Study Abroad and Exchanges



MST2101 : Marine Ecology

Semester 1 Credit Value: 30
ECTS Credits: 15.0


To build on the fundamentals of the functioning of key marine ecosystems introduced at Level 4 in Marine Biology. To provide an understanding of core ecological concepts and terms and to equip students with the framework to approach ecological study of any marine system. To extend understanding of the complexity and variety of marine habitats, and the key drivers of ecosystem functioning in each. To gain an appreciation of the impact of human activities on coastal habitats and how they are managed. To develop a detailed understanding of the major categories of anthropogenic impacts on marine systems, their mechanisms of effect, their sources, and fates.

Outline Of Syllabus

37 x 1 hour lectures based on the following topics:

1. Competition in Marine Environments
2. Island Biogeography and Speciation
3. Disturbance in Marine Environments
4. Biogenic Habitats
5. Trophic Ecology
6. Predator-prey Interactions
7. Plant-animal Interactions
8. Supply-side Ecology
9. Invasive Species
10. Impacts and Management of Invasive Species
11. Tropical Biodiversity and Origins
12. Maintaining Biological Diversity
13. Losing Tropical Biodiversity
14. Ecosystems and Alternative States
15. Ecosystem Good and Services
16. Marine Protected Areas
17. Aquaculture and Fisheries
18. Mariculture
19. Fisheries
20. Marine Science and Management
21. Marine Governance
22. Temperate Coastal Management: Salt Marshes
23. Temperate Coastal Management: Sand Dunes
24. Organic Pollution: Oil
25. Organic Pollution and Sewage in the Marine Environment I
26. Organic Pollution and Sewage in the Marine Environment I
27. CO2 Sequestration
28. Persistent Pollutants
29. Biological Assessment of Marine Pollution Impact
30. Marine Molecular Biology: Gene Structure
31. Molecular Biology of Sporulation in Marine Bacteria
32. Molecular Biology of the Lac Operon
33. Marine Genomics
34. Molecular Biology of DNA Replication
35. Expression of Foreign Proteins for Biotechnology
36. Molecular Aspects of Protein Modification for Drug Development
37. Revision Session

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture371:0037:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion13:003:00Examination
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion362:0072:00Examination revision
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion110:0010:00Completing summative assessment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion116:0016:00Preparation for summative assessment
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading362:1581:00Lecture follow up: reading
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading362:0072:00Lecture follow up: ReCap
Guided Independent StudySkills practice11:001:00Online test
Guided Independent StudySkills practice160:308:00Preparation for online test
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures are designed to give students a broad factual knowledge of key biological principles and essential details relating to marine ecosystem processes, The lectures will cover biological diversity, how this can be managed and maintained, and the impact of pollutants on the marine environment. They will also cover more advanced molecular techniques.

Directed research and reading will support the information received through formal lectures by guided independent study using key texts. Students will be encouraged to become more independent in their learning at this stage in their programmes to develop key skills such as Active Learning, Goal Setting and Action Planning, Decision Making, Adaptability and Initiative, which they will require at Level 6.

Assessment preparation and completion will allow students to fully prepare for their formative and summative coursework, and their written examination. They will have the opportunity to consolidate and build upon knowledge gained in the taught sessions.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1201A35N/A
Written Examination1201A35N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M304 equally weighted 500 word (or equivalent) coursework exercises
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Computer assessment1MOnline formative assessment
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The formative online assessment in the middle of Semester 1 is designed to monitor student’s understanding of the taught material mid-way through the module. This will allow students and staff to identify areas to revisit and revise in the remainder of the semester to ensure fully awareness of the Intended Knowledge and Intended Skills Outcomes.

The 2000 word summative coursework will assess student’s knowledge of key processes influencing organisms in the marine environment, in addition to examining their use of the relevant literature to support their ideas and their ability to present information in an appropriate scientific format.

The written examination will assess the level of knowledge and understanding of all aspects of the module, including student reading. The written examination will be divided into two papers and will include questions to assess the breadth of knowledge acquired throughout the module.

Paper 1
Part A – short answer questions. Answer all questions to produce notes on a range of topics
Part B – data interpretation. Answer 1 question from 1

Paper 2
Part A - essay question. Answer 1 question from 2
Part B – essay question. Answer 1 question from 2

Semester 1 Study Abroad students would be required to submit a 5000 word written assessment.

Reading Lists