MST2201 : Ecology of Marine Systems (Inactive)

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


To build on the fundamentals of the functioning of key marine ecosystems introduced at Stage 1 (Level 4). 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

25 x 1 hour lectures (including 1 x revision session) based on the following themes:

1.       Ecological patterns and drivers
2.       Competition
3.       Predation
4.       Grazing
5.       Disturbance
6.       Recruitment and supply
7.       Tropical biodiversity and ecology
8.       Ecosystem goods and services
9.       Marine protected Areas
10.       Management and governance
11.       Pollution – oil and sewage
12.       Pollution – plastics and other persistent pollutants

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture171:0071:00Consolidation of lecture material, reading beyond the syllabus
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion121:0012:00Preparation for formative assessment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:001:00Formative assessment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion210:0020:00Preparation for coursework exercises
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion24:008:00Completion of two coursework exercises
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion121:0012:00Revision for two examinations
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion21:303:00Examinations
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture251:0025:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading241:0024:00Lecture follow up: directed reading
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading241:0024:00Lecture follow up: ReCap
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 Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination901A35Paper 1
Written Examination901A35Paper 2
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M15Coursework exercise (1000 words)
Written exercise1M15Coursework exercise (1000 words)
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Computer assessment1MFormative on line 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 2x 1000 word essay 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 three parts and will include questions to assess the breadth of knowledge acquired throughout the module.
Part A – short answer questions. Answer all questions to produce notes on a range of topics
Part B – essay question. Answer 1 question from 3
Part C – data analysis and interpretation. Answer 1 question from 1

Reading Lists