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Victoria University of Wellington
Victoria University of Wellington logo

Master of Marine Conservation

This course is available

Online, On-Campus

Level of Study

Master's Degree


12 months

Next start date

Expected Jun 2023


Victoria University of Wellington


Learn how to make a difference to coastal and marine environments in New Zealand, the Pacific, and around the world, with a postgraduate degree in Marine Conservation.

With the increasing pressures on the marine environment, both in the South Pacific region and worldwide, experts in the conservation and management of marine organisms and ecosystems are in demand.

As a world-leader in marine conservation, New Zealand is a great place to develop your expertise in the field. Its unique and lengthy coastline is home to numerous marine organisms—from the tiny phytoplankton to the endangered New Zealand sea lion.

Study with School of Biological Sciences, a leader in marine biology research. Examine marine conservation issues and practice using examples from New Zealand, Australia, South Pacific and wider Indo-Pacific region, which can be applied worldwide.


You'll gain skills and knowledge in a wide range of areas within the conservation and management of marine organisms and ecosystems, in both temperate and tropical climates. You might find work at Crown Research Institutes, private research institutes or with national government agencies managing marine conservation and fisheries. Other organisations you may work with include regional authorities such as city, regional and district councils, consultancy firms carrying out contract marine biology work or non-government agencies and not-for-profit organisations.

The 180-point Master of Marine Conservation consists of three core courses and three courses chosen from a range of marine biology, biodiversity, ecology, ecological restoration and conservation courses. You can also choose courses that specialise in environmental management and conservation issues relating to New Zealand M?ori and Pacific Island communities.

Two of your core courses, BIOL 424 New Zealand Conservation Practice and BIOL 529 Tropical Marine Conservation Practice, are field courses. You'll visit several world-renowned marine conservation sites in New Zealand and overseas.

You'll also examine marine conservation issues of cultural and socioeconomic significance to M?ori and Pacific peoples, such as exploitation of coastal regions and ecotourism, seabed and foreshore rights, and community-led conservation strategies.

Duration: The Master of Marine Conservation can be completed in 12 months of full-time study

Schedule: Lectures and field trips

Entry criteria

Applicants must satisfy the following:

  • A Bachelor's degree with an average grade of B+
  • To be accepted by the programme director as capable of proceeding with the proposed course of study

Proof of English proficiency

To be accepted into this programme you will need to meet one of the following:

IELTS: minimum overall score of 6.5 with no sub-score below 6.0

TOEFL: minimum score of 90 for the internet-based test with a minimum of 20 in writing

Pearson Test of English: minimum score of 58 (with a ‘Communicative’ score of not less than 50)

EPP: minimum final scores of 4,4,5,5

Application Deadline - Trimester 1: 15 Oct and Trimester 2: 1 Mar.

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