Choosing a course is one of the most important decisions you'll ever make! View our courses and see what our students and lecturers have to say about the courses you are interested in at the links below.
Each year more than 4,000 choose NUI Galway as their University of choice. Find out what life at NUI Galway is all about here.
About NUI Galway
About NUI Galway
Since 1845, NUI Galway has been sharing the highest quality teaching and research with Ireland and the world. Find out what makes our University so special – from our distinguished history to the latest news and campus developments.
Colleges & Schools
Colleges & Schools
NUI Galway has earned international recognition as a research-led university with a commitment to top quality teaching across a rang of key areas of expertise.
Business & Industry
Guiding Breakthrough Research at NUI Galway
We explore and facilitate commercial opportunities for the research community at NUI Galway, as well as facilitating industry partnership.
- Alumni, Friends & Supporters
At NUI Galway, we believe that the best learning takes place when you apply what you learn in a real world context. That's why many of our courses include work placements or community projects.
Coastal and Marine Environments: Physical Processes, Policy and Practice (MSc)
The MSc in Coastal and Marine Environments is a full-time postgraduate course delivered over 3 semesters. It is directed at graduates from Geography, Natural Sciences and other related disciplines in the social and natural sciences, and at professionals in the field who are interested in furthering their knowledge of coastal and marine environments. Galway’s identity is intertwined with the coast and this structured programme is designed to train skilled personnel, who can advise on, organise and regulate an informed development of coastal and marine resources and activities in Ireland, the European Union and worldwide.
Students will be required to conduct socially relevant research that addresses the roles of agencies and policy structures in coastal and marine environments. A driving motivation of the programme is the conviction that informed decision making for addressing environmental change and adoption of appropriate management, planning and policy strategies in coastal and marine environments should be based upon appropriate scientific evidence. Since the emergence of integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) policy and practice in the 1990s, EU policy regarding catchment, coastal and marine management has continued to emphasize the importance of integrated and participatory approaches to progress sustainable development in the coastal zone. In recent times, traditional land-based spatial planning regimes are rarely fully integrated with the administrative structures and policies which govern activities in the coastal and marine environment.
There is an increasing awareness of the importance of the world's coasts and oceans as natural resources, and of their role in the stability of the global environment. Over-exploitation of natural resources such as fisheries creates environmental, social and economic problems. Disposal of sewage and effluent from towns and industry pollutes coastal waters and has a dramatic impact on their suitability for recreation. Increasing coastal urbanisation and the environmental impacts of global climate change are causing natural habitats to be replaced by artificial structures that support species-poor communities. Coastal erosion and the construction of sea defence systems cause further problems that may be exacerbated by climate change and global sea level rise. In a globalizing era, the careful management of the coastal zone and of estuaries is essential if these activities are to be pursued harmoniously.
This MSc programme, theoretically informed and with a strong field-based and applied focus, is offered in direct response to these newly emerging discourses on the long term health of coastal and marine environments. It seeks to challenge and facilitate students to engage with but go beyond established scientific conceptual and theoretical perspectives, engage new ways of understanding the complexities of our evolving physical coastal and marine environments, and develop critical insights that can support policy and practice in sustaining these increasingly vulnerable environments
Programme Aims & Objectives
Ireland’s coastal and marine environments are a vital natural resource. This structured MSc programme has a strong field-based and applied focus and is offered in direct response to newly emerging discourses on the long term health of coastal and marine systems. The programme is designed to train skilled personnel, who can advance our understanding of these environments through further research, offer scientific advice on, and organise and regulate an informed development of coastal and marine resources and activities in Ireland, the European Union and worldwide. On this course, you will be challenged to engage with established scientific perspectives of how these systems work and the strategies used to manage them—especially in response to future climate change scenarios. This new programme was devised by a team of academics who have been involved in priority international research on contemporary and future challenges facing coastal and marine areas, as well as local and national-level projects on the same. The team is engaged in a broad range of scientific investigations of the physical-human environment, and students will become active members of ongoing research programmes and will learn the research and publication process.
Applications and Selections
Who Teaches this Course
Dr Chaosheng Zhang
Dr Eugene Farrell
Dr Frances Fahy
Dr Kieran Hickey
Dr Kevin Lynch
Dr Audrey Morley
Requirements and Assessment
1 year full-time
Next start date
A Level Grades ()
Next start date
Mode of study
Proposed Modules (all 10 ECTs); subject to change
|CORE Modules (Semester 1)||NON CORE Modules
|Coastal Processes and Landforms||Coastal hazards OR Coastal Risk and Resilience|
|Field and Laboratory Methods||Biodiversity in the Coastal Zone OR Environment & Health|
|Marine Spatial Policy and Planning||Reconstructing the Marine Environment OR Quaternary Coastal Change|
|May - August Dissertation (30 ECTs)|
Development of skills is supported by a significant focus on practical and field-based learning, including short field courses in Ireland, workshops, conferences, work placements and ship-time on the RV Celtic Voyager. It is directed at graduates from geography, the natural sciences and other related disciplines of the social and natural sciences, and at professionals in the field who are interested in furthering their knowledge of coastal and marine environments.
Why Choose This Course?
Who’s Suited to This Course
Related Student Organisations
Fees: Student levy
Fees: Non EU
Postgraduate students in receipt of a SUSI grant – please note an F4 grant is where SUSI will pay €2,000 towards your tuition. You will be liable for the remainder of the total fee. An F5 grant is where SUSI will pay TUITION up to a maximum of €6,270. SUSI will not cover the student levy of €224.
Postgraduate fee breakdown = tuition (EU or NON EU) + student levy as outlined above.
Find out More
Dr Eugene Farrell
T: +353 91 494 336