What is a Masters in Applied Ocean Sciences?

MARiS convenes a one-year coursework (full-time) Masters in Applied Ocean Sciences, which is joint between the Department of Biological Sciences and the Department of Oceanography at the University of Cape Town. This course provides interdisciplinary training in treating the most applied aspects of oceanography and marine biology, with the aim to become future ocean professionals. It is designed for both recent graduates as well as those with some years’ experience and who wish to gain skills to operate in the ocean services sector, with a focus on operational and conservational activities, food, water quality and recreation, preservation and other aspects of the Blue Economy.

Why do a Masters in Applied Ocean Sciences?

A. Traditional academic training in disciplinary ocean sciences

Issues with this model:

  • For the Academia, MSc students who are not producing scientific outcomes (contributions to scientific publications) are seen as losses
  • Universities need high numbers of Hons and MSc students to ensure that the stock is sufficiently large to provide the best PhDs
  • Governmental institutions, private companies and industry in general cannot invest too much into internship support because training is expensive (especially in terms of HR time)
  • Companies and governmental institutions need trained and qualified people, but they consider current post-grads to be anchored to the theoretical academic path/training and they are “not professionally ready”


B. Training in Ocean Sciences: the new model

Aims of AOS MSc course

  • The MSc degree in Applied Ocean Sciences aims to produce marine professionals with a strong academic foundation who are knowledgeable about the major topics in interdisciplinary ocean sciences
  • This course will provide academic and technical skills to deal with the most applied aspects of oceanography and marine biology. It is designed for both recent graduates as well as those with several years’ experience and who wish to work in the ocean services sector, with a focus on operational and conservation activities linked to the Blue Economy. This is achieved by exposing the students to a range of disciplines, to provide them with the requisite skills to carry out research and to use the products of research.
  • The course reinforces essential employability skills such as scientific communication, numeracy and analytical thinking, and demonstrates the ability to perform independent research through the project component.  





Pre-requisites for admission

  • 4 years Bachelor degree (with research project) or Honours degree.
  • Previous specialised knowledge of oceanography or marine biology is not essential
  • Both BSc and BA (+hons) students are eligible, with preference for students with Science background
  • An average of 65% in science subjects or >70% in other pertinent subjects
  • BA students are required to write in their motivation letter how they will compensate for knowledge gaps in science subjects