Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton

SOES3054 Marine Conservation and Policy

Module Overview

This module is only open to Year 3 students registered on MSci Biology and Marine Biology, BSc Biology and Marine Biology, BSc Marine Biology with Oceanography, MSci Marine Biology and Oceanography, MSci Marine Biology and BSc Marine Biology degrees. MSc Oceanography, MRes Ocean Sciences or MSci students who took a Semester Abroad can take the Level 6 dual-coded option. This module will cover a range of issues surrounding marine conservation and policy, split into three sections We will initially focus on the causes and consequences of the current biodiversity concerns, and concentrate on the socio-economic aspects and monitoring of marine exploitation, tracking of animal products and illegal trade.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • To summarise the main issues affecting global biodiversity and its socio-economic value.
  • To explain the main techniques and their effectiveness involved in biodiversity monitoring and tracking.
  • To describe contemporary UK and international conservation issues and have an understanding of the development of both conservation policy and biodiversity policies.
  • To describe and apply population models for projections of biodiversity futures to improve conservation outcomes.
  • To understand and discuss potential conflicts of interest in management approaches between people, species and habitats.
  • To develop, write and present a policy brief to inform non-specialists on research that may be important for the development of UK marine conservation strategies and policies.


The module will concentration on key biodiversity issues and will contribute to an understanding of the scientific processes which underpinning conservation and management, focussing in particular on marine biodiversity, threats to biodiversity and how it can be preserved. The module will include discussions on the socio-economic facets of marine exploitation, including national and international legislative frameworks associated with marine exploitation, management and conservation. Students will assess how marine biodiversity is threatened by e.g. habitat loss and fragmentation, climate change, invasive species, over-exploitation, and pollution and will develop a policy brief to communicate recent research findings to inform conservation and management strategies. Research led examples, presentations from guest speakers e.g. local conservation trusts and the Southern IFCA will provide a wide breadth of perspectives, allowing discussion and debate on issues surrounding conservation, human use of habitats and exploitation of marine resources.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The overarching goal is to provide the students with an interactive and hands-on experience of the central issues surrounding biodiversity conservation, management and policy development. Lectures/Workshops: A series of core lectures will introduce and analyse the central aspects of marine biodiversity conservation, the importance of population models for predicting and improving conservation outcomes and will investigate and discuss the main techniques and their effectiveness involved in biodiversity monitoring and tracking, including issues surrounding illegal wildlife trade, harvesting and invasive species. Finally, we will discuss the socio-economic trade-offs and potential conflicts between conservation, habitat use and exploitation of marine resources. Case Studies: Research-centred topics of relevant interest will be covered by seminars and presentations given by guest speakers discussing their topical research carried out in Southampton and from local conservation trusts and authorities. Practical sessions 1) Communicating science to decision makers and managers I: developing a policy brief 2) Projecting population futures: use of population models for predicting conservation outcomes 3) Communicating science to decision makers and managers II: presentation of policy brief, implications for conservation and management Fieldtrips 1) Studland: MPA under development - management and policy issues 2) Poole Harbour: fisheries management and conservation designations

Independent Study110
Practical classes and workshops6
Total study time150



MethodPercentage contribution
Policy brief 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Field Trips

1-day bus hire (1-2 busses depending on Student numbers) & hire of boat for trip around Poole Harbour.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Share this module Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo
Privacy Settings