Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland

Further background

Graduate School

Topic selection

The organisation can propose:

  • a specific project title or topic for the student to deliver;
  • a general idea of a business need which requires further development;
  • a core research theme to be developed by the student into a bespoke project;
  • an intended outcome for the organisation, thus leaving the design of the research entirely to the student.

Projects should typically be achievable within an 8-16 (including write up) week time frame.

Projects that will be available for the 2021/22 year are:

Further details on these projects and relevant contact details are provided. Just click on the project titles above to find out more. Make sure you speak with your supervisor before you approach OSC, Marine Scotland or NatureScot.

Projects that were available for the 2020/2021 year:

We teamed up with a number of partners who had Masters projects to offer. Titles are below, and interested students/supervisors got in touch with the relevant partner (contact details have been provided). Click on the partner name to see the project and further details.

  • A study of prey items during the raising of a white-tailed eagle at the nest, hunted in an area rich in both natural prey from a coastal environment and where unnatural prey such as livestock are plentiful.
  • Review and analysis of underwater video from tidal turbines
  • Subtidal seagrass bed habitat suitability
  • Fair Isle Demonstration and Research Marine Protected Area – Dec2020 updated info available here – there are now two possible projects on offer (both desk based). 1) Changes in fishing activity: comparing present day and historic fishing activities using remote sensing data and archive fishing diaries. 2) Analysis of night-time bird migration data.
  • Mapping changes in the marine soundscape due to oil and gas decommissioning
  • Quantifying the artificial reef potential of offshore energy structures
  • Assessing the potential sensitivity of habitat and species to Carbon Capture and Storage developments
  • Parasites as biological tags of monkfish – a potential fishery management tool
  • Investigating growth trends and drivers of North Sea commercial fish species
  • Monitoring of marine litter with fisheries CCTV data
  • Biotope identification using supervised machine learning
  • Biotope identification using supervised machine learning
  • Predicting the impacts of sea lice on Scottish aquaculture using biologically “smart” particle tracking models
  • Predicting fishing effort and impact
  • Understanding fisheries displacement from fisheries management and other marine activities
  • Review of ports infrastructure in Northern Ireland
  • Building a culture of innovation in the Scottish seafood industry
  • What does Natural Capital mean for Scottish fisheries?
  • Investigating barriers to accessing sea time for innovation research
Example feedback:
As part of the MMM MSc a GIS based model has been developed to examine the spatial and temporal variability in noise levels around the Shetland Islands, and whether these levels are sufficient to impact marine mammals and whether they exceed levels permitted under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. Whilst this approach has been trialled elsewhere, including Canada and Australia, it is the first time this modelling approach has been used in the UK.
Project suitability
The relevant Course Director/academic supervisor will help to to refine the proposed topic, ensuring that it meets both the requirements of the organisation and the academic needs of the student.
Organisation and University Supervisors

The organisation is required to provide a supervisor to:

  • oversee delivery of the project to ensure objectives are being  met;
  • provide the student with a project briefing and expected outputs;
  • ensure the student is aware of, and complies with legal requirements related to being based in the workplace (if applicable).

The academic co-supervisor is required to:

  • be available throughout the project for input;
  • ensure the project is on track via regular contact with the student;
  • oversee the write-up stages.
Project agreement

All  terms are defined by the organisation, university and student at the outset to ensure all parties have agreed the key parameters.These include (but are not limited to):

  • project title, start date and delivery deadline;
  • location – will the student be based in the work place, at university or both?
  • operating procedures and workplace regulations (working hours, health and safety procedures etc;
  • outputs of the project;
  • Intellectual Property rights, Non-Disclosure Agreements and project ownership on completion.
Project Delivery

The student is responsible for project completion and delivery to meet the agreed deadline. Assessment of the final academic output remains the responsibility of the University and no input is required from the host in this respect, unless previously agreed.  However, hosts may request additional outputs, for example, an executive summary or technical report.

MASTS Resources

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  • Find an expert
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  • MASTS Publications


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