Professional Skills in Tropical Marine Biology

The details
Life Sciences (School of)
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Postgraduate: Level 7
Thursday 03 October 2019
Friday 26 June 2020
27 March 2020


Requisites for this module



Key module for

MSC C16112 Tropical Marine Biology,
MMB C160 Marine Biology

Module description

Transferrable professional skills are the most valuable assets of your postgraduate education. The ability to critically analyse, integrate and communicate in a multidisciplinary research environment provides the foundation for your successful career in environmental sciences. In the future funding landscape it will be important that you are able to work inter-disciplinarily across natural and social sciences and the ability to explain your science to policy makers and funding agencies holds the key to a successful career as a future researcher.

Module aims

The aim of this module is to equip you with an array of professional skills from utilising modern learning environments to the confident application of statistical methods for handling, analysing and interpreting large datasets. Students will build a portfolio of professional skills that assist with finding employment along various career paths after postgraduate education. A combination of seminars and workshops is provided to include CV and application clinics, facilitate expedition planning, introduce health-and safety aspects of practical work, and increase numeracy skills.

Module learning outcomes

To pass this module students will need to be able to:

Evaluate the issues involved in designing and executing a research programme, within the specific context of field-based, laboratory-based and desk-based research.
Formulate appropriate research questions, and test scientific and statistical hypotheses.
Design an appropriate experiment programme to test hypotheses including assessing the appropriate statistical power.
Demonstrate understanding of the specialised techniques and approaches involved in collecting, analysing and communicating research findings.
Articulate and communicate research findings in various formats to varying audiences.
Evaluate weaknesses in research skills and data analysis of relevant literature and scientific papers.
Take a critical approach to personal development planning for their career in the context of the graduate labour market.
Recognise personal and professional skills that will enhance employability, and research opportunities for skills development available to them during their university career.
Demonstrate competence in job application skills, including CV and cover letter writing and the interview process.

Employability and Transferable Skills:

Apply the R language and environment for statistical computing and graphics
Experience a job interview
Meet Alumni of the MSc Tropical Marine Biology course and start building a professional network
* Use simple mathematical models and interpret their outputs

Module information

Listen Again:
The School has a policy which ensures all lecturers opt-in to making lectures available via Listen Again. Therefore, in teaching rooms where the facility is available, lectures will be recorded via this service.

Learning and teaching methods

40 hours of seminars, workshops and lectures.


This module does not appear to have any essential texts. To see non-essential items, please refer to the module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Essay - Test Submission      
Coursework   Application Portfolio    25% 
Coursework   Statistics Worksheet    25% 
Coursework   Research Proposal    25% 
Coursework   Vodcast    25% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Michael Steinke, email:
Dr Michael Steinke, Dr Radu Zabet, Prof Alex Dumbrell, Dr Michelle Taylor, Dr Rosa Van Der Ven
School Graduate Office, email: bsgradtaught (Non essex users should add to create a full email address)



External examiner

Dr Nicholas Kamenos
University of Glasgow
Available via Moodle
Of 74 hours, 22 (29.7%) hours available to students:
52 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Life Sciences (School of)

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