Skip to Content


Last modified: 27 Feb 2018 18:29

Course Overview

Effective engagement with conservation of marine biodiversity requires an open mind, creativity, patience and an appreciation of shared learning.  This course is structured to help you develop those essential skills while building your understanding of current issues in marine conservation and how conservation professionals engage with these issues. 

Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session Both Sessions Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Old Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Philip Smith
  • Professor Paul Thompson

Qualification Prerequisites


What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Postgraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

Marine biodiversity is threatened by a variety of human activities at different scales and in a range of environments. As our understanding of threats has increased, there has been a developing management response, which typically involves protecting particular species or habitats, controlling activities in defined areas, regulating potentially harmful activities over wider areas (so-called 'wider seas measures'), or a combination of such types of measure in what has become known as the 'three pillars approach'. This course aims to develop an understanding of the drivers of the management response, the types of management measures implemented and the scientific underpinning of the design, operation and evaluation of these measures. This will be achieved through tuition, directed self-study, interaction with practitioners in marine conservation, role play exercises, and through detailed analysis of case studies.

After an introduction to the course, at the start of the academic year during a field trip to the Lighthouse Field Station, Cromarty, students will follow a set of structured activities throughout the first semester; these activities will serve to engage students with current events of national and international marine conservation interest. Students will conduct independent and group research to identify and report on these issues, and then gain experience writing commentary and informed opinion pieces for a variety of audiences through blogs. They will also be required to provide feedback and commentary to their peers.

In the second semester students will meet for timetabled classes. The second piece of coursework will be a written response to a public consultation about a topic of relevance to marine conservation. Class sessions will facilitate dialogue with a variety of stakeholders to help students develop an appreciation of different players and different perspectives, and will include an opportunity to role play. Performance in this final exercise will be the  basis of the third element of assessment.

Degree Programmes for which this Course is Prescribed

  • Master Of Science In Marine Conservation

Contact Teaching Time

Sorry, we don't have that information available.

Teaching Breakdown


Written response to marine conservation consultation document (50%); blogs (30%); Participation in stakeholder workshop (20%).

Resit: similar to 1st attempt, with existing pass mark carried forward, so that resit is needed only for failed element(s).

Formative Assessment



Feedback on both assessments will be given according to University procedures. It is anticipated that this will be in the form of written feedback on blogs (assessment 1) and the written consultation response (assessment 3), and verbal feedback for the stakeholder workshop (assessment 2).

Compatibility Mode

We have detected that you are have compatibility mode enabled or are using an old version of Internet Explorer. You either need to switch off compatibility mode for this site or upgrade your browser.