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

Overview Our oceans are in danger. Marine life is under threat. Marine biologists are the first line of defence for our blue planet, and are crucial to enhance the ecology and environment of our oceans. The time is now to future-proof the seas. This accredited BSc (Hons) Marine Biology degree will give you the skills you need to play your part. This course is accredited by the Royal Society of Biology. On the course, you'll learn about a wide array of marine organisms, from phytoplankton to cetaceans, and how to protect the oceans and their delicate ecosystems against the growing threats of climate change, habitat destruction and resource exploitation. You’ll also become an expert in the diverse and rich marine ecosystems, from coral reefs to the deep sea. You can develop your practical skills in boating and diving, put your learning to work in our laboratories, and learn marine biology theory with modules in oceanography and ecology. You can also grow your professional skills on research trips and fieldwork all over the world, including our exciting tropical marine ecology field trip to Mexico, where we conduct active conservation of the crucial coastal habitats of mangrove forests, seagrass beds, and coral reefs. With conservation projects like the Solent Oyster and Sussex Kelp Restoration Projects, and facilities including the Solent European Marine Site on our doorstep, Portsmouth is the perfect place to begin a career as a marine scientist. Accredited by: This course is accredited by the Royal Society of Biology. What you'll experience On this course, you can:

  • Access our laboratory facilities, microscopes, an experimental research platform and our research vessel to study and explore marine ecosystems
  • Have the opportunity to spend a year studying abroad to experience a different culture and enhance your CV
  • Work on active conservation projects – such as the Solent Oyster Restoration Project, the Solent BioHut project, the Isle of Wight UNESCO Marine Biosphere, and the Sussex Kelp Restoration Project – to gain first-hand experience of marine conservation
  • Have the chance to go on a marine ecology field trip to Mexico, where you can work on projects aimed at preserving the mangrove forests, seagrass beds and coral reefs, through monitoring of these ecosystems on our Residential Field Course
  • Access the internationally important Solent European Marine Site with its wide range of marine environments
  • Conduct fieldwork in a range of intertidal habitats, including rocky shores, estuaries, saltmarsh and mangroves
  • 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
  • Have the opportunity to learn a language and earn credit through the University's Institution-Wide Language Programme
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


Year 1 Core modules in this year include:

  • Biodiversity and Evolution
  • Experimental Biology
  • Graduate Skills
  • Introduction to Cell Biology & Biochemistry
  • Introduction to Marine Ecology and Oceanography
  • Microbiology and 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.

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.

Professional bodies

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

  • Royal Society of Biology

How to apply

Application codes

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

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

Unistats information

Operated by the Office for Students
Student satisfaction
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. For further information, see the Discover Uni website.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

EU £9250 Year 1
Republic of Ireland £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 £17600 Year 1

Additional fee information

Home/Islands Year in placement/industry £925 Year abroad of a language course £925. For further fee information please see EU **Students who are resident in EU countries: please note that the net fee is inclusive of the Transition Scholarship** For further fee information please see International (Non-EU) Year in placement/industry £1,700 Year abroad of a language course £1,700. For further fee information please see **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

Clearing contact details

University Admissions Centre - Clearing

023 9284 8000

Course Clearing information

Additional information

​​Clearing Hotline opening hours: Tuesday 10th August - 08:30 - 20:00 Wednesday 11th August - 08:00 - 20:00 Thursday 12th August - 09:00 - 18:00 Friday 13th August - 09:00 - 18:00 Saturday 14th August - 10:00 - 15:00 Sunday 15th August - Closed Monday 16th - Monday 23rd August - 09:00 - 17:00 Tuesday 24th August onwards - 10:00 - 16:00

Course contact details

Visit our course page
University Admissions Centre

023 9284 5566

Marine Biology at University of Portsmouth - UCAS