Newcastle University: Marine Ecosystems and Governance

InstitutionNewcastle University View institution profile
Department School of Natural and Environmental Sciences
Web Visit Newcastle University website
Study type Taught


This course provides you with an exceptional grounding in marine environmental research. You’ll develop your 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 develops 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

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.

Our taught modules will ground your understanding of marine ecosystem dynamics, research methodologies and environmental governance. You will develop your research skills by designing and completing a supervised project.

Major sites for projects include the: - Arctic

  • Maldives

  • Bahamas

  • Northumberland coast (UK)

The project will develop a detailed knowledge of your chosen research topic by drawing on the research communities within the Ecology Research Group, in the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences.

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)


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.

Academic papers

There are opportunities for involvement in key papers. Previous students have often led on papers and projects in areas that include:

Tropical coastal management Marine ecosystem services North Sea marine policy Marine biology Coral reef ecology Marine protected area management Fisheries ecology and sustainability


Three taught modules worth 60 credits are delivered in week blocks during semester one. A research project worth 120 credits is undertaken across semesters 2 and 3.

The course is delivered by the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences.


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

Master of Research - MRes

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