The University of Southampton
Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre SouthamptonPostgraduate study

MSc Marine Environment and Resources (2 years)

This joint European programme provides the opportunity to study in Southampton, Bilbao, Liege and Bordeaux.

Introducing your course

This is the course page for MSc Marine Environment and Resources at the University of Southampton. Find out everything about Marine Environment and Resources and what studying here involves.

In this course page we explain a range of key information about the course. This includes typical entry requirements, modules you can take and how assessment works. We also suggest career opportunities open to you as a University of Southampton graduate of MSc Marine Environment and Resources.

If you still have questions, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to answer any enquiries. See our contact us page for our telephone, email and address information.


The 18-24 month Master of Science in Marine Environment and Resources (MER) is a European degree programme developed from a collaboration between three leading European institutions in this field:

You will develop your ability to think through complex issues, to analyse the marine environment and its resources and to ensure development is sustainable. Examples of topics you could study across the MER programme include integrated coastal zone management, the assessment of marine ecosystem health, protection and recovery of marine and estuary environments and competitive and responsible fisheries management.

You can find out more about the programme and studying at each of these universities on the MER Consortium website.

Our partner universities offer structured tuition in local languages during your stay and these are free of charge.

View the programme specification document for this course

To Apply

Please apply using the form on the MER Consortium website. Applications are considered throughout the year and most candidates are invited for interview to discuss the programme in more detail.

The deadline for returning the application form and the required documentation is 15th May to ensure accommodation booking. Late applications can be accepted until 15th June but accommodation is not guaranteed.

Please do not use the University of Southampton online application form.


Details of fees for EU and non-EU students are given on the MER Consortium website.


For all enquiries, email or or telephone +44 (0)23 8059 4785.

Programme leader in Southampton:  Professor Duncan Purdie

MER Co-ordinator: Professor Manu Soto

Central joint European website:

Programme Structure

Semester one will be spent at either the University of Southampton or the University of Bordeaux-1. Semester two is at the University del Pais Vasco. For students who spent Semester 1 at the University of Bordeaux-1, Semester 3 will be at either the University of Southampton or University of Liege. For students who spent Semester 1 at the University of Southampton, Semester 3 will be at University of Liege. The instruction language is English.

Key Facts

  • An 18/22-month full-time taught programme
  • A well-established, accredited partnership between universities in Bordeaux, Bilbao, Liege and Southampton
  • Dedicated support for incoming students by partner universities
Credit: Kate Davis
Survey vessel

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

Entry requirements

You will need a good (2:1 or an equivalent standard in other qualifications) Honours degree in chemical, biological, physical, Earth and environmental sciences, engineering, oceanography or mathematics. A solid background in mathematics at undergraduate level and familiarity with computers will also be required. If you do not have these qualifications, but have relevant professional experience in coastal sciences, we will consider you.

English Language

If your first language is not English, we need to ensure that your listening, written and spoken English skill would enable you to enjoy the full benefit of your studies. For entry onto our courses, you will need an acceptable English Language qualification such as IELTS 7.0 overall, with minimum of 6.5 in writing, 6.5 in reading, listening and speaking, or equivalent in other approved English language tests.



The minimum requirements set out by the joint programme for non-native speakers are an IELTS score of 6.5 (achieving a minimum of 5.5 in each component) or an approved equivalent.

Selection process

Intake: 28 (2010-11)

Average applications per place: 3

Selection is by application and interview.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.


Typical course content

All students must complete five introductory modules and one optional module.

For Bordeaux and EHU modules, please refer to their respective websites. Note that these universities use the European ECTS credit weighting scheme. MER students who are proficient in the local language of the ‘host’ university (French, Spanish and/or Basque) may elect optional courses at the MSc degree level which can be in the local language.

Year 1

Semester Two

You will be studying at EHU, Bilbao.

Year 2

Semester One

You choose four further modules, which can include those listed here.

Hydrology and water resources

Maritime and coastal engineering

Freshwater ecosystems

Biological and chemical aspects of environmental pollution

SOES6008Credit: 15
Semester Two

You will undertake your thesis project during the second year of the programme. You could be based for this in either Southampton or at one of the partner universities.

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Fees for postgraduate taught courses vary across the University. All fees are listed for UK, EU and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course name.

View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Study locations

Waterfront Campus

NOCS (National Oceanography Centre Southampton)

Ocean and Earth Science is based at the world-renowed National Oceanog...Find out more

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