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

F713 BSc Marine Biology (3 years)

Marine biology seeks to understand patterns of biological diversity and quantify change in the marine ecosystem by studying how organisms interact with their environment and respond to change.  Marine Biology has developed exponentially over the past years with, for example, the discovery of hydrothermal vents and cold seeps; the ability to conduct experimental programmes at sea; the use of molecular methods in marine biology and the huge expansion of the data base on marine animals.

There has been a massive increase in the interest in marine biodiversity, in terms of the actual species, the causes of such high biodiversity, the scope for exploitation of these natural resources and the potential impact of climate and anthropogenic influences on biodiversity. As a result, marine biology students can expand their biology-knowledge base while appreciating the physico-chemical aspects of the marine environment.

This programme will offer a broad spectrum of biological training and appropriate skills in organismal biology and ecology within the specific context of marine systems. It has a marine focus, making it distinctive from the broader ‘Biology and Marine Biology’, but contains minimal oceanography – to make it more attractive for students with restricted chemistry, physics and maths backgrounds.

Students will get extensive practical laboratory skills training at all levels and research experience through an extended research dissertation in their final year (3rd). The programme is supported by highly relevant field experience and training in all years.

View the programme specification for this course for 2019/20 entrants 

View the programme specification for this course for 2020/21 entrants

Programme Structure

The programme is offered as a full-time course normally lasting for three years. In addition there are the following exit points:

At Southampton the programme is delivered in a semester pattern, each semester having 12 weeks for teaching and learning and 2-3 weeks for examinations.

The programme is divided into individual study modules at each part.  Each study module is accredited as being worth a certain number of ECTS to you on successful completion. Modules are normally worth 7.5 ECTS (15 CATS) which is equivalent to 150 hours of study.  Normally up to 60 hours comprises contact teaching (lectures, practical sessions, tutorials, etc.), and the remainder of the time is for your own independent study.  Modules are generally assessed at the end of each semester, but some are assessed entirely by coursework throughout the duration of the module.

In Part 1 all modules are compulsory, which lays a solid foundation in the basic discipline of this programme. A compulsory Mathematics module is also taken, depending on your mathematical background. Part 2 is a combination of compulsory and optional modules with more specialised module options and practical skills training will enable diversification in future years.

In Part 3, students are exposed to the forefronts of marine science knowledge, with the opportunity to conduct supervised original research. You will be exposed to cutting edge research, participating in seminar presentations in wide-ranging and specialist topics.

Key Facts

  • Based at the Waterfront Campus at the world-leading research institution, the National Oceanography Centre Southampton (NOCS), one of the largest marine science communities in Europe.
  • You will gain a unique and diverse knowledge and practical skills that are relevant to current global and environmental challenges, so that by graduation you will have a suite of highly respected biological and oceanographic skills.
  • You will spend a significant amount of time on our three of research vessels carrying out boat-based field work, which  is an important component of our degree programmes.
  • Our unique Waterfront Campus allows you to go from classroom or lab to our research vessels in minutes.

The National Student Survey 2019

  • 96% of Ocean Science students agreed that staff are good at explaining things.
  • 91% of Ocean Science students agreed that staff have made the subject interesting.
  • 93% of Ocean Science students agreed that the course is intellectually stimulating.
  • 90% of Ocean Science students were satisfied or very satisfied with the overall quality of their course.

