Environmental issues such as pollution, habitat degradation, climate change and invasive species threaten the quality sustainability of our aquatic resources. Responding to these threats the Aquatic Conservation, Ecology and Restoration MSc equips students with an interdisciplinary understanding of the structure and functioning of aquatic environments, encompassing lakes, ponds, rivers, wetlands, groundwaters, estuaries and shallow seas.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2020/21)
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website.
Normally a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Applicants with relevant professional experience in aquatic science or environmental management will also be considered.
English language requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.
The English language level for this programme is: Good
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.
International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.
Select your country:
About this degree
Students focus on integrated freshwater and coastal systems and gain extensive training in field sampling, study design and species identification. Distinctive features include: integration of aquatic ecology with hydro-geomorphology, aquatic landscape ecology, public engagement, citizen science approaches and science communication, analysis of sediment cores for environmental change reconstruction, design of aquatic monitoring programmes and modelling of aquatic system dynamics. Students come away with a sound and critical knowledge of current-day links between aquatic science, legislation and conservation.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of four core modules (60 credits), four optional modules (60 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).
A Postgraduate Diploma - four core modules and four optional modules all 15 credits (120 credits, full-time nine months, part-time two years) is offered.
A Postgraduate Certificate - four core modules only at 15 credits each (60 credits, full-time twelve weeks, part-time two years) is offered.
Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc in Aquatic Conservation, Ecology and Restoration. Upon successful completion of 120 credits, you will be awarded a PG Dip in Aquatic Conservation, Ecology and Restoration. Upon successful completion of 60 credits, you will be awarded a PG Cert in Aquatic Conservation, Ecology and Restoration.
Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.
- Aquatic Systems
- Aquatic Monitoring
- Environmental Data Acquisition and Analysis
- Scientific Basis for Freshwater and Coastal Conservation
* modules running are dependent on staff sabbaticals
Students choose four of the following:
- Coastal Geohazards
- Environmental GIS
- Surface Water Modelling
- Politics of Climate Change
- Surface Water Modelling
- Ocean Circulation and Climate Change
- Aquatic Macrophytes
- Climate Risks to Hydro-ecological Systems
- Biological Indicators of Environmental Change
- Climate Proxies
- Marine Conservation
- Introduction to Citizen Science and Scientific Crowdsourcing
* modules running are dependent on staff sabbaticals
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 12,000 words. Dissertation placement positions are offered linked to external conservation bodies and research-orientated consultancies.
Field classes around the UK, these may include week-long trips to the North Norfolk Coast, Scottish Highlands and Dorset. Other shorter field days also take place.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, practical classes, laboratory sessions, case-studies and residential field classes. Assessment is through coursework and the dissertation, which includes an oral presentation of the research proposal.
Optional module Aquatic Macrophytes - approximately £200
This programme provides an ideal foundation for PhD research, or for employment with environmental protection and conservation agencies, the water industry and environmental consultancies.
The MSc provides students with the science background and practical skills necessary for a career working in aquatic conservation and environmental protection agencies, environmental consultancies and stakeholder agencies. The MSc is also an ideal platform for further PhD study. We aim to expose students to potential employers from the outset and students receive expert tuition in field sampling and monitoring programme design, catchment management, conservation biology, taxonomy of key species groups, knowledge of important aquatic conservation principles and legislation and working with stakeholders.
Why study this degree at UCL?
The Aquatic Conservation, Ecology and Restoration MSc is run by UCL Geography which enjoys an outstanding international reputation for its aquatic environmental research and teaching. The degree has a strong emphasis on field working and on the aquisition of key practical skills with three major residential classes to the North Norfolk Coast, Scottish Highlands and Dorset.
The programme is taught by world-leading researchers specialising in Recent Environmental Change & Biodiversity and Environmental Modelling and Observation and has specialist input from the Thames Estuary Partnership
Speakers from environmental organisations including the Environment Agency, the Rivers Trusts, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, the UK Wildlife Trusts, National Trust and Natural England lecture on the programme and take part in fieldwork. The course also has a great network of past students who keep in touch with the current student cohort as part of re-union and course events. By bringing together students (present and past), researchers and practitioners, a vibrant and informal academic environment is created encouraging mutual discovery and ongoing debate.
Application and next steps
Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.
There is an application processing fee for this programme of £80 for online applications and £105 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.
Who can apply?
The programme is particularly suitable for students with a first degree in environmental science, geography, oceanography, biology, chemistry or engineering who wish to develop the skills necessary for further research in the field, or for a career in environmental protection and aquatic conservation.
- All applicants
- 11 August 2020
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
What are we looking for?
When we assess your application we would like to learn:
- why you want to study Aquatic Conservation, Ecology and Restoration
- why you want to study Aquatic Conservation, Ecology and Restoration at UCL
- what particularly attracts you to this programme
- how your academic and/or professional background meets the demands of a challenging academic environment
- where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.
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