MSc Coastal Resilience 

Study mode

Full-time (1 year)

Start date(s)

September 2019

Tuition fees 19/20
Home (full-time, per year): To be confirmed
International (full-time, per year): To be confirmed
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About this course

Gain knowledge and skills to find practical and sustainable solutions to problems arising from coastal zone climate change, development and population growth.

  • Take up this unique opportunity to study coastal resilience from a trans-Atlantic perspective with semesters in the UK and the USA
  • Look forward to excellent employment opportunities in areas such as marine and coastal spatial planning, policy making for local/national government, coastal zone management and coastal urban regeneration
  • Develop extensive practical experience using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing (RS) technologies
  • Benefit from a hands-on and field-based approach to learning

This new Masters offers a unique opportunity to study coastal resilience from a trans-Atlantic perspective. ​The programme is jointly taught by LJMU and Southern Connecticut State University so you will benefit from studying coastal resilience in both the UK and the USA.

Coastlines and coastal seas are vitally important to the world’s population and provide a focus for transport, food, energy production, tourism, leisure and livelihood. Changes in the world’s oceans – particularly those due to climate change – will have a profound impact on coastal regions, calling for increased sustainable planning and decision making.


The programme has been developed in response to increased demand for graduates with the knowledge and practical skills required to find sustainable solutions to contemporary problems in the coastal zone. This will include managing risks from environmental hazards and balancing potential growth in ‘Blue Economy’ industries.

Fees and funding

There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students


The fees quoted at the top of this page cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:

  • Library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • Access to programme-appropriate software
  • Library and student IT support
  • Free on-campus wifi via eduroam

Additional costs

Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:

  • accommodation and living expenditure
  • books (should you wish to have your own copies)
  • printing, photocopying and stationery
  • PC/laptop (should you prefer to use your own)
  • mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
  • field trips (travel and activity costs)

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  • placements (travel expenses and living costs)
  • student visas (international students only)
  • study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
  • academic conferences (travel costs)
  • professional-body membership
  • graduation (gown hire etc)


There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.


Further your career prospects

LJMU has an excellent employability record with 96% (HESA 2017) of our postgraduates in work or further study six months after graduation. Our applied learning techniques and strong industry connections ensure our students are fully prepared for the workplace on graduation and understand how to apply their knowledge in a real world context.

Students will be well qualified for a number of discipline specific roles. Graduate roles include marine and coastal spatial planning, policy making (local/national governments and authorities), environmental and engineering consultancies, coastal zone management, port authorities and coastal urban regeneration. 

This is a growing sector and directly links to the expanding ‘Blue Economy’ industries (such as marine/offshore energy, ports, aquaculture, coastal infrastructure and technologies) where Liverpool and Connecticut both have significant business growth opportunities.

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Course modules

Discover the building blocks of your course

You will study a number of modules covering topics such as:

  • Coastal Resilience: Concepts and Practice
  • Coastal Systems: Biophysical and Environmental Aspects
  • Coastal Systems: Socio-cultural Aspects
  • Coastal Hazards: Policy and Practice
  • Environmental GIS and Remote Sensing
  • Research Methods

There may be some changes before you start your course.

Students in classroom - Course modules

Coastal Systems: Socio-cultural Aspects
12 credits

This module explores the social and cultural dimensions of coastal systems to develop an understanding of resilience theory in socio-ecological systems.

Coastal Systems: Biophysical and Environmental Aspects
12 credits

This module introduces students to physical aspects of coastal systems functioning, including waves, tides and currents, sediment and ecosystems. Climate-related impacts on coastal systems and implications for resilience are also explored.

Coastal Hazards, Policy and Planning
30 credits

Research Methods and Geospatial Analysis
24 credits

Research Thesis
60 credits

one at LJMU). Students will continue to work with their advisor and committee in finalising their research project.

Research Methods
8 credits

This module covers coastal resilience theory, concepts and thinking in academic work. It includes an introduction to the research process – including planning, design and method selection – along with qualitative and quantitative research methods. Research reporting skills through written and oral methods are also developed.

Geographic Information Systems
16 credits

This module provides students with the technical skills necessary to operate a GIS and open or create, manipulate and present spatial data. It covers the fundamental technical concepts of modern GIS software packages and how to apply them to geographical data.

Coastal Issues Seminar
6 credits

In this module students develop verbal communication skills in relation to coastal issues and practise negotiation skills and debate in discussion scenarios.

Coastal Fieldwork Experience
12 credits

In this module students develop field data collection skills relevant to physical and human aspects of the coastal environment and experience pressures relating to coastal development and climate change in a foreign location. It also develops individual and team working skills and explores coastal governance structures/coastal resilience planning frameworks in overseas territories.


An insight into teaching on your course

Study hours

Students will have approximately two to three hours per module per week of taught material and/or seminar work in semester 1 (September to December at SCSU) and semester 2 (January to April at LJMU). This will include class-based and field-based teaching. Taught sessions will provide an orientation to the topic and opportunity for classroom discussion and debate. This may be supplemented by reflective tutorials and workshops during the semester. Private study will cover both time spent studying (e.g. in the library), collecting primary and secondary data and completing directed tasks and coursework. You will also be expected to read widely using primary sources of reference material. The programme includes a residential field course.

Teaching methods

The course will provide students with a scientific basis for decision making and planning for resilience in the coastal zone, combining real-world problem solving and critical thinking.

Teaching will include classroom, laboratory and field-based learning. Quantitative and qualitative research methods are also taught, leading to a dissertation.

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Applied learning

You will develop extensive practical experience using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Remote Sensing (RS) technologies and field-based learning both in the UK and the USA.

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How learning is monitored on your programme

To cater for the wide-ranging content of our courses and the varied learning preferences of our students, we offer a range of assessment methods on each programme. Assessment techniques vary from module to module to reflect relevant assessment approaches and the key learning points of each topic.

Assessment is through a combination of unseen/seen examination papers and coursework. This includes portfolios comprising assessments in the form of practical reports, essays, case studies, literature reviews and problem solving exercises. Poster presentations, oral presentations/seminars and the research project thesis are also used to assess knowledge and understanding.

Course tutors

Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning

Jason Kirby

Jason Kirby

Programme Leader

Jason completed a PhD in coastal change at the University of Hull, followed by Postdoctoral research in sea-level change at the University of Plymouth. He was Programme Leader for Geography at LJMU from 2007 to 2013 and has been Subject Head for Geography and Environmental Science since 2014. Jason’s research interests include environmental change in terrestrial and coastal environments, sea-level change, coastal sedimentology and human impacts of coastal ecosystems.

This is a unique and exciting opportunity to study coastal resilience from a trans-Atlantic perspective.

School facilities

What you can expect from your School

The School is based in LJMU’s City Campus at the Byrom Street site, which is located in the heart of Liverpool city Centre. We offer postgraduates excellent laboratory and research facilities and easy access to library facilities.

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Entry requirements

You will need:

  • to contact Southern Connecticut State University Programme Leader: Patrick Heidkamp for full details of entry requirements as applications for the programme are managed by Southern Connecticut State University

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Please note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.

View country specific entry requirements

Contact LJMU's International Admissions Team for guidance on visa information. Further information is also available from our international web pages.

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Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

You will apply for the majority of postgraduate courses using our online application form. You should complete the form thoroughly and provide a detailed personal statement which reflects your suitability and aptitude for the programme.

The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.
Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.