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Erasmus Mundus MSc in Marine Environment and Resources (MER+)

Master (ISCED 2011 level 7)


Entry level Bachelor
Cost Catogery A students : €9000, Category B students: €4500

This Joint European MSc Programme is aimed at forming such multidisciplinary graduates of transverse research profile, by attracting highly qualified and motivated students from around the world into a fully integrated world-class EU MSc programme. The original programme was conceived by SOTON, UPV/EHU, UB1 and ULg, utilising the extensive marine science expertise and experience of the (4) institutions. As a part of the construction of the EHEA, a pivotal goal of the MER MSc Programme is to promote international and European cultural exchange and interactions between students. Student mobility is designed with this objective.

The MER MSc programme runs full-time over 24 months (120 ECTS) and consists of advanced courses (90 ECTS) and a Master Thesis, with a dissertation (30 ECTS). Every student will follow an individually-tailored study programme, by combining the different disciplines that can be studied at each of the Partner universities:

  • Coastal Management or Advanced Oceanography, in SOTON
  • Marine Non-living Resources or Marine Environment, in UB1
  • Marine Living Resources or Marine Pollution (Ecosystem Health Assessment included), in UPV/EHU
  • Marine Biology and Ecology, in ULg

The coursework is arranged in six modules:

  • Fundamental: Ocean Science
  • Framework: Global Ocean Environment
  • Scientific Challenges and Opportunities: Marine Environment Protection and Resources exploitation
  • Socio-economic Commitment: Marine Environment and Resources Management
  • Data Analysis: Interpretation of Environmental Data
  • Discovery: Marine Environment and Resources Research

A full list of courses and their associated learning outcomes, credit point values, assessment methods, and pre-requisites is available Module Description Book(link is external). The MSc Thesis research (Module 6) is undertaken during Semester 4. The MSc Thesis research work can be entirely, or jointly, undertaken in SOTON, UPV/EHU, UB1 and ULg or in an associated institutions in Europe or overseas. All the MSc Theses are presented at Joint Viva Sessions at the end of September, in UPV/EHU, with members of all the Partner universities, staff from associates and external (invited) examiners.

The MSc MER degree is designed to allow specialisation in particular areas of marine science. Two specialisations are available -Marine Environment and Marine Resources(link is external)- designed to provide in-depth knowledge in individual marine disciplines. Selecting one of these pathways is not a requirement; students can still maintain a multidisciplinary choice of options, within the timetabling constraints of the programme.

Application procedure

Applicants are required to complete the on-line application procedure, providing their personal data and the following compulsory documents and forms:

  1. Copy1,2 (pdf) of the official Transcript of Records of all courses taken to achieve the BSc degree
  2. Copy1,2 (pdf) of the BSc Degree Diploma, or equivalent suitable to be eligible for the MER+ EMJMD Programme
  3. Copy1,2 (pdf) of the Secondary School Degree, or equivalent required to access University studies at the applicant’s home country
  4. Curriculum Vitae (pdf) in Europass format or equivalent
  5. Motivation Letter (pdf), explaining the applicant’s personal statement and motivation to participate in the MER+ EMJMD Programme
  6. Two Reference Forms or Recommendation Letters submitted by academic/professional staff (on-line application procedure)3
  7. Complete the Proposed Study Plan Form (on-line), indicating the teaching modules of preference, research topics of interest and additional information4
  8. Copy2 (pdf) of your Passport or national identity card, as proof of applicant’s nationality
  9. Copy2 (pdf) of a Resident Official Document that verifies which the applicant’s place of residence at the time of application5
  10. Signed Erasmus+ Scholarship Mandatory Declaration form, where applicants declare they comply with Erasmus+ eligibility requirements (e.g., 12 month rule, etc.)
  11. Proof of Proficiency in English (see Language Policy)
  12. Photograph (passport type)
  13. Signed Self-Funded Student Declaration form (PDF); only to be uploaded by applicants without Erasmus+ Scholarship before they can be definitively admitted as self-funded students (can be uploaded after the submission deadline; e.g. once the Scholarship Selection Results have been published)
  14. Supplementary Information can be provided at the applicant’s convenience, uploaded altogether as one single pdf or zip file

