Student Perspective | Emma Hall | Marine Science

MSc Marine Science & Climate Change
2nd July 2020

Emma Hall

Emma is a student on the Masters in Marine Science and Climate Change course at the University of Gibraltar.
Originally from Birmingham in the UK, Emma had obtained her a degree in English Literature at the University of Exeter and spent some time working before deciding that she wanted to retrain and specialise in environmental policy. It was through her search for a course that would deliver exactly what she was seeking that she found the University of Gibraltar. Emma spoke to us about her choice of university and her experiences so far:

What attracted you to studying at University of Gibraltar and specifically, the MSc in Marine Science and Climate Change programme?

Studying at the University of Gibraltar immediately appealed to me as it positioned in such a unique location that provides an excellent place to study marine science, with the Straits of Gibraltar on the doorstep. I originally came from a humanities background and had experience working in environmental policy back home in England.
I thought that the MSc in Marine Science and Climate Change course would be perfect for me to retrain in a relevant scientific discipline. The modules on the course were attractive to me as they had an excellent balance between marine science (looking at oceanography, biology and conservation) and climate change (in terms of the impacts, adaptation and risk reduction aspects).

How has it been settling-in in a new country?

I found it really easy to settle into life in Gibraltar! It is a really tight knit community so you feel a part of things immediately. It was lovely to keep seeing friendly faces when walking down Main Street and I enjoyed the socials with students from the University. I’ve really missed being part of the bustle of Gibraltar since returning to the England.

How has the MSc programme aided you in terms of skills?

An asset of the course is that the assignments, lectures and practical sessions are so diverse and really encourage a broad range of skills development. Students are encouraged to keep a personal development plan throughout the Master’s course and I can see how much I have progressed during the year!
I have particularly enjoyed improving my science communication skills through producing videos, infographics and presenting scientific posters. My research skills have also greatly improved and I feel much more confident about the process of data collection, analysis and academic write-up.

What is your MSc dissertation project on?

Throughout the Master’s course, I have been particularly interested in the interaction between society and the sea – in terms of how people perceive, value and behave towards the marine environment.
I therefore chose to undertake a dissertation in the marine social sciences and am currently investigating how marine citizenship values are expressed in Gibraltar and the potential interactions and implications for local marine governance.

Tell us about your UniGib experience and the MSc programme how it has helped you towards your chosen career path

I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience at the University of Gibraltar and would highly recommend it. I’ve particularly benefited from the small class sizes as it has been easy to make close friends, ask questions during lectures and establish a supportive academic relationship with the professors.
I’ve loved the MSc course and have found the modules really engaging and although the assessments are challenging, there is always someone you can turn to for support. As everything is a bit up in the air with COVID-19, I am unsure if I will try to get a job or apply for a PhD after this but I know that the job interview and research skills training I have received during the MSc will help me on either career path.