Marine Environmental Science at University of Portsmouth - UCAS

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Course summary

This is a Connected Degree Portsmouth is the only University in the UK with the flexibility to choose when to do an optional paid placement or self-employed year. Either take a placement in your third year, or finish your studies first and complete a placement in your fourth year. You can decide if and when to take a placement after you've started your course. Overview Marine environments cover 70% of the Earth's surface and represent more than 95% of the world's biosphere. On this BSc (Hons) Marine Environmental Science degree course, accredited by the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES), you'll develop your understanding of this vital resource and learn how to protect its delicate ecosystems from climate change, overfishing and pollution.

  • Investigate marine ecosystems in our environmental laboratories and Institute of Marine Sciences, our internationally renowned shoreside marine station packed with expert staff, a floating research platform and purpose-built 318m2 aquatic centre
  • Make the most of our coastal location with marine excursions on the Solent, and learn powerboating with the RYA or scientific and technical diving certified by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI)
  • Have the chance to conduct research in places such as Somerset, Isle of Wight, Malta, Portugal, Malaysia and Belize
  • Build experience on a one-year work placement, or study abroad at one of our partner universities in Spain, France or Poland
Accredited by: This course is accredited by the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES). Careers and opportunities The world's oceans and seas are one of its most precious and biodiverse resources. Ongoing threats to these marine environments – such as waste dumping, climate change, dredging and overfishing – mean the world needs people with the specialised scientific knowledge to safeguard marine resources for future generations. When you graduate, you’ll be primed for a career anywhere in the world in areas such as marine environmental consultancy, marine conservation, coastal management, and underwater exploration and conservation. You'll be able to apply for Associate Membership of the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES) and with more experience, you could work to become a Chartered Scientist (CSci) or Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv). Chartered Membership of the IES is required in many environmental careers. You could also continue your studies at postgraduate level, such as with our MSc Coastal & Marine Resource Management. What jobs can you do with a marine environmental science degree? Roles our graduates have taken on include:
  • marine scientist
  • marine environmental consultant
  • environmental chemist
  • geographic information scientist
  • fish health inspector
  • marine conservation officer
  • environmental policy officer
  • coastal management officer
  • wildlife protection officer
Placement year After your second year, you can do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in the industry. Placements give you the opportunity to apply what you've learnt so far in a real workplace, boosting your employability and making you attractive to employers after graduation. You can work for a company or organisation here in the UK or overseas, although our coastal location means there are many placement opportunities nearby. Previous students have completed placements at Dover Harbour Board and Portsmouth Water. Whichever route you choose, you'll receive support and guidance. Our specialist team of Science and Health Careers advisors can help you with finding a work placement and improving your employability skills. They'll provide you with a database of placement vacancies, support with your job search – including help with applications and interviews – and support throughout your placement year.


Year 1 Core modules in this year include:

