Postgraduate programmes: conservation and sustainability

Why Plymouth?

  • @ Enhance career opportunities through connections to, and events with, industry partners and organisations
  • @ Choose specialised modules and draw on the expertise of internationally recognised, research-active teaching staff
  • @ Develop your skills in conservation and sustainability in our world class research facilities


At no other time in the history of mankind have the pressures on marine and terrestrial environments, ecosystems and communities been so acute: climate change, sea level rise, ocean acidification, antibiotic resistant bacteria, food security, habitat destruction, marine plastics and coral bleaching to mention but a few! However, there are opportunities for us to mitigate these threats too, in the form of sustainable aquaculture, conservation of biodiversity in the wild and in zoos, developing marine protected areas, and driving the call for policy change on the environment and sustainability. In response to these environmental and biological needs, the School of Biological and Marine Sciences are proud to offer an exciting suite of postgraduate programmes focused on developing the next generation of highly skilled postgraduates required to confront these urgent global issues.

Postgraduate Programme Lead

What degree is right for me? 

We offer a range of taught and research masters programmes as well as the opportunity to undertake research to gain a doctoral degree. See below for details of the different types of degree and pathways for higher level study.

MSc: 1 year duration, 2 semesters of taught content (120 credits), dissertation (60 credits). Many of our MSc programmes include a work placement module.

MRes: 1 year duration, 1 semester of taught content (60 credits), followed by an expanded research dissertation (120 credits).

ResM: 12 – 18 months, 40 credits of taught modules (either semester) alongside an extended research project.

PhD: 3 – 4 years, no requirement to take taught modules in the majority of cases. The focus is on a major research project.

External links

Our programmes have been carefully designed to maximise employment prospects and to provide exciting opportunities to work in close collaboration with not only the Universities’ internationally leading research groups, but also other world leading research organisations like the Marine Biological Association and Plymouth Marine Laboratory, as well as, local zoos and aquaria, national and international conservation agencies, consultancies, NGOs and businesses.