MARINE 703 : Marine Protected Areas


2020 Semester Two (1205) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Current research related to marine protected areas is reviewed, including planning principles and processes for designing marine protected areas, and its role in science, conservation of biological diversity, and fisheries. Practical components include visits to marine reserves, exposure to planning software, and analysis of marine protected related data. The knowledge and skills gained are applied with an independent research project.

Course Overview

MARINE 703 Marine Protected Areas uses a number of approaches to develop highly specialised knowledge and skills in the field of marine protected areas, and then requires students to apply these through a large independent project (55% final grade). 
- Students are given a series of seminars by leading researchers and practitioners in the field, which provides specialist knowledge on the current issues in Marine Protected Area (MPA) management and the latest findings from MPA research. Students gain additional knowledge by undertaking a critical review of recent literature and through field trips to two marine reserves in the Auckland region.
- A number of fundamental skills are taught and assessed, including critical assessment of literature and peer review, designing and planning research, communicating research plans and findings through seminars. The course also teaches important practical skills specific to the field of MPAs, in particular a practical assessment (20% final grade) using the Zonation MPA planning software.
- Current research related to MPAs is reviewed, including planning principles and processes for designing MPAs, and the role of MPAs in science, conservation of biological diversity, and fisheries. Practical components include visits to marine reserves, learning MPA planning software, and analysis of MPA related data. The knowledge and skills gained are applied with an independent research project on a related topic.
- The knowledge and skill gained above are applied in an independent research project worth 55% of the final grade. The goal is to select a topic or question and conduct original research into it, and report this as a research paper. It can be a desk-based study or research project involving data collection and analysis. Marks are split between the final written paper, a proposal and two prior presentations on the topic to the class. Students are required to demonstrate advanced knowledge of their field, develop and present their new ideas within this project.
On completion of MARINE 703 students will be literate, highly knowledgeable, and articulate in science and management issues around MPA with appropriate professional skills in scientific methods and communication.

Course Requirements

Restriction: ENVSCI 726

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Develop a specialist knowledge in marine protected area research and management, including critical assessment of the latest research and understanding of the current issues facing marine conservation. (Capability 1, 2 and 4)
  2. Be able to demonstrate mastery in the design of a network of marine protected areas using specialist planning tools and software. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  3. Be able to design and undertake a research project that investigates a fundamental question about marine protected areas, and demonstrate mastery in the analysis, interpretation and communication of research findings. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Presentation 10% Individual Coursework
Assignments 10% Individual Coursework
Practical 25% Individual Coursework
Project 55% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3

Learning Resources


Special Requirements

Must complete practical work and participate in field trips.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 28 hours of lectures, 6 hours of labs, and two field trips (16 hours), 30 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 70 hours of work on assignments/project.

Other Information

All students are expected to attend classes, labs and field trips in person, except for those international students still overseas due to border restrictions.

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website at

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page:

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter (


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.

Published on 17/07/2020 04:17 p.m.