Tropical ecosystems provide important resources locally and globally, and coral reefs are the most diverse of marine ecosystems threatened by human activities.
Our unique multidisciplinary course, MSc Tropical Marine Biology, 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.
As a student of our School you will benefit from the breadth of research carried out by our internationally recognised academics, and will engage with current research activities both in the UK and abroad. You also have the opportunity to put theory into practice and study coral reef conservation first hand during the School’s annual field trip to the Wakatobi Marine National Park, Indonesia. Please note that students who join this optional expedition are subject to additional travel costs – the fee for field trips vary from year to year.
Explore topics including:
- The biotechnological ‘treasure chest’ of marine microbes, algae and invertebrates
- Tropical oceans, seagrass beds, mangroves and coral reefs
- Coral reef resource management and conservation
During the summer term, you will embark on your own extensive research project under the supervision of researchers at the forefront of their fields. This can be conducted within our in-house Coral Reef Research Unit, or alongside one of our research partners from across the globe, addressing key questions on the functioning of and threats to tropical marine ecosystems.
Two-thirds of our research is rated “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” (REF 2014), and you learn from and work alongside our expert staff.
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.
Key academic staff for this course include experts in community ecology of coral reefs, tropical marine biology and conservation, coral stress physiology, aquatic community ecology, and ecological and evolutionary responses to global change.
The University of Essex has a Women's Network to support female staff and students and was awarded the Athena SWAN Institutional Bronze Award in November 2013 in recognition of its continuing work to support women in STEM.
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
As the world's environmental problems increase, the demand for qualified marine biologists continues to grow, and postgraduate study is often a requirement for becoming a researcher, scientist, academic journal editor and to work in some public bodies or private companies.
Many of our Masters students progress to study for their PhD, and we offer numerous studentships to support our students in their studies.
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.
UK entry requirements
A degree with a 2.2 in a relevant subject such as : Marine Biology, Marine Chemistry, Oceanography, Environmental Sciences and tropical Biology.
Applications from students with a degree below a 2:2 will be considered dependent on any relevant professional or voluntary experience, previous modules studied and/or personal statement.
Your Degree should contain some Ecology components including aquatic/marine Ecology, Biodiversity or Conservation.
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.