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MSc Marine Environmental Management

Exploring the principles of marine ecology and management, the dynamics of marine ecosystems and how human activity affects the marine environment.

2018/19 entry


1 year full-time

Start date

September 2018 (term dates)

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The relationships between coastal and marine ecosystems and human activity make for fascinating study.

With a worldwide consensus that the marine environment needs better management there is a growing demand for people who have been trained in marine resource management. This MSc will equip you to work for a wide range of marine environmental organisations or to progress to a PhD.

To ensure a fair assessment of all applicants, this course holds staged recruitment roundsFind out when to apply.

Course content

Our MSc in Marine Environmental Management provides exceptional teaching across a range of marine management modules. You'll be introduced to different marine ecosystems, key species and the impact of humans, now and in the past.

You'll get a chance to examine contemporary marine issues, including:

  • problems associated with fishing including: over-fishing, bycatch, habitat destruction and illegal fishing
  • aquaculture
  • how a multitude of human activities affect marine ecosystems
  • marine protected areas.

You'll undertake two research dissertations: one based in York, the other with an external organization.

Read testimonials from our students

Study abroad

As part of your course you'll undertake an external research placement that can be anywhere in the world. This also provides a great opportunity to increase your work experience. Previous students have studied:

See the full list as well as reports on the placements.


For the Masters you will need to take a 80 credits of taught modules as well as 50 credits for your dissertation and 50 credits for your summer placement.

There are two core modules, giving 30 of your 80 required taught credits:

You'll also choose 50 credits from a range of optional modules:

*Highly recommended if you haven’t done a marine biology degree.

**This module requires at least 12 students to run and incurs additional cost.

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.


Your 5,000 word dissertation is chance to explore in depth a research project in an area that interests you. You can design your own dissertation in consultation with potential supervisors or you can chose from a list compiled by the department.

Before you submit your dissertation you'll give a presentation that summarises your work and allows you to get some feedback on your progress.

The external placement was a highly enjoyable and unique aspect to this course and definitely a personal highlight of the degree.
Alice, 2014/2015

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2018/19

Study modeUK/EUInternational
Full-time (1 year)£7,580£16,780

Additional costs

You will be responsibile for the living and travel costs associated with your placement. However you will not be responsible for the research costs for this.

You may also join the optional Maldives field trip, this trip costs an estimated £1,600, including flights. However the price of staying at the field station is subject to change and calculated from a fee in Euros.

Fees information

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK/EU or international student.

Funding information

Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.

If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.

Home/EU students

International students

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers accommodation costs and estimated social costs.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

This Masters combines formal lectures, practicals, computer labs, seminars and field trips.

  • Guest lecturers feature whenever possible in several modules
  • You'll use the University's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) to supplement lectures and practicals.
  • Some modules offer optional drop-in help sessions.

There is also an opportunity to take part in a field tip to the Maldives during the Easter holiday. On the trip you'll undertake a great deal of field work, where you'll have the chance to scuba dive (if you can pass the University's dive requirements) and you'll have daily sessions of snorkelling. You'll practise a variety of survey techniques and obtain reef identification skills.

You will generate your own placement with a external organisation, but you will be guided through this process. Your placement can local, national or international depening on your interests. See examples of previous placement projects


Our state-of-the-art building contains purpose-built labs, lecture theatres and seminar rooms.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Environment Department on Campus West.

Most of your contact hours will be in the Environment Department with some additional teaching on Campus West.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

Types of assessment in this course include:

  • Essays of around 3,000 words
  • Exams
  • Presentations and reports
  • Lab reports
  • Press release and articles for a general audience
  • Two 5,000 word dissertations.

As you study modules formative assessment will give you useful feedback on your progress and understanding.

Careers and skills

This course is for people who want to work in marine conservation or marine resource management. Potential employers will value the experience you'll get on your placement. The MSc is also an ideal basis for progression to a PhD.

Career opportunities

You'll gain skills that will allow you to work in a variety of organisations:

  • Non-governmental conservation organisations
  • Government environmental, conservation or fishery agencies
  • Environmental consultancies

Transferable skills

  • Independent working
  • Producing scientific reports
  • Perform statistical analysis
  • Time management and people skills
  • Analytical and technical research skills
  • Communicating research
  • Ability to produce a geographic information system
I truly recommend the MSc in Marine Environmental Management to anyone with a passion for the oceans, and if you are willing to work hard, you are going to have an absolutely brilliant year!
Beth, 2014/15

Entry requirements

Qualification Grade

You should have at least a 2:1 honours degree or equivalent. Ideally you will have studied a science degree but if not and you have a passion for marine conservation then we will consider you.

General guidance on international entry requirements: email for details for this course.

English language

If your native language is not English you must provide evidence of your English language ability:

  • IELTS: 6.5, with a minimum of 6.5 in Writing and no less than 6.0 in all other components
  • PTE: 61, with a minimum of 61 in Writing and no less than 55 in all other components
  • CAE and CPE (from January 2015): 176, with a minimum of 176 in Writing and no less than 169 in all other components
  • TOEFL: 87 with a minimum of 23 in Writing and no less than 21 in all other components
  • Trinity ISE: level 3 with Merit in all components

We accept other English Language Tests.

Students who have successfully completed a recent undergraduate degree at a UK University are exempt from the English Language requirement.

You may also want to attend the University's Pre-sessional courses.


You can apply and send all your documentation electronically through our online system. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.

To ensure a fair assessment of all applicants, this course holds staged recruitment rounds.

Apply for this course

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