MSc Tropical Biological Oceanography 


The Silliman University and Newcastle University offer a double degree programme, wherein the scholar completes a Master of Research in Marine Ecosystems and Governance at NU during the first year of the two-year scholarship. The second year is spent completing a Master of Research (MRes) in Tropical Biological Oceanography at SU. 

This programme was developed in response to the need for oceanographers and marine ecosystem managers in the Philippines. The Philippines is an archipelagic country with the fifth longest coastline in the world, surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, the South China Sea and the Celebes, and yet the number of oceanographers can only be counted with the fingers in one hand, all located in the University of the Philippines. In addition, Marine Science has only recently been given attention and priority by the Philippine government, recognising its role in nation-building. It has developed for the first time standards for a baccalaureate degree in marine biology and through the CHED, sponsored teacher upgrading in oceanography.

The programme will be implemented by the Institute of Environmental and Marine Sciences (IEMS) at Silliman University which is considered a world leader in Coastal Resource Management, specifically in the area of Marine Protected Areas. It has also a very strong Marine Biology programme with MS and PhD offerings in Marine Biology through the IEMS. For this programme, SU has established a research platform where students can already choose among four areas of research centered on oceanic contributions to coastal fisheries, mesophotic (deep reefs) studies, plankton, hydrographic research and coastal fisheries.

At NU, the student will spend the first trimester taking taught modules worth 60 credits in week blocks during semester one. A research project worth 120 credits is undertaken across semesters 2 and 3. During year 2, the students come back to the Philippines to complete the other degree, completing a thesis since all the taught modules at NU will be credited.

If a student qualifies for CHED scholarship, all school fees in both Universities will be covered. The student will also enjoy book allowance, living allowance and travel support.

Key Learning Outcomes

Graduates will have:

  • A comprehensive understanding of the research environment and knowledge on research methods and practices.
  • Developed research skills and the ability to address specific research objectives.
  • An understanding of biological, ecological, and physical processes affecting the marine and ocean environment, specifically in the tropics.
  • Knowledge on best practices and approaches to marine ecosystem governance.


For each degree, the student is required to submit a field research-based thesis. A research platform on oceanic contributions to coastal fisheries is established and supported for this purpose.  Students can choose topics ranging from but not limited to hydrographic and upwelling studies, mesophotic (deep reefs), plankton and coastal fisheries.

How To Apply

Contact for eligibility and admission requirements.

Location and Contact Information

Newcastle University

Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, NE1 7RU, UK

Telephone: (0191) 208 6000 From outside the UK dial +44 191 208 6000


Silliman University

Hibbard Avenue, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, 6200 Philippines

Telephone: +63 35 420 9002 local 210

Email Address:


See also