A marine biology degree with an international reputation, you’ll explore the diversity of marine life from the coast to the deep-sea. Using a range of marine organisms from the smallest microbes to the largest marine vertebrates, you'll learn how marine species and ecosystems function, consider why we see such diversity of life in our oceans, and learn how to conserve this. You'll tackle big questions like how are humans and climate change affecting marine biodiversity?
Using some of the best marine facilities in Europe alongside field work in the marine and coastal habitats of Devon, France and South Africa, and the option of becoming an HSE diver, you'll gain arguably the best practical experience of any marine biology course. By the end of your degree, your wide-range of skills and in-depth knowledge of marine biology will allow you to tackle the most pressing environmental challenges that marine systems are facing.
- We’re very proud of our National Student Survey (NSS) 2019 return including that 94% of student respondents said that staff made the subject interesting. Other feedback included 100% also agreeing that our staff are good at explaining things and that the course was intellectually stimulating.*
- Add an exciting extra dimension to your marine studies by examining marine organisms and ecosystems in a truly global context. If you are interested in how marine and coastal habitats work, why they are so diverse and how best to conserve them, this is the course for you.
- Access the University’s research vessels based in the Plymouth Sound Special Area for Conservation and our Marine Station.
- Benefit from our reputation as an international centre for marine and environmental research. Our expert teaching staff are active researchers and enthusiastic specialists in their fields.
- Study marine life in the wild with access to the beautiful and varied Devon and Cornwall coastline. A recent World Wildlife Fund report highlighted the South Devon coast – which can be reached on foot from campus – as the area of highest marine biodiversity in the UK.
- Deepen your experience through practical field and laboratory work, linked to lectures – something regularly praised by our external examiners. Our specialist facilities include advanced molecular and behavioural laboratories, a seawater aquarium, environmentally controlled labs and a new bespoke marine station opening in 2014/15.
- Increase your knowledge and apply your skills in an international setting, with two residential field courses abroad (France and South Africa – one of the most biodiverse places on earth), giving you the chance to study organisms and ecosystems not found in the UK.
- Develop a wide range of skills that will prepare you for your chosen career and make you attractive to employers – learn how to ask and answer research questions, and how to apply this skill to conservation challenges in the real world. There is also the opportunity to gain the HSE PRO SCUBA qualification, for those with a suitable background in diving.
- Immerse yourself in Plymouth’s marine research culture. Alongside the University the city is home to several other world-leading establishments, one of the largest concentrations of marine science study in Europe. Take opportunities to gain extra experience working in one of the marine organisations located in Plymouth, alongside your studies.
- Take the opportunity to contribute to the latest research and advances in the field – many of our students have their research projects published in leading international peer-reviewed journals.
- Choose from a wide range of subjects that most interest you and are best suited to your intended career path, building your own specialisms and skills.
- LABplus is a unique open access laboratory and resource centre designed for students studying science and engineering courses. The lab provides a flexible workspace, computing facilities, specialist software, access to microscopes, microscope cameras and bespoke resources.
All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).
UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code.
To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.
Undergraduate scholarships for international students
To reward outstanding achievement the University of Plymouth offers scholarship schemes to help towards funding your studies.
120 - 144
A level applicants
120-144 points from a minimum of 3 A levels, including Biology and preferably further relevant Science subjects. Qualifying relevant science subjects are: Applied Science, Applied Marine Science, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Physics, and Psychology. General Studies is excluded. Points can include a relevant Extended Project (EPQ) but must include 3 A levels.
30-36 overall, to include Higher Level Biology and preferably further relevant Science subjects. Qualifying relevant Science subjects are: Chemistry, Environmental Science, Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Physics and Psychology. English and Maths are accepted within as GCSE equivalent at Higher Level Grade 4 or Standard Level Grade 5.
BTEC RQF National Extended Diploma/ QCF Extended Diploma
A typical offer would be DDM, depending on the BTEC and units studied. Please include details of units in your UCAS application or contact Admissions for further advice.
BTEC National Diploma modules
If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.
Pass an Access to HE Science course with 60 credits overall, to include 45 credits at Level 3, of which 30 credits must be at distinction and 15 credits at merit or higher. Must include a minimum 15 credits in biology units, plus 15 credits in other relevant subjects (includes mathematics, physics, chemistry, environmental science/studies, applied science, geography, geology, technology or psychology). An interview is usually required.
All applicants must have GCSE (or equivalent) English and Mathematics at grade C / 4 or above.
We welcome applicants offering a wide range of international qualifications. Applications are considered on an individual basis, depending on the subjects studied.
Applicants with other qualifications should contact the Admissions Office for advice.
We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.