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MSc Tropical Marine Biology

Master (ISCED 2011 level 7)


Cost Home/EU: 9500P , International: 18460P

Tropical ecosystems provide important resources locally and globally, and coral reefs are the most diverse of marine ecosystems threatened by human activities. The MSc Tropical Marine Biology, is designed to deliver advanced tropical marine biology theory and to facilitate the development of practical and professional skills required by today’s employers.

As a student you will benefit from the breadth of research carried out by the School's internationally recognised academics, and will engage with current research activities both in the UK and abroad. You also have opportunity to put theory into practice and study coral reef conservation first hand during the School’s annual field trip to the Coral Triangle, Indonesia. 

Explore topics including:

  • Hands-on experience of coral reef conservation on our pioneering underwater lectures in Indonesia
  • The biotechnological ‘treasure chest’ of marine microbes, algae and invertebrates
  • Tropical oceans, seagrass beds, mangroves and coral reefs
  • Coral reef resource management

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.

Most of our courses combine compulsory and optional modules, giving you freedom to pursue your own interests. All of the modules listed below provide an example of what is on offer from the current academic year. Our Programme Specification provides further details of the course structure for the current academic year.

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.



  • We teach using a combination of lectures, laboratory practicals, tutorials, seminars, fieldwork, independent reading and research projects
  • Teaching is based in our laboratories and in the field
  • Gain practical experience on our annual trip to Indonesia (optional)


  • Each student is assigned a supervisor to provide guidance on their research project
  • Conducted within our in-house Coral Reef Research Unit, or alongside one of our research partners from across the globe
  • During the latter stages of your project, you compile a detailed report (in scientific paper format) including a literature review

Application procedure


Can be done here

Grant opportunities

Home/EU fee


International fee


Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

Learning outcomes

Your future. 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 (link is external)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 our university’s Employability and Careers Centre(link is external) 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.


Personal requirments per country can be found here

English language requirements

If English isn’t your first language, we require IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

ISCED Categories

Project management
Conservation and environmental management