Coral reefs are the most species-rich marine habitats, and also among the most threatened. Rapid global change has the potential to cause significant harm to these unique ecosystems and impact the local and global resources they provide.
By studying MSc Tropical Marine Biology with in our School of Life Sciences you will enjoy a unique training experience, designed to provide you with the specific tools to study and protect fragile marine systems.
Our multidisciplinary course is delivered entirely by research-active academics who are among the leaders of their respective disciplines. Advanced theory in tropical marine biology is complemented by practical skills training in quantitative methods, data analytics, field survey techniques and a comprehensive range of the practical and professional skills required by today’s employers.
During a field trip to Indonesia you can put theory into practice by studying coral reef conservation in action (subsidised, with a variable element to be paid by the student). Or, we can help you to identify your ideal work placement or equivalent project in the UK.
Our MSc Tropical Marine Biology course will introduce you to the unique resources found in tropical oceans through modules focusing on:
- The biotechnological ‘treasure chest’ of marine microbes, algae and invertebrates. What processes underpin a healthy marine ecosystem? How can we use microbes to clean up pollution and make new eco-friendly materials from aquaculture waste?
- Quantitative analysis of ecological processes in the tropical oceans, from seagrass beds and mangroves to coral reefs and artificial communities growing on man-made structures. How do you measure and compare populations and communities?
- Coral reef resource management and conservation. How can local communities protect coral reefs while practising traditional activities and sustainably harvesting food?
In addition to taught modules covering these topics and more, you will embark on an extensive research project under the supervision of an expert at the forefront of their field. You will have the freedom to choose the subject of your project, which can be conducted in field, within our new aquatic biology research facility, in a working academic research laboratory on campus or alongside one of our research partners across the globe. The project is your chance to develop the specific experience that you will need to go into employment generating ecological survey data, prospecting for pharmaceuticals, practising data analytics, GIS mapping or directing environmental policy.
Visit our MSc Marine Science and Sustainable Development course page for information about our other marine postgraduate degree.
Sustainability at Essex
To learn about the initiatives and actions the University of Essex is taking to tackle the climate and biodiversity crises, visit our sustainability page.