On our Marine Ecosystems and Governance course you’ll develop an understanding of key concepts and issues. You’ll also develop the skills and qualities required for a career in academia or industry.
Through a combination of taught and research modules, our course will develop your understanding of:
- the roles of science, policy, technology and economic development in the marine environment
- marine environmental issues, their origins and possible solutions
- the principal processes maintaining and altering structure, function and ecosystem services of coastal waters
- the key concepts and methodologies used in ecosystem, environmental management and conservation science
- the context, purpose and implementation of resource mapping and evaluation
We've highlighted important information about your course. Please take note of any deadlines.
Please rest assured we make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the programmes, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption.
Given the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commitments outlined are subject to guidelines that may be in place from time to time.
View our COVID-19 Study page, which gives information about your Newcastle University study experience for the academic year 2022-23.
See our terms and conditions and student complaints information
What you'll learn
Our taught modules will ground your understanding of:
- marine ecosystem dynamics
- research methodologies
- environmental governance
You will study modules on this course. A module is a unit of a course with its own approved aims and outcomes and assessment methods.
Module information is intended to provide an example of what you will study.
Our teaching is informed by research. Course content changes periodically to reflect developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback.
Full details of the modules on offer will be published through the Programme Regulations and Specifications ahead of each academic year. This usually happens in May.
Optional modules availability
Some courses have optional modules. Student demand for optional modules may affect availability.
To find out more please see our terms and conditions.
How you'll learn
Depending on your modules, you'll be assessed through a combination of:
- Professional skills assessments
- Oral presentation
- Research proposal
- Research paper
You'll develop your research skills by designing and completing a supervised project.
Major sites for projects include the:
- Northumberland coast (UK)
The project will help you to develop knowledge in your chosen research topic by drawing on the research communities within the:
You can design your research project, producing a research proposal upon application.
Topics can be highly varied to suit your interests. However, there are a few project ideas to choose from below, developed by staff working on existing larger research projects:
- Assessing Metal Concentrations in Deep-Sea Organisms (PDF: 270KB)
- Examining Channichthyidae around the sub-Antarctic Island of South Georgia (PDF: 345KB)
- Examining Gobionotothen Gibberifrons around the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia (PDF: 243KB)
- Fisheries Aggregation Devices - Collection of shore crab for use as bait physical, biological and chemical impacts (PDF: 552KB)
- Dredging up the Past – Assessing Current Scallop Dredging Impacts in Northumberland & Tracking Recovery from Historic Fishing Effort (PDF:267)
- Effects of Trawling and Potting on Benthic Communities – Indicator Species Detection and Biological Traits Analysis (PDF:242kb)
Our mission is to help you:
- stay healthy, positive and feeling well
- overcome any challenges you may face during your degree – academic or personal
- get the most out of your postgraduate research experience
- carry out admin and activities essential to progressing through your degree
- understand postgraduate research processes, standards and rules
We can offer you tailored wellbeing support, courses and activities.
You can also access a broad range of workshops covering:
- research and professional skills
- careers support
- health and safety
- public engagement
- academic development
Our staff have over 30 years of research and teaching experience, both in the UK and overseas. Their expertise spans the natural and social sciences in coastal-marine science and management.
The Ecology Research Group was formed in 2017, and comprises:
- 21 academics
- 12 post-docs
- a large cohort of postgraduate research students
We work across the spectrum, from fundamental ecological science to application and translation into management and policy. We are interdisciplinary, applied, and, in some cases, develop cutting-edge technology. This includes work in complexity science and environmental genomics. We collaborate with colleagues from across the University, nationally and internationally and our work has societal impacts.
This research group has had notable successes in their work on:
- coral reefs (Professor John Bythell, Professor Alasdair Edwards, Professor Nicholas Polunin)
- physical oceanography and climate modelling (Professor Andrew Willmott, Dr Miguel Maqueda)
- marine spatial mapping and systems planning (Dr Clare Fitzsimmons)
- marine protected areas and management (Professor Nicholas Polunin)
- food webs (Professor Nicholas Polunin)
They are also active in:
There are exceptional opportunities if you see yourself in a marine environmental science research career. We have strong links with:
- Northumberland Inshore Fishery and Conservation Authority
- Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Indonesia
- Haribon Foundation, Philippines (a major non-governmental organisation)
- King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia
- Cape Eleuthera Institute, Bahamas
- Banyan Tree Global Foundation, Maldives
These partnerships provide you with the opportunity for exchanges and involvement.
