Sarah Strong – Marine Consultant
“I presented a talk on the environmental impacts of offshore wind farms whilst at university, and thought that it would be a very interesting job – I never anticipated that within a few years I would be at the forefront of the industry, and I think my decision to study MSc Environmental Consultancy at Plymouth University had a huge part to play in my success.
The course proved to be exactly what I had hoped for and, most importantly for me, it was vocational and aimed at preparing us for employment in the industry. My work placement was with the Environment Agency and Natural England, where I gained a real insight into the work that, not only the governmental bodies undertake, but also how consultants work alongside them. The course also provided significant help with finding a job and I was offered a position with an international engineering and environmental consultancy.
I am now working on Environmental Impact Assessments for marine renewable projects all over the UK and, as part of my current role, I am the EIA coordinator for what could be one of the largest offshore wind farms in the world. I am also working towards becoming chartered and was put forward by my company for the IEMA graduate award.”
Richard Cook - Marine Adviser, Natural England
“I studied at Plymouth University as a mature student, gaining a first class degree in BSc (Hons) Marine Biology and Oceanography. I then pursued an overseas volunteer position on a project entitled 'Best Farming Practices', based in the Philippines. Following this project, I spent four years working around south-east Asia, facilitating the set-up of sustainable aquaculture projects, and became the Environmental Manager for the Norwegian group, GenoMar AS.
On my return to the UK, I enrolled onto MSc Environmental Consultancy at Plymouth University. I was able to tailor the course towards my preferred area of interest, the conservation and sustainable management of marine resources, by utilising the excellent relationship the University has with Plymouth Marine Laboratories to obtain a marine oriented work placement and research project.
Having successfully gained a distinction in the MSc, I was able to secure a position as Marine Adviser with Natural England – advisers to the government on issues regarding the natural environment. The MSc provided the necessary knowledge and training to enter this role and I am currently leading on the designation of a new Special Protection Area in the South West.”
Sophie Cocks - Technical Officer, Tidal Waters and Water Quality
“My first degree was in Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology, following my passion for the marine environment. Upon completion, I managed to gain a paid bursary working for the Marine Institute in the Republic of Ireland. This gave me insight into how industry and the environment come together, and led into my decision to study MSc Environmental Consultancy.
The course provided me with the opportunity to gain understanding of ecological assessments, legislation, and environmental law and put these into practical application. It also gave me the chance to be involved in the research surrounding biodiversity in the Lyme Bay Marine Protected Area.
The work placement module allowed me to gain experience working for a consultancy, but also through working on a strategic project that focused on stakeholder engagement and the environment. It gave me essential skills which enabled me to gain my current role within the Environment Agency.
I am now a Technical Officer for Tidal Waters and Water Quality in the South West. I am involved in planning consultations within the marine and estuarine environment, shellfish waters investigations, and water company asset management plans, amongst other areas of interest within the coastal environment. I am very thankful to the course and lecturers, who provided knowledge and constant support, when we needed it.”