The MSc in Ecosystem-based Management of Marine Systems provides students a superior understanding of integrated marine environment systems, exploring the interconnections between the physical environment, biodiversity and the impacts of human activity and resource use.
Postgraduate; leading to a Master of Science (MSc)
One year full time
A good 2.1 undergraduate Honours degree in a relevant natural science. Applications are welcome from students with backgrounds in biology or marine science, and also from students of physics and engineering. Some undergraduate modules or training in mathematics and statistics is highly desirable.
If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
If you require a visa to study, see visas information.
English language proficiency. See English language tests and qualifications.
The qualifications listed are indicative minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.
UK and EU: £7,500
July 2017. Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.
For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.Apply for this course
Students on the course spend the first semester of the taught component at the Scottish Oceans Institute (SOI) at the University of St Andrews and the second semester at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) on the Scottish west coast.
The modular curriculum is designed to be coherent, providing an excellent integrated training for future careers in marine management or scientific research.Teaching takes the form of lectures, tutorials, discussions, debates and workshops. Practicals involve laboratory work, field excursions, modelling and computer-based data analysis. Class sizes range from 5 to 30 students, depending on the activity. There is a strong focus on small-group teaching so that students are individually supported and can ask for help when it is needed.
In Semester 2 there are optional field courses: a polar field course in Antarctica or a tropical scientific diving course in Indonesia.
From May to August, students focus solely on their research project, which can be undertaken at either SOI or SAMS, leading to the submission of a 15,000-word dissertation.
The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2016–2017 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2017 entry.
At SOI, students follow a coherent course of modules that provide sound training in essential skills for ecosystem-based management.
At SAMS, students combine a compulsory module in Research Methods with a choice from optional modules.
Students choose two optional modules from the following. These modules require a minimum number of participants to be offered. Further particulars regarding curriculum development.
The modules listed ran in the academic year 2016–2017 and are indicative of this course. There is no guarantee that these modules will run for 2017 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.
During the final four months of the course, students complete a research project culminating in the presentation of a written 15,000-word dissertation. This provides important training in lab, field and analytical methods, and also in scientific writing skills. Students can choose from a range of projects suggested by supervisors and also take an active role in designing their own project plan. Training in proposal writing is provided in Semester 2 during the lead-up to the project itself.
If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MSc, there is an exit award available that allows suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGDip instead of an MSc.
If you are interested in studying at St Andrews, join us at an open day to explore the town, find out about our courses and meet current students.
Next visiting day
Wednesday 8 March 2017
All students should think about securing accommodation in St Andrews as early as possible, to ensure the best choice from the options available. Please contact Student Accommodation Services to let them know that you are enrolling for the EMMS MSc, and will be resident in St Andrews initially for just one semester. They can help and advise about this.
Usually, students organise accommodation for Semester 2 after arriving in St Andrews in September. In October, there will be an organised visit to SAMS where there will be some information and advice given to help you find accommodation in Oban for Semester 2.
Depending on your project, you may need accommodation in Oban or in St Andrews for summer 2018, and this can be organised during Semester 2.
About one third of our students progress to further study at PhD level in the UK and elsewhere. PhD students at the School of Biology at St Andrews have the opportunity to undertake a research degree in their chosen subject area where research interests span the breadth of biological science.
PhD studentships are offered by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).
The aim is that our graduates will be part of the next generation of managers and marine scientists delivering integrated ecosystem management around the world. 77% of the 2015 EMMS graduates now have a job or PhD studentship that is directly related to their studies in marine ecosystem management.
Graduates of the course have gone on to take up careers in government agencies, environmental consultancies and the commercial marine sector both within the UK and abroad.
School of Biology
Biomolecular Sciences Building
Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 3441
Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our Admissions policy.
As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online. (PDF, 72 KB).
The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online. (PDF, 84 KB).