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International Study Programs

MSc Applied Coastal & Marine Management

MSc Applied Coastal & Marine Management

University College Cork, Ireland

About This Program

This is a two-part programme, intended to develop a comprehensive understanding of coastal and marine environments subject to multiple human uses and impacts.

Focusing on the science (including the social sciences) of Coastal and Marine management and policy-making today, this MSc in Applied Coastal and Marine Management is designed to develop in its students professional competency to make sound, scientifically-informed, strategic and operational decisions regarding the sustainable governance, use and protection of coastal and marine environments.

Unique Aspects of the Course

  • It is the only degree in Ireland that offers training and instruction in the applied aspects of coastal and marine management;
  • You will be spending time at sea, onboard the Irish research vessel Celtic Voyager (or equivalent), at no additional cost, so that you may experience marine surveying and other techniques in a working research environment.
  • This masters programme offers an attractive balance of theoretical, administrative and scientific aspects of coastal and marine management, including technical/applied skills such as Hydrographic surveying and GIS, alongside areas such as policy making and the management of marine spaces

Some topics to be covered will include:

  • Different models of governance and the basics of coastal and marine law and the approaches available in coastal management and physical protection techniques;
  • Biological components of coastal margins and the ecosystems these are part of, at varying spatial and temporal scales;
  • Use of geographical information systems (GIS), remote sensing and remote sensing and Earth observation, and hydrographic survey and mapping from ship-borne platforms.

Throughout your studies, but especially when undertaking your independent research project, you will be able and encouraged to avail of the specialist equipment for physical geography, as well as GPS and surveying equipment and computer laboratories. 


Course Delivery

The programme presents a full-time day course of study (Monday to Friday), with delivery through an integrated combination of methods including lectures, seminars and workshops; ‘dry’ and ‘wet’ laboratory work; computer-based exercises; private study; field work (onshore and also at sea); and an independent supervised research project. 

Each of the prescribed taught modules will be examined by a written paper and/or continuous assessment. Each candidate progressing to Part II of the programme must submit the research project (GG6514) in an area of Applied Coastal and Marine Management by 4.00pm on the Friday of the third week in September in the academic year of registration for the programme. Independent research projects can be carried out on the main university campus, through the Programme and other linked University Staff.

As part of the development of your thesis, you will be offered placements in the state-of-the-art Beaufort laboratory with direct access to academic and research staff. This should assist you in producing robust research as well as an appreciation of working in an active research environment. 

Other commercial and practitioner placements with relevant coastal and marine-focused industries, semi-state bodies and government will be considered, as appropriate to project proposals submitted by students.

Assessment will be through a combination of coursework (including laboratory, computer and field-based work), written exams and submission of the independently-conducted research dissertation should you decide to proceed to Part II of the programme. The proportion of marks assigned to each of these components will vary between modules.

Assessment will be through a combination of coursework (including laboratory, computer and field-based work), written exams and submission of an independently-conducted research dissertation. The proportion of marks assigned to each of these components will vary between modules.


The programme aims to consolidate Cork’s position as a national, European and international hub of expertise in marine and coastal science and management.

The 30-credit Research Dissertation in Applied Coastal and Marine Management will afford you an opportunity to develop in-depth expertise in one or more specialist areas of coastal or marine management, in a scientific, strategic or an operational context, or in a combination of these.

Successful completion of the MSc in Applied Coastal and Marine Management should pave the way for a variety of professional careers in your home country or overseas, in the public, private and non-governmental sectors, including

  • Local and national government;
  • Civil engineering and coastal defense;
  • Renewable energy;
  • Petroleum and mineral exploration and development;
  • Environmental management;
  • Cultural heritage management;
  • Fisheries management and protection;
  • Aquaculture;
  • The Defense forces;
  • Marine transport;
  • Marine spatial planning;
  • Town and country planning;
  • Port and harbour administration.

Learning Outcomes

When you enroll in the Applied Coastal and Marine Management MSc programme of University College Cork, you will be equipped with the tools and knowledge necessary to evaluate and manage the complex, dynamic marine systems in ways that are both sustainable and economically productive.  As you will be provided training in applied practical skills, with an emphasis on geospatial techniques relevant to coastal and marine data, you will be able to capture, analyse data for integration and visualisation. The end goal here for generating and managing coastal and marine data is to support scientific enquiry, policy-making and management decision-taking.

