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Marine Biology Diploma

Level 3 / ABC Awards / ODL79

The Marine Biology Level 3 Diploma course in Marine Biology aims to give a comprehensive grounding in the fascinating subject of life in the sea.

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online course

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WAS £524.00

NOW £393.00 or only £255.50 initial deposit

course duration: 200 hrs

study type: online

Course Description

Throughout the 10 fully illustrated modules, the student will learn about many aspects of oceanography and marine biology such as how oceans are born and die and how life began and evolved in the sea over the past 4 million years.

We look at the ocean as an ecological habitat and the amazing evolutionary adaptations of aquatic animals to the harsh marine environment. The course looks at ocean habitats from the poles to the equator and from the sunlit surface of the sea to the dark depths of the deep ocean. Finally the human impact on the marine ecosystem is discussed.

The course comprises of ten detailed modules covering all aspects of Marine Biology and concludes with an online examination. Materials can be studied online or students have the option to have the printed materials delivered for an additional charge of £65.

There is a list of publications for further reading and a glossary of terms at the end of the course.

Modules

Module 1 - Ocean formation
This module sets the scene by looking at how the oceans are created and destroyed by sea floor spreading and plate tectonics. Students discuss continental drift and the configuration of the oceans and continents through geological history with a speculative look into the possible future configurations should the continents continue to move as predicted. We study the major oceans of the present day with their geological features and follow an ocean as it progresses from birth to death.

Module 2 - The Ocean as a Habitat
In module two we study some basic oceanography and the structure of the physical ocean from the continental shelf to the abyssal plain. We also descend into the deep ocean trenches. We look at the chemistry of seawater and how it gets its physical properties as well as the physics of light and sound propagation in the ocean. We look at the dynamics of tides and major currents and the large scale movements of seawater in the ocean basins. We discover how waves are formed and how temperature, density and salinity work together in the marine environment.

Module 3 - Biological evolution in the oceans
In module three, we look at how life evolved in the ocean and discover the fascinating hydrothermal vents which were found in the 1970s. We meet the peculiar animals that live in these habitats and discover how they are able to live in such extreme environments. We look at the evolution of animals in the ocean from the tiniest one-celled animal to the largest marine mammals and discuss the mass extinctions and radiations that have punctuated the geological history of life on Earth.

Module 4 - Food webs in the sea
In module four, we discover the secret unseen world of the microscopic marine phytoplankton and zooplankton and discuss the primary productivity and the trophic food webs which support all life in the sea. We discover the incredible migration patterns of tiny zooplankton and how other marine animals exploit them. We look at how some of the smallest animals in the sea support some of the largest such as the great whales. Finally we look at the global distribution patterns of the tiniest organisms in the sea.

Module 5 - Adaptations to life in the sea
In this module, we look at how life is adapted to the harsh marine environment. We discover how animals from the smallest fish to the largest whale are able to live in the ocean. We look at biological systems such as osmoregulation, thermoregulation, locomotion, respiration, reproduction, sensory systems, diet and foraging strategies. As a case study, we follow the extraordinary evolutionary adaptation of the whales and dolphins as they evolved from being land animals, 50 million years ago to the fully adapted marine creatures we see today.

Module 6 - Tropical environments
In module six, we look at the beautiful coral reefs and mangrove swamps of the tropics. We study coral anatomy and growth and look at their global distribution and ecology. We discover the geological aspects of coral reef formation and look at how the simple coral animals evolved throughout their geological history. We look at the delicate symbiotic relationships between the tiny reef organisms and their coral hosts and at the marvellous array of coral reef fishes and their ecology.

Module 7 - Polar environments
In this module, we look at the physical environment of the polar regions and at the fundamental geological differences in the Arctic and Antarctic. We discover the ecology of polar environments and the different species found in the Arctic and Antarctic, along with the extraordinary evolutionary adaptations they show to life in such extreme environments. We look at animals such as the fish with antifreeze in their blood and at the way that warm blooded animals are able to survive in such extreme cold.

Module 8 - The intertidal
In module eight, we study the physical environment and the animals of rocky shores, sandy beaches and muddy estuaries. These are all very different environments yet are all at the mercy of the daily tides. We look at the amazing adaptation of animals to such desiccating intertidal environments and at the physical and biological factors for zonation of animals and plants on the shoreline. As a case study, we look at the biology of a rock pool and the array of fascinating animals that are found there.

