Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton

SOES6052 Tropical Marine Biology Field Course

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• To introduce the essential elements of tropical marine biology and associated ecology • To provide training to develop a skill in identifying a variety of tropical marine plants and animals and mapping their habitat. • To make a record of the field data and analysis of those data. • To present findings in a reports and a poster, the format of which will be suitable for conference presentation.

Learning Outcomes

Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Increased understanding of tropical working environment, safety issues beyond those normally encountered in UK;
  • independent research working skills;
  • group working skills;
  • data manipulation skills;
  • statistical skills;
  • survey expertise;
  • snorkelling (as appropriate) expertise;
  • development of existing presentation skills;
  • development of existing scientific writing skills.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • travelling to non-European destination, understanding of non EU country entry requirements and travelling logistics;
  • learning to work in an unfamiliar situation;
  • need for prior planning with respect to inoculations and equipment availability,
  • working in a small group,
  • working independently,
  • presentation and writing skills,
  • using spreadsheets and statistical packages for data analysis.
Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a clear understanding of major aspects of Tropical Marine Biology.
  • Identify a range of tropical marine plants and animals and map their habitat.
  • Undertake safe, independent research in a tropical environment.
  • Understand and have experience of specialist marine survey techniques and specialist software.
  • Understand how to prepare and deliver a poster to a conference.
  • Understand how to deliver a report at the year 4 MSci level.


The course will provide a thorough grounding in tropical marine biology and associated fieldwork. Fieldwork will be based on extensive snorkelling surveys of coral, seagrass/algae and mangrove habitats so ensuring that there is first hand experience of seeing a variety of animals and plants in their native environment.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

This is an intensive fieldcourse course of 2 weeks duration. Formal Lectures: will provide a thorough grounding in elements of tropical marine biology and the coral reef biocenosis. Practical sessions, group learning: will be supported by extensive fieldwork that will include snorkelling surveys and boat work. Informal field based tutorials: advice and support will be available from staff and the field laboratory. One to one research training in the field: advice and support will be available to help students plan and execute survey work. Individual learning with staff: advice and support available for presentation and report preparation. A wide range of support can be provided for those students who have further or specific learning and teaching needs.

Independent Study27
Total study time150


Assessment Strategy

Assessment of pre-departure training: (16%) A short answer paper will assess the knowledge and skills developed during the NOCS based training component of the module. Tests learning outcomes 4 & 5 Practical Report (49%): one day's activity (seagrass/algae or mangroves) will be written up and summarise data collection and analysis methods, discuss the outcomes of the analysis and propose follow-on work prompted by the survey Tests learning outcomes 1-4 & 6. E-Poster presentation (35%): A 5 minute presentation & poster to conference standards describing the one of the habitats investigated (other than the topic of the practical report) and the key outcomes of the survey. Tests learning outcomes 1-5 Re-assessment Method Essay (10 A4 page, using report formatting) on tropical marine ecology and habitat mapping


MethodPercentage contribution
Poster Presentation  (5 minutes) 35%
Practical Report 65%
Share this module Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.