Undergraduate Course

Integrated Master in Science: Tropical Marine Biology

(Including Placement Year)

Integrated Master in Science: Tropical Marine Biology

Overview

The details
Tropical Marine Biology (Including Placement Year)
BA97
October 2024
Full-time
5 years
Colchester Campus

Dive into our MSci Tropical Marine Biology course and enter a fascinatingly complex world of whales, coral reefs, fish, deep sea trenches, coastal lagoons, sea ice, and tropical seagrass beds.

At Essex, we believe in a truly immersive experience of research and study. This includes numerous opportunities to go on field trips as part of this course (subject to additional costs). During the field trip to Wakatobi Marine National Park in Indonesia, our students are able to participate in underwater lectures.

Tropical ecosystems provide important resources locally and globally, and coral reefs are the most diverse of marine ecosystems threatened by human activities. Our unique course is designed to deliver advanced tropical marine biology theory and to facilitate the development of a comprehensive range of practical and professional skills required by today's employers.

The vast majority of life on earth is found under the sea; but exactly how much remains unknown, since there is so much still to be explored. At Essex, we'll take you on a journey of discovery from the poles to the tropical reef systems of the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans. We work on ecosystems from estuaries and coastal environments to oceanic systems, and on conservation and resource management.

You gain an expert knowledge of marine biology through study of essential core modules and the flexibility to specialise in the areas that interest you most, including:

  • The major types of marine communities, including aquatic mammals and fish
  • Direct and indirect human impact on the marine environment
  • Coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangrove systems
  • Marine and freshwater taxonomy and biodiversity
  • Diving and snorkel-based practices

With our Integrated Masters you'll be able to fast track your degree and complete your final year in nine months compared to a regular MSc which usually takes twelve months. The course will cover key skills in tropical marine biology and provide you with the knowledge, understanding and hands-on experience required in this exciting and important area of research.

Topics include:

  • The biotechnological ‘treasure chest' of marine microbes, algae and invertebrates
  • Tropical oceans, seagrass beds, mangroves and coral reefs
  • Coral reef resource management and conservation

When you combine your undergraduate and postgraduate study in one degree you'll be equipped with a strong theoretical background, specialist expertise through independent research and practical insights into current applications. This combination makes graduates from our course attractive candidates for many employers.

Your independent research project allows you to develop your own interests. Previous topics have included shellfisheries and water quality, turtle ecology in Greece and coral reef conservation strategies in the Caribbean and Indonesia.

We're ranked 31st for promoting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal on life below water (Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023). Learn more about the THE Impact Rankings 2023 as well as the partnership between The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and the University of Essex to collaborate on training and research related to aquatic ecosystem science.

Visit our marine biology subject page for more information and content.

Why we're great.
  • Develop your marine biology research skills with our in-house Coral Reef Research Unit.
  • Gain hands-on experience of coral reef conservation in the Wakatobi Marine National Park, Indonesia.
  • We are ranked 10th for biosciences for overall positivity score (National Student Survey 2023, English Broad Discipline Institutions).

Study abroad

Your education extends beyond the university campus. We support you in expanding your education through offering the opportunity to spend a year or a term studying abroad at one of our partner universities. The five-year version of our Integrated Masters allows you to spend the third year abroad or employed on a placement abroad, while otherwise remaining identical to the four-year Integrated Masters.

Studying abroad allows you to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised.

If you spend a full year abroad you'll only pay 15% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year. You won't pay any tuition fees to your host university.

Placement year

Alternatively, you can spend your third year on a placement year with an external organisation. This is usually focussed around your course, and enables you to learn about a particular sector, company or job role, apply your academic knowledge in a practical working environment, and receive inspiration for future career pathways.

If you complete a placement year you'll only pay 20% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year.

Our expert staff

As one of the largest schools at our University, we offer a lively, friendly and supportive environment with research-led study and high-quality teaching. You benefit from our academics' wide range of expertise on important national and international problems using cutting-edge techniques.

Our research covers a wide spectrum of biology – from the cell right through to communities and ecosystems. Key academic staff for this course include Dr Leanne Hepburn, who works on community ecology of coral reefs, Professor Dave Smith who is researching tropical marine biology and conservation, Dr Michael Steinke, who is working on biogenic trace gases in marine environments, and Dr Michelle Taylor, who studies deep-sea connectivity and recently spent time on a scientific research expedition in Antarctica. Dr Taylor is also the course director for BSc Marine Biology.

