Join us in the UK's first national marine park and learn from the Marine Biological Association's Research Vessel's wealth of skills, knowledge and experience.  Discover a range of marine ecological surveying techniques aboard our research vessel and add to your professional skills.  

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

The logo for the Royal Society of Biology

This course has been approved by the Royal Society of Biology for purposes of CPD

Who the course is aimed at: Individuals with an interest in marine ecology, wishing to gain practical experience of using marine ecological survey techniques on board a research vessel.

Date: 24 – 28 July 2023

Location: The Marine Biological Association, Citadel Hill, Plymouth

Requirements: Minimum age 18. Must be physically fit and able to undertake work on board a boat. No previous experience on boats is required. All Personal Protective Equipment will be provided.



This course will provide you with a practical introduction to boat-based marine ecological survey techniques, with specific focus on producing robust marine biological data. It will introduce you to the different marine ecological survey techniques used to assess habitats, species abundance and distribution for the purpose of monitoring and research.

We will demonstrate a variety of survey techniques used in marine ecology, highlighting technological advances in this field, and discuss the considerations needed for each approach.

The course will include both practical sessions aboard RV Sepia and lab sessions to allow more detailed exploration of topics such as data collection protocols. 

Highlights and Learning Outcomes 

  • Understand how to design and carry out marine ecological surveys at sea
  • Understand why measuring hydrographic properties of the sea (temperature, salinity, oxygen, nutrients, currents, etc) is important 
  • Learn the importance of determining requirements for survey, surveillance and monitoring and how to incorporate this into survey design and marine legislation
  • Practice high standard sampling techniques including plankton sampling, benthic sampling, and extractive versus non-extractive sampling

For more information on the course timetable and tutors please click here

MBA Sepia Research Vessel Video

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Full price: £1499

Member price: £1425

Student Member price: £1399

Prices include all tuition, equipment, PPE, refreshments and lunch on both days. 

We appreciate that for some paying by instalment or invoice is preferred, to discuss your requirements please contact us at

For details of how to become a Member 

Any queries please email

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