Applied Aquatic Biology MSc
MSc Applied Aquatic Biology
See how you'll be taught in 2021/22 in our Covid information for applicants.
Our aquatic ecosystems are under threat. If you want to face the issues of pollution, overfishing and climate change from the frontline – and take your studies and experience to postgraduate level too –then this MSc Applied Aquatic Biology course will meet your ambitions.
The University of Portsmouth is the perfect place to dive into aquatic biology, thanks to the temperate marine habitats and internationally-protected conservation areas on our doorstep. We're also home to some of the best facilities in the country.
Your skills and knowledge can lead to exciting careers in conservation, consultancy and research, but you’ll also be prepared to take on roles in teaching, or pursue further study.
MSc Applied Aquatic Biology Master's degree entry requirements
Qualifications or experience
- A 2:1 honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject. Professional experience and other qualifications may be taken into consideration for applicants not meeting this requirement.
English language requirements
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.
If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
What you'll experience
On this course, you'll:
- Research at the Institute of Marine Sciences, or carry out microbiological work at the University’s Field Centre for Environmental Technology at Petersfield Sewage Works
- Rear coldwater species for restocking programmes, or trial fish food at the Sparsholt College National Aquatics Training Centre
- Cover ecosystem function and management, and learn advanced laboratory and field skills
- Learn from leading international researchers and outside agencies, including environmental consultancies, government bodies and the industry
- Go on field trips, taking part in freshwater stream surveys, learning sampling techniques, and the opportunity to take part in a week-long practical in the Mediterranean Sea
- Get the chance to study abroad through Erasmus+, or other conservation and research schemes
Careers and opportunities
Teaching by leading international researchers, and close links with environmental consultancies, government bodies and the industry, ensures your training links directly to UK and international employment opportunities.
What can you do with a Applied Aquatic Biology degree?
Previous graduates have gone on to pursue:
- consultancy work
- government-based research
- further study
Work experience and career planning
To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course.
We can help you identify placements, internships, voluntary roles and opportunities to build your CV.
What you'll study on this MSc Applied Aquatic Biology degree course
Each unit on this course is worth a certain number of credits.
You'll need to study units worth a total of 180 credits. For example, 1 unit worth 60 credits and 4 units worth 120 credits.
Core modules in this year include:
- Aquatic Biology Research project – 60 credits
- Research Toolkit – 30 credits
Optional units in this year currently include:
- Aquaculture – 30 credits
- Ecotoxicology and Pollution – 30 credits
- Marine Policy, Planning and Conservation – 30 credits
- Science and the Media – 30 credits
Changes to course content
We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.
As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).
ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:
academicwriting notetaking timemanagement criticalthinking presentationskills referencing workingin groups revision, memory and exam techniques
Support with English
If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.
Teaching methods on this course include:
- field trips
- one-on-one tutorials
How you'll spend your time
The MSc in Applied Aquatic Biology is a 12 month course.
The first three months (October – December) are dominated by taught modules and organising your Research Project. The balance between the project and taught materials from January–May depends on which optional taught modules you select.
From May, you'll work full time on your research project until submission in mid-August. There's then a one-month period to prepare for the final research presentation in late September which completes the course.
Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. There’s no teaching on Wednesday afternoons. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.
How you're assessed
You’ll be assessed through:
- final year project
You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.
You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.
Course costs and funding
Tuition fees (2021 start)
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
- Full time: £9,200
- Part time: £4,500 (subject to annual increase)
(including Transition Scholarship)
- Full-time: £9,200
- Part-time: £4,600 (subject to annual increase)
- Full time: £17,600
- Part time: £8,800 (subject to annual increase)
Funding your studies
Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.
Additional course costs
These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.
Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.
You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.
You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.
You'll need to cover the costs of any optional fieldwork that you undertake, which are generally in the region of £800 - £1000.
If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply directly to us (above) or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region. To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.
If you don’t meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
Admissions terms and conditions
When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.