Module 9 - Beneath the tides
In module nine, we venture into the depths of the abyss, a place we know less well than the moon. We study energy transfer and the surprisingly abundant animals of the deep sea. We discover the strange looking deep-sea fishes and invertebrates that are adapted to such incredible pressures exerted by the water column in this harsh environment and at the animals, which create their own light: bioluminescence. Then we finish the module off with a study of the ecology of a kelp forests in Alaska with its vitally important keystone species.

Module 10 - The human impact on the sea
The final module looks at fisheries and the food we obtain from the sea and discusses the main food species along with the impacts of over-fishing. We look at ocean pollution; the toxic pollutants, sewage and marine debris which are degrading the ocean and how the animals of the sea are coping with it all. We look at oil spills and their aftermath and discuss whether we make things worse with our well intended clean up operations. We look at global warming and its implications for life in the sea by looking at the geological history of climate change over millions of years and comparing it with the predictions of some of the climate models for the future.

Previous Knowledge

No previous knowledge or experience is essential to study this course.

Assessment

Final online multiple choice examination counts for 100% of the final grade. Throughout the course there are ten SAPs (coursework) and a thesis. The course clearly states that this is not mandatory to complete as it has no bearing on the final grade. We do suggest that students complete these as this will not only assist them in examination preparation but also will give the student the skill set should they wish to continue their studies (continuous professional development) at a higher level.

Awarding Organisation

At the end of this course successful learners will receive a Certificate of Achievement from ABC Awards and a Learner Unit Summary (which lists the details of all the units the learner has completed as part of the course). 

The course has been endorsed under the ABC Awards Quality Licence Scheme. This means that Oxford Learning College has undergone an external quality check to ensure that the organisation and the courses it offers, meet certain quality criteria. The completion of this course alone does not lead to an Ofqual regulated qualification but may be used as evidence of knowledge and skills towards regulated qualifications in the future. 

The unit summary can be used as evidence towards Recognition of Prior Learning if you wish to progress your studies in this sector. To this end the learning outcomes of the course have been benchmarked at Level 3 against level descriptors published by Ofqual, to indicate the depth of study and level of demand/complexity involved in successful completion by the learner.

 The course itself has been designed by Oxford Learning College to meet specific learners’ and/or employers’ requirements which cannot be satisfied through current regulated qualifications. ABC Awards endorsement involves robust and rigorous quality audits by external auditors to ensure quality is continually met. A review of courses is carried out as part of the endorsement process.

Support

12 Months Tutor Support. Tutors are available to answer student questions relating to course materials and to comment on the assignments that are sent in to state how well students have understood the unit content.

course description

Course Description

Throughout the 10 fully illustrated modules, the student will learn about many aspects of oceanography and marine biology such as how oceans are born and die and how life began and evolved in the sea over the past 4 million years.

We look at the ocean as an ecological habitat and the amazing evolutionary adaptations of aquatic animals to the harsh marine environment. The course looks at ocean habitats from the poles to the equator and from the sunlit surface of the sea to the dark depths of the deep ocean. Finally the human impact on the marine ecosystem is discussed.

The course comprises of ten detailed modules covering all aspects of Marine Biology and concludes with an online examination. Materials can be studied online or students have the option to have the printed materials delivered for an additional charge of £65.

There is a list of publications for further reading and a glossary of terms at the end of the course.

previous knowledge required

Previous Knowledge

No previous knowledge or experience is essential to study this course.

assessment

Assessment

Final online multiple choice examination counts for 100% of the final grade. Throughout the course there are ten SAPs (coursework) and a thesis. The course clearly states that this is not mandatory to complete as it has no bearing on the final grade. We do suggest that students complete these as this will not only assist them in examination preparation but also will give the student the skill set should they wish to continue their studies (continuous professional development) at a higher level.

support

Support

12 Months Tutor Support. Tutors are available to answer student questions relating to course materials and to comment on the assignments that are sent in to state how well students have understood the unit content.

modules

Modules

Module 1 - Ocean formation
This module sets the scene by looking at how the oceans are created and destroyed by sea floor spreading and plate tectonics. Students discuss continental drift and the configuration of the oceans and continents through geological history with a speculative look into the possible future configurations should the continents continue to move as predicted. We study the major oceans of the present day with their geological features and follow an ocean as it progresses from birth to death.

Module 2 - The Ocean as a Habitat
In module two we study some basic oceanography and the structure of the physical ocean from the continental shelf to the abyssal plain. We also descend into the deep ocean trenches. We look at the chemistry of seawater and how it gets its physical properties as well as the physics of light and sound propagation in the ocean. We look at the dynamics of tides and major currents and the large scale movements of seawater in the ocean basins. We discover how waves are formed and how temperature, density and salinity work together in the marine environment.

