The MSc Marine Biology aims to train graduates in multiple areas of marine biology and equip them with professional certificates in Sea Survival, Powerboat Handling and Marine Radio as well as an introductory First Aid course and necessary field skills.
The areas of marine biology covered in this master’s course include fisheries and aquaculture, genetics, marine ecology and conservation, marine mammals and ecological aspects of Geographic Information System (GIS). In addition, the course has a significant field work component including ship work as well as survey and sampling techniques training. This course, run entirely by the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences at University College Cork, will provide an understanding of these various disciplines and skills needed in order to meet the growing demand for trained marine biologists at home and abroad.
On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
- Describe key marine flora and fauna, the marine environment and its biological and physical properties and processes
- assess the sustainability of exploitation (fisheries and aquaculture) and assess the impact of other anthropogenic factors on the marine environment
- define the roles of management and conservation across the marine environment
- demonstrate a wide range of research skills (field and laboratory) including safety-related and professional qualifications
- apply the knowledge and skills acquired in this course in the working environment enabling the development of policy.
Part I of the course consists of eight taught modules to the value of 60 credits involving lectures, practicals, seminars and fieldwork. Part II is a substantial research project, BL6017 Dissertation in Marine Biology, to the value of 30 credits for those passing Part I. Each of the prescribed taught modules will be examined by a written paper and/or continuous assessment. Each student progressing to Part II of the course must submit the research project in an area of marine biology by a date as prescribed by the School of BEES.
Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our book of modules. Any modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.
You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.
This full-time 12-month course is split into Part I taught modules running from September to April and Part II, a four-month research project for students passing Part I. The course includes ship time experience aboard the Irish State research vessel, Celtic Voyager and field work day trips to various locations in County Cork as well as a week-long residential field course in the West of Scotland in March. In addition, students undertake professional certificate courses in January at the National Maritime College of Ireland in Ringaskiddy, Cork.
The taught modules in the course are assessed by a combination of written examinations and continuous assessment elements (including essays, practical reports, critiques, seminars, dossiers and analytical elements). The four-month research project is assessed by a dissertation, project seminar and an assessment of your practical ability throughout the duration of the project.
The core teaching team on this course are from the School of BEES and include researchers with expertise in marine mammal biology, fisheries and aquaculture, intertidal and subtidal ecology, seabird ecology, marine conservation, shellfish disease and immunology. The core team are supported by occasional visiting and guest lecturers.
Why Choose This Course
The lecturing staff offered a high degree of support regarding assignments, the research project and advice on future careers.
PhD Graduate Student Students graduating from this course are equipped with both academic and practical skills in a range of subjects relevant to employers’ requirements both here in Ireland and the wider world. In particular, the compulsory professional certificate courses in Sea Survival, Powerboat Handling, Marine Radio and First Aid are a significant addition to any marine biology graduate’s CV, making you immediately employable with no delay in having to do these courses at significant additional expense elsewhere.
Placement or Study Abroad Information
A number of recent graduates in this course have undertaken their Part II research project either abroad or with significant research cruise time in their projects. Overseas locations have included Holland, UK, Singapore and Portugal as well as on placements at various locations within Ireland (Marine Institute, NUI Galway, BIM, NPWS). Others have spent significant time at sea aboard research vessels from Ireland, Holland and the UK.
Skills and Careers Information
As well as a number of professionally certified courses that will be provided throughout the course, students will also gain a variety of technical skills associated with research and computer skills (GIS in particular). Many transferable skills are also fostered through different learning approaches, including critical thinking, problem solving, report writing, oral presentations, statistical analysis, independent research and time management.
- A candidate for the MSc in Marine Biology must have obtained at least a Second Class Honours, Grade II degree in any Biological Science or relevant equivalent area.
- In addition, NFQ Level 8 graduates with relevant professional qualifications or relevant experience but not the relevant degree classification may also apply for entry and each case will be judged on a case-by-case basis as to their suitability for the programme, subject to the approval of the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science.
English Language Requirements
Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university approved English language requirements available here.
For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland
Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements, please find our grades comparison by country here.
For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students. In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.
Not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above.
For more information please contact the International Office.
There will be an additional bench fee of €2,000 to cover the costs associated with undertaking the professionally certified courses (Sea Survival, Boat Handling and Marine Radio Use) as well as an introductory fieldwork first aid course and all field work (including a residential course in Scotland) undertaken as part of the taught component of the course.