Join an international team of marine biologists and dive professionals on field expeditions and survey dives. Cape RADD facilitates marine biology field courses for early career scientists and conservationists who want to learn more about the marine environment, conservation and research through hands on field experience and dive development.

Cape RADD students experience a diverse number of research projects and sampling techniques using SCUBA, Freediving and boat-based surveys which can be applied globally.

Students learn to apply scientific methods and protocols for measuring biodiversity and the skills to analyse the data to get the full experience as a field biologist. Students are directly involved in the data collection for a wide variety of research projects whilst developing deep understanding through theoretical workshops from field biologists and dive experts through a module-based curriculum.

Cape RADD is a marine research centre based in the beautiful region of False Bay on the Cape peninsula just 40km from Cape Town. This is a renowned area of natural beauty and a biodiversity hotspot. This temperate region with an incredible and unique ecosystem is home to the African sea forests and an amazing array of marine species.

The research projects you will be involved in at Cape RADD are contributed to open source datasets in collaboration with other academic institutes and organizations. You will also be involved in community outreach programs where you will be given the opportunity to apply and develop scientific communication skills at schools and community talks.

Projects & Activities:

  • Shark abundance, diversity and movement assessments
  • Abundance of endemic fish Survey (effective management of MPA’s)
  • Macro invertebrate density assessment
  • Kelp forest ecological health assessment
  • Kelp forest density and distribution
  • Kelp grazer density assessment
  • Introduction to scientific diving sampling techniques
  • Introduction to freediving and its application to field sampling
  • Scientific communication talks
  • Nudibranch and substrate assessment
  • Baited Remote Underwater Video assessment of the MPA’s 

Modules include:

  • White shark population estimate modelling
  • Kelp forest ecological systems
  • Scientific diving techniques and sampling methods
  • Measuring Biodiversity
  • Fish + shark Identification workshop and biological knowledge
  • Introduction and advance workshops in R and GIS
  • Design and application of a research project
  • Plus much more

Diving skills program:

  • Acclimatization dive
  • Citizen Science Roving Diver Survey
  • Fish rapid visual transect dive
  • Invertebrate surveying dive
  • Photo/Videoquadrat dive
  • Kelp surveying dive
  • Sampling methods
  • Fish belt transect dive 

Learning outcomes and achievements:

  • Throughout this experience you will develop your dive skills and conduct field work as part of our research team in the mesmerizing kelp forests of the Cape peninsula, a marine biodiversity hotspot located on the boarder of two bioregions along the Southern African coast.
  • Direct mentorship from experienced field biologists who will teach and support you through a thoroughly engaging, challenging and fun course which by then end of you will be much more competent in a number of field skills and your SCUBA diving ability as well as the theoretical knowledge to support your scientific development.
  • Research vessel expeditions for skills such as operating Baited Remote Underwater Video (BRUV) equipment and micro plastic trawls.
  • Gain incredible insight as to what it is like to be a field biologist and apply the skills taught. Experience the marine environment like never before with the chance to see the Marine BIG 5 and dive in a number of habitats.

Field Course Costs

  • 2-week field course = $2,100
  • 4-week field course = $4,500

Field Course price includes:

  • All field training, dive equipment hire and research vessel expeditions
  • Accommodation (self-catered)
  • Transport between headquarters and accommodation
  • Airport transfers
  • Cape RADD tuition and research fees
  • Marine Protected area dive permits

Price Excludes

  • Airfare
  • Insurances
  • Laundry
  • Tourism activities
  • Spending money

*Scuba Diving Requirements and Additional Courses

SCUBA diving and snorkelling/freediving is a major part of this field course and therefore applicants will need a minimum qualification of Open Water SCUBA diving certification. Dive qualification can be done with us before the course start date. There will be opportunity to further develop your SCUBA qualification is requested.

How Do I Apply?

Head to our Website www.caperadd.com or contact us by email at info@caperadd.com a friendly member of our team will be in touch with more information for you.



Getting Credits

  • Approximately 140 to 200 working hours per month
    • 40-50 Field hours
    • 30-35 Classroom / Workshop hours
    • 10-20 Community outreach and scientific communication (beach clean ups and community talks, school presentations)
    • 90-100 research hours
  • Datasets for additional projects are available on request
    • Credits must be coordinated through professor/university
    • Forms, MOUs, evaluations can be agreed upon

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Check out our work over on our YouTube channel here.