The course

Full-time, Part-time, Per course
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Tropical Coral Reef course

Tropical Coral Reefs: Monitoring and Management (A11CR) is an optional course available to all students on any of our PGT Marine programmes. It involves a two week field trip where students are given the opportunity to explore the marine environment whilst learning different techniques for surveying and monitoring coral reefs. See this short film from the 2016/17 course.


Large global changes, and climate change in particular, are having significant impacts on the environment. The study of impacts and mitigation/adaptation measures in the marine environment requires a truly interdisciplinary approach. It is essential that scientists, engineers and environmental decision-makers understand the fundamentals of the causes, impacts and management measures involved in dealing with such important issues. The programme specialises in the challenges facing the marine environment and is part of the University's programme of teaching and research in climate change related issues. There are a variety of optional courses available but the core courses are listed below.

Career prospects

Below are just a few examples of the wide breadth of employment or PhD positions our recent graduates have secured:

  • Theofilos Sidiropoulos (2014) has securred a position at Gardine Geosciences Ltd.
  • Cristina Pullan (2014) Christina holds a BSc in Environmental Sciences from the University of Brighton and a MSc in Climate Change from Heriot Watt University. She joined the science team in October 2016 with 4 years of experience in delivering marine education and conservation. She has previously worked as an Assistant Marine Conservation and Engagement Officer for Sussex Wildlife Trust, a Trainee Marine and Coastal Conservation Officer for the Cumbria Wildlife Trust, a Shark Tagging Research Assistant for the Marine Life Trust, and a Marine Education and Conservation Officer for the NGO Ecoteer in Malaysia. She brings excellent knowledge of Madagascar’s marine ecosystems to the team, having previously spent time in the north of Madagascar as a Marine Research Assistant with the NGO Frontier. In her role as Science Officer, she is responsible for conducting regular marine research, training our volunteers/interns, and helping to run our coral reef restoration programmes.
  • Tetrienne Box (2013) is now Underwater Noise Advisor at JNCC.
  • Melodie Hermier (2010) is now clinical data manager with Aptiv Solutions.
  • Kerri Gardiner (2010) initially worked for Jacobs engineering and is now a senior scientist with Intertek involved in developing EIAs (risk/toxicity) for drilling and pipelines for the oil industry as well as subsea cable projects.
  • Cella Carr (2010) has secured an internship with the Zoological Society of London, working on their Biodiversity and Oil Palm Programme in Indonesia
  • Renier (Dutch) Zoutenbier (2011) is an Environmental Consultant with Royal Haskoning at their Exeter Offices, responsible for Industry, Energy and Mining
  • Charles-Eric Deplanck (2010) works as a fisheries observer for Oceanic Développement, based in Concarneau (Brittany)

You can find more examples and discuss the programme and the effect it has had on their careers with current students and alumni at our dedicated Facebook site.

Course content

   Detailed course guide

Core (Mandatory) courses

  • Climate Change: Causes and Impacts
  • Marine Resources: Utilisation, Interactions and Control
  • Marine Conservation and Sustainability
  • Applied Research Design and Analysis
  • Climate Change: Mitigation and Adaptation Measures
  • GIS: Gephraphic Informatin System for Marine Environmental Scientists
  • Research Project (MSc only)

Please see the Detailed Course Guide for particulars and optional choices.

Recent publications resulting from MSc research projects (student co-authors high-lighted):

  • Miller, M.A., Bankier, C., Al-Shaeri, M.A.M., Hartl, M.G.J., in press. Neutral Red cytotoxicity assays for assessing in vivo carbon nanotube ecotoxicity in mussels – comparing microscope and microplate methods. Mar Pollut Bull. 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2015.10.072.
  • Rouse, S., Jones, M.E.S., Porter, J.S., 2014. Spatial and temporal patterns of bryozoan distribution and diversity in the Scottish sea regions. Mar Ecol-Evol Persp. 35, 85-102.
  • Al-Shaeri, M., Ahmed, D., Mc Cluskey, F., Turner, G., Paterson, L., Dyrynda, E.A., Hartl, M.G.J., 2013. Potentiating toxicological interaction of single-walled carbon nanotubes with dissolved metals. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 32, 2701-2710.
  • Jennifer Loxton, Piotr Kuklinski, James M Mair, Mary Spencer Jones, Joanne S Porter (2012) Patterns of Magnesium-Calcite Distribution in the Skeleton of Some Polar Bryozoan Species Mineralogy of Polar Bryozoan Skeletons. Lecture Notes in Earth Sciences 143:169-185
  • Hartl, M.G.J., Grigson, S., Sinet, E., 2010. Maintenance of bivalve haemocytes for the purpose of delayed DNA strand break assessment using the Comet assay. Environ. Molecul. Mutagen. 51, 64-68.
  • Harper, S. J. M., Bates, C. R., Guzman, H. M. and Mair, J. M. (2010) Acoustic mapping of fish aggregation areas to improve fisheries management in Las Perlas Archipelago, Pacific Panama In : Ocean and Coastal Management. 53, 10, p. 615-623.
  • Kennedy, E. V., Holderied, M. W., Mair, J. M., Guzman, H. M. & Simpson, S. D. 15-Nov-2010 Spatial patterns in reef-generated noise relate to habitats and communities: Evidence from a Panamanian case study In : Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 395, 1-2, p. 85-92. 8 p.
  • McGowan, T., Cunningham, S. L., Guzman, H., Mair, J. M., M Guevara, J. & Betts, T. (2010) Mangrove forest composition and dynamics in Las Perlas Archipelago, Pacific Panama. In : International Journal of Tropical Biology and Conservation. 58/3, p. 857-869