School of Engineering

MSc Coastal Engineering

Do you want to be involved in the defence, protection and management of the world’s coastlines? Aimed at engineers and physical scientists, our MSc Coastal Engineering combines the theory of waves and tides with coastal modelling, port engineering and management. Supported by a team of experienced staff in one of the largest coastal engineering research groups in the UK, you’ll gain expertise to help progress your future career.

Sydney Sunrise at Waverton, Sydney, Australia.  Image courtesy of Getty Images.  

Key features

  • Broaden your coastal engineering expertise by selecting from a range of options, including port policy and management, modelling of coastal processes, remote sensing and GIS, mechanics of marine renewable energy structures, and assessment of coastal resource impacts. 
  • Deepen your knowledge through collaboration with our large, internationally-recognised research group.
  • Be inspired by our new £19 million Marine Building, housing the acclaimed COAST laboratory which offers facilities for teaching water and coastal engineering as well as conducting world-class research.
  • Benefit from a degree accredited as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for candidates who have already acquired an Accredited CEng (Partial) BEng (Hons) or an Accredited IEng (Full) BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree. See www.jbm.org.uk for further information. 
  • Recent graduates work as scientists, researchers or engineers at graduate destinations such as: Arup, Mott MacDonald, Environment Agency, Symprove, HR Wallingford, Mining Searches UK, Canterbury Council and JBA Consulting. 
  • Take part in an integral work placement year and conduct the programme over two years.

Course details

  • Programme overview
  • You’ll study the theory of waves, tides, surges and modern techniques in coastal data collection and analysis, including GIS and remote sensing. You’ll study core topics in coastal and port engineering, gain research skills, be introduced to numerical modelling techniques and obtain hands-on experience of using state-of-the-art software tools. Towards the end of the programme, you’ll have the opportunity to undertake a substantial research project focused on an aspect of coastal engineering, supervised by academic staff actively researching this field. You may also have the option of undertaking a placement year in industry.
    Core modules
    • BPIE500 Masters Stage 1 Placement Preparation

      This module is aimed at students who will be undertaking an industrial placement as part of their masters programme. It is designed to assist students in their search for a placement, and preparation for the placement itself.

    • COUE506 Port and Harbour Engineering

      This module presents the fundamental elements of the layout, design and construction of modern port structures, and provides students with the necessary understanding of the forces and loadings acting of them. The subject combines 3 elements not often found together in engineering: the requirements of a major transport infrastructure, the harsh marine environment, and the design of highly specific structural solutions.

    • COUE507 Coastal Engineering

      This module covers essential theoretical concepts for coastal engineers. Topics include: water wave theory, wave transformation processes, shallow water waves, coastal environments, climate change, introduction to flood defence, introduction to data analysis & software tools for coastal engineers, introduction to coastal structure design.

    • MAR513 Research Skills and Methods

      This module aims to equip students with the practical skills and contextual framework for conducting high quality research. Emphasis is placed on workshop opportunities to acquire and practice research planning, analysis, communication, writing and oral presentation skills.

    • PRCE505 MSc Dissertation

      The student will complete a research project of their choosing, and communicate their motivation, methodology, and conclusions through a formal dissertation or journal paper.

    Optional modules
    • MAR512 Assessment of Coastal Resources and Impacts

      This module reviews the dynamics of the coastal ocean and explores methods to assess MRE resource availability and potential environmental impacts. Observational methods for understanding coastal morphology, ecosystems and forcing mechanisms such as waves, tidal currents and tidal elevation are examined. Methods for impact mitigation and management are discussed. Case studies from around the world are utilized.

    • MAR518 Remote Sensing and GIS

      This module introduces the principles of geographical information systems and remote sensing of marine, polar and coastal environments. Field data will be acquired using GPS and radiometric instrumentation. Emphasis is placed on the critical evaluation of remote sensing data and analysis tools in varied scenarios and on developing practical computing skills.

    • MAR528 Mechanics of MRE Structures

      This module will cover engineering aspects of marine renewable energy conversion. The module comprises lectures and tutorials, invited industry lectures, a field trip visit to a marine engineering company and a wave energy converter performance experiment in the COAST lab.

    • MAR706 Port Policy and Management

      This module will play a central role in your examination of the significance of port policy and the management of ports in the modern supply chain management system and logistics framework.

