The Schools of Ocean Sciences and Biological Sciences jointly teach this specialist single honours course, which is a unique course in the UK. This degree incorporates a wide overview of marine organisms, their habitats and the food web supporting the top predators, including fishes, seabirds, reptiles, seals and whales. During the degree, the general principles of biology, marine biology and marine science will be explored, with the taxonomy, physiology, behaviour and ecology of marine vertebrates highlighted. Opportunities will be presented to consider applied aspects of zoology such as fisheries, aquaculture, conservation biology and ecotourism.
This course is available as a 4-year ‘with Placement Year’ option. Please apply for Marine Vertebrate Zoology with Placement Year BSc C35P.
You will be expected to find and arrange a suitable placement to complement your degree, and will be fully supported throughout by a dedicated member of staff at your academic School and the University’s Skills and Employability Services. Find out more about 'with Placement Year' courses here.
The placement year provides you with a fantastic opportunity to broaden your horizons and develop valuable skills and contacts through working with a self-sourced organisation relevant to your degree subject. The Placement Year is undertaken at the end of the second year and students are away for the whole of the academic year. The minimum period in placement (at one or more locations) is seven calendar months; more usually you would spend 10-12 months with a placement provider. You would normally start sometime in the period June to September of your second year and finish between June and September the following year. Placements can be UK-based or overseas and you will work with staff to plan and finalise the placement arrangements.
There is also a 4-year MSci option available. In Year 4 you will carry out a substantial piece of research which forms your Year 4 dissertation.
Why choose Bangor University for this course?
- This course course is the only one of its kind offered by UK universities.
- Our School is one of the largest university centres teaching marine sciences in Britain and is among the biggest in Europe.
- Bangor’s location makes it an ideal place to study marine habitats, with easy access to the sea and shores. Seabird, seal and dolphin populations are resident and accessible for field study.
- Our excellent facilities include a shelf-sea research vessel, tropical marine, temperate marine and freshwater aquaria and, unusually for a British university, our own Zoology Museum.
The course involves up to 25-35 hours per week of lectures, practicals (laboratory and fieldwork), private study, tutorials and project work. Throughout this degree we exploit our location, placing a strong emphasis on fieldwork including sea going experience. During the first two years, lectures and practicals are supplemented by regular small group (about 8 students) tutorials during which we develop your critical appraisal and science communication skills.In year 3, you will learn about marine mammal identification and survey methods, which will involve ship and/or land-based fieldwork. In the third year, you will carry out an individually supervised dissertation on a topic of your choice. Assessment is through a combination of continuous assessment and formal examination.
Compulsory Modules - Year 1
- OSX-1000: Science Skills Tutorial (20) or
OSC-1000: Tiwtorial Sgiliau Gwyddoniaeth (20)
- ONS-1001: Environmental data & analysis (20) or
ONC-1001: Dadansoddi Data Amgylcheddol (20)
- BNS-1002: Organismal Diversity (20)
- OSX-1002: Marine Biology Practical 1 (20)
- OSX-1005: Fundamentals of Oceanography (20)
- OSX-1000: Science Skills Tutorial or
OSC-1000: Tiwtorial Sgiliau Gwyddoniaeth
- ONS-1001: Environmental data & analysis or
ONC-1001: Dadansoddi Data Amgylcheddol
- OSX-1002: Marine Biology Practical 1
- DNS-1003: Ecology & Evolution (20)
Compulsory Modules - Year 2
- OSX-2003: Marine Biology Practical II (20)
- OSX-2007: Ship-based field course (20)
- OSX-2009: Marine Ecology (20)
- OSX-2000: Communicating Science (20) or
OSC-2000: Cyfathrebu Gwyddoniaeth (20)
- OSX-2002: Marine Physiology & Behaviour (20)
- OSX-2003: Marine Biology Practical II
- OSX-2007: Ship-based field course
20 credits from:
- DXX-2003: Principles of Conservation (20) (Semester 1)
- OSX-2004: Estuary & Shelf Sea Processes (20) (Semester 1)
- OSX-2006: Tides, Waves and Marine Energy (20) (Semester 1)
- BSX-2022: Vertebrate Biology (20) (Semester 1)
Compulsory Modules - Year 3
- OSX-3010: Marine Mammal Observation (10)
- OSX-3013: Intertidal Field Project (10)
- OSX-3020: Sharks and their Relatives (20)
- OSX-3023: Marine Mammal Science (20)
20 credits from:
- OSX-3001: Marine Conservation & Exploit. (20) (Semester 2)
- OSX-3002: Marine Ecosystems & Processes (20) (Semester 2)
Employability and the School of Ocean Sciences
The School of Ocean Science's 'hands on' approach to teaching is well known in the marine science community and we have close links with offshore industries which employ many of our graduates.
Employers know that Bangor graduates have practical as well as theoretical skills.
An Ocean Science degree not only provides sound scientific knowledge of the marine environment, but places strong emphasis on the key skills which are highly regarded by employers.
Depending on their degree and specialist module choices, graduates from the School of Ocean Sciences can apply for jobs in:
- Coastal and water resource management
- Environmental impact assessment
- Environmental toxicology
- Pollution monitoring/treatment and waste disposal management
- Coastal and offshore engineering, hydrography
- Remote sensing
- Sea bed exploration and surveying
- Research institutes
- Water companies
- Government laboratories (including Environmental Agency and CEFAS)
- Pharmaceutical companies
- Oil and gas industries
- Aquaculture industries
- Marine conservation
- Fish and shellfish culture
- Oceangraphic institutes
- Marine environmental impact studies
- Hydrocarbon companies
- Marine environmental consultancy
- The Environment Agency
- Policy Making (e.g the European Union)
- Regulatory Authorities
Opportunities at Bangor
The University’s Skills and Employability Service provides a wide range of resources to help you achieve your graduate ambitions. Developing your personal skills and enhancing your employability while at university is becoming increasingly important in today’s job market.
The Bangor Employability Award (BEA) and Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR)
The Bangor Employability Award enables students to build on their transferable skills through the recognition of activities they become involved in during their university life. Students can gain points towards the award through extra-curricular activities such as volunteering, attending workshops or actively participating in the Students’ Union’s clubs and societies.
The HEAR is a final graduation report that all undergraduates receive. The report itemises all academic achievements and additional extra and co-curricular achievements. Academic achievements appear on the report automatically and students are able to note their eligible activities by using the online platform ‘My Employability Hub’. This ensures that future employers are made aware of the additional skills the student has gained outside of the curriculum.
The Award is open to everyone and taking part in the scheme can make a major difference to your performance in the graduate job market.
Bangor University runs undergraduate and postgraduate internship schemes twice a year, which allow students to work in a professional environment while learning relevant skills and earning money.
Internships offer valuable experience in a professional workplace and there are a range of internships you can get involved in.
Not only is volunteering worthwhile – it also improves your employability and widens your experience.
The Students’ Union has a dedicated Student Volunteering Office (SVB) which currently contributes a total of 600 hours each week, promoting a close relationship between the university and the local community. Find out more on the Student Volunteering pages of the Bangor Student’s Union website.