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MSc Freshwater and Marine Ecology

Apply Online

Apply online via the Queen Mary online applications portal:

  • Contact:
  • Postgraduate Admissions Officer
  • School of Biological and Chemical Sciences
  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 3012
  • Email:

Gain an in-depth understanding of aquatic ecosystems and learn techniques for their study and management in a practical setting.

Threats to the ecosystem goods and services that aquatic resources provide (eg clean drinking water, sustainable fisheries) frequently appear in the media and on the agendas of governments.

To maintain these goods and services requires a fundamental understanding of the biodiversity and ecosystem processes responsible, for without knowledge there can be no application or effective management.

With aquatic ecosystems under threat from multiple stressors, we have designed a programme to equip you with the necessary interdisciplinary practical skills and theoretical understanding for direct employment or further research.

Bursaries are available for promising Scientists on this programme:

Why study with us?

  • The programme is designed to balance the latest in ecological theory with practical application in both freshwater and marine systems
  • Three residential field-courses (Western Isles of Scotland, Dorset, Cumbria) for practical ‘hands-on’ training
  • The course is taught by expert staff with world class research profiles from the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, the School of Geography, and from external organisations.
  • Excellent research supervision undertaken either alongside established PhD students or with potential employer organisations – the best theses are published.
    View a list of published Aquatic MSc Thesis
  • Access to ‘state of the art’ analytical facilities within The Centre for the Aquatic and Terrestrial Environment, developed from an initial investment by SRIF of £3 million.
  • 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.

MSc Freshwater and Marine Ecology Handbook

Freshwater and Marine Ecology Newsletter - July 2014

Freshwater and Marine Ecology Newsletter - May 2014

Freshwater and Marine Ecology Newsletter - Jan 2014

Course Structure

You will take six taught modules (15 credits each), some of which are shared with other MSc programmes such as Aquatic Ecology by Research, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Integrated Management of Freshwater Environments.

Core modules

  • Ecosystem Structure and Function
  • Aquatic Systems: Hydrological, Hydrochemical and Geomorphological Processes
  • Statistics & Bioinformatics
  • Science into Policy & Management – includes week in Dorset
  • Sampling & Surveying Techniques for Ecology – includes week in Cumbria

Optional modules

  • Marine Mammals & Turtles – fieldcourse to western isles of Scotland
  • Mathematical Modelling for Ecologists – fieldcourse to Crete
  • Tropical Ecology & Conservation – fieldcourse to Borneo

The remainder of the necessary credits (90 credits) comprises a 24-week Individual Research Project aligned to cutting edge research groups within the Centre for the Aquatic and Terrestrial Environment, or with external agencies and charities like the Environment Agency, Wild Trout Trust, Froglife, or the Broads Authority.

Students taking the MSc over two-years via the part-time option should aim to register for 50% of the taught modules in the first year. The exact combination of modules should be discussed with the programme Director. Projects can be undertaken over the two year period also, provided a schedule of work can be agreed upon.


The taught element of the programme comprises 50 per cent of your final mark determined by continuous assessment. Your extended project makes up the remaining 50 per cent of your mark and the assessment comprises a written thesis in the style of a paper (40%) and a seminar presentation (10%).

Entry Requirements

Undergraduate degree (minimum second class honours) in a relevant subject such as environmental science, biology, chemistry or geography. Individuals with relevant professional qualifications or other experience and qualifications will also be considered.

International students please see the international students page.

Fees and Funding

Fees for the academic session 2014/15

Mode of StudyHome and EU Students - 1st YearOverseas Students - 1st YearHome and EU Students - 2nd YearOverseas Students - 2nd YearLength of StudyInvoice
Full Time£7,950£15,950  1 YearFull invoice at start of course
Part Time£3,975£7,975£3,070£7,9252 YearsPer Year
Postgraduate Certificate (PGcert)£2,650£5,320  1 YearsFull invoice at start of course

This programme has access to a limited number of part-fee bursaries. All applicants are automatically considered for awards and there is no separate application form.

The College offers Queen Mary Alumni Scholarships (for home and overseas students) and information on other funding sources for Masters programmes is available on the same page. 


Please address admissions enquiries to:
Postgraduate Admissions Officer
School of Biological and Chemical Sciences
Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 3012

For informal enquiries, please contact:
Dr Jonathan Grey
Tel: +44(0)20 7882 5688

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