Typical entry requirements

For 2020 entry

View 2019 entry requirements

QualificationGrade
GCSE Applicants must hold GCSE English Language (or GCSE English), Mathematics and Science (minimum grade C/4).
GCE A-Level ABB including Biology (minimum grade B) and one further science subject (minimum grade B)
GCE A-Level with Contextual offer We are committed to ensuring that all students with the potential to succeed, regardless of their background, are encouraged to apply to study with us. The additional information gained through contextual data allows us to recognise a student’s potential to succeed in the context of their background and experience. Applicants who are highlighted in this way will receive additional scrutiny during confirmation of results.
A- level additional information Offers typically exclude General Studies and Critical Thinking. Acceptable science subjects are Chemistry, Maths, Environmental Studies, Geology, Geography or Physics. Where this offer is satisfied by including grades achieved in either Biology, Chemistry or Physics, a Pass in the practical science assessment is additionally required.
Welsh Baccalaureate offer AB from 2 science A levels including Biology and one further science subject (minimum grade B) and B from the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challenge Certificate. Acceptable science subjects are Chemistry, Maths, Environmental Studies, Geology, Geography or Physics. Where this offer is satisfied by including grades achieved in either Biology, Chemistry or Physics, a Pass in the practical science assessment is additionally required. Offers typically exclude General Studies and Critical Thinking.
International Baccalaureate Diploma
offer
Pass, with 32 points overall with 16 points at Higher Level, including 5 at Higher Level Biology and one further Higher Level science subject. Acceptable science subjects include Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Environmental Studies, Geography and Geology.
International Baccalaureate Career Programme (IBCP)
offer
Offers will be made on the individual Diploma Course subject(s) and the career-related study qualification. The CP core will not form part of the offer. Where there is a subject pre-requisite(s), applicants will be required to study the subject(s) at Higher Level in the Diploma course subject and/or take a specified unit in the career-related study qualification. Applicants may also be asked to achieve a specific grade in those elements. Please see the University of Southampton International Baccalaureate Career-Related Programme (IBCP) Statement for further information. Applicants are advised to contact their Faculty Admissions Office for more information.
Access to HE Diploma offer 60 credits with a minimum of 45 credits at Level 3, of which 45 must be at Distinction. A core science Access to HE Diploma must be studied including Biology
Irish Leaving Certificate offer (first awarded 2017) H1, H2, H2, H2, H3, H3 including Biology at H3 and one further science subject at H3
Irish Leaving Certificate offer (first awarded 2016) AAABBB to include Biology and one further science subject. Acceptable science subjects include Chemistry, Maths, Physics, Environmental Studies, Geography and Geology. Applicants will be required to have achieved a pass in Mathematics and English at ILC Grade C or 04, the equivalent of GCSE grade C/grade 4.
Scottish Qualification offers Offers will be based on exams being taken at the end of S6. Subjects taken and qualifications achieved in S5 will be reviewed. Careful consideration will be given to an individual’s academic achievement, taking in to account the context and circumstances of their pre-university education. Please see the University of Southampton’s Curriculum for Excellence Scotland Statement for further information. Applicants are advised to contact the Admissions Office for more information.
Cambridge Pre-U offer D3, M2, M2 in three Principal subjects including Biology at a minimum of M2 and one further science subject at a minimum of M2. Acceptable science subjects include Chemistry, Maths, Physics, and Geography. Cambridge Pre-U's can be used in combination with other qualifications such as A Levels to achieve the equivalent of the typical offer, where D3 can be used in lieu of A Level grade A or grade M2 can be used in lieu of grade B.
Level 3 BTEC (QCF) offer (unreformed) D in the BTEC Subsidiary Diploma plus AB in A Level Biology and one further science subject. We do not accept the BTEC Diploma/BTEC Extended Diploma without two AB grades in A Level Biology and one further science subject.
Level 3 BTEC (RQF) offer (reformed) D in the BTEC Extended Certificate plus AB in A Level Biology and one further science subject. We do not accept the BTEC National Diploma/ BTEC National Extended Diploma without two AB grades in A Level Biology and one further science subject. Acceptable science subjects are Chemistry, Maths, Environmental Studies, Geology, Geography or Physics. Where this offer is satisfied by including grades achieved in either Biology, Chemistry or Physics, a Pass in the practical science assessment is additionally required. Offers typically exclude General Studies and Critical Thinking.
European Baccalaureate offer 76% overall including minimum grade 8 in Biology and grade 8 in one further science subject. Acceptable science subjects are Chemistry, Maths, Environmental Studies, Geology, Geography or Physics.
International qualifications Find a list of accepted international qualifications listed by country. This is a list of the international qualifications that are recognised by the University of Southampton. If you are not sure that your qualifications meet the requirements of this course please contact our Admissions Teams.
English language requirements All applicants must demonstrate they possess at least a minimum standard of English language proficiency. Applicants requiring a visa to study in the UK who do not offer GCSE English language (or GCSE English) at the required level will need to meet the following English language proficiency requirement. Find out more about the University’s English Language requirements. Band B IELTS 6.5 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in all components

