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Ocean Management & Conservation - ENV00001I

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  • Department: Environment and Geography
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Bryce Stewart
  • Credit value: 10 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23

Module summary

If you want to get a taste for how ocean ecosystems work, how they are being affected by human activities, what those impacts mean for life in the sea and for us, and how we can better manage and protect marine species and habitats, then this module is for you.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2022-23

Module aims

Oceans and seas were once thought to be too vast to be affected by anything other than localised human impacts. However, in recent decades human influence has expanded to even the remotest regions of the high seas, and to the bottom of the deepest abyss. Despite accumulating evidence of the growing scale and intensification of human impacts on the sea, management action lags well behind that on land. This module will introduce students to ocean life and ecosystems and explore some of the ways in which people affect the marine environment. It will examine and assess the options we have to manage those impacts.

Lecture 1: The long history of human influence on the sea (Callum Roberts)

Lecture 2: Principles of fisheries management (Callum Roberts)

Lecture 3: Fisheries management in practice – failures and success (Callum Roberts)

Lecture 4: Marine reserves: Balancing fisheries management and conservation (Julie Hawkins)

Lecture 5: Invasive species in the sea (Julie Hawkins)

Lecture 6: Aquaculture and the ocean environment (Julie Hawkins)

Lecture 7: Biodiversity patterns and extinction risk in the sea (Callum Roberts)

Lecture 8: Conservation of ocean megafauna (Callum Roberts)

Lecture 9: Marine conservation in the UK (Julie Hawkins)

Practical 1 – Exercises in fisheries management

Module learning outcomes

At the end of this module successful students should:

  • Understand how human activities impact on ocean ecosystems and species and the suitability of different management strategies for dealing with these impacts.
  • Understand how ecological science can be used to underpin conservation and management of ocean ecosystems.
  • Understand some of the key principles of fisheries management and reasons for failure and success of management.

Generic / Employability Skills:

The module will provide students with a very specific range of skills and abilities related to the fields of ecology and environmental management, particularly with respect to the ocean. It will give them an enhanced ability to think critically about environmental management problems and how they can be solved.


Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam - 24 hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Ocean Management & Conservation Open Exam
8 hours 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
1500 word Reassessment Essay
N/A 100

Module feedback

Feedback will be via the standard University 4-week turnaround.

Indicative reading

· Roberts, C.M. (2007) The Unnatural History of the Sea. Gaia Books

· Roberts, C.M. (2012) Ocean of Life: How our Seas are Changing. Penguin

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.