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Masters student Christina Accad smiles as she stands over a research aquarium tank while volunteering at the National Oceanography Centre

How international fieldwork brought my learning to life

Published: 23 January 2023

MSci Biology and Marine Biology student Christina came to Southampton for its marine biology facilities. She left having studied ecosystems around the world.

Why did you choose to study at Southampton?

What really drew me to the University was its excellent facilities for marine biology.

The National Oceanography Centre Southampton has high-class labs and a research aquarium, where I volunteered throughout my four years.

What is it like studying at the University?

I have been taught by inspiring and passionate lecturers and my course offered a good mix of lectures, lab work and fieldwork.

The fieldwork gave me the valuable experience I needed for more field-based career paths – and helped me push past my fear of certain insects!

Which modules did you particularly enjoy and why?

My favourite was Marine Vertebrates. Discovering the way different vertebrates are adapted to their environment and how some of them survive extreme habitats was utterly fascinating.

Another module I really enjoyed was the Spain field trip, which taught me how to identify different marine species, plants and insects.

Tell us about your marine biology fieldwork experiences

I learnt about UK coastal species on a trip to Dale, where I saw seals. The trip to Spain was an incredible experience.

We had to wake up very early to catch the low tide to examine marine species and managed to examine an octopus. We also had to catch insects ourselves, when I pushed past my fear!

What are you most proud of from your time at Southampton?

I am most proud of how I have progressed throughout my degree, both academically and on a personal level. I have taken part in amazing projects – such as working with the National Geographic, a dream of mine – and learnt so much.

I produced a final dissertation on marine vertebrates and ended my third year with first level marks after losing a close family member.

With the support of incredible tutors and lecturers and friends and family, I have pushed past hard times and excelled.

The modules you can choose and fieldwork locations can change year-to-year. Get the latest information on the Biology and Marine Biology MSci course.


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