The University of Essex has a Women's Network to support female staff and students, and our School was awarded the Athena Swan Silver Award in October 2020, which reflects the work carried out by staff in our School to continue to improve equality, including a mentorship scheme, support for postdoctoral research staff, and financial help towards childcare costs for academics who wish to attend conferences.

Specialist facilities

Recent investment has provided modern facilities for imaging biological systems, aquatic community ecology, photosynthesis and eco-physiology. On our course you have the opportunity to:

  • Work in an open and friendly school, with shared staff-student social spaces
  • Conduct your research alongside academics and PhD students in shared labs
  • Develop your practical skills through mapping habitats and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
  • Learn to use state-of-the-art research facilities

Your future

As the world's environmental problems increase, the demand for qualified marine biologists continues to grow, and a Masters level qualification is often a requirement for becoming a researcher, scientist, academic journal editor and to work in some public bodies or private companies.

Our graduates go on to a range of careers. Some work with governmental and non-governmental environmental agencies, organisations, consultancies and voluntary organisations, or go on to conduct doctorate research. Many overseas students return to comparable posts in their home country.

We work with the University's Careers Services to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

  • GCSE: Mathematics C/4.
  • A-levels: ABB - BBB or 128 - 120 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of 2 full A-levels, including B in Biology or Environmental Science (or equivalent). Acceptable A-level equivalents are Life and Health Sciences and Marine Science
  • BTEC: DDM or 120 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of the equivalent of 2 full A-levels. The acceptability of BTECs is dependent on subject studied and optional units taken - email ugquery@essex.ac.uk for advice.
  • Combined qualifications on the UCAS tariff: 128 - 120 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of 2 full A levels or equivalent including B in Biology or Environmental Science (or equivalent).Tariff point offers may be made if you are taking a qualification, or mixture of qualifications, from the list on our undergraduate application information page.
  • IB: 32 - 30 points or three Higher Level certificates with 655-555. Either must include Higher Level Biology grade 5. Our GCSE Maths requirement can be met with either: 4 in Standard level Maths; 3 in Higher level Maths; or 4 in IB Middle Years Maths.
  • IB Career-related Programme: We consider combinations of IB Diploma Programme courses with BTECs or other qualifications. Advice on acceptability can be provided, email Undergraduate Admissions.
  • QAA-approved Access to HE Diploma: 15 level 3 credits at Distinction and 30 level 3 credits at Merit, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided, email Undergraduate Admissions.
  • T-levels: For our Life Sciences courses we can consider T-levels taken in Science on a case-by-case basis. The offer for most courses is Distinction overall. Depending on the course applied for there may be additional requirements, which may include a specific grade in the Core. We cannot accept the T-levels in Health or Healthcare Science.

Contextual Offers:

We are committed to ensuring that all students with the merit and potential to benefit from an Essex education are supported to do so. For October 2024 entry, if you are a home fee paying student residing in the UK you may be eligible for a Contextual Offer of up to two A-level grades, or equivalent, below our standard conditional offer.
Factors we consider:

  • Applicants from underrepresented groups
  • Applicants progressing from University of Essex Schools Membership schools/colleges
  • Applicants who attend a compulsory admissions interview
  • Applicants who attend an Offer Holder Day at our Colchester or Southend campus

Our contextual offers policy outlines additional circumstances and eligibility criteria.

For further information about what a contextual offer may look like for your specific qualification profile, email ugquery@essex.ac.uk.

If you haven't got the grades you hoped for, have a non-traditional academic background, are a mature student, or have any questions about eligibility for your course, more information can be found on our undergraduate application information page or get in touch with our Undergraduate Admissions Team.

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

English language requirements

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall, or specified score in another equivalent test that we accept.

Details of English language requirements, including component scores, and the tests we accept for applicants who require a Student visa (excluding Nationals of Majority English Speaking Countries) can be found here

If we accept the English component of an international qualification it will be included in the academic levels listed above for the relevant countries.

English language shelf-life

Most English language qualifications have a validity period of 5 years. The validity period of Pearson Test of English, TOEFL and CBSE or CISCE English is 2 years.

If you require a Student visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

Pre-sessional English courses

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Pending English language qualifications

You don’t need to achieve the required level before making your application, but it will be one of the conditions of your offer.

If you cannot find the qualification that you have achieved or are pending, then please email ugquery@essex.ac.uk .

