MST8024 : Marine Governance and socio-economic drivers in management and policy

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The aim of the module is to introduce attendees to contemporary approaches to marine governance – how decisions are made about marine resource user activities including, e.g. why understanding peoples’ attitudes and perceptions towards breaking rules when formulating marine policy and management measures. Case studies from around the world will demonstrate the importance of multiple level (individual, local, national and international) actors and players involved in managing different marine ecosystems (eg coral reefs and North Sea) and sectors (e.g. fisheries and tourism) to achieve sustainable development objectives.

The relationship between good governance and effective management will be analysed from first principles to allow students to get to grips with the theoretical background underpinning different approaches (eg structures and processes) to governance. This knowledge will be combined with an explanation of why empirical scientific evidence such as the influence of socio-economic drivers on individuals’ behaviour and interactions with the sea is useful in designing context-specific marine management more likely to be supported by those impacted.

Practical exercises and fieldwork will provide students with an opportunity to prepare, plan and scope different survey techniques (e.g. face-to-face interviews) to gain experience in collecting qualitative data to build a strategic management plan.

Outline Of Syllabus

This intensive module is composed of lectures, seminars, practical classes, interactive sessions, surveys and fieldwork. Teaching material used is based on current or recent research and consultancy work. In addition to two intensively taught weeks, there are assignments and additional reading, which may spread over up to 6 weeks.
1- Introduction to marine environmental governance theories and contemporary examples of governance research conducted worldwide. Lectures and seminars are carefully designed to help with familiarisation with language used in the field of marine governance and policy development including explanation of key terms, definitions, concepts, principles, theory and practice.
2- An in-depth case study explores MSP in the UK with Prof Howell (ex-MMO).
3- Formal governance introduction - the role of law in marine resource management with Prof Ong.
4- Seminars on social science survey design and data collection techniques, designed to support both research in the module subject area and one of the module assignments.
5- Tees Case Study (assessed) introduction, survey aims, design and questionnaire development in teams. Fieldwork incl. conducting interviews with key informants. Preliminary analysis of qualitative and quantitative data needed to complete module assessment. Checklist and de-brief about intended learning outcomes of the module and intended skills. Practical exercises and fieldwork will allow attendees to apply what they have learned in the lectures and practical sessions and gain experience in interdisciplinary approaches used for conducting socio-economic research and consultancy through undertaking interviews with key informants. The objective is to provide hands-on experience in the importance of identifying baseline data (qualitative and quantitative) relevant for informing coastal policies that support effective management plans and identify the marine governance structures and processes required to build a coherent integrated coastal management plan.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion501:0050:00Completing summative assessment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture202:0040:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading201:0020:00Lecture follow up: reading
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical36:0018:00N/A
Guided Independent StudySkills practice32:006:00Preparation for interviews
Guided Independent StudyProject work102:0020:00Survey work
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork210:0020:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study132:0026:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

This module builds on the specialist knowledge base on marine ecosystem processes developed during previous MST Masters’ modules and links knowledge to consideration of policy and governance constraints. The lectures provide a basis for understanding contemporary approaches to marine governance – how decisions are made about marine resource user activities including attitudes and perceptions of users. The key development is in the skills of synthesis, integration and balanced and coherent communication of management plans and policies. These are reinforced during practical exercises and interviews with key stakeholders. The module is primarily delivered by seminars that promote attendees’ involvement, problem solving, practical exercises and discussion in evaluating and synthesising case-studies. Site visits are interspersed with practical based activities designed to facilitate learning of progress through building a governance, management and policy framework. Participants will work individually and in teams, similar to those involved in actual management and marine governance projects. Active participation in these exercises is required, involving teamwork and communication skills, to solve problems and facilitate learning by experience.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M30Individual essay, max 2000 words
Report1M70Tees Group Report - approx 2500 words
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Prof skill assessmnt1MInterviews with key stakeholders
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The learning and knowledge outcomes for this module are evaluated by 100% continuous assessment in the form of two reports.

A short individually produced report (maximum 2000 words) asks attendees to critically reflect upon the module teaching and it's role in their future careers. This is worth 30% of the module marks.

A group report (approximately 2,500 words) on the case study fieldwork allows an assessment of the groups’ ability to integrate information from a diverse range of sources and analysis of the information collected in a manner to promote integrated management responses. This part of the assessment is worth 70% of the module marks.

The interviews with key stakeholders are formative and designed to reinforce the skills of synthesis, integration and balanced and coherent communication of management plans and policies.

Reading Lists