Research Thesis Placement

Our Research Thesis Placement is specifically designed to give undergraduate and postgraduate students the opportunity to plan, implement, and conduct their own marine research projects for the purposes of fulfilling their degree thesis or dissertation requirements. As one of our Research Thesis Placement students (RTPs), we will work with you on a one-to-one basis to ensure that your project not only meets all of your university’s requirements, and fits within our program areas but also provides a strong foundation for your personal career aspirations. Before arriving on-site you will be assigned to a member of our marine conservation team who will act as your external supervisor. They will dedicate time to work alongside you and your University in order to help you plan and develop the perfect project.

Once on-site, students have the unique opportunity to train alongside our Marine Science and Conservation Staff on a number of our programs before implementing their own research projects. You will be assisted by our team and our Conservation Research Assistant students (CRAs) in the attainment and processing of data collected specifically for your project.  Additionally, when our RTPs are not working on their own data collection, we provide extensive opportunity to gain hands-on field experience in a broad range of marine conservation techniques, across multiple marine ecosystems.

Through this program, our Research Thesis Placement students learn practical, theoretical, problem-solving, and analytical skills that will enhance their prospects as future conservationists. Students are also encouraged in the development of essential project leadership skills through time spent directing CRAs and managing their own projects. 

▼ Skills Acquired

All of our Research Thesis Placement Students will have the opportunity to develop the following:

  • Project leadership and management skills
  • Project planning, implementation, reporting, and troubleshooting skills
  • Experience in data processing and analysis techniques
  • A detailed appreciation of NGO and field site operations
  • Extensive experience scuba diving in a variety of condition and whilst conducting a range of activities
  • Capability development in buoyancy control and eco-aware diving
  • Experience working with Marine Scientists in a professional environment
  • The ability to communicate science through community outreach and cultural exchange activities
  • Intimate knowledge of coral reef ecosystems and processes
  • Intimate knowledge of Indo-Pacific coral, fish, substrate, invertebrate, and megafauna species Identification
  • In-depth understanding of coral reef threats, impacts, and conservation

The specific knowledge and skills you will acquire during your Research Thesis Placement in addition to those listed above will also depend to an extent on the duration of your stay and on the specifics of the research project you choose to undertake. Please see the below list to gain an appreciation for some of the potential project areas we offer as well as the experience that can be gained in each of them 

  • Hands-on experience in coral restoration processes and techniques; coral reef survey and monitoring techniques; and reef impact protocols (coral bleaching, coral disease, fishing or boat damage, pollution, drupella spp. and crown of thorns starfish outbreaks)
  • Underwater field experience with 3-Dimensional reef modeling, diver operated Stereo Video Systems (DOVs), and Baited Remote Underwater Video Systems (BRUVs)
  • Detailed knowledge of shark and ray biology and behaviours
  • Detailed knowledge of turtle biology and behaviours
  • Field experience in turtle Identification methodologies, turtle population analysis, and turtle conservation
  • Intimate knowledge of mangrove ecosystems and processes
  • Thorough understanding of mangrove threats, impacts, and conservation
  • Hands-on experience in mangrove restoration processes and techniques and mangrove survey and monitoring methodologies
  • Intimate knowledge of seagrass ecosystems and processes
  • Thorough understanding of seagrass threats, impacts, and conservation
  • Active experience in seagrass restoration techniques and seagrass survey and monitoring methodologies
  • In-depth knowledge of habitat fragmentation and the importance of restoring connectivity
  • Experience with historic ecological assessment and habitat reconstruction protocols
  • Comprehensive understanding of recycling and waste management techniques
  • Detailed understanding of Microplastic analysis and chemical sampling techniques

If you do not see the subject area that you are interested in listed here, then please contact us to discuss the potential for facilitating your project. 

▼ Prerequisites
  • You must hold or be in the process of obtaining an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject (Biology, Marine Biology, Oceanography, Conservation, Ecology, Zoology, or related)
  • You must be a minimum of 18 years of age
  • You must hold a PADI Open Water Dive Certificate or equivalent OR book to complete your PADI Open Water with us when you arrive on site.
  • Medically evaluated and cleared for diving by a physician within 12 months
  • Minimum 6-week commitment (we recommend a minimum of 6-8 weeks to collect sufficient data for an undergraduate or postgraduate research project, however projects with a longer data collection period can be accommodated)
  • Available to begin Research Thesis Placement Expedition on a Monday

▼ Tuition Fees
  • 6 weeks – £2550
  • 7 weeks – £2825
  • 8 weeks – £3100
  • Each additional week after the 8th week is charged at £200

If you require training for your PADI Open Water Certificate at the start of your Expedition, please see PADI Courses for details and pricing.


▼ What’s Included

We offer our Research Thesis Placement as a package program and have worked hard to include as much as we can so that you really get the most out of your time with us. Please note that the duration of your stay and the project area that you choose will impact which and how many of our lectures and workshops you are able to experience, as well as how many of our projects you are able to participate in.

  • External Supervisor guidance and planning assistance
  • All necessary field equipment and materials for project implementation and data collection
  • All necessary field equipment for participation in existing SORCE projects
  • Basic field training in several of our projects, techniques, and methodologies
  • Introductory Marine Biology and Conservation lecture and workshop series’ (Coral Reef Biology and Conservation, Indo-Pacific Identification – Fish, Substrate, Coral, Invertebrate and Megafauna, Coral Restoration Techniques, Coral Reef Impact Assessment and Survey Methodologies, Mangrove Biology and Restoration, Seagrass Biology and Restoration, Turtle Identification, Population Analysis and Conservation, Recycling and Waste Control, Buoyancy Control and Eco-Aware Diving, Community Outreach and Cultural Exchange)
  • Underwater field training in 3-Dimensional reef modeling, diver operated Stereo Video Systems (DOVs) and Baited Remote Underwater Video Systems (BRUVs)
  • Career guidance and job placement training
  • SCUBA equipment rental (Tanks, BCD, Regulator, weight belt, and weights – you will need to provide your own mask, fins, snorkel, and wetsuit. Dive computers must also be worn and can be rented separately on a week by week basis from SORCE)
  • Unlimited training and survey dives – typically 2-3 dives per day 5 days a week (weather and tides permitting)
  • Sunday Funday – including additional fun dive and end of week party with a special dinner
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, seven days a week
  • Unlimited drinking water and hot drinks (tea and coffee)
  • Complimentary private accommodation in traditional bamboo lodges (double rooms and dormitory-style rooms can be accommodated on request)
  • Complimentary use of the outdoor gym, basketball court, and yoga equipment
  • 24hr in-country support
  • Visa and travel advice

Not Included:

  • Flights and transfers
  • Visa costs
  • Travel and Diving Insurance
  • Additional drinks, food, and excursions
  • Dive computer rental (available to rent on-site)
  • Fins, Mask, and Wetsuit/Rashsuit
  • Internet (sim cards and data can be purchased locally)

If you are interested in booking onto our Research Thesis Placement program please download and fill in the Booking Form and return it to or contact us to ask about availability.

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