Taught course

Freshwater and Marine Ecology

Queen Mary, University of London · Biological and Chemical Sciences

Entry requirements

An upper second class honours degree or higher in a relevant science (eg biology, earth science, environmental science, geography) from a UK University or equivalent international qualification, together with two supportive references.

Months of entry


Course content

Aquatic ecosystems and species are under intense anthropogenic threats. These threats directly affect services such as sustainable fisheries, drinking water or ecosystem resilience.

To adequately respond to these 21st century challenges and conserve these goods and services, a fundamental understanding of the biodiversity and ecosystem processes is needed, as without knowledge there can be no application or effective management.

Considering both freshwater and marine ecosystems and species, this programme will equip you with the interdisciplinary practical skills and theoretical understanding to pursue a career in aquatic research, consultancy or environmental protection, and give you a good understanding of applying scientific understanding to science policy.

Students will spend time shadowing the internationally renowned researchers within the Aquatic Ecology Group of SBCS before developing a research proposal and conducting a six-month project. These may be jointly supervised by colleagues at related institutes and agencies such as the Institute of Zoology, the Natural History Museum, NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, and the Environment Agency, or indeed in industry. We will equip science graduates with the essential skills to proceed to further research via PhD or careers in the applied sector.

You will take five compulsory modules and one optional module (15 credits each). The remaining 90 credits comprises a 24-week individual research project where you will collaborate with research groups within the Centre for the Aquatic and Terrestrial Environment, or with external agencies and charities like the Environment Agency, Wild Trout Trust, Froglife, or the Broads Authority. Taught modules include Ecosystem Structure and Functioning, Statistics and Bioinformatics, Quantitative Techniques for Surveying and Monitoring in Ecology, Science into Policy and Management and Ecological Theory and Applications. Option Modules include Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Field Course (Borneo) and Marine Mammals and Turtles (Cape Verde).

Course Highlights

  • Delivered by leading international researchers in the Aquatic Ecology Group, with input from the School of Geography, and in conjunction with multiple external institutes and agencies.
  • Designed to ensure contemporary training in practical research skills to promote graduate employability
  • Modules developed spanning the aquatic spectrum, accommodating pure theory and applied practical skills in the field
  • Access to state-of-the-art analytical facilities from investment by the Science Research Infrastructure Fund.
  • Considerable opportunity for projects in the UK and overseas, both in house, and with collaborating institutions across London

Information for international students

For more information please see here.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

For more information please see here.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • PCert
    full time
    4 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • Further details of qualification

    MSc: http://www.qmul.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/coursefinder/courses/121419.html PGCert: http://www.qmul.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/coursefinder/courses/121495.html

Course contact details

School of Biological and Chemical Sciences
+44 (0)20 7882 3328/5889