Requirements for second and final year entry

Different requirements apply for second and final year entry, and specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a visa to study in the UK. Details of English language requirements, including UK Visas and Immigration minimum component scores, and the tests we accept for applicants who require a Student visa (excluding Nationals of Majority English Speaking Countries) can be found here

Additional Notes

If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to this degree, you could prepare and gain entry through a pathway course. Find out more about opportunities available to you at the University of Essex International College

Structure

Course structure

We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of compulsory and optional modules chosen from lists. The first three undergraduate years listed below are an example structure from the current academic year. Your course structure could differ from this if modules change from year-to-year. The final Masters year shows you all of the modules currently available (compulsory and optional) so you can see the breadth of what is on offer.

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The course content is therefore reviewed on an annual basis to ensure our courses remain up-to-date so modules listed are subject to change.

We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision for you. We’ll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities as described on our website. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to significant disruption, or in response to COVID-19, we’ll let our applicants and students know as soon as possible.

Components and modules explained

Components

Components are the blocks of study that make up your course. A component may have a set module which you must study, or a number of modules from which you can choose.

Each component has a status and carries a certain number of credits towards your qualification.

Status What this means
Core
You must take the set module for this component and you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component but you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory
You must take the set module for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Compulsory with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Optional
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.

The modules that are available for you to choose for each component will depend on several factors, including which modules you have chosen for other components, which modules you have completed in previous years of your course, and which term the module is taught in.

Modules

Modules are the individual units of study for your course. Each module has its own set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria and also carries a certain number of credits.

In most cases you will study one module per component, but in some cases you may need to study more than one module. For example, a 30-credit component may comprise of either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules, depending on the options available.

Modules may be taught at different times of the year and by a different department or school to the one your course is primarily based in. You can find this information from the module code. For example, the module code HR100-4-FY means:

HR 100  4  FY

The department or school the module will be taught by.

In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.

The module number. 

The UK academic level of the module.

A standard undergraduate course will comprise of level 4, 5 and 6 modules - increasing as you progress through the course.

A standard postgraduate taught course will comprise of level 7 modules.

A postgraduate research degree is a level 8 qualification.

The term the module will be taught in.

  • AU: Autumn term
  • SP: Spring term
  • SU: Summer term
  • FY: Full year 
  • AP: Autumn and Spring terms
  • PS: Spring and Summer terms
  • AS: Autumn and Summer terms

COMPONENT 01: CORE

Genetics and Evolution
(15 CREDITS)

Why do we all look different? Are some illnesses hereditary? Are animals born ready-suited to their environment? From the early theories of Mendel to modern studies in molecular genetics, you explore how scientists have answered these questions over the last 150 years. Examine how the structure and function of DNA allows genetic material to be expressed, replicated and inherited, and consider how genetic variation leads to adaptive evolution. From developing new technologies in gene cloning to the applications for modern medicine, you explore how geneticists are building on the earlier achievements in this fundamentally important field to enhance our understanding of life on earth.

View Genetics and Evolution on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 02: CORE

Microbiology
(15 CREDITS)

Microbes are essential for life, and they connect the health of humans, other animals and ecosystems. They help us digest our food, provide us with vitamins and are contribute to our health and wellbeing. Marine microbes provide about one-third of the oxygen we breath. And, by cleaning up pollutants and synthesising valuable products such as antibiotics, microbes are essential for the delivery of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. On the other hand, some microbes cause devastating diseases. Despite major advances in treatment and prevention, incidences of infectious disease continue to rise. You will learn about the vast diversity and evolution of these mostly beneficial microbes and learn about the pathogenicity of the harmful ones. You will examine how different viruses and bacteria invade, interact and replicate within their hosts. A series of four practical sessions in our new teaching laboratory will give you hands-on experience of growing, observing, purifying, counting and even killing microbes. This will provide you with sought-after skills, such as aseptic technique, serial dilution and data analysis.

View Microbiology on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 03: CORE

Plant Biology and Ecosystems
(15 CREDITS)

Living life on a knife’s edge – explore the vital role plants play in our biosphere, their diversity and intricate relationships that support our planet. Examine the value of these natural resources; examine the consequences we face when the balance is disturbed. From studying how plants affect and are affected by their environment you learn what we can expect from a changing world. Examine how we influence the world around us. You apply this knowledge to the field, learning to collect, present, analyse and eventually interpret data. Understanding the fundamentals of ecology and plant diversity allows you to explore possible solutions to our environmental problems.

