Ulster University

School of Environmental Sciences

Marine Spatial Planning



Program Information

Degrees Offered:

MSc Marine Spatial Planning

Format: Online

Program Description:

The School of Environmental Sciences at the University of Ulster has a well established reputation for teaching high quality fully online programmes and registers some 250 students each year to its suite of postgraduate courses. The flexible nature of distance learning makes it especially suited to people in full-time employment. 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. 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. Modules in this programme are available on a two year rotational basis so the order in which they are studied is dependent upon when a student enters the programme. Four taught modules constitute the postgraduate diploma and one module is taken each semester over two years. The MSc Research Project is the final element of the programme and this is commenced once a student has completed the postgraduate diploma. Management of Coastal Land Resources (30 credits) This module introduces students to the physical, ecological,cultural and socio-economic characteristics of coastal land resources (beaches, dunes, tidal flats, salt marshes and cliff-shore platform systems). It engenders an understanding of how such systems work and of the impact which humans can render upon them. Practical examples of management practices are demonstrated using case studies from around the world. The strengths and weaknesses of different approaches are critically reviewed. Research Methods (30 credits) 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 (30 credits) 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. Management of Coastal Water Resources (30 credits) 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. Plus (Masters only) Marine Spatial Planning Research Project (60 credits) To obtain an MSc qualification, students are required to complete advanced study under supervision within a specialised area. The project module aims to extend the experience of the student in the practice of scientific investigation and to develop the intellectual skills of recognising and using subject specific theories, concepts, and principles, analysing, synthesising and summarising information critically, collecting and interpreting several lines of evidence to formulate and test hypotheses and applying knowledge and understanding to address familiar and unfamiliar problems. The student, by making an original contribution to their field, develops the skills of postgraduate, independent research, commensurate with an MSc.


It is expected to be accredited to the Institution of Environmental Sciences

International Student Requirements:

English Language requirements - IELTS overall band 6.0 with no contributing band less than 5.5 or TOEFL 550 in the paper based-test

Facts & Figures

Financial Aid: No

International Financial Aid: No

In State Tuition (per year): 3573 GBP

Out State Tuition (per year): 3573 GBP

Classification: Unknown

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