School of Biological and Chemical Sciences

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Freshwater and Marine Ecology

Postgraduate Certificate ( 4 months Full-time )


Threats to the goods and services within an ecosystem, such as clean drinking water and sustainable fisheries, are frequently appearing in the media and on the agendas of governments. Maintaining these goods and services requires us to have a fundamental understanding of the biodiversity and ecosystem processes responsible. Without this knowledge there can be no effective management of aquatic resources and multiple stressors to an ecosystem.

Students taking a Postgraduate Certificate will opt to take four taught modules (15 credits each) over one term. 

Research and teaching

Students will have access to ‘state of the art’ analytical research facilities within our Centre for the Aquatic and Terrestrial Environment, developed from an initial investment by SRIF of £3 million. You will also have access to the Freshwater Biological Association’s River Laboratory on the River Frome in Dorset, via our River Communities Group, and to mesocosm and temperature controlled facilities at QMUL.

By choosing to study at a Russell Group university you will have access to excellent teaching and top class research. You can find out more about our research interests and view recent publications on the School of Biological and Chemical Science's Aquatic Ecology Research group page.

Facilities and events:

Centre for the Aquatic and Terrestrial Environment (CATE)

Recent investment of over £1.8 million in analytical equipment and specialist laboratory facilities has established The Centre for the Aquatic and Terrestrial Environment (CATE) at Queen Mary, University of London. This is an exciting new interdisciplinary collaboration between the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences and the School of Geography.

CATE builds on existing research strengths in areas of environmental research such as biogeochemistry, freshwater and marine ecology, terrestrial ecology and conservation. These facilities are used either in the formal teaching of this programme or are available for individual research projects.

Dorset Field Facilities

The Aquatic Ecology Group has a complementary unit (the River Communities Group) who do more applied research, based at the River Laboratory of the Freshwater Biological Association in Dorset. For example, we have a suite of ponds, 50% of which are heated above ambient, in which we have long-term climate change experimentation running. Students have the opportunity to conduct both field and lab work for projects at this site.

Aquatic Science lectures in London

  • Queen Mary Aquatic & Whole Organism Biology Group seminar series
  • Queen Mary Geography seminar series
  • UCL Centre for Ecology and Evolution
  • London Freshwater Group
  • Institute of Fisheries Management
  • The Linnean Society

A programme of relevant lectures is communicated to students by e-mail.


Students studying on the PG Certificate will take four taught modules (15 credits each).

Modules which we will typically offer are:
  • Ecosystem Structure and Function
  • Statistics & Bioinformatics
  • Quantitative Techniques for Surveying and Monitoring in Ecology
  • Science into Policy & Management – includes a week in Dorset

For more information on the modules available please contact the Programme Director Dr Christophe Eizaguirre:


Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class BSc (Hons) degree (or equivalent international qualification) relevant subject such as environmental science, biology, chemistry or geography.

Applicants with relevant professional experience in science will also be considered.

English language requirements

All international students are required to provide evidence of their ability in English language.

The minimum level required for entry to our postgraduate programmes is:

  • IELTS (International English Language Testing Service) - 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.0 in writing)
  • WELT (Warwick English Language Test) – BBC/BCC
  • TEEP (Test of English for Educational Purposes) – 6.5
  • Cambridge ESOL Certificate in Advanced English – B
  • Cambridge ESOL Certificate of Proficiency in English – C

For further information about our English language requirements please visit the central QMUL international pages.

Am I eligible?

To check your eligibility contact our Postgraduate Admissions team:

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 3328

Learning and teaching

As a student at Queen Mary, you will play an active part in your acquisition of skills and knowledge. Teaching is by a mixture of formal lectures and small group seminars. The seminars are designed to generate informed discussion around set topics, and may involve student presentations, group exercise and role-play as well as open discussion. We take pride in the close and friendly working relationship we have with our students. You are assigned an Academic Adviser who will guide you in both academic and pastoral matters throughout your time at Queen Mary.

Independent Study

For every hour spent in classes you will be expected to complete further hours of independent study. Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; producing written work; completing projects; and revising for examinations.

The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study sessions you attend, along with your reading lists and assignments. However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding and critical ability.

Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning needs and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area. This is an important transferable skill and will help to prepare you for the transition to working life.


Students are assessed by a combination of coursework and exams. A few modules are assessed by coursework only. If a module is assessed by means of coursework alone, this is usually in the form of a research project or dissertation, and the tutor project supervisor offers guidance and support in the researching and writing of this piece of assessment.


Tuition fees for Home and EU students

2017 entry
Full time £2,950

Tuition fees for International students

2017 entry
Full time £5,850


There are a number of sources of funding available for Masters students.

These include a significant package of competitive Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas, as well as external sources of funding.

Queen Mary bursaries and scholarships

We offer a range of bursaries and scholarships for Masters students including competitive scholarships, bursaries and awards, some of which are for applicants studying specific subjects.

Find out more about QMUL bursaries and scholarships.

Alternative sources of funding

Home/EU students can apply for a range of other funding, such as Professional and Career Development Loans, and Employer Sponsorship, depending on their circumstances and the specific programme of study.

Overseas students may be eligible to apply for a range of external scholarships and we also provide information about relevant funding providers in your home country on our country web pages.

Download our Postgraduate Funding Guide [PDF] for detailed information about postgraduate funding options for Home/EU students.

Read more about alternative sources of funding for Home/EU students and for Overseas students.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 5079

Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary

We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.

Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 8717



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