Maurice Walkes

My main interest has always been coral reefs

I am someone who loves adventure and meeting new people, so naturally, I was eager to have a new experience living in a new country. This university was recommended to me by my local student centre, as well as a friend of mine who studied here. Both had high praises for the University, as well as its programme in marine science.
I have always had a love for the ocean, and particularly for coral reefs. I was quite interested in coming to the UK, and I was very attracted to the fact that the University offered a one-year marine science programme. I also heard that the rate of graduate employment in the field of marine science is quite high.
My main interest has always been coral reefs. For my dissertation, I will be focusing on buttresses of the cold-water coral, Lophelia pertusa on Røst reef in Northern Norway from video footage. I will be analysing megafauna found on these unique reef growth forms, and comparing it to other substrate types across the transects.
One of my favourite modules was MAR514 Marine Science, since I got to do practical boat work collecting samples in the Tamar Estuary. MAR530 Managing Marine Ecosystems was also a favourite of mine because it was extremely informative, and the assessments were quite practical.
Aerial view of sea waves and fantastic rocky shore. Reefs and algae near the shores of the Norwegian Sea. Norway. Credit: Soloma, courtesy of Shutterstock

I would highly recommend this MSc programme 

It covers a lot of areas which are essential for future research and employment, plus the coursework assignments are very practical. I’ve met some amazing friends on my programme as well. 
I would encourage anyone applying for the programme to go for it!
For me, the biggest challenge was time management and motivation. I realised how difficult doing this level of work is while being away from home. To overcome these challenges, I constantly set personal deadlines for smaller tasks and try stick to them. 
Once I graduate, I hope to be able to work with an organisation teaching and educating people about coral reefs and Earth’s biodiversity. I would like to stay in the UK and work, as there are more opportunities here to learn and grow in this area than back home.

Plymouth gave me a great first impression

The people are very friendly, similar to home. The first standout difference I would say is the weather since I am from the Caribbean. It was extremely cold when I first landed. I was also blown away by the older architecture.
The University helped me tremendously with settling in – I was able to meet new people at the events they held for international students. I especially liked the tea and scones and dinner they provided for us. I have joined the Tropical Island Society, and I am a member of the Pentecostal Students Association (PENSA) and the Christian Union (CU). 
Maurice Walkes outside the Students' Union

MSc Applied Marine Science

Coastal erosion. Threatened resources. Pollution. With increasing awareness of the importance of the world's oceans as a natural resource and of their role in the stability of the global climate and environment, marine science specialists are in high demand. Our vocational programme, involving local marine partners and companies, provides you with the scientific knowledge, skills and practical experience that you need for an exciting career in marine science.
This island is a popular snorkelling and dive location - a small boat is visible with a person snorkelling. The sculptured yellow granitic rocks are typical of the Seychelles and complement the blue / green surrounding waters. Image courtesy of Getty Images.