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University of Portsmouth: Applied Aquatic Biology

Institution University of Portsmouth View institution profile
Department Faculty of Science and Health
Telephone 023 9284 5566
Study type Taught


Overview Our aquatic ecosystems are under threat. Learn about the issues of pollution, overfishing and climate change from the frontline and take your studies, experience and career to postgraduate level on our MSc Applied Aquatic Biology course.

The University of Portsmouth is the perfect place to dive into aquatic biology, thanks to the temperate marine habitats and internationally-protected conservation areas on our doorstep. Our Institute of Marine Sciences is home to some of the best facilities in the country and Portsmouth is ranked third of all post-1992 universities in the UK for research power.

Improve your career opportunities and skills by undertaking independent research which will lead to exciting jobs in conservation, consultancy, fisheries and research, or teaching and further study.

Earth systems and environmental sciences at the University of Portsmouth is ranked 4th of all post-1992 universities for research quality in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021.

Eligibility This course accepts UK, EU, and international students.

Course highlights - Undertake independent research at the Institute of Marine Sciences, or carry out microbiological work at the University’s Environmental Technology Field Station

  • Rear coldwater species for restocking programmes, or trial fish food at the Sparsholt College Fishery and Aquatics facilities

  • Learn ecosystem function and management, advanced laboratory and field skills, technical writing, data presentation skills in open source software, GIS, toxicology and genomics (environmental DNA)

  • Gain subject matter expertise in mammal, seabird and fish ecology

  • Learn from leading international researchers and outside agencies, including environmental consultancies, government bodies such as the Southern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority, and industry representatives including CGG

  • Go on field trips to carry out freshwater stream surveys, learn sampling techniques, and take part in a week-long practical in the Mediterranean

Careers and opportunities Graduates of this course have gone onto areas such as: - aquatic living resources management

  • marine NGOs

  • private sector consultancy

  • government-based research

  • conservation

  • teaching

  • further study or academic research

  • scientific journalism

Graduates of this course have gone onto roles such as: - Marine scientist

  • Waste minimisation officer

  • Fish house specialist

  • Insurance broker

  • Laboratory technician

  • Maritime and hydorcarbon sales manager

  • Environmental monitoring technician

  • Reef conservation volunteer

  • Graduates of this course have gone on to work for companies such as:

  • Scottish Sea Farms

  • Benthic Solutions Ltd

  • North Somerset Council

Career outcomes shown are sourced from the latest available graduate outcome surveys. The data shows career outcomes at 15 months after graduation.

Career planning During your course you'll have expert career support from your tutors and our Careers and Employability Centre – which you can access for up to 5 years after you graduate.

Course structure Full-time We recommend that full-time students allocate 37 hours per week to their studies – equivalent to a full-time job

Part-time We recommend that part-time students allocate around 18 hours per week to their studies – equivalent to a part-time job

Studies include teaching time (lectures, seminars, labs and tutorials), course work, independent learning and assessments

There's lots of lab and field work as part of this course – full-time students could be in labs and lectures up to three days per week


University of Portsmouth


‘I already feel so much more confident applying for jobs.’

Anna, Master’s student at the University of Portsmouth

 Why Portsmouth?
A stronger sense of direction. Opportunities to specialise and further your prospects. A big step towards achieving your ambitions. Portsmouth is a university where you can connect with great people and businesses, and unlock career possibilities.

Taught qualification or independent research? On-campus teaching or online part-time study? At Portsmouth, you can choose from a wide range of subjects and modes of study.

  •    5***** rated for excellence in the QS World University rankings 2022
  • 86% satisfaction with course …
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