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MSc Aquatic Ecology by Research

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:

Learn the skills and techniques of aquatic ecology research in a practical lab and fieldwork setting.

The Aquatic Ecology by Research program provides comprehensive practical training by application in the laboratory or field, rather than by formal tuition in the lecture theatre. The format is designed to equip you with the skills and experience to undertake further academic or applied research.

In addition to three taught modules, you will conduct a 9 month extended project aligned to one of the following active research areas:

  • Impacts of invasive species, particularly crayfish or amphipods, on UK waters
  • Climate change and sentinel species / ecosystems
  • Methane and its role in food webs
  • Biogeochemical cycling and up / downwelling in lotic ecosystems
  • Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning
  • Physiology of aquatic organisms in a changing climate
  • Conservation genetics for species management

Where will it take you?

On completion of the programme, you will have:

  • An advanced, interdisciplinary understanding in aquatic sciences and biostatistics, and an appreciation of the current research issues.
  • Training in cutting edge research techniques, contemporary approaches, and practical skills.
  • An enhanced experience of a true research environment.
  • A range of transferable and generic skills including research planning and experimental design, data analysis and statistics, reporting and research paper preparation.

These assets provide a strong foundation for further PhD research, or for prospective employment with environmental protection and conservation agencies, the water industry and environmental consultancies.

Why study with us?

Queen Mary is home to a field leading research group in aquatic ecology, within which you will receive expert supervision and have access to cutting edge facilities.

  • Established programme to strengthen practical research training by application in the laboratory and / or field.
  • Small taught component led by expert staff with world class research profiles from both the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences and the Geography Department.
  • Access to the ‘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.
  • Excellent research supervision with many dissertations undertaken either alongside established PhD students or with potential employer organisations – the best theses are generally written - up and published. - View a list of published Aquatic MSc Thesis
  • Part-Fees Bursaries are available to support promising young scientists

Aquatic Ecology by Research Handbook

Aquatic Ecology by Research Newsletter - July 2014

Aquatic Ecology by Research Newsletter - May 2014

Aquatic Ecology by Research Newsletter - Jan 2014

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Programme Structure

Students are required to take three taught modules (45 credits) which overlap with other MSc programmes such as Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, and Freshwater & Marine Ecology, and then acquire the remainder of the necessary credits (135 credits) by completing an extended project aligned to cutting edge research groups within the Aquatic Ecology Group.

Required Modules – Ecosystems: structure and function / Aquatic systems: hydrological, hydrochemical and geomorphological processes / Statistics for the biosciences

Individual research project – comprising a literature review, a written thesis in the style of a paper, a seminar presentation, and an oral examination

Students taking the MSc over two-years via the part-time option should aim to register for 50% of the taught modules per annum. 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 which equates to the same time requirements as the full time option.

Entry Requirements

A minimum of an upper 2nd class BSc (Hons) degree, (or equivalent international qualification), in Biology or other relevant natural sciences subject. Applicants with relevant professional experience in science or environmental management will also be considered. All potential applicants will be interviewed.

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


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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