As a part of the construction of the EHEA, a pivotal goal of the MER+ EMJMD Programme is to promote international and European cultural exchange and interactions between students. Student mobility is designed with this objective.
Throughout the coursework, students can make a selection between (3) alternative mobility pathways: A1 (UBx-EHU-SOTON) is followed by those students who pursue a profile biased towards the physical environment; and A2 (UBx-EHU-ULiège) and B (SOTON-EHU-ULiège). Thus the programme has either a “physical” or “biological” emphasis, depending on whether the students follow mobility options “A” or “B”.
The physical emphasis includes intensification in the physical environment and students follow basic courses in UBx during Semester 1 and advanced courses in SOTON in Semester 3. The biological emphasis includes intensification in the biological environment and 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 marine environment protection, conservation and management.
Through any of these pathways, the students 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); thus achieving a translational science background.
The MSc Thesis research work can be entirely, or jointly, undertaken in SOTON, UPV/EHU, UBx and ULiège or in an associated institutions in Europe or overseas. All the MSc Theses are presented at Joint Viva Sessions at the 2nd week of September, in UPV/EHU, with members of all the Partner universities, staff from associates and external (invited) examiners.
- Semester 1: Students start at UBx or SOTON for 30 ECTS providing competences for Fundamentals in Ocean Science (Physical, Chemical and Biological Oceanography and Marine Geology) and some additional competences or transferable skills specific for each of these two partners (Numerical methods in UBx and diverse optional topics in SOTON).
- Semester 2: Students stay at UPV/EHU where they follow the compulsory RiMER course and may follow optional courses (Modules 2-7) with a bias towards experimental biology and biotechnological approaches to investigate and manage the marine environment. Likewise, during this semester students meet stakeholders as a part of the Part 2 of the RiMER course in the PiE-UPV/EHU.
- Semester 3: Students stay at Soton or ULiège for 30 ECTS acquiring competences and transferable skills specific for each of these two partners (mainly, but not exclusively, the Ocean Physical Environment in SOTON and the Ocean Biological Environment in ULiège). Likewise, during this semester, students may get academic recognition in ULiège of a Professional Practice (6 credits) previously undertaken within the MER Consortium framework in a non-academic partner.
- Semester 4: The MSc Thesis research work can be entirely, or jointly, undertaken in SOTON, UPV/EHU, UBx and ULiège or in an associated institution in Europe or overseas. Organization of the thesis work is documented in detail in the Catalogue of Courses. All the MSc Theses are presented at Joint Viva Sessions at the end of September, in UPV/EHU, with members of all the Partner universities, staff from associates and external (invited) examiners; likewise, new MER+ students starting their induction week at these dates will be facilitated to attend the vivas.
Each student therefore studies at least three universities and up to four universities and visits additional locations such as Stareso, for those following Semester 3 in ULg, or Associates, during the realisation of the Professional Placement or research internships individually offered in summer after Semester 2.
Student mobility provides the students with the opportunity to interact with staff from different countries and environments; further to identify the area of research to which they are best suited.
The mobility and the integrated RiMER course provide the students with an almost complete overview of the research fields, relevant to marine environment and resources.
Students improve also their skills in English and other languages (French, Spanish and Basque).
MER MSc students interact also with students enrolled in local Master courses at each institution, providing them with a supplementary perspective.