Marine Systems and Policies at The University of Edinburgh - UCAS

Course options

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Course summary

Rapid climate change and the global expansion of human activities threaten the world's oceans. How do we realistically balance development with ocean conservation in a rapidly changing climate? And how do we do this in ways that are also equitable and fair to society? Our MSc programme places you right at the forefront of the fast-paced interface between marine science and policy that deals with these sustainability challenges. We designed a broad programme around policies dealing with:

  • marine nature conservation
  • environmental protection
  • marine planning
You can learn how to apply marine science and knowledge to critically evaluate and enrich these policies and influence how new policies can be created. You will get to learn from real-world practitioners and people with lived experiences through global case studies as well as domestic and overseas field trips. These experiences will be under the guidance of a research-active team of highly supportive and motivated university scientists with decades of experience at the science-policy interface from grassroots to international levels. The capstone of your programme is an independent marine research dissertation project. It will be designed by you and a supervisor or host on a topic of your choice. You can either conduct an internship or a placement for your dissertation, in either a desk-based, lab-based, or field-based setting. By the end of your programme, you will be highly equipped with a portfolio of skills, including:
  • policy analysis
  • applied marine scientific and social science skills
  • science communication
Is this MSc for me? Rising up to the challenge of sustainable ocean development requires interdisciplinary solutions. Interested in doing an MSc that truly respects and integrates interdisciplinarity into your degree program? Ours is for you. From the outset, you will learn how marine ecosystems are structured and how they function from research-active marine ecologists and oceanographers. You will also learn from local people, social scientists, governments, industry, and experts in marine law how these ecosystems are used, valued, and managed. Our MSc is also suited for you if you are eager to meet other like-minded people from all over the world with different backgrounds, training, and perspectives. Our students especially value that their peers come from a variety of academic and work backgrounds, for example, marine biology, physical oceanography, international development, social and political science, geography, law, and science communication. St. Abbs Marine Station You will also benefit from the University's new collaborative partnership with St. Abbs Marine Station. Situated in an active fishing and recreational scuba diving harbour, St. Abbs offers a complete socio-ecological microcosm from land to shore to the coastal zone. The area is also home to internationally important seabird colonies and protected offshore rocky reef habitats. In addition to local trips run through our programme, our partnership with St. Abbs provides you with opportunities to undertake your dissertation research project. Edinburgh Climate Change Institute This degree is associated with the Edinburgh Climate Change Institute (ECCI). The ECCI brings together consultancy, law, business, social science, technology, and policy experts to help develop a low-carbon society. Through ECCI, you will have the opportunity to work and network alongside professionals and potential employers within this high-demand field.


See our website for detailed programme information.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for individual programmes vary, so please check the details for the specific programme you wish to apply for on our website. You will also need to meet the University’s language requirements.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

No fee information has been provided for this course

Tuition fee status depends on a number of criteria and varies according to where in the UK you will study. For further guidance on the criteria for home or overseas tuition fees, please refer to the UKCISA website .

Additional fee information

Tuition fees vary between degree programmes. Find the specific fees for your chosen programme on our website.
Marine Systems and Policies at The University of Edinburgh - UCAS