View Plant Biology and Ecosystems on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 04: CORE

Marine Ecology
(15 CREDITS)

The marine realm covers 70% of the Earth's surface. It contains ice-covered seas and hydrothermal vents, muddy estuaries, deep ocean trenches and the clear blue open sea. The oceans and seas are also integral to the whole earth-ocean-atmosphere system, which controls the climate and conditions for life on Earth. Discover the different marine environments, the organisms that inhabit them and their ecological interactions. You also investigate the physical and chemical conditions that determine the diversity of marine life and consider how human activity is influencing marine ecosystems, through overfishing, pollution, and climate change.

View Marine Ecology on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 05: CORE

Animal Evolution, Ecology and Behaviour
(15 CREDITS)

The diversity of life on planet Earth is breath taking. We share our home with a vast number of species, a large portion of which are animals. We will discover the diversity of animal forms and functions and the role of natural selection in determining individual behaviour such as foraging, breeding and predator escape. You also investigate the idea that nothing in ecology and evolution makes sense in isolation.

View Animal Evolution, Ecology and Behaviour on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 06: COMPULSORY

Marine Biology Field Skills
(15 CREDITS)

Develop practical field skills that are critical for any practicing Marine Biologist. Spending one week at the Marine Biological Association of the UK in Plymouth, you gain key knowledge of marine invertebrate and algal identification, classification and distribution, developing skills in experimental design, field data-collection and data analysis. Please note that students make their own travel arrangements for this modules. As part of this module you will be required to attend a field trip to Plymouth to the Marine Biological Association of the UK (MBA) where you will develop your field research skills in Biology. The cost for this trip is approximately £50, which you will need to pay.

View Marine Biology Field Skills on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 07: CORE

Quantitative methods for Life Sciences
(15 CREDITS)

Develop your skillset and boost your CV. This module prepares you for the coursework, laboratory practicals and research projects that you will encounter during undergraduate study. Get to know referencing systems and learn how to effectively communicate scientific information. Use scientific units and simple algebra and demonstrate understanding of logarithms, exponentials, geometry and elementary calculus. Learn how to design experiments, handle data and display, interpret and analyse basic statistics. Teaching and learning will be through a mixture of lectures, classes, practicals and tutorials, with an emphasis on developing the key transferable skills needed for a career in biosciences.

View Quantitative methods for Life Sciences on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 08: COMPULSORY

Transferable Skills in Life Sciences
(15 CREDITS)

You will develop your transferable skills in scientific writing (including referencing and avoiding plagiarism), teamwork and communication through oral presentations, study and research skills (including essay writing, lecture note taking, use of library and databases). Teaching and learning will be through a mixture of lectures, classes, and tutorials. The emphasis will be on small group, tutorial-style teaching and interaction with other students on this module, with assessments tailored to your degree subject area.

View Transferable Skills in Life Sciences on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 01: COMPULSORY

Marine Biodiversity
(15 CREDITS)

Our oceans cover 71% of the Earth’s surface and contain 97% of the planets water. This vast underwater world supports a huge diversity of living organisms – get to know them. You learn how to assess biodiversity, measure species distribution and regulate populations. Systems of particular focus include biodiversity hot-spots such as coral reefs and rocky shores. You also have chance to practically apply your skills, examining the biodiversity of muddy and sandy shores, and investigating the morphological and genetic diversity in marine amphipods.

View Marine Biodiversity on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 02: COMPULSORY

Professional skills for Ecological and Marine Scientists
(15 CREDITS)

In this career-focused module you develop skills specific to your discipline, such as information retrieval, data-analysis and interpretation techniques, as well as a broader range of transferable skills, such as communication, team-work, numeracy and attention to detail. Learn how to best approach job applications, including CV and cover letter writing, aptitude testing and the interview process.

View Professional skills for Ecological and Marine Scientists on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 03: COMPULSORY

Marine Vertebrates
(15 CREDITS)

The importance of marine vertebrates to our aquatic systems cannot be underestimated, yet some of our most iconic underwater species are under serious threat. This module focuses on the taxonomy, physiology, ecology and conservation of the top predators and keystone species, including (but not limited to), whales, dolphins, sharks, rays, manatees, marine turtles and sea snakes.

View Marine Vertebrates on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 04: OPTIONAL

Options from list
(75 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 05: COMPULSORY

Estuarine and Coastal Ecology Field Module (Assessed in Following Year)
(0 CREDITS)

This module concentrates on the relationship between biological diversity, and aspects of water chemistry and habitat structure in different coastal environments situated along an estuarine gradient. We will be using the Colne / Blackwater estuary complex as our field site.

