International Master of Science in Marine Biological Resources (Marine Food Production)

Course content

The International Master in Marine Biological Resources (IMBRSea), is a joint Master’s programme organized by eight leading European universities in the field of marine sciences; Ghent University (BE), University of Pierre and Marie Curie (FR), University of the Algarve (PT), University of Oviedo (ES), Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (IE), University of the Basque Country (ES), Polytechnic University of Marche (IT), and University of Bergen (NO), and is supported by fourteen Marine Research Institutes belonging to the European Marine Biological Resource Centre (EMBRC).

Based on the objectives of the EMBRC consortium, IMBRSea covers a wide, yet consistent, range of subjects related to the sustainable use of marine biological resources. With an emphasis on marine biological and ecological processes, the programme links biology of marine organisms and environmental studies with subjects in marine policy and planning.

Course structure

IMBRSea is a two year, 120 ECTS study programme that starts with a first semester of courses within the fundamental modules in which students gain the core competences required for starting any of the five specialization tracks of the programme. This first semester is offered by Ghent University, University of the Algarve, University of Oviedo and University Pierre et Marie Curie. During the second and the third semester, the students follow two thematic modules, leading to one of the five specialization tracks are defined according to the EU Horizon2020 Blue Growth innovation challenges:

  • Marine food production led by University of the Algarve and University of the Basque Country
  • Management of living marine resources led by University of Oviedo and Galway Mayo Institute of Technology
  • Applied marine ecology and conservation led by University Pierre et Marie Curie and Galway Mayo Institute of Technology
  • Marine environment health led by University of the Algarve and the Polytechnic University Delle Marche
  • Global ocean change led by University Pierre et Marie Curie and University of Bergen.

IMBRSea offers, besides a wide variety of courses in the thematic modules, also a series of jointly developed activities. In the second half of the second semester, students will gain authentic experience during six weeks of professional practice offered by potential future employers. During a joint school students from the same cohort will come together for programme-wide training on multi-disciplinary topics. During the last semester students have the opportunity to develop an individual thesis research project, tailored to their personal interests. This research project is presented on the IMBRSea Annual Symposium which unites both first and second year students, as well as future employers and interested stakeholders.

Programme mobility

The students will live and study in at least two European cities and will receive a Joint degree signed by the eight European universities. Students will choose in the first year among four universities – Ghent, Algarve, Oviedo and Pierre et Marie Curie – which are offering in the first semester mainly the basic multidisciplinary courses. From the second semester onwards, students choose from one of the five specialization tracks. In the second and third semester, they follow two thematic modules. All students undertake their thesis work during the fourth semester, at one of the IMBRSea partners or members of the consortium.

Career perspectives

The EU-Marine Strategy provides an integrated framework for analysing relevant community policies’ contributions to the protection of and the impact on the marine environment. This EU-Strategy is the basis for the national European authorities and policies at the one hand and is the basis for debate at the global scale regarding policies for Nature protection and Conservation in general. The IMBRsea masters will be well trained to operate immediately within these policy environments. Most of them will use this master as a basis for PhD research. Masters and post-docs specialised in marine biological resources can help in the implementation of the strategies for future sustainable use of the natural marine resources taking into account the natural ecological background of the ecosystems. The added value for IMBRsea masters will be that they can operate on a global scale since there is no restriction in the programme regarding types of biotopes (going from the coast to the deep sea and from poles to poles).