Master of Marine Conservation at Wellington

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Victoria’s Master of Marine Conservation (MMarCon) is the only taught Master’s degree in marine conservation in New Zealand. The program educates students in marine conservation issues and practice through course and field work from New Zealand, Australia and the Asia–Pacific region. Students are prepared for a career in a range of marine conservation areas worldwide, including the conservation and management of marine organisms and ecosystems.

Much of the teaching takes places at Victoria's Coastal Ecology Laboratory—an active research facility in Island Bay, just 8 kilometres from the main campus, and situated right on the doorstep of 76 kilometres of accessible coastline along Wellington harbor with nearby access to two marine reserves. The lab provides 816 square meters of state-of-the-art research space, including two wet lab facilities, and access to two marine research vessels.

+ Master of Conservation Biology

  • Field Courses: Two of the core courses, 'New Zealand Conservation Practice' and 'Tropical Marine Conservation Practice', are field courses. You'll visit several world-renowned marine conservation sites in New Zealand and overseas.
  • Wellington is an international hot spot for biodiversity and studying at Victoria you'll learn from world leaders in conservation practice—internationally respected scientists whose work informs the management of NZ’s unique biota.
  • New Zealand’s natural living space is a biological scientist’s dream!
  • You'll also examine marine conservation issues of cultural and socioeconomic significance to Māori and Pacific peoples, such as exploitation of coastal regions and ecotourism, seabed and foreshore rights, and community-led conservation strategies.
  • Complete the qualification in a single year (12 months).

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Yes, I recommend this program

Well rounded Master's degree to pursue environmental conservation

Moving to New Zealand to pursue my Master's degree in Marine Conservation was one of my best decisions. This program is multidimensional and challenges you to think about conservation from the many different viewpoints of all stakeholders involved when it comes to the environment, from scientists to policymakers and local communities. Beyond providing networking opportunities through guest lectures, this program offered amazing field courses that allowed me to gain international experience as well as practical skills. Although in my opinion the best part of the program was the people. New Zealand is unique in its education and its scientific community in that everyone strives to build a collaborative environment. Coming from the US, where university felt like a competition, having all of my peers and professors wanting to and helping me succeed was refreshing. My research experience, knowledge, and connections gained through this program have allowed me to continue my education as I currently pursue my PhD in Marine Biology

What would you improve about this program?
The only improvement I would recommend is to improve post-graduate housing options. As an international student it was suggested I go into a University hall where I would be placed with other students around my age. Upon arriving I was placed in an apartment with three 19 year old boys and it did not work out. I would highly suggest finding a flat instead as it gave me a better home environment and community of friends in Wellington.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Marine Conservation Program Experience

I am pleased that I chose Victoria University of Wellington to complete my Master's degree. The program provides many field courses that allow international students like myself to travel to places around New Zealand as well as other countries. I've met many students from all over the world during my studies and made long-lasting friendships. The field course to Indonesia was eye-opening. It provided an opportunity to immerse ourselves in a completely different culture and to learn about the marine ecosystems and conservation of those ecosystems.

What would you improve about this program?
I think the program could benefit from having an oceanography course - potentially a field course.
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