For 2019 entry

QualificationGrade
GCSE At least GCSE grade C (4) in English and Maths.
 GCE A-level Biology at A-Level or at IB HL is a prerequisite. One further science subject must also be offered at A-Level or at IB HL. ABB to include Biology and one further science subject from Chemistry, Maths, Physics, Environmental Studies, Geography and Geology. Pass in the science practical component.

IB: 32 points overall, 16 at higher level, 6 in HL Biology and one further HL science subject.
International Baccalaureate requirements Biology at A-Level or at IB HL is a prerequisite. One further science subject must also be offered at A-Level or at IB HL. ABB to include Biology and one further science subject from Chemistry, Maths, Physics, Environmental Studies, Geography and Geology. Pass in the science practical component.

IB: 32 points overall, 16 at higher level, 6 in HL Biology and one further HL science subject.
Selection process:

UCAS

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Typical course content

The modules studied on this degree in marine biology with oceanography will expand your knowledge of biological sciences alongside skills in chemistry, physics and mathematics.

Year 1

Semester One
Compulsory
SOES1005Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES1007Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES1008Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES1013Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
Semester Two
Compulsory
SOES1004Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES1006Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES1011Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES1013Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES1015Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15

Year 2

Semester One
Compulsory
SOES2011Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES2024Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES2030Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES2036Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
Semester Two
Compulsory
SOES2006Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES2017Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES2026Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES2027Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15

Year 3

Semester One
Compulsory
SOES3018Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES3046Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
30
Optional
BIOL3009Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES3010Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES3013Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES3054Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
Semester Two
Compulsory
SOES3046Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
30
Optional
BIOL3056Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
GEOG3068Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES3017Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES3031Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES3041Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES3053Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Tuition fees

List of tuition fees for this course and it's variations
NameAwardYear of entryMode of studyUK/EUInternational
Marine BiologyBSc2019Full-time£9,250£20,970
Marine BiologyBSc2020Full-time£9,250£21,580
View the full list of course fees

Funding

Scholarships, bursaries or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.

You will develop core knowledge and understanding of subject specific and transferable key skills via compulsory modules and specialised option module lectures.  Teaching and learning through the degree programmes will be supported by tutor- and student-led tutorials, seminars and presentations, essays and report writing. You will be trained to make use of peer-reviewed internet sources to support guided independent study, group study and your own research.

Experimental, research, experimental design, data processing and interpretive/analytical skills are further developed through laboratory and practical classes and fieldwork (including boatwork).

Pathways

Marine biology seeks to understand patterns of biological diversity and quantify change in the marine ecosystem by studying how organisms interact with their environment and respond to change.  Marine Biology has developed exponentially over the past years with, for example, the discovery of hydrothermal vents and cold seeps; the ability to conduct experimental programmes at sea; the use of molecular methods in marine biology and the huge expansion of the data base on marine animals.

There has been a massive increase in the interest in marine biodiversity, in terms of the actual species, the causes of such high biodiversity, the scope for exploitation of these natural resources and the potential impact of climate and anthropogenic influences on biodiversity. As a result, marine biology students can expand their biology-knowledge base while appreciating the physico-chemical aspects of the marine environment.

Study Locations

Highfield Campus: Shackleton Building

Highfield campus

The Highfield Campus is home to a range of academic disciplines includ...Find out more

Waterfront Campus

NOCS (National Oceanography Centre Southampton)

Ocean and Earth Sciences is based at the world-renowed National Oceano...Find out more

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