Marine Environmental Science BSc (Hons)


Marine environments represent more than 95% of the world’s biosphere and supply 80% of the world's oxygen.

On this BSc (Hons) Marine Environmental Science degree course, accredited by the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES), you'll develop your understanding of this vital resource and learn how to protect its delicate ecosystems from climate change and overfishing.

What you'll experience

On this course you'll:

  • Investigate marine ecosystems in our environmental laboratories and Institute of Marine Sciences, our internationally renowned shoreside marine station packed with expert staff, a floating research platform and purpose-built 318m2 aquatic centre
  • Make the most of our coastal location with marine excursions on the Solent, and learn powerboating with the RYA or scientific and technical diving certified by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI)
  • Have the chance to conduct research in places such as Somerset, Isle of Wight, Malta, Portugal, Malaysia and Belize
  • Build experience on a one-year work placement, or study abroad at one of our partner universities in Spain, France or Poland

Work experience and career planning

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

Placement Year

After your second year, you can do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in the industry. Placements give you the opportunity to apply what you've learnt so far in a real workplace, boosting your employability and making you attractive to employers after graduation. 

You can work for a company or organisation here in the UK or overseas, although our coastal location means there are many placement opportunities nearby.

Previous students have completed placements at Dover Harbour Board and Portsmouth Water.

Whichever route you choose, you'll receive support and guidance. Our specialist team of Science and Health Careers advisors can help you with finding a work placement and improving your employability skills. They'll provide you with a database of placement vacancies, support with your job search – including help with applications and interviews – and support throughout your placement year.

Study Abroad

You’ll also have the chance to study abroad at one of our partner universities, including Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain), Universite du Havre, (Le Havre, France) and Adam Mickiewicz University (Poznan, Poland). Studying overseas is a fantastic opportunity to explore a new destination and experience the world as an international student.

Many of our students describe their time spent studying abroad as truly life-changing, as well as an excellent way to stand out to future employers.

Module Details

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, four modules worth 20 credits and one module worth 40 credits.

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Programme Assessment

You’ll be assessed through:

  • field work or lab notebook recordings
  • reports
  • essays
  • site surveys
  • computer-based exercises
  • posters
  • oral presentations

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 will depend on the modules you select throughout your course. Here's an example from a previous academic year of how students on this course were typically assessed:

  • Year 1 students: 52% by written exams, 8% by practical exams and 40% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 43% by written exams, 12% by practical exams and 45% by coursework
  • Year 3 students: 26% by written exams, 8% by practical exams and 66% by coursework

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • tutorials
  • laboratory work
  • workshops

You'll be taught in small classes in an informal, friendly and supportive atmosphere.

Student Destinations

The world's oceans and seas are one of its most precious and biodiverse resources. Ongoing threats to these marine environments – such as waste dumping, climate change, dredging and overfishing – mean the world needs people with the specialised scientific knowledge to safeguard marine resources for future generations. 

This demand is growing too. In the UK alone, the number of jobs in environmental sectors has increased by 91% compared to 2016, and those who work in the environmental field can expect to earn at least 12% above the national average annual wage.

On this BSc (Hons) Marine Environmental Science, you'll study marine environments in depth, from the tiniest plankton to the massive effect of global warming on our oceans. You'll get to grips with essential tests and techniques, including the study of marine water quality, marine life and pollutants.

When you graduate, you’ll be primed for a career anywhere in the world in areas such as marine environmental consultancy, marine conservation, coastal management, and underwater exploration and conservation.

You'll be able to apply for Associate Membership of the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES) and with more experience, you could work to become a Chartered Scientist (CSci) or Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv). Chartered Membership of the IES is required in many environmental careers.

You could also continue your studies at postgraduate level, such as with our MSc Coastal & Marine Resource Management.

Previous graduates have gone on to work in areas such as:

  • environmental consultancy
  • sustainability
  • underwater exploration
  • conservation
  • wildlife protection
  • coastal management

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • marine scientist
  • marine environmental consultant
  • environmental chemist
  • geographic information scientist
  • fish health inspector
  • marine conservation officer
  • environmental policy officer
  • coastal management officer
  • wildlife protection officer
BSc (Hons) Award
September Start
Full-time, Sandwich Study Mode
3 years Duration

Entry Requirements For This Course

112-128 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent, with 32 points from a Science subject (Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science/Studies, Geography, Geology, Mathematics or Physics).

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

University of Portsmouth in Pictures

Latest Updates from University of Portsmouth

Location of University of Portsmouth