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
- Have the opportunity to learn a language and earn credit towards your degree as part of the University's Institution-Wide Language Programme
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
Teaching methods on this course include:
- 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 your second year, you can do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work or research experience.
We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.
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
- Blue Marine Foundation
You can also get involved in high-profile research projects through the Institute of Marine Sciences.
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.