Research Project: MSc Tropical Marine Biology

The details
Life Sciences (School of)
Colchester Campus
Summer & Long Vacation
Postgraduate: Level 7
Tuesday 22 April 2025
Wednesday 01 October 2025
21 September 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for


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.

Module aims

The aim of this module is:

  • To help students understand the research skills and research methods that represent an important element of postgraduate training in Tropical Marine Biology

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected 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

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.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • 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 Coursework weighting

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

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 Sebastian Hennige
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.


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.

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