Marine Biology BSc (Hons)

Overview

Our oceans are under threat, so there's never been a greater need for experts in marine biology. Do you have the ambition to combat the challenges facing this diverse environment and play an active and positive role in understanding and protecting marine biodiversity and the future of our oceans?

On this BSc (Hons) Marine Biology degree course, you'll learn the practical, theoretical and professional skills to start a career as a marine biologist.

You'll develop your knowledge of marine organisms, from phytoplankton to cetaceans, as well as how to protect the oceans and their delicate ecosystems against the growing threats of climate change, habitat destruction and resource exploitation. All at a university that's been carrying out marine biological research for more than 70 years.

What you'll experience

On this course you'll:

  • Conduct fieldwork in a range of intertidal habitats, including rocky shores, estuaries, saltmarsh and mangroves
  • Be based in the heart of the internationally important Solent European Marine Site
  • Learn from researchers who are members of the Institute of Marine Sciences, with expertise in subject areas such as ocean acidification, plastic pollution and cetacean behaviour
  • Learn to drive a powerboat, scuba dive and conduct research in a tropical environment
  • Get practical marine skills on our research vessels, including a large experimental raft, a 6-metre high-speed shallow draft launch for inshore work and a suite of sampling systems including dredges, grabs and nets
  • Use our laboratory facilities, state of the art microscopes, experimental research platform and aquatic centre to explore marine ecosystems and study marine organisms

You can also:

  • Experience research and fieldwork overseas including the option to study seagrass, coral reef and mangrove ecology
  • Get involved in local research projects such as the Solent Native Oyster Regeneration Project
  • Spend time studying abroad at one of our partner institutions

Work experience and career planning

To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course.

We can help you identify placements, internships and voluntary roles and that will complement your studies.

Our partners include commercial, research and non-profit organisations such as:

  • Maidenhead Aquatics
  • Field Studies Council
  • ORCA
  • Blue Marine Foundation

You can also get involved in high-profile research projects through the Institute of Marine Sciences.

What you'll study 

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 modules worth 20 credits and 1 module worth 40 credits.

Year 1

Core modules in this year include:

  • Biodiversity & Evolution
  • Experimental and Graduate Skills
  • Introduction to Cell Biology & Biochemistry
  • Introduction to Marine Ecology and Oceanography
  • Microbiology & Molecular Biology

There are no optional modules in this year.

Year 2

Core modules in this year include:

  • Animal Science
  • Community Ecology and Residential Field Course
  • Marine Organisms and Ecosystems
  • Marine Research Skills

Optional modules in this year currently include:

  • Genetics
  • Introduction to Teaching
  • Microbiology
  • Oceanography
  • Plant Science
  • Practical Boating Skills
  • Scientific and Technical Diving Techniques

Placement year (optional)

On this course, you can do an optional work placement year between your 2nd and 3rd years to get valuable experience working in industry.

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Year 3

Core modules in this year include:

  • Marine Ecology and Conservation
  • Fisheries and aquaculture
  • Marine Ecophysiology
  • 3rd year research project

Optional modules in this year currently include:

  • Environmental Microbiology
  • Global climate change in Marine Systems

Teaching

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • workshops
  • tutorials
  • laboratory-based practical work
  • field trips

You'll also get a personal tutor, who will support you with your studies.

How you'll be assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • written exams
  • course work in the form of practical write ups
  • posters and oral presentations
  • individual research project

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future

The way you’re assessed may depend on the modules you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year 1 students: 52% by written exams, 7% by practical exams and 41% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 48% by written exams, 26% by practical exams and 26% by coursework
  • Year 3 students: 47% by written exams, 4% by practical exams and 49% by coursework

Careers and opportunities

When you finish the course, you can apply to be a Registered Marine Scientist. You'll also meet some of the academic requirements to become a Chartered Marine Scientist.

What can you do with a Marine Biology degree?

Previous graduates of this course have gone on to work in:

  • post-graduate research
  • coastal zone management
  • environmental toxicology
  • marine conservation
  • aquaculture industry
  • marine policy
  • marine resource management

You could also continue your studies at postgraduate level. Many graduates go onto study MRes Science or MSc Applied Aquatic Biology.

After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

BSc (Hons), BSc (Hons) Award
September Start
Full-time, Sandwich Study Mode
3 years Duration

Entry Requirements For This Course

120 points to include 3 A levels, or equivalent, with 40 points from A level Biology.

English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

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