    • MATH523 Modelling Coastal Processes

      The modelling process is described and some simple modelling techniques are introduced. The application of these to continental shelf modelling, pollution modelling, wave and tidal modelling will be done using some simple, identified simulations with the aid of available software.

  • Final year
  • Core modules
    • BPIE504 Civils Masters Industrial Placement

      This module enables students to take a lengthy placement linked to their programme. Assessment is based on Progress Reports, Regional Tutor evaluation, Employer evaluation and self-evaluation via reflective report (or portfolio).

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

MSc Coastal Engineering Programme Specification September 2016 2370

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements

Minimum of a lower second class honours degree (2:2) in engineering or physical science subject e.g. geography, environmental science or physics.

Students with advanced standing who can evidence an academic ability to similar levels may also be considered.

Applicants with overseas qualifications can check their compatibility with the UK equivalent through NARIC, who provide an advisory service. 

English language requirement 

If your first language is not English then evidence of English proficiency is required.

The minimum IELTS score for acceptable English proficiency for entry is normally 6.5. 

For further advice on the appropriateness of overseas qualification and proficiency in the use of English, please contact our International Office.

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2017 2018
Home/EU £6,500 To be confirmed
International £13,250 To be confirmed
Part time (Home/EU) £350 To be confirmed
Part time (International) Check with School To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Fees are correct at the time of publication and may be subject to change.

How to apply

Applying for postgraduate taught study

The University aims to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. Our Postgraduate Admissions and Enquiries team are on hand to offer help and can put you in touch with the appropriate faculty if you wish to discuss any programme in detail. If you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by Plymouth University, please visit our Disability Services website. Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

If you would like any further information please contact the Postgraduate and Enquiries team:

Telephone: +44 (0)1752 585858

Email: admissions@plymouth.ac.uk 


Submitting an application

Apply for postgraduate study using our online postgraduate application form.

Alternatively you can download a copy of the application form to be submitted by hand, by post or via email with accompanying attachments.

Additional guidance information can also be downloaded on how to fill in the postgraduate application form.

 

Applying for postgraduate research study

The University aims to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. The Doctoral College is available to answer any queries on our postgraduate research degrees.  If  you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by Plymouth University, please visit our Disability Services website. Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk

If you would like any further information please contact the Doctoral College:

Telephone: +44 (0)1752 587640

Email: doctoralcollege@plymouth.ac.uk


Submitting an application

Apply for postgraduate study using our online postgraduate application form.

Alternatively you can download a copy of the application form to be submitted by hand, by post or via email with accompanying attachments.

Additional guidance information can also be downloaded on how to fill in the postgraduate application form.

Facilities and resources - MSc Civil Engineering / Coastal Engineering

From dedicated computer laboratories to a wealth of electronic information, you’ll benefit from a range of facilities and resources that will help your learning and development.

Our facilities include our new £19 million Marine Building and dedicated engineering laboratories equipped with industry standard software.

Find out more about our exceptional engineering facilities and resources

Maxine Prydderch – MSc Coastal Engineering graduate

The staff and facilities are professional and excel in their fields. Plymouth itself and its location are fantastic too. The Barbican and Hoe are stunning and there are plenty of things to see and do.

Maxine has been stationed in Qatar for the past two and a half years, working as an Asset Management Engineer for Amey.

Find out more about Maxine

Joe Greene - MSc Coastal Engineering graduate

I spent approximately five months working in our Dubai office, which afforded me the opportunity for involvement in some mega-projects

Read more about Joe's graduate career

Alison Raby filming Japanese Tsunami experiment with National Geographic (in the Coastal Basin)

Meet the Programme Manager - Alison Raby

Alison is the Programme Manager for MSc Coastal Engineering. Alison's research interests include extreme wave interactions with coastal structures, wave loading on lighthouses, post-tsunami reconnaissance missions and marine renewable energy technologies.

Find out more about the Programme Manager

Marine Station

Boasting lecture facilities overlooking the sea, a wet lab for sample examination and analysis, a seawater aquarium, and field equipment storage and changing facilities.

The Marine Station is a landmark £5 million development; a state-of-the-art teaching and research facility on the shores of Plymouth Sound.

Discover more about the Marine Station

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