The MER+ EMJMD programme has been designed as a Research Master, with students expected to continue on into a PhD programme.

Aimed at becoming a high quality and intellectually stimulating experience of learning in supportive environments, the MER+ programme design will allow students to develop critical and analytical problem-solving powers and the ability to communicate results to non-specialists, and a range of generic skills including: critical and reflective thinking, articulate communication and the skills of literacy and numeracy.

The MER+ EMJMD programme provides advanced training in practical field techniques, laboratory analyses and mathematical modelling for the protection, conservation and sustainable valorisation of the marine environment; as well as direct experience of work on a sustained research project at the forefront of marine environment knowledge with opportunities to train alongside world class scientists in a research-led environment.

Students must be able to communicate with marine scientists and technologists of diverse expertise, facilitate communication between co-workers (e.g. between a coastal engineer and a marine biologist) and promote synergies. They must be able to accomplish transverse research (from nm/µm scale, to km phenomena/data; from sec/min scale to decades/centuries). The general learning outcomes are summarised below.

The MER+ EMJMD programme has been designed to foster vocational training for a professional career in industries and agencies related to the marine environment management. Particular attention is paid to providing a sufficiently applied background, such that students can apply directly for employment, having completed the master programme. Graduates are/will be able to integrate into multidisciplinary teams; contributing expertise in a given marine discipline or at the overlap of distinct disciplines within the field.


Having completed successfully the MER+ EMJMD programme, the student will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of a wide range of topics:

  • Ocean processes within all four main disciplines of oceanography (e.g. biological, chemical, geological and physical), at an advanced level.
  • The processes that shape the marine world at different temporal and spatial scales.
  • The terminology, nomenclature and classification systems used in marine environmental sciences.
  • Theory, practice, acquisition, analysis and interpretation of data, across a range of marine environmental applications.
  • The value and need for multi-disciplinary approaches in advancing knowledge.
  • The application of oceanographic knowledge to contribute to the sustainable management of the environment.
  • A wide selection of topics presently at the frontiers of research, together with many of the specialised techniques used to investigate them.

Subject specific skills

Having completed successfully the MER+ EMJMD programme, the student will be able to put into practice the following subject specific skills:

  • Understanding scientific processes.
  • Recognise and use of theories, paradigms, concepts and principles, to design and undertake primary research within the context of the marine environment.
  • Critically analyse, synthesise, interpret and summarise complex scientific information.
  • Collect, record, and analyse marine environmental data (field/lab), using state-of-the-art techniques and equipment.
  • Read, use and reference the marine environmental published work of others, in an appropriate manner.

General and transferable skills

Having completed successfully the MER+ EMJMD programme, the student will possess various general and transferable skills:

  • Apply and further develop computing, statistical and mathematical skills.
  • Appreciate statistical issues of sample selection, accuracy, precision and uncertainty during collection, recording and analysis of data in the field and in the laboratory.
  • Prepare, process and present data, using appropriate qualitative and quantitative techniques and computer software packages, and solve numerical problems using computer and non-computer-based techniques.
  • Develop, where appropriate, advanced skills in computer programming.
  • Collect and integrate several lines of evidence, to formulate and test hypotheses.
  • Apply knowledge and understanding, to address familiar and unfamiliar problems.
  • Design, implement and report on scientific research projects, including a major research project at the forefront of marine environmental knowledge.
  • Undertake field and laboratory investigations in a responsible and safe manner, paying due attention to risk assessment, rights of access, relevant health and safety regulations and sensitivity to the impact of investigations on the environment and stakeholders.
  • Critically use the Internet as a mean of communication and data dissemination, and as a source of information.
  • Identify individual and collective goals, take responsibilities and perform in an appropriate manner.
  • Recognise and respect the views of other team members.
  • Evaluate performance as an individual and as a team member.
  • Understand the roles of individuals in teams and how individuals learn in team groups.
  • Continue to develop the skills necessary for self-managed and life-long learning (such as working independently and within groups, time management and organisation).
  • Identify and work towards targets for personal, academic and career development.
  • Develop an adaptable and flexible approach to study and work.
  • Appreciate ethical issues in science research

Soft skills

Having completed successfully the MER+ EMJMD programme, the student will acquire diverse soft skills:

  • Use of English as lingua franca in science but recognise worldwide diversity in the use of English, which will enhance her/his communication skills
  • Be aware that other languages are used in Europe and recognise the value of cultural diversity; as such will be able to enhance language proficiency in some of them (e.g. French, Spanish and Basque language courses (mainly introductory) are offered in parallel to the MER+ EMJMD programme
  • Be aware of cultural diversity (both at European level, through mobility amongst Partner Universities, and at worldwide level, through being exposed to a multicultural international atmosphere with classmates and visiting scholars)
  • Identify themselves as open- minded citizens of the world.