives. For example, you can choose to enhance your skills in marine data analysis and Geographic Information Systems, or deepen your knowledge of the key components of marine ecology and ecosystems.

Syllabus - Compulsory Courses

  • Marine Ecology & Ecosystem Management
  • Experimental Design & Analysis
  • Fish Biology 
  • Population and Community Ecology 
  • Fishery Analysis & Stock Assessment
  • Introduction to GIS
  • Fisheries Technologies & Surveys 
  • Personal Research Development
  • Research project planning
  • Research Thesis 
Learning outcome:

The course places an emphasis on equally developing both your biological and quantitative toolkits. Understanding biological and ecological processes, learning new analytical techniques, and understanding how to apply those to manage natural resources.


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

0831 - Fisheries", "0312 - Policy and governance", "0731 - Marine spatial planning", "0522 - Conservation and environmental management", "0521 - Ecology


Venue: University of Aberdeen
Aberdeen, United Kingdom

College of Life Sciences & Medicine
Polwarth Building, Foresterhill
Aberdeen, AB25 2ZD



UK/EU students: £4.500
International students: £17.200

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trip courses. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.


Degree Requirements
A second (2:2) class Honours degree or equivalent qualification in a biological discipline. Candidates with good Honours Degrees in other subject areas (e.g. Oceanography, Mathematics, Geography, Economics) or in biology/ecology will be considered if they can show supporting qualifications or aptitude at a sufficiently advanced level in a biological subject and good evidence of mathematical or statistical training or relevant experience.
Please check our International student pages to find out if your degree is equivalent.

Language Requirements
International applicants must also meet the English Language Requirements of the University.

Application Procedure:

In order to submit an application you will need to upload:

  • A completed online Postgraduate Application form
  • An official full Bachelor degree transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) so far (original & official English translation)
  • Degree certificate (if you have already graduated)
  • Academic reference letter OR a reference letter from your employer
  • Detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme
  • Proof of proficiency in English (International applicants)
  • Ideally - current CV/resume

Application deadlines
There is no deadline for those students classified as UK/EU, but allow sufficient time for your application to be processed (approximately 3 weeks). Prospective students who require a visa to study in the UK are advised to apply as early as possible to secure a place, approximately 10 weeks prior to the commencement date of the programme.

All information about applying can be found here

Grant Opportunities:

Scottish Fishermen’s Trust

  • £1000 bursaries, 3 awarded each year on a competitive basis. A 1 page description of the student research project is due mid November and the award is made in the 2nd semester.

Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) Scholar programme

  • New to the 2016/2017 academic year, the University of Aberdeen will be supporting SAIC Scholars Connect Plus, offering funded places to students interested in a career in aquaculture.

View all funding options in our Funding Database.


Academic level: Master


The degree programme is assessed using a diverse range of formats including written reports, oral presentations, practical write-ups, group reports, management plans, literature reviews, project plans and the research project report. Academics provide detailed, individual feedback.

Qualification: Master of Science

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