University of Essex
Tropical Marine Biology MSc
University of Essex

Key Course Facts

Course Description

Tropical ecosystems provide important resources locally and globally, and coral reefs are the most diverse of marine ecosystems threatened by human activities.

Our unique multidisciplinary course, MSc Tropical Marine Biology, is designed to deliver advanced tropical marine biology theory and to facilitate the development of a comprehensive range of practical and professional skills required by today’s employers.

As a student of our School you will benefit from the breadth of research carried out by our internationally recognised academics, and will engage with current research activities both in the UK and abroad. You also have the opportunity to put theory into practice and study coral reef conservation first hand during the School’s annual field trip to Wakatobi Marine National Park, Indonesia. Please note that students who join this optional expedition are subject to additional travel costs – the fee for field trips vary from year to year.

Explore topics including:

  • Hands-on experience of coral reef conservation on our pioneering underwater lectures in Indonesia

  • The biotechnological ‘treasure chest’ of marine microbes, algae and invertebrates

  • Tropical oceans, seagrass beds, mangroves and coral reefs

  • Coral reef resource management

During the summer term, you will embark on your own extensive research project under the supervision of researchers at the forefront of their fields. This can be conducted within our in-house Coral Reef Research Unit, or alongside one of our research partners from across the globe, addressing key questions on the functioning of and threats to tropical marine ecosystems.

Entry Requirements / Admissions

Requirements for international students / English requirements

IELTS academic test score (similar tests may be accepted as well)

    • 6.5
    • Graduate Degrees
    • 6.0
    • Undergraduate Degrees
Do you not fulfill the minimum requirements in terms of UCAS score, A levels, or English language requirements?
Get advice on which foundation courses are best for you to still be able to join Tropical Marine Biology, MSc.

Entry requirements for this course can be found on the course finder on the University of Essex website –

Visa Requirements for International Students

Visa requirement

All international students (including citizens from EU countries) intending to study this or any other academic programme for more than 6 months in the UK require a Student Visa.

International students younger than 18 years require a special Child Student Visa. Exceptions from this general rule may apply to holders of other UK work visas, British National Overseas visa, family member visa and recognised refugees or asylum seekers.

Permission to work while studying

University of Essex is listed by the UK government as an institution licensed to sponsor migrant students.

Student visa holders from licensed institutions are entitled to work during their full-time bachelor's, master's or Phd studies for
- 20h/week during the term
- Full-time outside term time (e.g. vacations, work placements, once course ended)

After completion of a bachelor's or master's programme of at least 12 months Student Visa holders of licensed institutions can convert their visa into a Graduate Visa which entitles graduates to work for 2 years in the UK.


Tuition Fees Tropical Marine Biology MSc

England UK £9980 year 1
Northern Ireland £9980 year 1
Scotland £9980 year 1
Wales £9980 year 1
Channel Islands £9980 year 1
EU £19380 year 1
International £19380 year 1

Additional fee information

Fees displayed are for 2021-22 entry. Fees for part-time courses are calculated pro-rata to the relevant full-time fee.

Tuition fees may be subject to annual increases in each year of study in line with inflation.

Average student cost of living in the UK

Rent £518
Water, gas electricity, internet (at home) £50
Supermarket shopping £81
Clothing £35
Eating out £33
Alcohol £27
Takeaways / food deliveries £30
Going out / entertainment (excl.alcohol, food) £24
Holidays and weekend trips £78
Transport within city £17
Self-care / sports £20
Stationary / books £13
Mobile phone / internet £13
Cable TV / streaming £7
Insurance £51
Other £95
Average student cost of living £1092

London costs approx 34% more than average, mainly due to rent being 67% higher than average of other cities. For students staying in student halls, costs of water, gas, electricity, wifi are generally included in the rental. Students in smaller cities where accommodation is in walking/biking distance transport costs tend to be significantly smaller.

University Rankings

Positions of University of Essex in top UK and global rankings.

See all university rankings of University of Essex

What students say about studying Marine Biology in the UK?

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  • Marine Biology - A Day In The Life

About University of Essex

The University of Essex, is a public, research university where curiosity prevails and thinking outside the box isn’t just encouraged, it’s expected. Based in the county of the same name, Essex, the main campus is located in Wivenhoe Park, near Colchester. It is home to the university’s three faculties, Humanities, Science & Health and Social Sciences, as well as a very large community of local rabbits, and other small fauna typical of the English countryside.

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Where is this programme taught

Colchester Campus
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