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Postgraduate study at SAMS


Our postgraduates are an integral part of SAMS


Postgraduate students are a vital component of the life and activities at the SAMS. Currently we offer two options for Masters level study, and host approximately 25 PhD students. Staff furthermore act as (co-)supervisors for research students (both MSc and PhD) registered at other universities. While most of our research students study full-time, we also host a number of part-time students who are sometimes sponsored by their employers to conduct their research degrees.

NEW fully funded BBSRC PhD studentship: Algal Surfactants - Lower Algal Surface Tension (LAST) Follow this link for application information. Closing date - 17 Jan 2015 - See more at:

  • Three PhD studentships to study the changing Arctic Ocean (deadline 20 Feb 17)... more
  • Offering two marine science PhD studentships using Smart and Autonomous Observation Systems as part of the NEXUSS CTD... more (application deadline 31st January 2017)
  • PhD opportunities at SAMS through our University of Edinburgh doctoral training partnership on a) biogeochemistry of the greatest depths of the world oceans; b) sustainable and safe harvesting of seaweed; c) neodymium isotopes in Iceland/Scotland overflow waters; d) photochemical modification of estuarine iron bioavailability in organic-rich catchments; and e) developing high resolution fish otolith trace element microchemistry. More...
  • PhD students release film about shell production in shellfish...
  • Studentships available for Masters programme in Aquaculture, Environment & Society


Postgraduate admissions

Any enquiries regarding both taught and research opportunities for postgraduate students at SAMS should be directed at Fiona Wallace:



Funding for our current and recent research studentships are provided by:



Master courses

We are offering several opportunities for studies at Master level:

We are also delivering the 'Blue Biotechnology' module of the Industrial Biotechnology Master programme launched by the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre at the University of Strathclyde.


Please note: On our Master programmes, student projects may be undertaken as part of larger externally-funded research activity. In such circumstances, an external sponsor is likely to own the intellectual property and copyright of work generated during your programme of study.


PhD research at SAMS

Doctoral studies at the SAMS cover most marine science sub-disciplines with projects in areas including:

  • Marine robotics
  • Aquaculture and fisheries
  • Marine biotechnology
  • Marine renewable energy
  • Marine policy and governance
  • Physical oceanography
  • Environmental change
  • Marine ecology - from coastal to deep sea
  • Northern and Arctic seas and sea ice dynamics
  • Microbial and molecular biology
  • Sediment geochemistry
  • Palaeoceanography
  • Biogeochemistry
  • Modelling


Current opportunities

  • Three PhD studentships studying the changing Arctic Ocean (apply by 20 Feb 17). More...
  • Arctic Ice Retreat and the impact on ocean fluxes (apply by 16 Jan 2017). More
  • Sustainable and safe harvesting of seaweed (apply by 16 Jan 2017). More...
  • Biogeochemistry of the greatest depths of the world oceans (apply by 16 Jan 2017). More...
  • Neodymium isotopes in Iceland-Scotland overflow waters (apply by 16 Jan 2017). More...
  • Photochemical modification of estuarine iron bioavailability in organic rich cathments (apply by 16 Jan 2017). More....
  • Developing high resolution fish otolith trace element microchemistry (apply by 16 Jan 2017). More...
  • From above and below: the double boundary layer problem (NEXUSS CDT) (apply by 31 Jan 2017). More...
  • Velocity measurements in swift boundary currents using underwater gliders equipped with acoustic Doppler current profilers (NEXUSS CDT) (apply by 31 Jan 2017. More...

Some ideas for potential self-funded projects at SAMS can be accessed here...

If you have an interest in becoming a PhD student at SAMS, please contact us.

Note: Most our postgraduate research students are registered through the University of the Highlands and Islands. We have recently begun a close collaborative doctoral programme with the University of Edinburgh.


What our postgraduate research students say about studying at SAMS...

"One of the things that attracted me to SAMS is that various disciplines of marine science are under one roof.  Whilst I still have the support and encouragement of a very strong marine physics group and fellow oceanography students, I share an office with, and interact with ecologists, microbiologists, marine geologists, policy experts and chemists."

Clare Johnson, PhD student - graduated 2012

Contact us
Education Department
Scottish Marine Institute
Oban, Argyll PA37 1QA, UK
T: +44 (0) 1631 559 000
Education @ SAMS
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