MSc in Biology - Marine Biology University College Cork
Our MSc Marine Biology programme aims to train graduates in multiple areas of marine biology and includes the acquisition of necessary field skills in sea survival, powerboat handling and marine radio.
This popular course includes modules in fisheries and aquaculture, genetics, marine ecology and conservation, marine mammals, and ecological aspects of Geographical Information Systems (GIS). In addition, the course has a significant fieldwork component including ship work as well as survey and sampling techniques training.
This masters’ course, run entirely by the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences (BEES) at University College Cork, provides students with a keen understanding of these various disciplines and the skills necessary to meet the growing demand for trained marine biologists both in Ireland 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.
The MSc in Marine Biology is a full-time multidisciplinary degree running for 12 months from the date of first registration for the programme.
Why Choose This Course
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, and Marine Radio 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.
The core teaching team on this course is from the School of BEES and includes 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 is supported by occasional visiting and guest lecturers.
- Connected Curriculum
Our learning approach reflects our commitment to the Connected Curriculum where we emphasise the connection between students, learning, research and leadership through our vision for a Connected University. Our staff are at the forefront of this integrative approach to learning and will support you in making meaningful connections within and between disciplines such as biology, ecology, and marine conservation.
- Available Scholarships
We support our postgraduate community by offering scholarships and bursaries to prospective and current students. Please see the SEFS Scholarships and Funding PG page for more information.
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.
This full-time 12-month course is split into two parts. Part I comprises taught modules which are taught from September to April followed by a four-month research project for students passing Part I.
The course includes ship-time experience aboard the Irish State research vessel, RV Celtic Voyager, and fieldwork 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, and the Kinsale Outdoor Education Centre.
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.
This programme consist of two parts:
- Part I consists of eight taught modules to the value of 60 credits involving lectures, practical work, seminars and fieldwork.
- Part II comprises a substantial Research Dissertation (BL6017) to the value of 30 credits for those meeting progression requirements of Part I of the programme.
In total students take 90 credits as follows:
BL6012 Marine Megafauna (10 credits)
BL6013 Marine Fisheries and Aquaculture (10 credits)
BL6014 Marine Fieldwork and Survey Techniques (10 credits)
BL6015 Practical Marine Workplace Skills (5 credits)
BL6016 Marine Ecology and Conservation (10 credits)
BL6019 Ecological Applications of Geographical Information Systems (5 credits)
BL6020 Genetics and the Marine Environment (5 credits)
BL6026 Introductory Quantitative Skills for Biologists using R programming (5 credits)
BL6017 Dissertation in Marine Biology Research Project (30 credits)
Please see the University Calendar - MSc Marine Biology for more information. 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.
Program Tuition Fee
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.