Discover the Deep-Sea and Ocean Science Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) 2024, in partnership with University of the Seychelles, Minderoo Foundation, and the Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA)

Keep reading to learn more about deep-sea science and exploration with this free, 6-week online course.


For the second year running, this is your opportunity to build your knowledge, awareness, and passion for deep-sea science and the specialised technologies and tactics deployed to explore this type of environment.

The Deep-Sea and Ocean Science Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) has been designed to provide a basic introduction to the unique ecosystems of the deep sea, the environmental driving forces that live there, how animals have adapted to survive in these harsh environments, the threats they face, how we can mitigate our impact, and how to study these systems using advanced and affordable technologies.

In particular, this course focuses on the Western Indian Ocean region, with the goal of helping to develop capacity for deep-sea research in Africa.

Nekton in the Western Indian Ocean

This course builds on the Nekton expeditions First Descent: Seychelles, which took place 2018 - 2022. These expeditions supported the Government of Seychelles’ incredible commitment to protect more than 400,000 sq km or 30% of their ocean territory, and work on the sustainable development of their Blue Economy.

Prior to the expeditions, little systemic reef research had been undertaken beneath 30m (SCUBA depth) within this vast ocean territory.

Key dates

Registration for the course will open on 15 May 2024. Make sure you register to ensure that you are enrolled and have a place on the course.

The course will start on 1 June 2024.

Who is this course for?

This course is open to anyone with an interest in deep-sea science and exploration, however it is designed in particular for:

  • Early-career scientists, from undergraduate to post-doctorate level
  • Professionals who live and work in the Western Indian Ocean region

Course structure

The course will consist of self-paced study material, additional reading resources, online forum discussions, and tutorials to test your knowledge along the way.

  • Meet experts from around the world and the Western Indian Ocean region
  • Join forum discussions
  • Build your network


Register now for a series of events introducing you to deep-sea science and the course content.

The first event took place on Friday 26 April 2024 with Dr Kirsty McQuaid, a South African PostDoc Research Fellow currently working on One Ocean Hub.

The One Ocean Hub is a collaborative project aimed at transforming ocean governance and research, with a focus on the South Atlantic and Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction. Kirsty is also leading the establishment of the African Network of Deep-water Researchers, helping to develop capacity for deep-sea research in Africa.

Further Information

For more information about the course, please contact: Nuette Gordon, [email protected]


Images: Nekton First Descent: Seychelles