This MSc is a full-time one-year course, consisting of 9 months taught course and 3 months research project, and examined by continuous assessment. The course provides advanced training in marine biology with a strong emphasis on practical training.
The programme is achieved through a series of compulsory modules encompassing theory, practical, private study and practical research.
The School of Ocean Sciences at Bangor University has over 50 years experience of teaching at postgraduate level, and excellent teaching and research facilities for the study of the marine biology. Undergraduate teaching was graded excellent in the last Teaching Quality Assessment, and research was graded 4* in the Research Assessment Exercise. NERC has designated the School as a Centre of Excellence in Coastal Seas, Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography.
The MSc course in Marine Biology is one of a suite of 4 focused MSc courses in marine science run within the School. New students on this course are inducted to the University and School via an introductory course consisting of orientation through site tours, excursions and social events, and 5 weeks of quantifying biological variability, learning Information Technology, and practising presentation skills. Pre-sessional English language training courses are also available for overseas students.
The MSc course is managed by a course team comprising of the Course Director, Deputy Course Director and Postgraduate Course Administrator. The team report to the School Course Board, which in turn reports to the College of Natural Sciences. Each student has a personal tutor drawn from the teaching staff. The School has 30 academics teaching and researching across the marine science disciplines of Marine Biology (15), Biogeochemistry (2), Physical Oceanography (6) and Geological Oceanography (7) with a similar overall number of technical staff. Teaching on the MSc Marine Biology will be provided from 'in house' in the main, but additional teaching will be provided from the University's School of Biological Sciences and the National Museum of Wales.
The MSc course is housed in a fully serviced and dedicated postgraduate suite. The School is located on the shores of the Menai Strait which separates the Isle of Anglesey from the mainland. The Menai Strait is a proposed Statutory Marine Resource and EU Special Area of Conservation and there are unspoilt marine environments relatively close by.
The University's newly refurbished science library is located in nearby in Bangor. Specialist facilities in the School include temperate and tropical aquaria, satellite imaging processing and Geographical Information System computing, diving and field survey operations (including ROVs and sledges) and laboratories for benthic analysis, nutrition, microbiology, genetics, radiochemical analysis, stable isotopes, sediments and organic chemistry, scanning electron microscopy. An additional strength in our field teaching, is work at sea aboard the only ocean-going research vessel in the Higher Education sector (RV Prince Madog), which entered service in 2001.
MSc course students can benefit from the School's links with other institutions, especially for research project opportunities. Such links presently include the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, U.S.A., University of Mauritius, Catholic University Chile etc.
Graduates of our biological MScs have taken up the following career paths in recent years:
- Public Sector, e.g. Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Waterways Board, County Councils, Fisheries Protection Committee, National Rivers Authority/Environment Agency, EEC Environmental Commission.
- Private Sector, e.g. Aquatic consultancies specialising in survey and environmental impact assessment, aquaculture, oil industry, mining, instrument development, informatics and computing.
- Voluntary organisations such as World Wide Fund for Nature, Greenpeace, Wildlife Trusts, RSPCA, Royal Geographical Society.
- Higher Education and Research, e.g. Doctorate Research, Research Assistants.
- Overseas students return to comparable posts overseas.
- UK students employed overseas in comparable posts.
Applicants are normally expected to have a First or Upper Second Class Honours Degree for admission and to have a background in a Biological Science or related subject area. We also accept mature applicants (age 25+) who do not meet the entrance qualifications, but with at least 2 years relevant experience.