Biology - Marine Biology MSc

Fact File

Course Code: CKR38 Full-time

Course Title: Biology - Marine Biology

College: Science, Engineering and Food Science

Biology - Marine Biology

Duration: 1 year Full-time

Teaching Mode: Full-time

Qualifications: MSc

NFQ Level: Level 9

Costs: 2017/2018 Irish/EU €6,000; 2017/2018 Non-EU fee: €22,000. There will be an additional bench fee of €2,000 to cover the costs associated with undertaking the professionally certified courses (Sea Survival, Boat Handling and Marine Radio Use) as well as an introductory fieldwork first aid course and all field work (including a residential course in Scotland) undertaken as part of the taught component of the course.

2017 Entry Requirements: A candidate for the MSc in Marine Biology must have obtained at least a Second Class Honours, Grade II degree in any Biological Science or relevant equivalent area. See detailed entry requirements

Closing Date: See details in application procedure below

Next Intake: September 2018


The MSc Marine Biology aims to train graduates in multiple areas of marine biology and equip them with professional certificates in Sea Survival, Powerboat Handling, Marine Radio and First Aid as well as necessary field skills.

The areas of marine biology covered in this master’s course include fisheries and aquaculture, genetics, marine ecology and conservation, marine mammals and ecological aspects of Geographic Information System (GIS). In addition, the course has a significant field work component including ship work as well as survey and sampling techniques training. This course, run entirely by the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences at University College Cork, will provide an understanding of these various disciplines and skills needed in order to meet the growing demand for trained marine biologists at home and abroad.

Course Details

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Describe key marine flora and fauna, the marine environment and its biological and physical properties and processes
  • assess the sustainability of exploitation (fisheries and aquaculture) and assess the impact of other anthropogenic factors on the marine environment
  • define the roles of management and conservation across the marine environment
  • demonstrate a wide range of research skills (field and laboratory) including safety-related and professional qualifications
  • apply the knowledge and skills acquired in this course in the working environment enabling the development of policy.

Part I of the course consists of eight taught modules to the value of 60 credits involving lectures, practicals, seminars and fieldwork. Part II is a substantial research project (BL6017) to the value of 30 credits for those passing Part I. Each of the prescribed taught modules will be examined by a written paper and/or continuous assessment. Each student progressing to Part II of the course must submit the research project in an area of marine biology by a date as prescribed by the School of BEES.

Modules (90 credits):

Part I
BL6010 Characteristics of the Marine Environment (5 credits)
BL6012Marine Megafauna (10 credits)
BL6013Marine Fisheries and Aquaculture (10 credits)
BL6014Marine Fieldwork and Survey Techniques (10 credits)
BL6015Practical Marine Workplace Skills (5 credits)
BL6016Marine Ecology and Conservation (10 credits)
BL6019 Ecological Applications of Geographical Information Systems (5 credits)
BL6020 Genetics and the Marine Environment (5 credits)

Part II Four-Month Research Project
BL6017Marine Biology Research Project (30 credits)

Detailed Entry Requirements

A candidate for the MSc in Marine Biology must have obtained at least a Second Class Honours, Grade II degree in any Biological Science or relevant equivalent area. In addition, NFQ Level 8 graduates with relevant professional qualifications or relevant experience but not the relevant degree classification may also apply for entry and each case will be judged on a case-by-case basis as to their suitability for the programme, subject to the approval of the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science.

Applicants whose first language is not English, will be required to submit an English Language qualification completed within the past 2 years upon application e.g. An IELTS exam with an overall score of 7.0, Writing section 7.0 and the remaining 3 sections must have a minimum score of 6.5 or TOFEL equivalent.

If you are applying with Qualifications obtained outside Ireland and you wish to verify if you meet the minimum academic and English language requirements for this programme please click here to view the grades comparison table by country.

Application Procedure

Application for this programme is on-line at Places on this programme are offered in rounds. The closing dates for each round can be found here. For full details of the application procedure click How to apply.

All required documentation must be either uploaded to your online application, or sent in hard copy to The Postgraduate Applications Centre, 1, Courthouse Square, Galway, immediately after an application is made.


Course Practicalities

This full-time 12-month course is split into Part I taught modules running from September to April and Part II, a four-month research project for students passing Part I. The course includes ship time experience aboard the Irish State research vessel, Celtic Voyager and field work day trips to various locations in County Cork as well as a week-long residential field course in the West of Scotland in March. In addition, students undertake professional certificate courses in January at the National Maritime College of Ireland in Ringaskiddy, Cork


The taught modules in the course are assessed by a combination of written examinations and continuous assessment elements (including essays, practical reports, critiques, seminars, dossiers and analytical elements). The four-month research project is assessed by a dissertation, project seminar and an assessment of your practical ability throughout the duration of the project.

Who Teaches This Course

The core teaching team on this course are from the School of BEES and include researchers with expertise in marine mammal biology, fisheries and aquaculture, intertidal and subtidal ecology, seabird ecology, marine conservation, shellfish disease and immunology. The core team are supported by occasional visiting and guest lecturers.

Further Contact Information

Dr Rob McAllen

Programme Co-ordinator


T: +353 (0)21 490 4647

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