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Seascape Governance in Times of Global Change



Course format On-site
Date 2021-03-25 - 2021-06-06
Entry level Bachelor
Cost 29 750 SEK

The aim of the course is to present comprehensive analyses of the interactions between marine ecosystem and socioeconomic systems in a spatial context that provide an understanding of the complexity of the many problems that challenges a sustainable development of humans' use of the sea. Specifically, the course should be an introduction to how dispersal of marine organism and the spatial distribution of marine habitats and human activities affect the marine environment, and how marine spatial planning, networks of marine protected areas, and integrated coastal zone management can be used for a sustainable use and management of marine systems.

Specific contents are:

  • Seascape ecology - ecological consequences of the spatial dimension. How dispersal and spatial dimensions of the seas affect population persistence and management of the marine environment. Meta population dynamics, genetic diversity, adaptation and extinction, design of MPA-networks.
  • Global ocean change. Consequences of climate change and loss of biodiversity on marine ecosystems and their services to humans. How the global changes affect coastal communities and humans society, and how the impact can be mitigated.
  • Human use of marine resources - conflicts and coexistence. Ecological, social and political dimensions and solutions of interaction, problem and conflicts resulting from human uses of the seas. How the spatial dimension of marine resources affect uses and conflicts.
  • Integrative governance of marine and coastal space: conditions, principles and toolbox. Introduction to marine spatial planning, regulations and integrated management of the coastal zone, as well as practical approaches methods and tools for marine spatial planning.
  • Group projects on marine spatial planning in the coastal zone.

The course consist of lectures, exercises and discussions, and individual and group reports.


A Bachelor's degree (180 credits) and English B/English 6 at upper secondary level or equivalent IELTS 6.5 where no section may be less than 5.5, or TOEFL 575 points, TWE 4.5 points.

Grant opportunities

EU/EEA citizens, Swedish residence permit holders and exchange students do not pay fees. More information on:

Learning outcomes

After completion of the course the student is expected to be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

  • Explain how dispersal of marine organisms and the spatial distribution of habitats affects genetic diversity, population persistence, and management of marine resources and biodiversity.
  • Explain how climate change and loss of biodiversity affects marine ecosystem and their services to human society, and how the impacts could be mitigated.
  • Describe uses and conflicts of the coastal and off-shore environment, and compare different regulations, conventions, instrument and measures that could be used mitigate conflicts and unsustainable use.
  • Describe existing instruments and regulation for marine spatial planning. Local-national-EU regulations, law and institutions, conventions and agreements
  • Understand the use of different methods, techniques and tools (e.g. GIS) presently used and marine spatial planning and management of the marine environment.

Competence and skills

  • Integrate knowledge of dispersal, spatial distribution of marine habitats, and demand of ecosystem services into sustainable and effective management decisions.
  • Propose measures to mitigate negative impacts of climate change and loss of biodiversity on ecosystem services in the coastal zone.
  • Illustrate how Integrated Coastal Zone Management and Marine Spatial Planning can be used to mitigate conflicts and deterioration of the marine environment.

Judgement and approach

  • Critically evaluate how connectivity of marine organism and spatial variation in human activities are presently included in marine management and conservation.
  • Analyze and discuss reasons and potential solutions to unsustainable use of the coastal zone.

The course is sustainability-focused, which means that at least one of the learning outcomes clearly shows that the course content meets at least one of the University of Gothenburg’s confirmed sustainability criteria. The content also constitutes the course's main focus.


ISCED Categories

Policy and governance
Marine and maritime law
Conservation and environmental management
Marine spatial planning