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MSc International Marine Science

Master (ISCED 2011 level 7)


Duración 3 semesters
Costo Tuition fees for 2020 entry (by residency status): Scotland/Non-UK EU £8,680; England/Northern Ireland/ Wales £8,680; Overseas £21,800


This International Marine Science course offers students with a background in marine biology, geology or geography the opportunity to integrate their expertise in the wider marine science context.

The highly interdisciplinary field of Marine Science aims to understand the biology, chemistry, geology and physics of this dynamic system so central to all our lives. It also considers the overarching influence of climate change and how policy can be brought to bear on managing the resources of the ocean as part of the Blue Economy.

The course has two core courses in Oceanography and GIS and offers a wide variety of options with maximum flexibility allowing students to pursue their studies either at our Orkney Campus or in Edinburgh. Furthermore the course offers an online study, through our Distance Learning option, with field work options in Malaysia and Orkney. Depending on the courses selected, Distance Learning students will be required to complete practical lab sessions in Edinburgh – students are responsible for meeting the costs of the travel and maintenance during these periods.

Course content

Programme lead: Dr Mark Hartl

Distance Learning Inquiries: Dr Joanne Porter,

Semester 1: September – December, 2 mandatory course and 2 optional courses
Semester 2: January – April, 1 mandatory course and 3 optional courses
Semester 3: May – August, dissertation (MSc students only)

Semester 1 - Mandatory courses:

  • Oceanography
  • Applied Research Skills

Semester 2 - Mandatory course:

  • GIS for Marine and Environmental Scientists

Semester 1 - Optional Courses:
(students can choose 2)

  • Marine Renewable Energy Technology
  • Marine Resources and Sustainability
  • Climate Change, Sustainability and Adaptation
  • Diversity of Marine Organisms
  • Marine Ecotoxicology
  • Environmental Processes
  • Introduction to Marine Planning
  • Marine Ecology and Fisheries

Semester 2 - Optional courses: 
(students can choose 3)

  • Practical Skills in Marine Biotechnology (1)
  • Marine Biotechnology
  • Tropical Coral Reef Monitoring and Management
  • Marine Environmental Monitoring
  • Marine Resources in the Blue Economy
  • Practical Skills in Marine Surveying (2) 

(1) Edinburgh Campus only due to labs and practicals.
(2) Orkney Campus only where students will do field work.

Tropical Coral Reefs: Monitoring and Management

(2 week field course)

This is an optional course available to all students on any of our Postgraduate taught Marine courses. It involves a two week field trip to Malaysia where students are given the opportunity to explore the marine environment whilst learning different techniques for surveying and monitoring coral reefs.

Watch the video from the latest trip to Bidong Island in Malaysia

Detailed course guide


This course also offers students incredible opportunities during their MSc to work extensively with academics in active research groups, often leading to co-authorship on peer-reviewed publications.

Flexible study options

This course can be studied full-time or part-time at our Edinburgh or Orkney Campus.

It can also be studied via Online Learning, ideal for those in employment or with other commitments, providing flexible study options that fit around work or family.

Industry links

Throughout the course, students are provided with internal expert supervision as well as opportunities to work with external partners, both in the UK and internationally including Marine Conservation InternationalScottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) and 5 Oceans  (5OES) as well as other industry partners

Go Global

Some of our Postgraduate Taught Masters Programmes are eligible for Inter-Campus Transfer. Please contact for further information.

Componentes estructurales
Socios de la industria
Prácticas profesionales/experiencia laboral
Componente internacional
Trabajo práctico/ de campo
Entrenamiento de idioma
Proyecto de investigación
A distancia/en línea

Proceso de aplicación

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.

Oportunidades de financiamiento/becas

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 scholarships.

Resultados del aprendizaje


Understanding, Knowledge and Cognitive Skills Understanding

  • Critical understanding of the theory of marine science.
  • An understanding of the multiple users and uses of the marine environment.
  • An understanding of the legislative regime in the marine environment.
  • An understanding of how to approach and plan research, keep accurate records and present the results. Knowledge
  • A detailed knowledge of marine resources and their sustainable exploitation.
  • How to use this theoretical knowledge in practical applications.
  • Knowledge of Strategic Environmental Assessment
  • Knowledge and understanding of policy, legal, ethical and health and safety issues of concern in the marine environment
  • Develop critical skills in research data evaluation.
  • Develop critical skills in research data presentation.

Scholarship, Enquiry and Research (Research Informed Learning)

  • Develop critical skills in research data evaluation.
  • Develop knowledge and understanding of a range of research skills and methods for investigating current issues in marine science, culminating in an ability to conduct independent research and improving the ability to solve these problems.


Industrial, Commercial and Professional Practice

  • Adopt a mature, ethical and professional attitude to research and working practices.
  • Display and deploy professional attributes in situations that require decision making and data evaluation.
  • Display and deploy professional attributes in data presentation and discussions with peers.
  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of marine issues associated with the techniques learned.
  • Be able to make informed judgements with incomplete or inconsistent data.
  • Transfer problem-solving skills to a variety of contexts.
  • The graduates will be in a position to work in both the public sector and an industrial setting.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working With Others

  • Be able to work autonomously or within teams, where appropriate, demonstrating capability for both taking and critically reflecting on roles and responsibilities.
  • Develop self-management skills, in particular through the effective management of self-study.

Communication, Numeracy & Information and Communications Technology

  • Select appropriate methods to statistically evaluate research data.
  • Communicate effectively at all levels and using a range of media.
  • Produce scholarly scientific reports and conference and journal papers.


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.

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)

Categorías CINE (ISCED)

Conservación y gestión ambiental
Oceanografía física y química
Energía renovable marina
Planificación Espacial Marina