M.Sc. On Campus

Marine Systems and Policies

The University of Edinburgh

12 months
32300 GBP/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


The Marine Systems and Policies programme from The University of Edinburgh is unique from other marine programmes. It enables you to truly embrace the integrated approach needed to tackle the complex issues facing our oceans.


The Marine Systems and Policies programme from The University of Edinburgh approaches these challenges through three inter-linked perspectives:

  • 1 Science

Explore marine species and ecosystems directly during field trips throughout the year and from our classrooms. We will explore their socioeconomic importance and conservation across marine biomes and habitats spanning islands, coasts, estuaries, continental shelves, polar seas and the deep and high seas.

  • 2 Industry

Examine the built systems of a 'blue economy' such as resource exploitation and infrastructure, and how they affect marine species and ecosystems as well as the human dimension. You will learn to rigorously critique management frameworks that aim for sustainable ocean development, such as marine spatial planning and environmental impact assessment.

  • 3 Policy

Investigate different systems of ocean policies and governance, from voluntary codes of conduct to legally binding regional and international policies. You'll also review marine planning, area-based management tools, and the need to integrate local customs and traditional knowledge into policy-making.

Reputation, relevance and employability

Our innovative programme is taught by world-leading experts in key fields of marine science and policy. We also have active links with a variety of organisations, from local communities to government, industry, and academia.

Our network ensures that you have access to employers and decision-makers who may provide employment opportunities or collaboration on dissertation research projects.

We are committed to helping you benefit from our excellent relationships as they help you gain valuable real-world experience to effect real change.

Career opportunities

Employers tell us that they seek candidates with real-world skills and an integrated understanding of marine ecosystems, development and planning, as well as regional and international policies.

Our unique MSc programme provides you with this foundation so that you can work in a wide range of settings, from grassroots community groups to universities and governments.

You can also seek a career with the marine industry, non-government organisations (NGOs) or international agencies.

Our graduates are now working around the world at local, national and international levels.

They have gained employment in a variety of roles such as:

  • consultants
  • marine science officers
  • marine policy analysts and officers
  • sustainability consultants
  • project leaders
  • program officers
  • marine mammal observers
  • marine education executives

Programme Structure

  • The MSc Marine Systems and Policies can provide you with rewarding work experience opportunities.
  • You can choose to undertake a research project as an intern for more work-based experiences. These opportunities are advertised in November each year.
  • Experiences include working with governments, advisors and non-government organisations (NGOs). They are a great way to network with industry and decision-makers for future employment.

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 12 months
  • Part-time
    • 24 months
    • Flexible

Start dates & application deadlines

More details

 There are 3 application rounds.


180 alternative credits


On Campus

Academic requirements

GPA admission requirements GPA
Upper Second Class

Other requirements

General requirements

  • A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in natural sciences or social sciences, but with clear evidence of experience and interest in marine topics.

Tuition Fee

To alway see correct tuition fees
  • International

    32300 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 32300 GBP per year during 12 months.
  • Home fees have still to be agreed

Part-time fees 2 years  

    • International/EU: £16,150

Part-time fees 3 years 

    • International/EU: £10,770

Living costs for Edinburgh

725 - 1167 GBP /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


  • The Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) offer two fully funded scholarships for MSc Marine Systems and Policies students.

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Our partners

Marine Systems and Policies
The University of Edinburgh


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