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Climate Change: Managing the Marine Environment

Master (ISCED 2011 level 7)


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


Large global changes, and climate change in particular, are having significant impacts on the environment. The study of impacts and mitigation/adaptation measures in the marine environment requires a truly interdisciplinary approach. It is essential that scientists, engineers and environmental decision-makers understand the fundamentals of the causes, impacts and management measures involved in dealing with such important issues. The programme specialises in the challenges facing the marine environment and is part of the University's programme of teaching and research in climate change related issues. There are a variety of optional courses available but the core courses are listed below.

Course content

Core (mandatory) courses

  • Marine Resources and Sustainability
  • Applied Research Design and Analysis
  • Climate Change: Sustainability and Adaptation
  • Marine Environmental Monitoring
  • GIS: Geographic Information System for Marine Environmental Scientists
  • Research Project (MSc only)

Tropical Coral Reef course

Tropical Coral Reefs: Monitoring and Management (A11CR) is an optional course available to all students on any of our PGT Marine programmes. It involves a two week field trip where students are given the opportunity to explore the marine environment whilst learning different techniques for surveying and monitoring coral reefs. See this short film from the 2016/17 course.

Detailed course guide

Mode of study

Full-time, Part-time, Per course

Go Global

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

Structural components
International component
Practical/Field work
Language training
Research Project

Application procedure

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.

Grant opportunities

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

Learning outcomes


Understanding, Knowledge and Cognitive Skills

  • fundamentals of the main disciplines and associated technologies in managing impacts of climate change in the maritime environment
  • comprehensive understanding and knowledge of the concepts, principles and theories of specialist technical issues 
  • the ethics and standards relevant to professional scientific and engineering practice
  • the social, economic and environmental impact of change to marine ecosystems within an international framework
  • transfer problem-solving skills to a variety of contexts
  • integrate theory and practice
  • apply numerical, scientific and management skills
  • communicate effectively at all levels and using a range of media
  • work as part of a team and as a team manager
  • plan and organise own learning through self-management and time management

Scholarship, Enquiry and Research (Research Informed Learning)

  • plan, conduct and analyse results of field surveys and exercises in climate change issues
  • prepare and make a series of presentations on project and review work
  • use a variety of sources to generate and evaluate ideas
  • integrate scientific principles with knowledge/understanding of management of environmental issue in order to adopt a holistic approach to problem-solving
  • analyse complex situations of a multi-disciplinary nature, and quantify and evaluate risks, to create solution strategies as appropriate to the particular context
  • assess the environmental impact, economic aspects and feasibility mitigation and adaptation measures with respect to climate change


Industrial, Commercial and Professional Practice 

  • appraise and develop continuously and effectively attributes linked to personal and professional aspirations

  • adopt a mature, ethical and professional attitude to the solution of technical problems

  • display professional attributes in situations which are challenging and demand responsibility, personal judgement and meaningful decision-making


Entry requirements

Master (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 your first language a minimum of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent is required with all elements passed at 6.0 or above. 

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)

ISCED Categories

Conservation and environmental management
Scientific modelling
Marine spatial planning
Physical and chemical oceanography
Offshore and renewable energy