Around 70 per cent of our planet is ocean with an average depth of 3000m. To understand the biology of this vast area, we must also understand the oceans themselves. Marine biology and oceanography studies the biology and ecology of the marine realm, with a focus on offshore and deep-sea ecosystems, and the physical and chemical processes that shape them. Teaching uses both small and large research vessels, providing you with an unrivalled experience of open ocean marine biology.
You will develop a host of practical skills that will prepare you for your chosen career and make you attractive to employers. You will have the opportunity to gain the HSE PRO SCUBA qualification, for those with a suitable background in diving. You’ll also gain invaluable experience on a six or 12-month international placement during your third year, or working in a local host organisation alongside your studies.
- We’re very proud of our National Student Survey (NSS) 2019 return. All of the student respondents said our course is intellectually stimulating, that our staff are good at explaining things and 100% also expressed overall satisfaction with the course.*
- Explore the marine life of the open ocean and deep-sea and how physical and chemical processes drive the biology and ecology of marine species.
- Study marine life in the wild with access to the University’s research vessels based in the Plymouth Sound Special Area for Conservation and our Marine Station.
- 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.
- Benefit from our reputation as an international centre for marine research. Our expert teaching staff collaborate on many varied research projects.
- Gain invaluable experience on a six or 12-month international placement during your third year, or working in a local host organisation alongside your studies. You’ll also have the chance to spend your second year at one of our partner universities in the US, Canada or Australia, giving you the chance to study marine animals not found in UK waters.
- Increase your knowledge and apply your skills in an international setting, with two residential field courses abroad (France and Sweden), and experience research on a large ocean-going research vessel.
- Develop a host of practical skills that will prepare you for your chosen career and make you attractive to employers. You will also have the opportunity to gain the HSE PRO SCUBA qualification, for those with a suitable background in diving.
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.