University of Plymouth

Marine Biology and Oceanography University of Plymouth Degree level: Undergraduate

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Course summary

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Around 70 per cent of our planet is ocean with an average depth of 3000m. To understand the biology of this vast area, we must also understand the oceans themselves. 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.

  • Explore the marine life of the open ocean and deep-sea and how physical and chemical processes drive the biology and ecology of marine species.

  • Study marine life in the wild with access to the University’s research vessels based in the Plymouth Sound Special Area for Conservation and, from 2014/15, our new Marine Station.

  • LABplus is a unique open access laboratory and resource centre designed for students studying science and engineering courses. The lab provides a flexible workspace, computing facilities, specialist software, access to microscopes, microscope cameras and bespoke resources.

  • Benefit from our reputation as an international centre for marine research. Our expert teaching staff collaborate on many varied research projects – one of the many reasons why 100 per cent of our graduates said that our staff are good at explaining things. [Source: UNISTATS]

  • 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. You’ll also have the chance to spend your second year at one of our partner universities in the US, Canada or Australia, giving you the chance to study marine animals not found in UK waters.

  • Increase your knowledge and apply your skills in an international setting, with two residential field courses abroad (France and Sweden), and experience research on a large ocean-going research vessel.

  • Develop a host of practical skills that will prepare you for your chosen career and make you attractive to employers. You will also have the opportunity to gain the HSE PRO SCUBA qualification, for those with a suitable background in diving.

Course details

Modules

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.

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.

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.


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

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Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1
  • Year 2
  • Year 3

International applicants

The University of Plymouth has a dedicated International Student Advice (ISA) service who will support you from the day you accept an offer at the University, right through to graduation. They will offer help and advice so you can get the most out of your studies, and your time in the UK, visit www.plymouth.ac.uk/student-life/services/international-students/international-student-advice for more information. Once you have applied through UCAS, your conditional offer letters will also be sent to you by email, so be sure to enter your current email address on your application and to check this email regularly. You'll need your unconditional letter, and the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) that we'll send you, when applying for your student visa to the UK. A minimum £2,000 tuition fee deposit will be required before we'll send you the CAS. We're a licenced Tier 4 Sponsor under the Points Based System. To comply with our duties as a Tier 4 sponsor, we're required to check other aspects of your application in addition to your academic achievements, for example any previous studies, financial status and your immigration history in the UK. For course entry requirements (inc. English requirements) please refer to the specific page for the course you are interested in (www.plymouth.ac.uk/study). A recognised English language qualification (e.g. IELTS) would be required or successful completion of one of the University's pre-sessional English Language courses. Check our country pages to find out more about application from your specific home country www.plymouth.ac.uk/international/study/international-students-country-guides. International fees, please visit our fees and funding pages www.plymouth.ac.uk/study/fees If you have any questions please contact international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk


Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

Qualification Offer Further information
UCAS Tariff 120 - 144 points From a minimum of 3 A-levels including Biology and preferably further relevant Science subjects. Qualifying relevant science subjects are: Applied Science, Applied Marine Science, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Physics, and Psychology. General Studies is excluded.
A level 120-144 UCAS Tariff points from a minimum of 3 A-levels including Biology and preferably further relevant Science subjects. Qualifying relevant science subjects are: Applied Science, Applied Marine Science, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Physics, and Psychology. General Studies is excluded.
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) DDM - DDD Depending on the BTEC and units studied. Please include details of units in your UCAS application or contact Admissions for further advice.
Access to HE Diploma Science related Access Diplomas are considered, however, suitable applicants will be invited to attend an academic interview.

After successful interview a typical offer would be:
Pass Access to HE Science Diploma with 60 credits overall, to include 45 credits at Level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher. Must include a minimum 15 credits in Biology units, plus 15 credits at Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Environmental Science/Studies, Applied Science, Geography, Geology or Technology or Psychology.
Scottish Higher Considered in combination with Advanced Highers.
AQA Certificate in Mathematical Studies (Core Maths) Considered in combination
AS Considered in combination
City & Guilds Certificate in Using and Applying Mathematics (Core Maths) Considered in combination
Extended Project A relevant Extended Project will be considered towards the required Tariff points.
International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme 30 - 36 points To include Higher Level Biology and preferably further relevant Science subjects.Qualifying relevant Science subjects are: Chemistry, Environmental Science, Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Physics and Psychology. English and Maths are accepted within as GCSE equivalent at Higher Level Grade 4 or Standard Level Grade 5.
Leaving Certificate - Higher Level (Ireland) (first awarded in 2017) H1, H2, H2, H2, H3, H3 to include Biology and preferably further relevant Science subject. Qualifying Science subjects are: Chemistry, Environmental Science, Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Physics and Psychology. English and Maths are accepted as GCSE equivalent at H1-H7 or O1-O4.
OCR Certificate in Quantitative Problem Solving (MEI) (Core Maths) Considered in combination
OCR Certificate in Quantitative Reasoning (MEI) (Core Maths) Considered in combination
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Certificate (first teaching from September 2016) Considered in combination
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) Considered in combination
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate (first teaching from September 2016) Considered in combination
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Foundation Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) Considered in combination
Pearson Edexcel Certificate in Mathematics in Context (Core Maths) Considered in combination
Scottish Advanced Higher 128 UCAS Tariff points including a minimum of 2 Advanced Highers including Advanced Higher Grade B in Biology and Grade B in 1 further Science subject Qualifying Science subjects are: Chemistry, Environmental Science, Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Physics and Psychology. National 5 are accepted as GCSE equivalent for Maths and English.
Welsh Baccalaureate - Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate (first teaching September 2015) Considered in combination
WJEC Eduqas Certificate in Mathematics for Work and Life (Core Maths) Considered in combination

Maths and English GCSE at a Grade C/4


Fees and funding

Tuition fees

Channel Islands £9,250 * Year 1
EU £9,250 * Year 1
England £9,250 * Year 1
Northern Ireland £9,250 * Year 1
Scotland £9,250 * Year 1
Wales £9,250 * Year 1

*This is a provisional fee and subject to change.

Additional fee information

* Please note fees are subject to change - for all information about tuition fees, please visit our fees and funding pages. ** International fees, please visit our fees and funding pages. *** ‘Islands’ refers to fees for both the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

Provider information

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University of Plymouth
Drake Circus
Plymouth
PL4 8AA


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+44 (0) 1752 585858