In this hands-on degree, one of the best in the UK and with an international reputation, you’ll explore the diversity of marine life from coastal margins to the deep sea and gain an in-depth understanding of the biology of marine organisms. Teaching takes advantage of the South Devon coast as well as some of Europe’s best marine facilities – so you’ll have the opportunity to not just experience marine biology but to practice it at the highest levels in both the laboratory and out in the field.
You'll gain an understanding of marine life at the level of the biology of organisms – ranging from microbes found on coral reefs, the physiology and behaviour of marine vertebrates, to the biology of the marine algae that underpin the vast majority of other marine life. The aim of the degree is not only to teach you about marine biology, but to equip you with the practical, intellectual and scientific skills to be a practising marine biologist.
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 sharpen your practical skills in the setting of the South Devon coastline, just minutes away. We’ll introduce you to methods for collecting, handling and analysing scientific data, as well engaging with the biology of marine organisms and the ecology of shallow water marine habitats. Depending on your choice of modules, you can receive training in underwater sampling and all students will explore experimental methods during a field course that currently takes place in Portugal.
Optional placement year: During your optional third year, you’ll have the opportunity to do a work placement, for a six or 12-month period. 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 learned. You’ll also choose from a range of modules that are 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.