The Joint MER+ MSc programme runs full-time over 24 months (120 ECTS) and consists of advanced courses (90 ECTS) and a Master Thesis, with a dissertation (30 ECTS).

Every student will follow a joint programme, by combining the different disciplines that can be studied at each of the Partner universities:

  • Advanced Oceanography and Large Scale processes in SOTON;
  • Marine Environment and Coastal Zone Management in UBx;
  • Marine Pollution and Ecosystem Health Assessment in UPV/EHU; and
  • Marine Biodiversity Conservation in ULiège.

These are the complementary profiles in which each Partner excels and, as such, is recognized internationally. Moreover, academic and research staff of the universities are pioneering a transverse research profile (integrating diverse concepts, instrumental technology and time-scales) in the field of marine environment.

Throughout the coursework, students can make a selection of between 3 alternative mobility pathways (UBx-EHU-SOTON; UBx-EHU-ULiège; SOTON-EHU-ULiège) and will have the opportunity to travel, from molecular biology to remote sensing issues, and from short-term phenomena (e.g. tides and intertidal variability) to their long-term consequences (e.g. ocean acidification). A full list of courses and their associated learning outcomes, credit point values, assessment methods, and pre-requisites are available at this website.

The MSc Thesis research (Module 6) is undertaken during Semester 4 (30 ECTS); it is judged following the procedure of the Coordinating University (UPV/EHU), where the students present the MSc Thesis, and has to be written up (according to a consensus standard) and defended in front of a Thesis Examination Board, proposed by the JPB.

Suitable for students with a good biological, geological and chemical background, MER+ prepares students both for further research, and for work within government and commercial oceanographic and environmental research/consultancy laboratories. The MER+ programme has been designed to provide graduates with common and integrated competences, skills and learning outcomes.

Students may achieve either a “physical” or “biological” emphasis, depending on whether they follow mobility options “A” or “B”: for intensification in the physical environment students follow basic courses in UBx during Semester 1 and advanced courses in SOTON in Semester 3; for intensification in the biological environment students follow basic courses in either UBx or SOTON during Semester 1 and advanced courses in ULiège in Semester 3. All the students follow advanced courses in UPV/EHU in Semester 2, with a relevant, but not compulsory, imprint in the field of experimental marine biology and biotechnology, with a focus on the marine environment.