Research Project: MSc Tropical Marine Biology

The details
Life Sciences (School of)
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Postgraduate: Level 7
Thursday 07 October 2021
Friday 01 July 2022
31 March 2021


Requisites for this module



Key module for

MSC C16112 Tropical Marine Biology,
MPHDC16148 Tropical Marine Biology,
MPHDC16184 Tropical Marine Biology,
PHD C16148 Tropical Marine Biology,
PHD C16184 Tropical Marine Biology,
MSCIB097 Tropical Marine Biology,
MSCIBA97 Tropical Marine Biology (Including Placement Year),
MSCIBB97 Tropical Marine Biology (Including Year Abroad)

Module description

Research skills and research methods represent an important element of postgraduate training in Tropical Marine Biology. In addition, students need to acquire training and competence in writing scientific reports and in critical evaluation of data in the light of published information.

Supervisors will assist with finding a suitable research project but the choice of project is the student's responsibility. Before commencement of the research project, students undertake detailed research of the relevant scientific literature and prepare a project proposal (10% of the project mark). For the research project itself, students are provided with appropriate training relevant to their individual project. During the latter stages of the project, students compile a detailed report (in scientific paper format), including a literature review (90% of project mark).

An alternative work-based learning project may also be available. This would include an 8 – 12 week placement. Work-based projects will be shared with students if available. These are not guaranteed and will vary according to the research needs of the placement provider. Students interested in these projects will be need to participate in a selection process.

Students are also able to identify their own work-based projects. These would need to be approved by the academic supervisor and Faculty Placements Team before the placement can start.

Module aims

This module aims to help you understand the research skills and research methods that represent an important element of postgraduate training in Tropical Marine Biology

Module learning outcomes

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

1. demonstrate a theoretical and/or applied knowledge of cutting edge approaches to key aspects of tropical marine biology and ecology (e.g. zoology, primary productivity, mariculture and fisheries, microbiology); and/or of applied marine biology (e.g. management, conservation and biotechnology);
2. demonstrate an understanding of the fundamental concepts of marine science (irrespective of disciplinary background), and be able to integrate cross-disciplinary analyses of related issues;
3. demonstrate skills in the critical evaluation of relevant literature;
4. have developed a key range of skills including information acquisition from web-based and library sources, self-learning, writing of a literature review.

Module information

As directed by project supervisor.

Learning and teaching methods

20-week research project. Contact with project supervisor; students will work independently with further guidance and assistance as and when required.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Project Proposal    5% 
Coursework   Literature Review and Risk Assessment     10% 
Coursework   Final Project Report    75% 
Practical   Student Conference Oral Presentation     10% 

Overall assessment

100 per cent Coursework Mark


100 per cent Coursework Mark

Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Natalie Hicks, email:
Project supervisors
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 159 hours, 3 (1.9%) hours available to students:
156 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)

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

Disclaimer: The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its Module Directory is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to programmes, modules, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to modules may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery or assessment of modules and other services, to discontinue modules and other services and to merge or combine modules. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications and module directory.

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.