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The University of Southampton
Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre SouthamptonUndergraduate study

Entry requirements

We accept a range of qualifications at the appropriate academic level. The Science Foundation Year offers students without the standard entry requirements the opportunity to access our BSc courses.

A levels

We require three A levels for entry onto our courses, either two or three of these being ‘preferred’ subjects.

Maths, Biology, Physics, Geology and Chemistry are considered ‘preferred subjects’ for all our degree pathways.

Environmental Studies is a ‘preferred subject’ for MSci Oceanography and Marine Biology pathways and BSc entry to Marine Biology, Geology and Oceanography.

Geography is accepted as a ‘preferred subject’ in very specific circumstances. We do not accept Psychology as a ‘preferred subject’.

Acceptable A level entry qualifications are detailed under each of our courses.

Equivalent qualifications to A levels

We are pleased to receive applications from candidates (including mature candidates) with equivalent national and international qualifications. The degree subject requirements will be similar to those shown in the A-level table below. Applicants studying the International Baccalaureate and applying for Geology, Oceanography or Marine Biology degree pathways should ideally take two of our preferred subjects at HL (taking A-level requirements into account) and maths at SL whilst applicants for Geophysics should take Maths and Physics at HL and ideally a third preferred subject at SL.

Please ensure that you are able to offer the correct level of predicted examination achievement and subject groupings prior to completing your UCAS application. If you have any doubts as to the suitability of your qualifications, or your subject choices for any of our degree courses, please contact us. We recognise that IB and other qualifications do not always map neatly onto A-level subject requirements.

Candidates (including mature candidates) taking science-based Access courses or Foundation programmes (other than the University of Southampton Science Foundation Year) should contact us to discuss their subject choices. The standard offer for applicants taking science-based Access qualification is Distinction in 45 level 3 credits, whereas offers relating to Foundation programmes will vary according to the programme being taken.

Equivalent qualifications to A levels
International Baccalaureate 36 34 32  
European Baccalaureate 85% overall 83% overall 80% overall  
French Baccalaureate (General) 15 14 14  
Germany - Zeugnis der Allgemeinen Hochschulreife/Abitur 1.4 1.4-1.6 1.6-1.8  
Irish Leaving Certificate (Higher Level) A1 A1 A1
A1 A1 A1
A1 A1 A1
A1 A1 A2
A1 A1 A1
A1 A2 A2

Italy - Esame di Stato (from 1999) 92 88 84  
Portugal - Certificado de fimde Estudos Secundarios 18 17.5 17.5  
Scottish Higher (Scottish Advanced Higher) AAAA(AA) AABB(AB) ABBB(BB)  
Spain - Curso de Orientacion Universitaria (COU) / Titulo de Bachillerato/Selectividad 8.5 8 8  


Prior Learning

If you have professional experience or credit through prior learning at another institution, you may be eligible to use this experience against some of the programme requirements for period of study. You will need to present evidence that you have met the learning outcomes of the programme. Full details can be found in the University’s Policy on the Recognition of Prior Learning. If you think this may apply to you, please see below for contact details.

Entry requirements for BSc (all disciplines) with Science Foundation Year and Access

Applicants offering Science Foundation Year and HE Access courses should contact the appropriate Ocean and Earth Sciences tutor to discuss the nature of their course and likely offer.

Get in touch

If you have any queries about your qualifications, the course requirements or the application process, please contact our Admissions Team before you submit your application.
Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 3810

International students

Visit our International Office website or the NARIC website for further information on qualifications

We accept a range of qualifications
We accept a range of qualifications

Order an Undergraduate prospectus

It all adds up

Modelling changes, handling datasets - maths and/or physics are good A level choices

If you have focused on other subjects to maths and physics, we'll make sure that you are up to scratch by the end of your first year

On most courses there is a range of maths classes depending on your background in GCSE, AS or A level maths

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