International Master of Science in
Marine Biological Resources

The International Master in Marine Biological Resources (IMBRSea), is a joint Master programme organized by nine 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), University of Bergen (NO) and Université de Bretagne Occidentale (FR), 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. 

IMBRSea will replace the EMBC+ programme from September 2017 onwards. Applications for becoming a student in the programme will be open from December 2016 onwards. 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 offered by Ghent University, University of the Algarve, University of Oviedo, Université de Bretagne Occidentale and University Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC). During the second and the third semester, the students follow two Thematic Modules, leading to one of the five Specialization Tracks defined according to the EU Horizon2020 Blue Growth innovation challenges: (1) Marine food production, (2) Management of living marine resources, (3) Applied marine ecology and conservation, (4) Marine environment health, and (5) Global ocean change.

IMBRSea offers, beside 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.

IMBRSea aims to prepare students for the rapidly evolving demands of the blue bio-economy and research on the sustainable use of marine biological resources. The international, interdisciplinary and intersectoral nature of these challenges demands the integrated approach which IMBRSea fully encompasses.

Key Features

  • Study at a choice of 8 European universities and receive one joint degree

  • Complete 120 ECTS over two years including a 30 ECTS thesis

  • Gain access to Europe's top marine research institutes

  • Be part of an international student community

  • Experience the diversity of European marine ecosystems

  • Choose a thematic specialization fit to your own personal interests

  • Gain valuable skills through extensive practical and laboratory training

  • Present your thesis at an international open symposium

  • Research projects as an integral part of your study programme

  • Participate in a 10 days field research project during the IMBRSea Joint School


Mobility & Study Pathways

  1. Start the first semester at Ghent University, University of the Algarve, University of Western Britanny or Oviedo University and get trained in the basic skills and knowledge in Marine Biological Resources:
  2. Choose a thematic specialization and study at the top universities in these fields in semester 2 and semester 3:
  3. Do a professional practice of at least 6 weeks at the end of semester 2 in a research institute or a professional stakeholder
  4. Develop your own research during semester 4 and present it in a yearly international thesis symposium.


Study Programme

  1. Semester 1: 
    • Marine policy and governance - 3 ECTS
    • Marine genomics - 3 ECTS
    • Quantitative methods in marine science - 6 ECTS
    • Oceanography - 6 ECTS
    • Marine ecology - 6 ECTS
    • Marine GIS and spatial planning - 3 ECTS
    • Transferable skills course - 3 ECTS
  2. Semester 2:
  3. Semester 3:
  4. Semester 4:
    • Master thesis - 30 ECTS

More information about the study programme can be found at:


Career Opportunities

The IMBRSea 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

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 of 2017 and for non-European students preferably before 1st March 2017.

  • Knowledge of the English language is considered as a basic requirement. All students must provide evidence of their proficiency in English through one of the following documents:

    • A recent TOEFL Certificate: minimum score: 570 points (paper) or 87 points (internet)
    • A recent IELTS Certificate: minimum score: 6.5
    • A recent Certificate of a University Language Centre testifying that the student masters the necessary knowledge of English to function academically (specify CEF-level / minimum CEF-level B2) 
    • A recent Cambridge English certificate: Cambridge English First (FCE) - grade A or B 
    • A certificate proving that you have followed at least 1 year of higher education in English

Fees & Funding

Study fees for IMBRSea are set at € 4500 for EU students and € 9000 for non-EU students. Fee-waivers have been installed for self-funding students. With a fee-waiver EU students pay € 3500 per year; non-EU students pay € 4500 per year. More information about study costs is available here.

Erasmus Mundus Scholarships are available for academic year 2017. Apply for these scholarships before 30th March 2017. More information on scholarships is available here.

How to Apply

  • Step 1: Preparing for IMBRSea
  • Step 2: make an IMBRSea personal account in the IMBRSea application tool -  enter here
  • Step 3: enter all required data in the IMBRSea application tool enter here:
    • personal data
    • study overview
    • language skills
    • motivation
  • Step 4: submit the IMBRSea application to the IMBRSea coordination office before March, 30th 2017. Exceptionally EU-students can apply until June, 1st 2017, however it is not possible to apply for an Erasmus Scholarship after March, 30th 2017.

More information at