Module 3 - Biological evolution in the oceans
In module three, we look at how life evolved in the ocean and discover the fascinating hydrothermal vents which were found in the 1970s. We meet the peculiar animals that live in these habitats and discover how they are able to live in such extreme environments. We look at the evolution of animals in the ocean from the tiniest one-celled animal to the largest marine mammals and discuss the mass extinctions and radiations that have punctuated the geological history of life on Earth.

Module 4 - Food webs in the sea
In module four, we discover the secret unseen world of the microscopic marine phytoplankton and zooplankton and discuss the primary productivity and the trophic food webs which support all life in the sea. We discover the incredible migration patterns of tiny zooplankton and how other marine animals exploit them. We look at how some of the smallest animals in the sea support some of the largest such as the great whales. Finally we look at the global distribution patterns of the tiniest organisms in the sea.

Module 5 - Adaptations to life in the sea
In this module, we look at how life is adapted to the harsh marine environment. We discover how animals from the smallest fish to the largest whale are able to live in the ocean. We look at biological systems such as osmoregulation, thermoregulation, locomotion, respiration, reproduction, sensory systems, diet and foraging strategies. As a case study, we follow the extraordinary evolutionary adaptation of the whales and dolphins as they evolved from being land animals, 50 million years ago to the fully adapted marine creatures we see today.

Module 6 - Tropical environments
In module six, we look at the beautiful coral reefs and mangrove swamps of the tropics. We study coral anatomy and growth and look at their global distribution and ecology. We discover the geological aspects of coral reef formation and look at how the simple coral animals evolved throughout their geological history. We look at the delicate symbiotic relationships between the tiny reef organisms and their coral hosts and at the marvellous array of coral reef fishes and their ecology.

Module 7 - Polar environments
In this module, we look at the physical environment of the polar regions and at the fundamental geological differences in the Arctic and Antarctic. We discover the ecology of polar environments and the different species found in the Arctic and Antarctic, along with the extraordinary evolutionary adaptations they show to life in such extreme environments. We look at animals such as the fish with antifreeze in their blood and at the way that warm blooded animals are able to survive in such extreme cold.

Module 8 - The intertidal
In module eight, we study the physical environment and the animals of rocky shores, sandy beaches and muddy estuaries. These are all very different environments yet are all at the mercy of the daily tides. We look at the amazing adaptation of animals to such desiccating intertidal environments and at the physical and biological factors for zonation of animals and plants on the shoreline. As a case study, we look at the biology of a rock pool and the array of fascinating animals that are found there.

Module 9 - Beneath the tides
In module nine, we venture into the depths of the abyss, a place we know less well than the moon. We study energy transfer and the surprisingly abundant animals of the deep sea. We discover the strange looking deep-sea fishes and invertebrates that are adapted to such incredible pressures exerted by the water column in this harsh environment and at the animals, which create their own light: bioluminescence. Then we finish the module off with a study of the ecology of a kelp forests in Alaska with its vitally important keystone species.

Module 10 - The human impact on the sea
The final module looks at fisheries and the food we obtain from the sea and discusses the main food species along with the impacts of over-fishing. We look at ocean pollution; the toxic pollutants, sewage and marine debris which are degrading the ocean and how the animals of the sea are coping with it all. We look at oil spills and their aftermath and discuss whether we make things worse with our well intended clean up operations. We look at global warming and its implications for life in the sea by looking at the geological history of climate change over millions of years and comparing it with the predictions of some of the climate models for the future.

awarding organisation

Awarding Organisation

At the end of this course successful learners will receive a Certificate of Achievement from ABC Awards and a Learner Unit Summary (which lists the details of all the units the learner has completed as part of the course). 

The course has been endorsed under the ABC Awards Quality Licence Scheme. This means that Oxford Learning College has undergone an external quality check to ensure that the organisation and the courses it offers, meet certain quality criteria. The completion of this course alone does not lead to an Ofqual regulated qualification but may be used as evidence of knowledge and skills towards regulated qualifications in the future. 

The unit summary can be used as evidence towards Recognition of Prior Learning if you wish to progress your studies in this sector. To this end the learning outcomes of the course have been benchmarked at Level 3 against level descriptors published by Ofqual, to indicate the depth of study and level of demand/complexity involved in successful completion by the learner.

 The course itself has been designed by Oxford Learning College to meet specific learners’ and/or employers’ requirements which cannot be satisfied through current regulated qualifications. ABC Awards endorsement involves robust and rigorous quality audits by external auditors to ensure quality is continually met. A review of courses is carried out as part of the endorsement process.