Justine Jury MSc Marine Science, Policy and Law, 2010
Environment and Fisheries Officer, Southern Sea Fisheries Committee.
I graduated in 2001 with a BSc degree in Marine Biology. I then worked for four years as a Fisheries Observer in various international fisheries, and then for a while in northern Spain as an English teacher, before returning to the UK to complete an MSc degree in Marine Science, Policy and Law at the University of Southampton. I chose to continue my education at a postgraduate level as I had been applying unsuccessfully for jobs in my chosen field of fisheries management, and I felt that a lack of a postgraduate qualification was a significant weakness in my CV.
Being part of the National Oceanography Centre Southampton means students are essentially immersed in an environment of current and leading oceanographic research.
I was attracted in particular to the MSc at Southampton as it had been highly recommended to me by a friend who had completed the same course two years earlier, and who had found that it substantially improved her employment prospects. I was particularly attracted by the unique opportunity provided by the marine science, policy and law course to complete the dissertation project as part of a placement in industry. I spent 10 weeks over the summer based at the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) laboratories in Lowestoft undertaking my project work. This proved to be a great experience, and a way to make significant contacts and a valuable addition to my CV.
I found that the MSc course was significantly more challenging than my undergraduate degree had been; with more or less a continuous succession of deadlines throughout the entire 12 months. I found that in addition to attending lectures or being engaged in personal study during the day, the majority of weekends and evenings were also occupied with coursework, and a very high standard of work was consistently required. However, I had a great appreciation for the high standards of teaching and the great expertise of the lecturers. I feel that the strengths of Ocean and Earth Science are that being part of the National Oceanography Centre Southampton means students are essentially immersed in an environment of current and leading oceanographic research. This is obviously reflected in the standards of teaching offered by the lecturers. My advice to potential students of the MSc course would be to be prepared for a tough, but rewarding year.
I succeeded in getting a job immediately after completing the course, and I am now working as an Environment and Fisheries Officer for the Southern Sea Fisheries Committee, based on the Isle of Wight. This job involves sea going and shore patrols and enforcement of fisheries byelaws, as well as scientific research into the health and status of fish stocks and the socio-economic value of the inshore fisheries (up to six nautical miles from the coast). I am confident that I would not have been able to get this job without the experience gained, skills developed, and addition to my CV through the completion of the MSc.