School of Marine Science and Technology | Postgraduate Marine Biology Degree Programmes

Postgraduate Marine Science Degree Programme


PhD Available in the School of Marine Science and Technology: The mechanism of action of superhydrophilic non-fouling coatings against marine biofouling species. For more information

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Marine Science Research Degree Programme

Our research in Marine Science ranges from molecular and cellular processes of marine organisms to large-scale ecosystem responses to global changes as well as the chemical processes driving them. Our programmes have a multidisciplinary approach: molecular techniques underpin much of the research, but field based studies and modeling projects are also aspects of the research strategy, so that postgraduates are well qualified for professional careers.

MPhil and PhD programmes provide training which will allow scientists to play a leading role in research and management of marine environments worldwide. Each year research students contribute to the Postgraduate Conference, participate in the WISH seminar series and have opportunities for special training which will equip them for independent careers. We have an impressive marine science alumni community in jobs across the UK and around the world.

Marine Science MSc Programme

Major international agreements and policy documents including those of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), OSPAR and the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive have signaled substantial increases in the commitment to better management of the global marine environment. In the UK, the Marine & Coastal Access Act has instigated major changes to the way the UK will manage its seas.

Whether the concern be for endangered species, biodiversity as a whole, marine protected areas, pollution impacts, or effects of offshore wind farms, we have entered a new era. But it is clear that there are many unanswered questions in the science. Thus, what are the consequences of the global removal of large predatory species from the oceans? How has the full range of human activities (shipping, pollution, fishing etc) affected marine life? While some ecosystems such as coral reefs and the rocky inter tidal have been quite intensively studied, what of the suite of ecosystems (deep sea floor, continental shelf, open ocean pelagic) that cover nearly all the global marine area?

There are also hundreds more questions relating to how best to manage the seas. For example, how can we predict that a fishery is becoming unsustainable? How can we quantify the full value to society of the marine environment and how should this be incorporated into marine spatial planning? How best to achieve compliance with new environmental regulations? Can we develop satisfactory practical indicators of good environmental status? Is ecosystem-based management feasible and if so how? How can we ensure that the best science is used to reliably inform policy?

MSc programme:

Our students enjoy strong links with the Marine Ecosystems & Governance research theme, are actively invited to attend the informal research seminar series and have maintained a very high level of publication of their research papers (18% of MSc student projects in the 2003-2012 period have been published). Our MSc alumni have been exceptionally successful in entering careers in the UK and around the world, in academia, non-governmental organisations, government and international agencies and companies.

We provide first-class taught and research-based postgraduate programmes within a thriving, friendly postgraduate community.

Watch our webinar where we answered your questions:


Take a look at these videos

Future of Reefs (FOR) is a socio-ecological research project conducted by Newcastle University with financial financed by DEFRA with support from in-country partners in Anguilla, Turks and Caicos and the British Virgin Islands. In this video Sarah Young provides an overview of the research activities. The original music for the video was created using audio samples recorded around the islands, from musicians to conch shells. Reef Voices is an oral histories project which took place in the British Virgin Islands in the spring of 2014. It is a side project of Future of Reefs (FOR), a social science research project conducted by Newcastle University. The aim of this film was for members of the community to share some of their stories about the island, changes that have taken place and their views about the environment.

The questions answered were:

What were the British Virgin Islands like when you were young, or, when you moved here? (1:57)

Have there been any changes to the natural environment? (7:19)

What does the term 'climate change' make you think of? (11:41)

What affects the health of the sea, especially coral reefs? (17:12)

What could be done in BVI to improve the health of the sea? (23:07)

If you would like to know more about research opportunities in the School of Marine Science and Technology please explore the links on this page, request a postgraduate brochure, or call us on Telephone: +44 (0)191 208 6661 or E-mail:

You can download a list of our past projects from here.