Skip to main content


MST3202 : Advanced Marine Research Topics 2

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr William Reid
  • Lecturer: Professor Per Berggren, Professor Pip Moore
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


An advanced, current research-based module for students with interests in postgraduate studies in Marine Biology and Ecology and developing critical appraisal skills for outside academia. Provides insights into various topics at the forefront of contemporary marine research based on the expertise of the contributors. Overall goal is to illustrate modern, multidisciplinary research across a wide range of contemporary marine science issues.

Outline Of Syllabus

3 x 2 week intensive blocks of teaching focused on current themes in Marine Biology and Ecology linked to academic staff research interests. Content will be drawn from active research themes such as:

Marine Biotoxins Microbiome Biology Trophic Biology
Organism Responses to Global Climate Change Reproductive Biology
Algal Ecology Kelp Ecology Deep-sea Ecology
Monitoring Marine Mammals
Interaction of Marine Mammals and Fisheries
Whaling and Sustainable Management of Cetacean Stocks Marine organism physiology

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture171:0017:00Scheduled lectures covering taught content.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion162:0032:00Revision for summative assessment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion13:003:00Completion of written exercise - open book online exam, to be completed in five day period
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading162:0032:00Lecture follow-up which includes recap and reading supporting scientific papers from lectures
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities161:0016:00Reading information and preparation time to support group activities
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops61:006:00Small group learning activities and discussions
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops14:004:00Computer-based practical to research information for debate
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops14:004:00Class debate
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery11:001:00Drop-in session to ask questions for debate
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study185:0085:00Wider background reading
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will present relevant, research-focused course material, allowing students to gain a greater appreciation of the research activities undertaken by academic staff. This will be built on by group activities and a class debate, which will give students focused time to develop critical analysis and interpretation skills through discussing contemporary research and marine issues related to the taught component. These group activities will develop communication skills, self-management, critical thinking and the ability to convey scientific information to peers.

Independent study of the primary literature will complement the lecture content and group work. The independent study will allow the students to explore and develop a deeper understanding of the research themes discussed.
Students will build upon the independent learning skills developed at Levels 4 and 5.

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

The written exercise will be an open book assessment. It will assess the level of knowledge and understanding of all aspects of the module, including student reading.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1A70Online exam - students are expected to spend 3 hours completing this exercise
Oral Examination1M302000 word group report which will be used for the class debate and participation in the debate
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Oral Presentation1MGroup presentations to class
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The students will undertake a formative group presentation before the summative class debate. This will give the students the opportunity to practice working as a group and developing a presentation before the summative group report and class debate at the end of the taught component of the module. The written exercise in the assessment period will be an open book assessment. It will assess the level of knowledge and understanding of all aspects of the module, including student reading. The assessment will present students with two questions from the first two topics, and students will answer one question per topic using a maximum of 2000 words per essay.

The written assessment will be completed over five days within the assessment period.

Reading Lists