Upon successful completion of this programme, you should:

  • Have a clear understanding of the theory, principles and concepts that underpin the management of coastal and marine spaces;
  • Have developed practical skills to equip them for making policy, and for taking management-level decisions, regarding the strategic and operational use of coastal and marine spaces;
  • Know how to work with coastal and marine data originating in a range of scientific disciplines (physics, biology, geology, oceanography, etc.); and
  • Possess a good scientific understanding of the physical, environmental and human processes that affect, and are impacted by, the world’s oceans.

The frame of reference will range from the global to the local, but with particular emphasis on the sustainable development and management of Ireland’s coastal and marine territories and resources.

CHECK OUT the other colleges and universities IVC represents

Course Outline

The first part of the MSc in Applied Coastal and Marine Management consists of 8 taught modules with a total of 60 credits.  Part II is a 30-credit independent research. These courses are a combination of theory, practice and technical skills relevant to the needs of environmentally sustainable coastal and marine governance.

You will be taking the following courses, totaling 90 credits:

PART I (60 Credits)

GG6513 Coastal and Marine Governance (10 Credits)
GG6516 Coastal and Marine Processes (10 Credits) 
BL6021 Introduction to Coastal Biology and Marine Ecosystems (5 Credits) 
GG6501 Introduction to Geographical Information Systems (5 Credits) 
GG6502 Introduction to Remote Sensing (5 Credits)
GG6515 Coastal and Marine Survey Techniques (5 Credits) 
GG6512 Coastal and Marine Resource Use Practices (15 Credits)
GG6510 Research Methods (5 Credits)

PART II (30 Credits)

GG6514 Research Dissertation in Applied Coastal and Marine Management (30 Credits)

Course Info

Course Code : CKE39

College : Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

Duration : One year

Qualifications Level : NFQ Level 9

Fees :

All fees listed below are in Euros (€).  

Registration Fee


Total Cost - International Fees


Medicover Standard (O'Driscoll O'Neil Insurance)


The above figures represent what UCC expects will be your reasonable international fees. Other fees may not have been included (e.g. living expenses).  

As expenses are subject to change, the above figures may be changed at any time without notice by UCC.  Please check with your IVC-assigned Visa Counselor or Documentation Officer periodically for any changes.

When estimating your cost of living for an academic year, i.e., one nine-month period from September to May inclusive, include rent, weekly supermarket shopping, some meals on campus, electricity bills, heating bills, refuse bills, parking fees, mobile phone expenses, travel, clothing, snacks on campus, socialising, health, books and materials.

Intake Dates :

The  next intake date is 11-September-2017.

IVC however, will be accepting application only until FEBRUARY 28, 2017.  This 7-month preparation period includes:

  • Review by the department/school for your eligibility;
  • Processing by the Admissions Office;
  • Enrollment;
  • Processing of insurance;
  • Seeking accommodation;
  • Processing of your student visa application.

View IMPORTANT INFORMATON about APPLYING for an Irish Student Visa

Make sure you apply early!  We allow two months to coordinate with the university, arrange accommodation and insurance. The next five months is reserved for the visa application process. 

Entry Criteria

Admission and entry requirements for this qualification are in accordance with the academic regulations of University College Cork. As an international student, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Academic Achievement
    • You must have a primary degree to upper second honours (2h1) level (240 ECTS credits or equivalent) from a recognized third-level institution, in Geography, Geology, Environmental Sciences, Biology, Oceanography, Physics, Mathematics, Engineering or a related discipline.
    • Applications will also be considered from graduates in other disciplines, including those in the Arts or Social Sciences, who have a demonstrable interest and/or experience in coastal and marine management, and who can offer sufficient numerical abilities.
    • Selection will be based on academic achievement, relevant work experience and a personal statement.
  • If English is not your native language, you must provide proof of English language proficiency to a standard of any ONE of the following exams:
    • IELTS (Academic Test): Overall band score of 6.5 with no individual section less than 5.5
    • TOEFL iBT: Overall score of 90. Minimum scores per section as follows: Listening and Writing - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20
    • Cambridge Proficiency Exam: Grade C
    • Cambridge Advanced Exam: Grade B
    • Pearson PTE: Minimum score of 63 with no section score below 59


If you did not meet the academic requirement or there is no equivalency for your country, let us know!  Send your inquiry HERE.

The programme Director and/or Programme Board must approve candidates. The number of places is limited and selection will be based on academic achievement, relevant work experience and a personal statement.

Your English certificate must be up to date which means it should be less than two years old.

You are required to complete a full application for the program AND satisfy all other entry criteria as required by the program team and provide such evidence as required by the university, including, but not limited to:

  • Academic transcripts
  • College diploma
  • Professional references
  • Professional registration details
  • Curriculum Vitae and
  • Identity documents.

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