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This course provides the opportunity to upskill, refresh or broaden your knowledge base.
Study Marine Spatial Planning at Ulster University in the United Kingdom.
This course is designed to provide an advanced education in the principles and practice of marine spatial planning. Graduates of the course are expected to have a broad overview of the management of the marine and coastal resources and allied fields of integrated coastal zone management. The award is intended to provide students with an appreciation of the scientific basis underpinning the management of coastal land and water resources and to enable those successfully completing the course to operate at a professional level in the emerging field of marine governance, planning and management.
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About this course
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The specific objectives of the course are to develop:
- a thorough understanding of how coasts "work" and inter-relate with the marine environment;
- the ability to identify, synthesise and analyse the multifarious roles of humans in altering coastal systems and exploiting the marine resource in a sustainable way;
- a detailed knowledge of integrated coastal zone management approaches and a sound appreciation of emerging marine planning and management initiatives.
To take this course, you will need access to a computer with a fast internet connection. The course uses the Blackboard learning environment and the modules are delivered using online lectures, including practical and tutorial material. Students and staff interact via email, discussion boards, online chat and telephone. You will find that this course is much more flexible than traditional on-campus university courses as you can study using your own computer and the internet, at your own pace, any place and any time (within given timeframes).
Fully online - part-time by distance learning. You do not need to visit Ulster at any stage to successfully complete this course.
The Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) Marine Spatial Planning and the Master of Science (MSc) Marine Spatial Planning are linked courses. You must successfully complete the PgDip (120 credit points) before transferring to the MSc (a further 60 credit points), i.e. to get the full MSc you complete 180 credit points in total.
The PgDip takes two years part-time (4 semesters) as one module is taken each semester. Modules are available on a two year rotational basis so the order in which they are studied is dependent upon when you start the course.
For the MSc an additional two semesters are required to complete the project module i.e. three years in total part-time. (6 semesters).
- September 2016
- January 2017
Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.
Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.
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Management of coastal water resources
This module introduces the physical, ecological cultural and socio-economic characteristics of coastal water resources (estuaries, lagoons, reefs, inner shelf environments). It investigates the temporal and spatial variation in these resources and assesses contemporary patterns of human use in this context. Contemporary approaches to coastal water resource management are introduced and discussed.
Marine Spatial Planning
This module introduces students to the concepts and practices informing the emerging field of marine planning and management. Grounded in an appreciation of sustainable development, it explores the planning, regulation and management of the marine / coastal interface resource from a governance, public policy and transdisciplinary perspective. The module provides students with a solid appreciation of the complexity of the property rights regime and potential modes of intervention.
Geography and management of coastal land resources
This module introduces the physical, ecological cultural and socio-economic characteristics of coastal land resources (beaches, dunes, tidal flats, salt marshes and cliff-shore platform systems). It investigates the temporal and spatial variation in these resources and assesses contemporary patterns of human use in this context. Contemporary approaches to coastal management are introduced and discussed.
This module will introduce students to the use of a mixed methods approach to research marine and coastal environments. Lectures and directed reading will be used to illustrate the inter-disciplinary nature of evidence-informed interventions in this context. Students are expected to demonstrate an applied understanding of relevant theories and to show research expertise through worked examples.
Marine Spatial Planning Project
This module requires the student to pursue an independent piece of research into an issue in marine spatial planning. A project plan, review of existing knowledge and data gathering and interpretation conclude in the presentation of a project.
We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.
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Entry to the PgDip:
You must hold a degree in a science or spatial planning related subject or demonstrate your ability to undertake the course through the accreditation of prior experiential learning.
Entry to the MSc:
You initially register for the Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) and if you complete the PgDip with an overall mark of 50% or higher can proceed to the MSc programme.
English Language Requirements
English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement.
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
Teaching and learning assessment
Assessment is 100% by course work (no sessional examinations); a mixture of methods including practical reports, problem analysis, projects, literature reviews and essays, class tests, group work and a research project.
Students are able to use the University's extensive online resources of electronic journals, books and databases.
Careers & opportunities
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The students taking this course predominantly fall into two groups; those who are already working in the field and who wish to up-skill and refresh their knowledge; and those who are interested in making a career change. For the former group the progression opportunities focus on promotion within their current workplace or a change of job but within the same discipline. Others who are working within either the coastal environment or the planning environment will see this course as an opportunity to broaden their knowledge base and make themselves more employable by developing a wider range of skills.
There is already evidence from within Government and Local Authority planning departments that personnel from a terrestrial planning background are being required to work within newly created posts in Marine Spatial Planning but in addition to this students will be seeking to enter jobs in the newly developing field of Marine Spatial Planning within governments, policy making bodies, Non-Governmental organizations and charities.
Fees and funding
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Fees (total cost)
Additional mandatory costs
Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel and normal living are a part of university life.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them in the online prospectus. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.
We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.
There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.
Please contact the course team for more information.