View Estuarine and Coastal Ecology Field Module (Assessed in Following Year) on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 01: COMPULSORY

Placement Report
(120 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 01: COMPULSORY

Research Project in Life Sciences
(45 CREDITS)

This module aims to prepare you for carrying out an individual scientific investigation on a topic relating to your degree. Develop skills to identify a suitable question and then design an experimental approach to obtain data addressing this question. The assessment focuses on your analysis and presentation of these data in a suitable scientific paper format report, on the research, understanding and critical writing about the scientific literature relating to your project. Your oral project presentation skills and response to questions, the planning and management of your project work, your progress reflection and your employability skills will also be evaluated.

View Research Project in Life Sciences on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 02: COMPULSORY

Estuarine and Coastal Ecology Field Module
(15 CREDITS)

Investigate the relationship between water chemistry and habitat structure, and biological diversity of coastal environments. Getting hands-on in the local Colne/Blackwater estuary you gain experience in assessing environmental variables, sampling protocols and general fieldwork skills. You learn to identify a wide variety of animals and plants at different salinities, as well as associated habitats such as freshwater grazing marshes and salt marshes. You are also trained in commonly used lab techniques, such as measuring phosphate concentrations and sediment properties.

View Estuarine and Coastal Ecology Field Module on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 03: COMPULSORY

Fisheries Ecology
(15 CREDITS)

Fisheries provide food and employment to millions of people across the globe. Get to know the social and economic drivers of fishing and explore the subsequent impact on marine ecosystems. You gain an understanding of the scale and significance of fisheries and learn to critically analyse the methods used to assess their efficacy.

View Fisheries Ecology on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 04: COMPULSORY WITH OPTIONS

Options from list
(45 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 01: COMPULSORY

Independent Research (MSci)
(30 CREDITS)

The aim of this module is for you to carry out an independent scientific investigation on a topic relating to your degree specialisation. You should find this to be both stimulating and of particular importance for your future career, because it will provide you with the opportunity to analyse a system in some depth and to further develop your skills in the analysis and interpretation of data.

View Independent Research (MSci) on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 02: COMPULSORY

Marine Resources
(15 CREDITS)

This module explores the mariculture and fisheries in tropical seas as well as the biotechnological 'treasure chest' provided by marine microbes, algae and invertebrates.

View Marine Resources on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 03: COMPULSORY

Tropical Marine Systems
(15 CREDITS)

This module aims to widen the understanding of tropical marine systems, the diversity of organisms that exist, the roles they play as well as the fundamental biological processes that enable these organisms to thrive. Explore four main tropical habitats: coral reefs, tropical oceans, seagrass beds, and mangrove systems, and discover the key functional roles of photosynthetic producers (corals, algae, cyanobacteria, plants) and heterotrophic consumers (planktonic, benthic and pelagic invertebrates and vertebrates). Learn how to evaluate ecological and biogeochemical processes within tropical marine systems and their productivity, connectivity and resilience.

View Tropical Marine Systems on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 04: COMPULSORY

Methods in Marine Biology
(15 CREDITS)

The overall aim of this module is to sharpen the skill base in practical research by introducing a range of methodologies to aid in the investigation of marine processes. Focus on some components of bio-geochemistry, physiology, data analysis and visualisation, and biotechnology, and develop the four of the most wanted cross-disciplinary skills (multi-disciplinary, data management, numeracy, and translating research into practice) which will help you effectively operate as a professional marine biologist.

View Methods in Marine Biology on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 05: COMPULSORY

Postgraduate Professional Skills
(15 CREDITS)

In this career-focused module you develop skills specific to your discipline, such as critical analysis, integration and communication in a multidisciplinary research environment. Study how to utilise modern learning environments and how to apply statistical methods in handling, analysing and interpreting large datasets in R, the software environment for statistical computing and graphics. The seminars and workshops cover CV and application clinics, facilitate expedition planning, introduce health and safety aspects of practical work, and increase numeracy skills.

View Postgraduate Professional Skills on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 06: COMPULSORY

Data Analysis and Visualisation
(15 CREDITS)

This module provides you with the opportunity to improve your data analysis and visualisation skills. The ability to critically analyse raw data, and to communicate findings from these analyses in appropriate formats in a multidisciplinary research environment, provides the foundation for your successful career in environmental sciences.

