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.
In your first year, you’ll get to grips with key biological and oceanographic themes, with topics ranging from biodiversity and ecosystems to evolution and microbiology. Through a mixture of lectures, small group tutorials, laboratory and fieldwork, you’ll begin to acquire skills that will boost your employability and help your career development. You’ll also benefit from a residential field course abroad, introducing you to the processes of scientific investigation, data collection and analysis.
In your second year, you’ll develop a deeper understanding of the biology and ecology of marine organisms and chemical and biological oceanography. You will receive hands-on, practical training in marine survey, underwater sampling, and species identification, skills that will be honed during the field course in Sweden, where you will undertake field research in deep water from an ocean-going research vessel.
Optional placement year: During your third year, you’ll have the opportunity to do a work placement, for six or 12 months. Alternatively you’ll be able to choose a work-based learning module, alongside your studies.
Your final year of study provides the opportunity for you to focus on your chosen areas of interest. You’ll conduct an extensive personal research project, applying the skills and methods you've learnt. You’ll also choose from a range of modules driven by the research interests of our staff, again giving you the opportunity to specialise and tailor your work towards your career goals, while studying at the cutting edge of marine biology.