Coastal & Marine Environments: Physical Processes Policy & Practice

Your Course
This MSc programme has a strong field-based and applied focus and is offered in direct response to newly emerging discourses on the long-term health of coastal and marine systems. The programme is designed to train skilled personnel who can advance our understanding of these environments through further research, and offer scientific advice on, organise, and regulate an informed development of coastal and marine resources and activities in Ireland, the EU and worldwide.

The modules currently offered are: Coastal Processes and Landforms; Reconstructing Marine Environments; Coastal Risk; Field and Laboratory Methods; Biodiversity; and Marine Spatial Planning and Policy. In these modules you will be challenged to engage with established scientific perspectives of how coastal and marine systems work and the strategies used to manage them—especially in response to future climate change scenarios. There is a strong emphasis on transferable and problem-solving skills, reflected in the focus on field-based learning practices (including shiptime on the RV Celtic Voyager) that are embedded in all modules, in addition to an engagement with the most cutting-edge theoretical work from various interdisciplinary fields.

The team is engaged in a broad range of scientific investigations of the physical/human environment, and students will become active members of ongoing research programmes and will learn the research and publication process.


1. Development of skills is supported by a significant focus on practical and field-based learning, including short field courses in Ireland, workshops, conferences, and placement opportunities.

2. Dedicated ship-time on the RV Celtic Voyager.

3. Multidisciplinary: The course is directed at graduates from geography, the natural sciences and other related disciplines of the social and natural sciences, and at professionals in the field who are interested in furthering their knowledge of coastal and marine environments.

Entry requirements

Minimum entry requirements
Level 8 degree, Second Class Honours or equivalent, with Second Class Honours Grade 1 or equivalent in a relevant field of studies. Selection is based on candidate's academic record at undergraduate level, statement of intent and academic letters of recommendation.


1 year, full-time; 2 years, part-time.

Post Course Info

Career Opportunities
With coastal and marine resources increasingly promoted as being central to revitalising the Irish economy, the coming years will require well-informed and educated leaders who understand the complexities of the interaction between the economy and health of these environments. This should present graduates of this new course with opportunities across various fields (coastal and marine science, environment, politics, planning, NGOs, local and regional agencies, research agencies, research laboratories and programmes, etc.). The placement element of the programme will also offer practical work experience that will enhance career prospects.

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  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

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