  • Analysis of the Earth and Environment (20 credits)
  • Ecology, Plants and Human Impact (20 credits)
  • Environmental Processes and Hazards (20 credits)
  • Global Environmental Challenges (20 credits)
  • How the Earth Works (20 credits)
  • Introduction to Marine Ecology and Oceanography (20 credits)
There are no optional modules in this year. Year 2 Core modules in this year include:
  • Environmental Chemistry and Monitoring (20 credits)
  • Environmental Fieldwork and Professional Skills (20 credits)
  • Marine Organisms and Ecosystems (20 credits)
  • Oceanography (20 credits)
  • Research Skills (20 credits)
Optional modules in this year include:
  • Developing Professional Skills (20 credits)
  • Energy Resources and the Science of Zero Carbon (20 credits)
  • Environmental Change (20 credits)
  • Gis and Remote Sensing (20 credits)
  • Introduction to Teaching (20 credits)
  • Practical Boating Skills (20 credits)
  • Scientific Diving Techniques (20 credits)
Placement year Boost your employability by taking an industry-based work placement year with a relevant organisation or immerse yourself in another culture by studying for a year at one of our partner universities worldwide. This is an amazing opportunity to either put everything you’ve learned so far into action in a real workplace or expand your horizons and set yourself up for your future career by studying abroad and becoming a student ambassador for our university." Depending on what you choose, we’ll help you find and secure an exciting placement opportunity within an appropriate company or organisation, or you’ll expand your global perspective and develop additional skills to boost your future career during a study abroad year. This is a Connected Degree We're the only university that gives you the flexibility to choose when to take a work placement. Take it after your 2nd year, before returning to finish your studies. Or after your final year, connecting you into the workplace. If you're not sure if or when to take your placement, don't worry. You'll have plenty of time to settle into your studies and explore your options before making your choice. Year 3 Core modules in this year include:
  • Marine Ecology and Conservation (20 credits)
  • Research Project (40 credits)
Optional modules in this year include:
  • Analytical Methods for Earth and Environmental Sciences (20 credits)
  • Climate Change (20 credits)
  • Coastal Recreation - Planning and Management (20 credits)
  • Conservation in a Changing World (20 credits)
  • Environmental Assessment and Management (20 credits)
  • Environmental Pollution and Waste Management (20 credits)
  • Fisheries and Aquaculture (20 credits)
We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies. Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Assessment method

You’ll be assessed through:

  • field work or lab notebook recordings
  • reports
  • essays
  • site surveys
  • computer-based exercises
  • posters
  • oral presentations
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 will depend on the modules you select throughout your course. Here's an example from a previous academic year of how students on this course were typically assessed:
  • Year 1 students: 52% by written exams, 8% by practical exams and 40% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 43% by written exams, 12% by practical exams and 45% by coursework
- Year 3 students: 26% by written exams, 8% by practical exams and 66% by coursework

Professional bodies

Professionally accredited courses provide industry-wide recognition of the quality of your qualification.

  • Environmental Sciences, Institute of

How to apply

Application codes

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Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1
  • Year 2
  • Year 3

Entry requirements for advanced entry (i.e. into Year 2 and beyond)

We welcome applications for advanced entry. If you’d like to apply for advanced entry, you need to select the required year when you complete your UCAS application.

This course may be available at alternative locations, please check if other course options are available

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

English language requirements

TestGradeAdditional details
IELTS (Academic)6English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.
PTE Academic54An overall score of 54 with a minimum of 51 in each skill.
TOEFL (iBT)7979 with a minimum of 18 in Reading, 17 in Listening, 20 in Speaking and 17 in Writing.
Cambridge English AdvancedCambridge English: Advanced (CAE) taken after January 2015. An overall score of 169 with no component score less than 162.
Cambridge English ProficiencyCambridge English: Proficiency (CPE) taken after January 2015. An overall score of 169 with no component score less than 162.
Trinity ISEPassTrinity College Integrated Skills in English (ISE) Level III with a Pass in all 4 components

Student Outcomes

Operated by the Office for Students
Employment after 15 months (Most common jobs)
Go onto work and study

The number of student respondents and response rates can be important in interpreting the data – it is important to note your experience may be different from theirs. This data will be based on the subject area rather than the specific course. Read more about this data on the Discover Uni website.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

EU £9250 Year 1
England £9250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250 Year 1
Scotland £9250 Year 1
Wales £9250 Year 1
Channel Islands £9250 Year 1
Republic of Ireland £9250 Year 1
International £19200 Year 1

Additional fee information

Students who are resident in EU countries: please note that the net fee is inclusive of the Transition Scholarship Placement Year and Year abroad: UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £1,385 EU – £1,385 (including Transition Scholarship)| International (Non-EU) – £2,875. Fees are accurate at the time of publishing and are subject to change at any time without notice. Fees may also go up in later years, in line with inflation. For more information about fees, go to
Marine Environmental Science at University of Portsmouth - UCAS