International Master of Science
Marine Biodiversity and Conservation

From September 2017 onwards, IMBRSea (the International Master in Marine Biological Resources) replaces the EMBC+ programme. See for more information about the programme and application procedure.

The International Master of Science in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation (EMBC+) is a two year joint international master programme offered by a consortium of 6 European universities and a worldwide network of over 45 associate members.

Students can choose their study pathways to suit their research interests and career aspirations. EMBC+ students study at a minimum of two European universities, with the first year undertaken at either Ghent University, Bremen University or the University of Algarve. The third semester can be taken at either Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT), University Pierre and Marie Curie (UPMC) or the University of Oviedo, with the final thesis work being undertaken at any partner university or associate member.

The EMBC+ programme offers extensive practical and laboratory work opportunities, including an internship and the annual EMBC+ spring school. The spring school brings together all students and several teachers to collaborate on specialised research topics at the Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Sciences in Sweden.

Key Features

  • Study at a choice of 6 European universities and receive one joint international diploma

  • Complete 120 credits over two years including a 30 credit thesis

  • Gain access to Europe's top marine research institutes

  • Be part of an international student community

  • Experience the diversity of European marine ecosystems

  • Tailor your EMBC+ programme to your own personal interests

  • Benefit from a wide range of transferable skill training

  • Gain valuable skills through extensive practical and laboratory training

  • Research projects as an integral part of your study programme

  • Participate in a 10 days field research project at the Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Sciences

Mobility & Study Pathways

EMBC+ First Year
The first year is undertaken at either Ghent University, the University of the Algarve or Bremen University and focuses on the core course modules. In the second semester all students attend the ten day EMBC+ Spring School followed by the option of further courses or an internship. 




EMBC+ Second Year
Includes one semester of courses and a semester dedicated to Master thesis work. Depending on your interests you can choose to study at either the University of Oviedo, UPMC, or GMIT. Master thesis work can be undertaken at any EMBC+ consortium member.


Course Details

The EMBC+ study programme is divided into seven modules for which you need to complete a minimum required amount of European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS):

Thematic course modules:

  • Understanding the structure and function of marine biodiversity - 18 ECTS
  • Toolbox for investigating marine biodiversity - 18 ECTS
  • Conservation and restoration of marine biodiversity - 6 ECT
  • Transferable skills - 8 ECTS

Applied modules:

  • Internship - 12 ECTS
  • Spring School - 6 ECTS
  • Thesis work - 30 ECTS

Career Opportunities

The EMBC+ programme will prepare you for a broad range of careers from academic marine research to working within industry, governmental or non-governmental organisations. Potential roles include:

  • Fisheries biologist
  • Marine consultant
  • Ocean and coastal policy coordinator
  • Contract scientific diver
  • Marine biologist
  • Oceanographer
  • Marine park manager

The EMBC+ Master qualifications are recognised worldwide for entry into doctoral studies.

Entry Requirements

  • A Bachelor, Honours or Master degree in biology, ecology, environmental sciences, oceanography, marine sciences, geography, geology, or other equivalent degrees with a minimum of 180 ETCS at the latest by 1st September 2016 and for non-European students preferably before 28th February 2016.

  • Knowledge of the English language and evidence of your proficiency in English through one of the documents listed here.

Fees & Funding

Currently EMBC+ tuition fees are set at:

  • €2500 per year for European citizens
  • €3500 per year for non-European citizens

The annual tuition fees cover:

  • Enrollment and tuition costs at university of study
  • Spring School costs: food, accommodation and compensation for transport
  • Graduation/Thesis Event costs: food (excluding lunch), accommodation and local transport
  • Transferable skills course budget of €250
  • Thesis mobility budget of €150

Further information on fees and funding can be found here.

How to Apply

From September 2017 onwards, IMBRSea (the International Master in Marine Biological Resources) replaced the EMBC+ programme. Applications for becoming a student in the programme will be open from November 2017 onward and are completed online via the IMBRSea application tool. See for more information about the programme and application procedure.