Take part on one of our award-winning expeditions for your undergraduate project

Our Volunteer Plus package is perfect for undergraduate students looking to join a marine conservation expedition and gain underwater survey experience, while also adding to and using our historical research datasets for their university thesis. Theses should have a focus on reef ecology as this is the data which volunteers participate in collecting.

Volunteer Plus students will attend our marine conservation expedition in Madagascar and will take part in all the same training, diving and activities as regular volunteers – this includes dive training to PADI Advanced Open Water level and our extensive marine science course. Please note; we are not able to faciliate independent data collection on-site, all volunteers will be collecting data according to Blue Ventures’ research protocols during their reef monitoring dives.

Before attending an expedition, students will be given access to our historical datasets, which they can analyse as part of their university thesis or project. It is very important to contact our expedition team early on in the planning process for your thesis, so we can speak with you about your study requirements, help you to develop a relevant and achievable thesis topic, and process both your volunteer plus application (with approval from your University), and your expedition application. Last minute applications are very likely to be unfeasible, so get in touch as soon as possible! 

We are also very happy to share our datasets with students who would like to use them for a desk-based study and this has a wider scope in terms of the data we can provide (for example fisheries or aquaculture data). 


Beyond being a first-class conservation organisation, Blue Ventures is staffed and directed by true leaders in the marine sciences who have delivered a wealth of fundamental research on par with many academic institutions.

Blue Ventures is therefore poised to offer an outstanding education experience to undergraduates and postgraduates alike, who can rise to the challenge of good science.

Dr Sam Purkis

Volunteer Plus programme fees

We know that studying full time at university can be financially constraining! As such, we are happy to offer a 10% discount on the full expedition fee to Volunteer Plus students attending the programme and undertaking their academic research project with us.

£3,375 – Volunteer Plus Expedition fee – 8 week Madagascar marine conservation
expedition, with overland tour and 7 weeks onsite.
£3,195 – Volunteer Plus Expedition fee – 7 week Madagascar marine conservation
expedition, with overland tour and 6 weeks onsite.
£2,845 – Volunteer Plus Expedition fee – 6 week Madagascar marine conservation
expedition, no overland tour (internal flights required both ways) with 6 weeks onsite.
£100 – PADI Open Water course (required if not already qualified)
£100 – PADI Advanced Open Water course (required if not already qualified)
£20 – Entry fee to Velondriake Locally Managed Marine Reserve

Please see our Madagascar volunteer website and Madagascar Country Guide for more
information about what the expedition involves, and here for a summary of what is and isn’t
covered by the expedition fee.

All Volunteer Plus research placements must start in line with our standard expedition dates – see:

Madagascar expedition dates

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