Our Careers Service
Our award-winning Careers Service is one of the largest and best in the country, and we have strong links with employers. We provide an extensive range of opportunities to all students through our ncl+ initiative.
Quality and ranking
All professional accreditations are reviewed regularly by their professional body
From 1 January 2021 there is an update to the way professional qualifications are recognised by countries outside of the UK
The School of Natural and Environmental Sciences has an outstanding range of facilities to support our research and teaching, including:
- the Dove Marine Laboratory (Cullercoats)
- our versatile twin-hulled research vessel, The Princess Royal
- our shore station at Blyth
- dedicated computers and laboratories
View all of our facilities.
Fees and funding
Tuition fees for 2022 entry (per year)
If your studies last longer than one year, your tuition fee may increase in line with inflation.
Depending on your residency history, if you’re a student from the EU, other EEA or a Swiss national, with settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you’ll normally pay the ‘Home’ tuition fee rate and may be eligible for Student Finance England support.
EU students without settled or pre-settled status will normally be charged fees at the ‘International’ rate and will not be eligible for Student Finance England support.
If you are unsure of your fee status, check out the latest guidance here.
We support our EU and international students by providing a generous range of Vice-Chancellor's automatic and merit-based scholarships. See our searchable postgraduate funding page for more information.
What you're paying for
Tuition fees include the costs of:
- tuition (or supervision)
- library access
Some of our degrees involve additional costs which are not covered by your tuition fees.
Find out more about:
- additional costs
- living costs
- tuition fees, including how to pay them and available discounts
If you're applying for funding, always check the funding application deadline. This deadline may be earlier than the application deadline for your course.
For some funding schemes, you need to have received an offer of a place on a course before you can apply for the funding.
Search for funding
Find funding available for your course
The entrance requirements below apply to 2022 entry.
Qualifications from outside the UK
English Language requirements
How to apply
Using the application portal
The applicant portal has instructions to guide you through your application. It will tell you what documents you need and how to upload them.
You can choose to start your application, save your details and come back to complete it later.
If you’re ready, you can select Apply Online and you’ll be taken directly to the applicant portal.
Alternatively you can find out more about applying on our applications and offers pages.
Open days and events
You'll have a number of opportunities to meet us throughout the year including:
- campus tours
- on-campus open days
- virtual open days
We regularly travel overseas to meet with students interested in studying at Newcastle University.
Get in touch
Questions about this course?
If you have specific questions about this course you can contact:
For more general enquiries you could also complete our online enquiry form.
Our Ncl chatbot might be able to give you an answer straight away. If not, it’ll direct you to someone who can help.
You'll find our Ncl chatbot in the bottom right of this page.
We regularly send email updates and extra information about the University.
Chat to a student
Chat online with current students with our Unibuddy platform.
Get involved with the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences
There are opportunities for involvement in key papers. Previous students have often led on papers and projects in areas that include:
Tropical coastal management
- Hicks CC, McClanahan, TRM, Cinner JE, Hills JM (2009)
- Trade offs in values assigned to ecological goods and services associated with different coral reef management strategies
- Ecology and Society. 14 (1): 10
Marine ecosystem services
- Smith V, Fitzsimmons C (2011)
- Local livelihood diversification: conservation and Socio-economics of scuba diving in the Solomon Islands
- International Journal of Ecotourism. 10: 179-196
North Sea marine policy
- Scarff G, Fitzsimmons C, Gray T (2014)
- The new mode of marine governance in the UK: aspirations and challenges
- Marine Policy. 51: 96-102
- Tanzil JTI, Brown BE, Tudhope AW, Dunne RP (2009)
- Decline in skeletal growth of the coral Porites lutea from the Andaman Sea, South Thailand between 1984 and 2005
- Coral Reefs 28: 519-528
Coral reef ecology
- McWilliam JN, Hawkins AD (2013)
- A comparison of inshore marine soundscapes
- Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 446: 166-176
Marine protected area management
- Peterson AM, Stead SM (2011)
- Rule breaking and livelihood options in marine protected areas
- Environmental Conservation. 38: 342-352
Fisheries ecology and sustainability
- Hart K, Gray T, Stead SM (2013)
- Consumptive versus non-consumptive use of sea turtles? Stakeholder perceptions about sustainable use in three communities near Cahuita National Park, Costa Rica
- Marine Policy. 42: 236-244