(1) Sworn translation into English (or any official European Language) is required to be eligible.
(2) A copy is enough to apply for admission. The Transcript may be incomplete at the time of application but must be complete by the time of final enrolment. The BSc degree may be uploaded later after the submission deadline but always before definitive admittance and enrolment. Further on, originals or their certified copies will be required to proceed with final registration at the universities; you must keep these documents with you all along the progression of the MER+ Programme.
(3) The applicant must proceed to contact the referees through the on-line application; then the referees will upload the Reference Form/Recommendation Letter, which will be notified to the applicant. In the case a referee is not responsive, it will be the applicant’s responsibility to contact a new one; in any case, only the applicant is responsible to obtain the two required Reference Forms (or Recommendation Letters) uploaded onto the system within the deadline.
(4)  At time of application this is only tentative to depict applicant’s academic profile and will be fully open to changes before definitive admittance).
(5) The place of residence should be verified on the basis of the provision of the documents listed in the PRADO website. For example: (a) a residence certificate issued in accordance with the candidate’s municipality normal registration rules; or (b) a certificate from the candidate’s place of work, study or training issued by the employer or institution in question. These documents must have been issued within 12 months before the submission deadline.

Once the application is ready for submission, please do not forget the last step (submit); a submission confirmation will be sent to you by e-mail.

  • Please note that the main selection criteria are study and academic merits (degree, transcript, curriculum vitae, experience, relevant data), motivation and well-thought out study programme (motivation letter, intrinsic coherence of the proposed study plan and research topic themselves and with the applicants profile and background – merits, letter, supplementary information), recommendation letters (individualised, informative, concise, targeted on the MER MSc programme, supportive), and chances of success in the Programme (e.g., possible pursuit of a PhD programme, or integration in an industry research unit in the home country may also be considered; integrity/elaboration/maturity of the application as a whole).
  • Selection is highly competitive. Even excellent candidates can be underscored if some of the documents/data are missing or faint of if the application is not properly frameworked. Uploading incomplete or unclear documents (e.g., transcript) will lead to underrating. It is highly recommended to examine carefully the MER MSc webpage, especially the MSc Thesis and Partnership sections, in order to prepare the Motivation Letter as well as to propose realistic and coherent Research topics and a Study Plan in accordance.
  • Offers will be made only to those Applicants that satisfy the requirements for entry, as set out above, for whom the supplemental information is deemed satisfactory according to the JPB.
  • By submitting you recognise that the MER Consortium is allowed to use your image (e.g. photographs taken within the framework of the MER MSc academic activities) for public information about and promotion of the Master as well as for related academic outreaches (leaflets, posters, guidelines, reports, webpage, etc.)

Application deadline is March 15th each year for Erasmus+ Scholarship candidates. Important for self-funded Partner Country applicants who require conditional pre-acceptance letters supporting their applications for other scholarships (e.g., National) and for visas: please note that for , these letters can be only secured for those who applied before this deadline. A firm offer will be made only on completion of the general application procedure.
The deadline is extended to June 13th for self-funded applicants (without Erasmus+ Scholarship). Applications after this deadline might be considered by the MER JPB but the Secretariat and the International offices of the Partner Universities cannot ensure any support regarding travel, accommodation and other services.

Learning outcomes

In view of the needs analysis and future career prospects (both academic and non-academic), the learning outcomes prepare students to undertake integrated, multidisciplinary, research into the marine environment and marine resources, together with their interactions (ocean health, biodiversity conservation, resources exploitation, pollution control and coastal zone management). MER MSc graduates are/will be able to integrate into multidisciplinary teams, contributing expertise in a given marine discipline or at the overlap of distinct disciplines within the field. Students must be able to communicate with marine scientists and technologies of diverse expertise, facilitate communication between co-workers (e.g. between a coastal engineer and a marine biologist) and promote synergies. They must be able to accomplish transverse research (from nm/µm scale, to km phenomena/data; from sec/min scale to decades/centuries).


Degree Requirements 
The Programme is open to holders of a first cycle higher education degree (Bachelor degree, or equivalent) from European and Third-Country universities, in the field of biosciences, chemical sciences, geosciences, physical sciences and engineering. As such, the MER MSc acts as a conversion for aspiring marine scientists.

Language Requirements 
Proof of proficiency in English is essential. Proficiency in French, Spanish and/or Basque is optional. The minimum requirements for non-native speakers in English are by an IELTS score of 6.5 or TOEFL 570/227, or an equivalent approved by the Joint Programme Board. 

ISCED Categories

Maritieme economie