Taught course

MSc Marine Science and Sustainable Development

University of Essex · School of Life Sciences

Entry requirements

A degree with a 2.2 in a relevant subject such as : Marine Biology, Marine Chemistry, Oceanography, Environmental Sciences and Tropical Biology.

Applications from students with a degree below a 2:2 will be considered dependent on any relevant professional or voluntary experience, previous modules studied and/or personal statement.

Your Degree should contain some Ecology components including aquatic/marine Ecology, Biodiversity or Conservation.

Months of entry


Course content

Our ocean is the largest connected system on Earth. It is now under increasing pressure from expanding human activities and the climate crisis. As a future expert in marine science, you will contribute to identifying sustainable development opportunities and assist conservation science, ‘blue economy’ industries, and ocean governance.

This course aligns with the United Nations’ Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development to build expertise and reverse the cycle of decline in ocean health. While critically examining the structure, function and benefits of marine systems in our taught modules in the School of Life Sciences, you also have access to modules provided by our Department of Government, which is ranked 6th in the UK for research power (Times Higher Education research power measure, Research Excellence Framework 2021), before embarking on a work placement with government, industry or non-government organisations to conduct an independent research project over the summer. You will use your own or our existing networks of carefully selected providers to research and adapt existing policy fit for mitigating the impact of environmental change and the climate crisis. This can be assisted via policy-oriented projects within our School of Life Sciences, support to find your own external placement, or in partnership with our external links. For example, through our links with the Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association (OATA) or the Centre for Environment, Fisheries, and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) in Lowestoft, Suffolk – the marine and freshwater agency of the Government’s Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) – there are opportunities for students to identify adaptation and mitigation strategies, and review and update science-informed policy responses.

As a student in our School of Life Sciences you will benefit from the breadth of research carried out by our internationally recognised academics, and will engage with current research activities both in the UK and abroad.

Explore topics including:

  • The state of the environment and politics of environmental problems
  • Characteristics of marine environments and anthropo-genic pressures
  • Sustainable marine resource management and conservation

When graduating from this course, you will be part of a growing network of practitioners in marine sustainable development, have gained the most sought-after skills that make you well placed for employment in the marine environment sector or provide an avenue for further academic study.

Information for international students

You can find international entry requirements for most countries on our webpage www.essex.ac.uk/international. If your country is not listed, please contact Postgraduate Admissions at pgadmit@essex.ac.uk.

Pre-sessional English Language courses
If you need to improve your English language skills before joining your main degree course, we offer pre-sessional English courses on our campuses in partnership with Kaplan International Pathways. To learn more, please visit www.essex.ac.uk/international/pre-sessional

You can explore scholarship opportunities for your country at www.essex.ac.uk/international or view our university-wide scholarships at www.essex.ac.uk/scholarships.

Fees and funding

There are a wide range of funding options for postgraduate study, including scholarships, bursaries and alumni discounts. You can check your eligibility at https://www.essex.ac.uk/postgraduate/masters/fees-and-funding.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

University of Essex