View Data Analysis and Visualisation on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 07: COMPULSORY

Data Analysis or Voluntary Placement Programme (Work Based Learning)
(15 CREDITS)

In this module you are given the opportunity to either: (i) explore satellite remote-sensing data such as from NASA & Giovanni Earth science database to produce appropriate datasets that can be analysed and visualised for various audiences; or (ii) identify an appropriate industry that you can volunteer for and obtain vocational experience and training. Data analysis. As well as improving data analysis skills, students will disseminate the results of their analysis in an outward facing report and presentation. Placement. Although there is no maximum time recommended for the placement it should not be any less than two weeks undertaken in the Easter break. The placement must be agreed upon by the module supervisor and should be at an industry which is directly related to marine resource management, for example: Fisheries, Public Aquaria, Aquarist Supply Industries, Zoos with aquaria, Government Agencies, NGOs, Conservation Bodies, Charitable Trusts, Pollution Response companies, Research Units or Research Centres. As well as obtaining vocational experience, students will disseminate the results of the experience in an outward facing industry report and presentation.

View Data Analysis or Voluntary Placement Programme (Work Based Learning) on our Module Directory

Placement

On a placement year you gain relevant work experience within an external business or organisation, giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market and providing you with key contacts within the industry. The rest of your course remains identical to the four-year Integrated Masters.

Year abroad

On your year abroad, you have the opportunity to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised. The rest of your course remains identical to the four-year Integrated Masters.

Teaching

  • We teach using a combination of lectures, laboratory practicals, tutorials, seminars, optional fieldwork, independent reading and research projects
  • Undergraduate students in the School of Life Sciences typically attend two or three hours of lectures per week, plus two or three laboratory practices per module
  • Gain practical experience on our annual trip to Indonesia (optional)

Assessment

  • The undergraduate component of this course is assessed through written examinations together with continual assessments of your practical work and coursework
  • Postgraduate modules are assessed by coursework only, including essays, worksheets, verbal/visual presentations and written reviews

Fees and funding

Home/UK fee

£9,250 per year

International fee

£22,100 per year

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

Home/UK fees and funding information

International fees and funding information

What's next

Open Days

Our events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex. We run a number of Open Days throughout the year which enable you to discover what our campus has to offer. You have the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

Check out our Visit Us pages to find out more information about booking onto one of our events. And if the dates aren’t suitable for you, feel free to book a campus tour here.

2024 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

  • Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Applying

Applications for our full-time undergraduate courses should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full details on how to apply can be found on the filling in your UCAS undergraduate application web page.

Our UK students, and some of our EU and international students, who are still at school or college, can apply through their school. Your school will be able to check and then submit your completed application to UCAS. Our other international applicants (EU or worldwide) or independent applicants in the UK can also apply online through UCAS Apply.

The UCAS code for our University of Essex is ESSEX E70. The individual campus codes for our Loughton and Southend Campuses are 'L' and 'S' respectively.

You can find further information on how to apply, including information on transferring from another university, applying if you are not currently at a school or college, and applying for readmission on our How to apply and entry requirements page.

Offer Holder Days

If you receive an undergraduate offer to study with us in October 2024 and live in the UK, you will receive an email invitation to book onto one of our Offer Holder Days. Our Colchester Campus Offer Holder Days run from February to May 2024 on various Wednesdays and Saturdays, and our Southend Campus events run in April and May. These events provide the opportunity to meet your department, tour our campus and accommodation, and chat to current students. To support your attendance, we are offering a travel bursary, allowing you to claim up to £150 as reimbursement for travel expenses. For further information about Offer Holder Days, including terms and conditions and eligibility criteria for our travel bursary, please visit our webpage.

If you are an overseas offer-holder, you will be invited to attend one of our virtual events. However, you are more than welcome to join us at one of our in-person Offer Holder Days if you are able to - we will let you know in your invite email how you can do this.

A sunny day with banners flying on Colchester Campus Square 4.

Visit Colchester Campus

Set within 200 acres of award-winning parkland - Wivenhoe Park and located two miles from the historic city centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded development. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.


View from Square 2 outside the Rab Butler Building looking towards Square 3

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tours allows you to explore our University from the comfort of your home. Check out our Colchester virtual tour and Southend virtual tour to see accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.

At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.

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The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications. The University would inform and engage with you if your course was to be discontinued, and would provide you with options, where appropriate, in line with our Compensation and Refund Policy.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

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