Marine Ecology

The details
Life Sciences (School of)
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 4
Thursday 05 October 2017
Friday 15 December 2017


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BSC C100 Biological Sciences,
BSC C101 Biological Sciences (Including Year Abroad),
BSC C102 Biological Sciences (Including Placement Year),
BSC C164 Marine Biology,
BSC CC60 Marine Biology (Including Year Abroad),
BSC CC64 Marine Biology (Including Placement Year),
MMB C160 Marine Biology

Module description

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. The living, physical and chemical parts of the Earth all interact and influence one another, so that it is impossible to consider one aspect without thinking of the others. This module describes the different marine environments, the organisms that inhabit them and their ecological interactions, and the physical and chemical conditions that determine the diversity of marine life. It also discusses how human activity is influencing marine ecosystems, through overfishing, pollution, and climate change.

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

1. describe the major types of marine communities, the major types of organisms that inhabit these communities and the roles that these organisms play in the marine environment;
2. demonstrate an understanding of the physical and chemical characteristics and processes
within the marine environment;
3. describe the effects of these physical characteristics and processes on the distribution, abundance and productivity of marine organisms;
4. describe key biogeochemical cycling and their importance in the environment;
5. describe how human activities are affecting the marine environment, both directly and indirectly;
6. demonstrate understanding of key scientific measurement concepts and carry out, analyse and present competently basic aquatic physical, chemical, biological measurements and observations.

Module aims

No information available.

Module learning outcomes

No information available.

Module information

Exam assessment: End of module MCQ Exam and 1 hour exam paper in Summer Term; both equally weighted

Learning and teaching methods

Lectures (24 x 1 hour lectures including 1 on directed learning material plus 1 revision class before MCQ and 1 revision class before summer exam; 4 x 3 hour practicals or equivalent)


  • Huber, Michael E. (c2013) Marine biology, New York: McGraw Hill.
The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework Practical 1 07/11/2017
Coursework Practical 3 part B 05/12/2017
Coursework Practical 4 Part C 05/12/2017
Exam 50 minutes during January (Multiple Choice)
Exam 60 minutes during Summer (Main Period) (Main)

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
33% 67%


Coursework Exam
0% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Michael Steinke, Dr Etienne Low-Decarie, Dr Leanne Appleby Hepburn, Dr Tom Cameron
School Undergraduate Office, email: bsugoffice (Non essex users should add to create the full email address)



External examiner

Dr Mark John Coleman
The University of East Anglia
Director of Teaching and Learning
Available via Moodle
Of 45 hours, 26 (57.8%) hours available to students:
19 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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