University of Portsmouth

Degree level: Undergraduate

Marine Biology

There are other course options available which may have a different vacancy status or entry requirements – view the full list of options

Make sure you check on the university, college or conservatoire website for any updates about course changes as a result of COVID-19.

Course summary

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Overview Our oceans are under threat, so there's never been a greater need for experts in marine biology. Do you have the ambition to combat the challenges facing this diverse environment and play an active and positive role in understanding and protecting marine biodiversity and the future of our oceans? On this BSc (Hons) Marine Biology degree course, you'll learn the practical, theoretical and professional skills to start a career as a marine biologist. You'll develop your knowledge of marine organisms, from phytoplankton to cetaceans, as well as how to protect the oceans and their delicate ecosystems against the growing threats of climate change, habitat destruction and resource exploitation. All at a university that's been carrying out marine biological research for more than 70 years. Accredited by: This course is accredited by the Royal Society of Biology. What you'll experience On this course you'll:

  • Conduct fieldwork in a range of intertidal habitats, including rocky shores, estuaries, saltmarsh and mangroves
  • Be based in the heart of the internationally important Solent European Marine Site
  • Learn from researchers who are members of the Institute of Marine Sciences, with expertise in subject areas such as ocean acidification, plastic pollution and cetacean behaviour
  • Learn to drive a powerboat, scuba dive and conduct research in a tropical environment
  • Get practical marine skills on our research vessels, including a large experimental raft, a 6-metre high-speed shallow draft launch for inshore work and a suite of sampling systems including dredges, grabs and nets
  • Use our laboratory facilities, state of the art microscopes, experimental research platform and aquatic centre to explore marine ecosystems and study marine organisms
You can also:
  • Experience research and fieldwork overseas including the option to study seagrass, coral reef and mangrove ecology
  • Get involved in local research projects such as the Solent Native Oyster Regeneration Project
  • Spend time studying abroad at one of our partner institutions
Careers and opportunities When you finish the course, you can apply to be a Registered Marine Scientist. You'll also meet some of the academic requirements to become a Chartered Marine Scientist. What can you do with a Marine Biology degree? Previous graduates of this course have gone on to work in:
  • post-graduate research
  • coastal zone management
  • environmental toxicology
  • marine conservation
  • aquaculture industry
  • marine policy
  • marine resource management
You could also continue your studies at postgraduate level. Many graduates go onto study MRes Science or MSc Applied Aquatic Biology. After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

Course details

Modules

Year 1 Core modules in this year include:

  • Biodiversity & Evolution
  • Experimental and Graduate Skills
  • Introduction to Cell Biology & Biochemistry
  • Introduction to Marine Ecology and Oceanography
  • Microbiology & Molecular Biology.
Year 2 Core modules in this year include:
  • Animal Science
  • Community Ecology and Residential Field Course
  • Marine Organisms and Ecosystems
  • Marine Research Skills.
Optional modules in this year currently include:
  • Genetics
  • Introduction to Teaching
  • Microbiology
  • Oceanography
  • Plant Science
  • Practical Boating Skills
  • Scientific and Technical Diving Techniques.
Placement year (optional): On this course, you can do an optional work placement year between your 2nd and 3rd years to get valuable experience working in industry. We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year. Year 3 Core modules in this year include:
  • Marine Ecology and Conservation
  • Fisheries and aquaculture
  • Marine Ecophysiology
  • 3rd year research project.
Optional modules in this year currently include:
  • Environmental Microbiology,
  • Global climate change in Marine Systems.
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. Due to changing circumstances as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we may need to make changes to courses to ensure your safety and to ensure compliance with Government guidelines. We'll provide you with as much notice as possible of any such changes. Your course leader will inform you of these. Changes may include things such as modules being taught in teaching block 2 instead of teaching block 1 and teaching activities occurring in smaller group sizes.

Assessment method

You’ll be assessed through:

  • written exams
  • course work in the form of practical write ups
  • posters and oral presentations
  • individual research project
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 may depend on the modules you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:
  • Year 1 students: 52% by written exams, 7% by practical exams and 41% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 48% by written exams, 26% by practical exams and 26% by coursework
- Year 3 students: 47% by written exams, 4% by practical exams and 49% by coursework

Professional bodies

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

  • Royal Society of Biology

How to apply

Application deadlines

If your application is completed by the following date, it’s guaranteed to be considered:

15 January

*If you apply after this deadline, universities or colleges don’t have to consider your application if they’ve filled their spaces, so the sooner you apply, the better!

Application codes

You will need these codes when you add a choice to your application.

Please select a course option – you will then see the application code you need to use to apply for the course.

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.


Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

QualificationOfferFurther information
UCAS Tariff 112 points 112 points to include 3 A levels, or equivalent, with 40 points from A level Biology. Applicants will normally need to pass the separate Science Practical Endorsement.
A level 112 Tariff points to include 3 A levels, with Biology at grade B. Applicants will normally need to pass the separate Science Practical Endorsement.
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) DMM Must be in a Science subject.
Access to HE Diploma 112 Tariff points from the Access to HE Diploma (Science).
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) Acceptable when combined with other qualifications.
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate (first teaching from September 2016) Acceptable when combined with other qualifications.
Scottish Advanced Higher 112 Tariff points, to include Biology at grade C.
International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme 27 points 27 points from the IB Diploma, to include 3 Higher Level subjects, with 6 points from a Higher Level in Biology. 4 points from Standard Level English and Mathematics (if not passed at GCSE grade C or above).
Leaving Certificate - Higher Level (Ireland) (first awarded in 2017) H3, H3, H3, H3, H4 To include Higher Level Biology at H3.
Cambridge International Pre-U Certificate - Principal Cambridge Pre-U score of 54, to include a Principal Subject in Biology at M2.
GCSE/National 4/National 5 5 GCSEs at grade C or above to include English, Mathematics and Science/5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above to include English, Mathematics and Science.

CLEARING INFORMATION – Our entry requirements may be different during Clearing, so please contact us on 023 9284 8000 to discuss your options


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

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
International £16400 Year 1

Additional fee information

Home/EU/Islands Year in placement/industry £925 Year abroad of a language course £925. For further fee information please see https://www.port.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/undergraduate-fees-and-student-finance International (Non-EU) Year in placement/industry £1,600 Year abroad of a language course £1,600 For further fee information please see https://www.port.ac.uk/study/international-students/funding **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.**

Provider information

Visit our website

Our COVID-19 information

University of Portsmouth
University House
Winston Churchill Avenue
Portsmouth
PO1 2UP


Clearing contact details

University Admissions Centre - Clearing

023 9284 8000

Course Clearing information

Additional information

​​Clearing Hotline opening hours: Thursday 13th August - 08:00 - 20:00 Friday 14th August - 08:00 - 19:00 Saturday 15th August - 09:00 - 15:00 Sunday 16th August - Closed Monday 17th August onwards - 08:30 - 17:15


Course contact details

Visit our course page
University Admissions Centre

023 9284 5566

Marine Biology at University of Portsmouth - UCAS