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Marine Mammal Science (MSc)

The Masters in Marine Mammal Science aims to prepare students fully for a professional career involved with conservation of and research into marine mammals.

It is, first and foremost, a course in quantitative marine ecology. The programme addresses the unique scientific challenges of marine mammal physiology and behaviour with strong components of analytical techniques and research methods. The course is led by members of the world renowned Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU).

Whether because of their sheer size, complex behaviour, intriguing social structures or historic persecution, marine mammals in particular have come to symbolise issues in marine ecology. Conservation of endangered marine mammal species and management of their populations, especially those interacting with human activities, often attain prominent positions in the news, and in the attentions of both governmental and non-governmental agencies.

The need to know more about the lives and behaviours of marine mammals, driven by many agendas, coincides with a period in which improving technology is making it increasingly possible for us to probe the marine environment, and learn more about its inhabitants.

As a result, the rapidly developing, and highly topical, discipline of marine mammal science is an area in which many excellent biology graduates seek to build careers.

Recent news

Our journey aboard the Silurian [the research vessel of the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust] began at 6pm on Monday 27th May. We were introduced to the crew on the …

June 18, 2019

(Blog written by Jenny Hampson) To mark the end of orientation week on the Marine Mammal Science MSc, students met with the inspirational and charismatic cetacean scientist, Dr Asha de …

December 7, 2018

Master’s students at the School of Biology kick-started Orientation week with a visit to the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther. Following a short bus ride past the beautiful Scottish landscape, …

September 18, 2018

After a short adventure through the breath-taking landscape of Skye, we arrived at Kyle of Lochalsh and received a warm welcome from the crew of the Silurian. We ate dinner …

August 16, 2018