The MSc Marine Biology aims to train graduates in multiple areas of marine biology and equip them with professional certificates in Sea Survival, Powerboat Handling, Marine Radio and First Aid as well as necessary field skills.
The areas of marine biology covered in this master's course include fisheries and aquaculture, genetics, marine ecology and conservation, marine mammals and ecological aspects of Geographic Information System (GIS). In addition, the course has a significant field work component including ship work as well as survey and sampling techniques training. This course, run entirely by the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences at University College Cork, will provide an understanding of these various disciplines and skills needed in order to meet the growing demand for trained marine biologists at home 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.
Part I of the course consists of eight taught modules to the value of 60 credits involving lectures, practicals, seminars and fieldwork. Part II is a substantial research project, BL6017 Dissertation in Marine Biology, to the value of 30 credits for those passing Part I. Each of the prescribed taught modules will be examined by a written paper and/or continuous assessment. Each student progressing to Part II of the course must submit the research project in an area of marine biology by a date as prescribed by the School of BEES.
This full-time 12-month course is split into Part I taught modules running from September to April and Part II, a four-month research project for students passing Part I. The course includes ship time experience aboard the Irish State research vessel, Celtic Voyager and field work 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.
The core teaching team on this course are from the School of BEES and include 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 are supported by occasional visiting and guest lecturers.
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, Marine Radio and First Aid 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.
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.