Newcastle University Online Marine Science Programme

newcastle uni delve deeper title

Five online course modules highlight different areas of marine science - coasts, open ocean, tropical seas, frozen poles and human impact

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You pursue your passion for adventure, and your fascination with the ocean world through your diving. But do you ever find yourself wanting to know more? Do you wish you could have access to marine biology experts and tap into their knowledge about the marine life you see around you as you dive? Do you ever day-dream about having taken a Marine Biology degree and pursued a career in the subject?

The pressures of busy careers and family commitments often leave little time for study, but Delve Deeper, a six-month online course from Newcastle University allows busy people to study marine science remotely, and at their own pace.

The course covers habitats ranging from the shallow seas to the deepest trenches; freezing polar seas to tropical coral reefs. The course will provide learners with an insight into the world of marine science, including:

  • Survey approaches and data collection techniques used by scientists to better understand the underwater world.
  • The challenges of exploring remote and inaccessible reaches of our marine environment.
  • How the study of marine organisms and oceanographic processes is conducted from vessels, shores, and in laboratories.

newcastle uni delve deeper research

Learn how professional scientists conduct surveys and collect data (Photo:

There are five online modules, each covering a habitat and a concept in biology or ecology.

  • Module One: Coastal Habitats. An introduction to coastal regions, including temperate rocky shores, estuaries, sediment shores, and shallow subtidal areas. These are often the most familiar marine environments to those who spent their childhoods exploring rock pools, and the module allows participants to ease themselves into the course by exploring feeding strategies and life cycles of familiar organisms.
  • Module Two: The Open Ocean. Examines life away from the coasts, from the sunlit waters where microscopic algae capture energy to fuel the ocean’s food webs, down to the deepest trenches, where life relies largely on productivity from above. Food webs and feeding relationships are explored in depth.
  • Module Three: Tropical Seas. Encapsulate the diversity and splendour of the world's coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass habitats. This module also investigates sex in the marine environment, and the diversity of reproductive approaches for both animals and plant species is studied.
  • Module Four: The Poles. Considers life in extreme polar environments, where animals are pushed to their physiological limits.
  • Module Five - Human Seas. The final module brings together the previous segments and considers the oceans in the context of our reliance on them. Shipping, fishing, mineral exploration, tourism and the benefits we accrue, are weighed up against the impact we have on our seas in terms of pollution, climate change, and habitat destruction; a poignant ending to the course that leaves participants thinking about where this will take them next.

newcastle uni delve deeper farne islands

The practical course component involves travelling to the Farne Islands, home to large puffin and seal populations (Photos:

The highlight of Delve Deeper is a five-day-long residential field course in the north-east of England. Visiting Newcastle University, students will have access to world-leading researchers in varied fields of marine science, including professors and lecturers with coral reef, deep sea, marine mammal biology and oceanographic expertise. Students will receive hands-on experience of the concepts and survey techniques they learned about online. Lectures and workshop accompany practical activities such as surveys onboard the University’s research vessel, laboratory investigations of microscopic organisms, and visits to the seabird and marine mammal populations of the Farne Islands.

The course is open to anybody over the age of 18 who has regular access to the Internet. No prior knowledge of marine species or science is needed; terms and concepts are explained in an accessible, easy-to-understand way. Online quizzes allow students to chart their progress until they feel ready to take a short end-of-module online test. Certificates of Achievement are awarded to all participants successfully completing the course.

The next course commences in March 2020, with modules released each month. The field course will take place between Wednesday 6 May to Sunday 10 May inclusive. Registration for the 2020 course begins on 15 September 2019, priced at £625 per person.

To find out more visit the Delve Deeper website or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information.



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