Marine biology is a broad and dynamic subject, reflecting the diversity of marine ecosystems and the fantastic array of life they contain. Biological marine processes exert massive influences on the Earth's climate and biogeochemical cycling. Closely linked with the diverse research pursuits of scientists at the Marine Biological Association (MBA) and University, this programme allows you to develop research skills in a marine context that are widely applicable.
- Study in Plymouth, an internationally renowned city for marine biological research.
- Participate in a specifically designed, topical programme jointly hosted by Plymouth University and the Marine Biological Association (MBA) of the UK.
- Choose between pathways to suit your research interests, biodiversity and ecology or cellular and molecular biology.
- Benefit from being taught by recognised experts with worldwide links to research organisations and projects.
- Draw on our expertise, working alongside research staff on a personal project.
- Undertake an extensive, original and innovative research project, often in collaboration with MBA Research Fellows, or one of our other partner institutions (Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science and the National Marine Aquarium), either in the UK or abroad.
- Excellent training for further research.
- See the benefit from close links with the research community worldwide.
Places are limited and in great demand. To ensure you have a good chance of securing a place speak to us and apply as early as possible.
When to apply
Most of our taught programmes begin in September. Applications can usually be made throughout the year, and are considered until programmes are full.
Before you apply
Familiarise yourself with the information required to complete your application form. You will usually be required to supply:
- evidence of qualifications (degree certificates or transcripts), with translations if not in English, to show that you meet, or expect to meet the entry requirements
- evidence of English language proficiency, if English is not your first language
- a personal statement of approximately 250-400 words about the reasons for your interest in the course and outlining the nature of previous and current related experience. You can write this into the online application form, or include it as a separate document
- your curriculum vitae or résumé, including details of relevant professional/voluntary experience, professional registration/s and visa status for overseas workers
- proof of sponsorship, if applicable.
If you require further information take a look at our application guidance.
If you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by University of Plymouth, please visit our Disability Services website.
Submitting an application
Once you are happy that you have all of the information required you can apply using our online postgraduate application form (the blue 'Apply now' icon on this page).
What happens after I apply?
You will normally receive a decision on your application within four weeks of us receiving your application. You may be asked to provide additional information; two academic/professional references, confirming your suitability for the course; or to take part in an interview (which in the case of overseas students may be by telephone or video conference) and you will be sent a decision by letter or email.
We aim to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. Our Admissions and Course Enquiries team is on hand to offer help and can put you in touch with the appropriate faculty if you wish to discuss any programme in detail.
If you would like any further information please contact the Admissions and Course Enquiries team:
More information and advice for applicants can be referenced by downloading our Student Admissions Policy Prospective students are advised to read the policy before making an application to the University.
Alumnus loyalty reward for postgraduate study
The University applies a discretionary alumni reward where alumnus meet certain criteria on particular postgraduate taught courses.
- a 20 per cent discount on home/EU tuition fees
- or a £2,000 discount on international tuition fees.
- a 10 per cent alumni discount is available on the following programmes: MSc Advanced Psychology, MSc Clinical Psychology, MSc/PgDip Psychology and MSc Occupational Therapy.
PGCE programmes, Master of Architecture, MChem, MEng, MGeol, MPsych, MSci, ResM, MSc Environmental Consultancy, MSc Sustainable Aquaculture, MSc Environmental Geochemistry and postgraduate research degrees are not included in this reward.
Please note that students must have applied directly to be eligible.
For further details, and contact information, please review our alumni discount policy.
Postgraduate scholarships for international students
We offer several scholarships for international students who wish to study postgraduate taught (PGT) degree programmes.
A 2:1 or first-class honours degree or equivalent, preferably in a biological subject, with 2:1 grade or equivalent in a research project or dissertation.
International students: IELTS score of 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in each element) or equivalent.
If you have overseas qualifications you can check their comparability with the UK equivalent through the UK National Recognition Information Centre (NARIC), who provide an advisory service.
If your first language is not English then evidence of English proficiency is required. For further advice on the appropriateness of overseas qualification and proficiency in the use of English, please contact our International Office.
The minimum IELTS score for acceptable English proficiency for entry is 6.5.
We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.