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International Marine Environmental Consultancy (IMEC), MSc, PG Dip

Newcastle University, the United Kingdom

Newcastle University

Study options for this course

The award How you will study Study duration Course start Domestic course fees International course fees
MSc, PG DipFull-time12 monthsfind outfind outfind out
MSc, PG DipPart-time24 - 36 monthsfind outfind outfind out

About International Marine Environmental Consultancy (IMEC), MSc, PG Dip - at Newcastle University

Our International Marine Environmental Consultancy course meets the growing demand for marine consultants and coastal managers in UK, European and international business. You draw on key skills in industry-specific modules, learn to develop the commercial value of your knowledge and enhance your career prospects by working with industry partners on your final project.

Students undertaking practical work. Photography credit: Steve McDonald.

The course brings together core ecological skills with the business elements required to compete in this growing sector. Expert academic staff maintain an extensive network of contacts. A four month consultancy project provides opportunities for developing a proposal to collaborate with a world-leading marine consultancy.

This interdisciplinary course attracts a wide range of honours graduates. Your background skills may come from geography, the law and politics as well as marine biology and the environmental sciences. An interest in the marine environment and its management, and a professional, committed attitude are essential.

You will do a research project in one of the areas of the Marine Biology, Ecosystems and Governance (MBEG) research group and key consultancies operating across these areas:

  • structural and functional integrity of ecosystems
  • biological and socio-economic drivers of ecosystem change
  • governance and management of resource use

Opportunities in other marine science research groups may exist:

  • Marine Resources and Renewable Energy (MRRE):
    • antifouling and ballast water treatment
    • bacterial bioactive products
    • bioenergy
  • Oceans and Climate focuses on the production, consumption and air-sea exchange of greenhouse gases.

The marine science research groups form part of extensive national and international networks. Recent partnerships and collaborations include:

  • the Environment Agency
  • Natural England
  • Northumberland Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority
  • University of the West Indies (Barbados)
  • National Oceanographic Centre Southampton (NOCS)
  • University of Costa Rica
  • North Sea Regional Advisory Council
  • Haribon Foundation

You have the support of a marine science research community including 30 research students, six-10 post-doctoral scientists, six technicians and 13 full-time academic staff. This provides you with abundant opportunities to progress your scientific career, whether in industry or academia. Students have been successful at finding employment in industry, academia, government agencies and non-governmental organisations. You will also train to produce final projects of publishable quality.


Modules are block taught, with intensive teaching weeks and weeks of private study. Each semester is 60 credits  (in full-time mode). The intensive teaching weeks run Monday to Friday from 9am-5pm.

Teaching is delivered via lectures, seminars, practical sessions (in computer labs, on boats and shores) and personal supervision. Projects may be analytical, experimental, or field based, designed to give you the skills you need for future research.

The course finishes with a four month project. This is delivered in conjunction with consultancy partners in the UK or overseas.

Modules are delivered on the University's main campus but the Dove Marine Laboratory and the RV Princess Royal are also used as teaching venues.


You have a unique opportunity to complete a four month work placement with consultancy partners from a network of marine organisations. These partnerships have been fostered over many decades working with and in the commercial marine sector. Organisations that have worked with our students on their consultancy projects include:

  • major international consultancies eg AMEC, ERM, Natural Power, Vatenfall
  • national government agencies eg Natural England, MMO, Environment Agency, Cefas, Defra
  • local managers eg Durham Heritage Coast, NIFCA, NEIFCA
  • European projects eg C-Scope
  • local niche consultancies eg CTL Consult, Envision Mapping, Environment Systems

You will meet individuals from these companies during the taught course and get to know their businesses. This enables you to develop a relevant project idea for your final piece of work. Industrial work experience operates in many final projects or you can collaborate with Newcastle academics and other universities, institutes or scientific associations.


This course forms the basis of the taught components of the Marine Science suite of postgraduate qualifications. Related courses include an MRes in Marine Ecosystems and Governance (due 2015-16).

These courses share the same modules in the first semester, creating a supportive, collaborative student cohort that often works together on interdisciplinary projects.


Our course is accredited by Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST), the first Institute to bring together marine engineers, scientists and technologists into one international multi-disciplinary professional body.

Our accreditation gives you an additional benchmark of quality to your degree, making you more attractive to graduate employers.


You have access to a wealth of local (especially the Northumberland coast) and overseas (eg Caribbean and Western Indian Ocean) field sites through ongoing funded projects and collaborations.

Students undertaking practical work.

The excellent facilities available to students in the School of Marine Science and Technology include a suite of laboratories:

  • aquaria
  • algal culture
  • stable-isotope preparation
  • marine geochemistry
    • gas chromatography
    • air-sea gas exchange tank
    • uHPLC
  • bio-fouling
    • force gauge
    • WaterJet
    • contact angle goniometer
    • molecular biology
    • tracking systems

We also operate the Dove Marine Laboratory (Cullercoats) and the versatile twin-hulled research vessel, RV The Princess Royal, and a dedicated shore station (Blyth).

Notes about fees for this course

See our course fees and funding webpage -

Entry requirements

A 2:1 honours degree in a relevant subject, or an international equivalent. You also need three to six months' relevant practical experience.

You will also be considered on an individual basis if you have non-standard qualifications and/or relevant practical experience.   

International Students

To study this course you need to meet our Band 2 English Language requirements:

Direct Entry : IELTS 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in all sub-skills)

If you have lower English Language scores, you may be accepted onto a pre-sessional English course. 

Our typical English Language requirements are listed as IELTS scores but we also accept a wide range of English Language tests.

The equivalent academic qualifications that we accept are listed on our country pages.

Pre-sessional English Course Requirements

  • 6 week Pre-sessional entry: IELTS 6.0 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in all sub-skills)
  • 10 week Pre-sessional entry:  IELTS 5.5 overall (with a minimum of 5.0 in all sub-skills)

You can study a pre-sessional English course at our INTO Newcastle Centre.

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