Coastal Conservation and Management
The coastal seas constitute less than 20 per cent of the earth's surface, but 60 per cent of the human race lives in association with the sea. The world's coastlines are one of its most important and intensively used areas but tourism, climate change and development put enormous pressure on these vulnerable and ever-changing margins between land and sea.
Yet this is a time for serious thinking about the power of water and its potential for destruction along Britain's coastlines. The tides in September and October reach their highest levels and certain areas of the country take steps to prevent disaster. Hull can lower its tidal surge barrier, Felixtowe protects the promenade if the beach levels are sucked away by the waves.
We are all becoming increasingly aware of the fragility of our environment and the impact of climate change. The UK's coastline has been shifting since the ice age as part of a natural process that has brought losses and gains to coastal areas, but climate change and sea-level rise pose significant challenges for living with a changing coastline. Courses are available to give students skills and knowledge in marine sciences, civil engineering and environmental management for working in coastal management and conservation. Coastal management is also offered, as a multidisciplinary subject, with elements of geography, geology, biology, environmental protection, law, meteorology and oceanography.
Example areas of study
The courses listed below differ widely in their content, depending on whether their focus is on engineering or marine biology or on environmental studies so it is important to check each of your preferred courses carefully for their core and optional modules, and for any professional body accreditation, work experience provision or opportunities for field trips or study abroad. The example areas of study listed below are selected from environmentally-focused courses and are intended as a guide to the core and optional modules found, and skills taught, in Coastal Conservation and Management courses.
- Oceanography and coastal studies
- Biology, atmospheres and oceans
- Earth and coastal processes
- Coastal zone management and analysis
- Marine resource development
- Marine biology, ecology and conservation
- Environmental law
- Planning and environmental impact assessment
- Water resources
- Pollution studies
- Habitat assessment and management
- Environmental management
- Global development issues
- Landscape ecology and management
- Ecological surveying
- Water quality measurement
- Geographical information systems
- Business management
- Research and study skills
Some career possibilities
Coastal conservation and management is a growth area across the world and career opportunities are said to be more available than they have ever been before. Graduates from this subject area have found employment in environmental organisations, government departments, local authorities, civil engineering consultants and contractors, conservation agencies, flood defence work, harbour authorities, tourism organisations, wildlife trusts, environmental consultancies, waste management and pollution control. Another option is research and study for higher degrees.
What do I need to get on a course?
You will need to check the entry requirements with the institutions that you wish to apply to as they do vary from course to course. The list below is intended as a guide to the qualifications and grades that you may need:
- UCAS Tariff: 160 - 300 points including a mathematical and science subject and/or geography/environmental science
- European Baccalaureate: 65 - 75% including a science subject
- International Baccalaureate: 24 - 28 points including a relevant subject
- SQA Highers: BBBB including a relevant science subjects
- SQA Advanced Highers: BBB including relevant subjects
For your application or interview, evidence of the following could be useful:
- Work experience in coastal or environmental agencies
- Voluntary work, membership of wildlife and habitat conservation bodies
- Reports from any field trips you have attended, for example to coastal sites
- Interests in marine, environmental, geological and climate issues
- Reading you have done to extend your knowledge
- Some knowledge of coastal environmental problems, both in the UK and worldwide
To find out more about the typical subjects you will study, potential career paths resulting from studying Motorsport and further information useful for your application log-on to Course Discover at www.coursediscoveronline.co.uk*
*NB: Your school or college will need a subscription to Course Discover in order for you to gain access, for further information go to:www.coursediscover.co.uk