Tropical Research and Conservation Centre Header Image Tropical Research and Conservation Centre Header Image

Advanced (A) level Cambridge Marine Science Course

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics


  • Living Situation


  • Cultural Immersion


  • Program Administration


  • Health and Safety


  • Social Life


Kickstart a career as a marine biologist

I have to start by saying it was with some trepidation that I decided to take part in the 2014 Marine science course at TRACC. Simply because it had been almost a decade since I had been at school studying.
Within the first couple of weeks of classes, field trips and studying, my concerns had been replaced with excitement and curiosity. It is after all hard to be stressed on a beautiful remote tropical Island. I can’t think of a more suitable and amazing place to learn about marine science and the wonders of the marine world than the spectacular Pom Pom Island, surrounded by crystal clear water and white sandy beaches. Not to mention an array of sea creatures that are mind blowing.
Not only was the content of the course incredibly interesting and well structured, the field trips we were lucky enough to be a part of were amazing adventures. These field trips included a hike up an extinct volcano to learn about atoll formation, a trek through a muddy mangrove to collect sediment samples and a trip to the local fish markets and docs to better understand fisheries management. Although, best of all was the awesome diving!!! Being able to observe for ourselves, symbiotic behaviour, biodiversity, food webs and much more at Pom Pom’s amazing dive sights, was just incredible.
The subject which affected me the most was human impacts on the marine environment. It really takes someone studying the topic to some degree to properly realise the enormity of the impacts we as people have on the marine environment. As shocking and frankly overwhelming as the module is, (covering topics such as; global warming, pollution and ocean acidification), being able to learn about them at a marine conservation centre from people who are actively making a difference, makes you understand how important education is in the fight for a sustainable future on earth.
By exam time in Kota Kinabalu I was feeling as confident as a person can be before exam time! I may have even left a couple of the exams smiling 
All in all, I can honestly say not only was it an amazing experience but it ignited a passion in me and helped me gain confidence in my ability to return to studying even in my late 20’s after a long gap.