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

F7C1 BSc Marine Biology with Oceanography (3 years)

Uncover the secrets of life in the oceans with Southampton’s three-year multidisciplinary Marine Biology with Oceanography programme.

To fully understand life underwater it is essential to know how plants, animals and other organisms interact with their environment and respond to change. This programme will provide you with a solid foundation of the marine environment with a strong emphasis on biology.

Introducing your course

You will gain detailed knowledge of marine biota and the physics, chemistry and sedimentology that influence them, covering a broad variety of topics, from hydrothermal vents to coastal lagoons.

This programme is based at the world-leading National Oceanography Centre Southampton (NOCS) and students are able to make use of the excellent new teaching labs and refurbished research labs. Our research vessels are also only a 10 minute walk from the lecture theatres.

A full fieldwork programme including a residential field trip in years one and two, combined with a final-year independent research project working alongside research active staff, will set you up for career in further research, a specialised masters, or working in a government agency or consultancy.

Our Marine Biology and Oceanography degree is accredited by the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST).

Marine Biology

What is this? (More Information) This information is based on historical data and may have been aggregated. Find out more.

This degree in marine biology with oceanography examines the biology of marine organisms within their environments from intertidal coasts to deep-sea and hydrothermal vents systems. The combination of theoretical knowledge and practical skills will provide you with an excellent start to your professional career.

View the programme specification document for this course

To Apply

All undergraduate applications should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Click on the 'How to Apply' tab on the navigation menu for detailed information on how to apply including deadline dates or click here to go directly through to the UCAS website.

Accreditation

The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST).

Programme Structure

During your first Easter vacation, you will start to develop practical field and boat work skills on a seven-day course based in Southampton. Just before the start of your second year, an intertidal marine ecology field course will improve your skills and introduce you to independent research. At the end of year two, you will take part in the interdisciplinary, boat-based field course currently run at Falmouth.

Key Facts

This course gives you a broad introduction to marine biological subjects, with opportunity to specialise later

You will gain a detailed knowledge of the biology of the marine environment and how it inter-relates with physical and chemical oceanography

The National Student Survey 2018

  • We rank 6th for Overall Satisfaction in Ocean Sciences among the relevant UK Higher Education Institutes
  • We rank 6th for Learning Resources in Ocean Sciences among the relevant UK Higher Education Institutes
  • We rank 7th for Teaching in Ocean Sciences among the relevant UK Higher Education Institutes
Photo of Emma Collins
I chose Southampton partly because of its reputation as the best place to study marine biology/oceanography in the UK and partly because of the excellent facilities and staff.
Emma CollinsBSc Marine Biology with Oceanography

Typical entry requirements

A Levels:
Typical A Levels entry requirements for BSc Marine Biology with Oceanography
QualificationGrade
GCE A-level

ABB grade A levels or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University. To include Biology and one subject from Chemistry, Maths, Physics, Environmental Studies, Geography and Geology

Other qualifications:

Please click here to find out about an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University.

English Language

For details of our English Language entry requirements please see here

Selection process:
Intake:
60 (overall intake across all Marine Biology courses)
Average applications per place:
6

We will consider your BSc Marine Biology with Oceanography degree application as soon as possible after it arrives at the University. In selecting applicants, we use the information provided on the UCAS form to dermine whether you have the potential to flourish within Ocean and Earth Science.

Candidates who are predicted to attain our standard degree offers will be invited to visit the University and the waterside campus. During this visit, you will meet with one of our academic staff to discuss the offer and explore how your interests and aspirations fit with the course. This formal interview also gives us the opportunity to get to know you.

Contextual Offers

The University of Southampton is committed to widening participation and 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 supports our admissions teams to recognise a student’s potential to succeed in the context of their background and experience. Students flagged in this way will be given additional consideration and not be rejected solely on the basis of their predicted (or actual) grades.

Please see our contextual admissions pages for more information.

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

Science Foundation Year

Science Foundation Year

Don't have the right qualifications to meet our entry requirements? You could still get a place by doing a foundation year.

Find out more

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

Modules in your first year will introduce you to the animals and plants that live in the marine environment as well as developing an understanding of the physical and chemical oceanography of the sea.

Semester One

If you have GCSE Mathematics or AS-Level Mathematics (Grade C or below) or equivalent, you MUST select SOES 1010. If you have AS-Level Mathematics (Grade A or B) or A Level Mathematics (Grade C or below) or equivalent please select MATH 1004.

If you have A-Level Mathematics (Grade A or B) or equivalent please select MATH 1008. If you have the International Baccalaureate, Standard Level Maths at grade 6 or higher you may consider selecting MATH 1004. If you have Standard Level Maths below grade 6 you should select SOES 1010.

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
Optional
SOES1010Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
MATH1004Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
MATH1008Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15

Information for students entering Part I from the Foundation year: If you attained more than 75% in Maths, you should take MATH1008. If you attained less than 75%, please contact the Curriculum Leader – Dr C Hauton

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

Year 2

In the second year the modules become more specialised including marine vertebrates, benthic ecology and phytoplankton and primary production. The year ends with a marine biology/oceanography field course in Falmouth.

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
SOES2025Credit[?]
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

You will extend your knowledge in zooplankton, marine ecophysiology, fisheries and aquaculture and marine molecular biology. A total of FOUR optional modules must be chosen.

Please note: the availability of Biology modules cannot be guaranteed as is subject to timetabling constraints. Taking a unit outside SOES should only be undertaken after careful consideration.

*Spaces are limited on SOES3041 and acceptance is by application and interview. Please ensure you list a reserve option when making your option choices. If this is a Semester 1 module, we recommend that you start to attend the lectures until you have received confirmation as to whether you have been accepted onto SOES3041.

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
SOES3013Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
Optional
BIOL3009Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
BIOL2001Credit[?]
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
SOES3053Credit[?]
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
SOES3029Credit[?]
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
BIOL3056Credit[?]
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 Biology with OceanographyBSc2018Full-time£9,250£20,320
Marine Biology with OceanographyBSc2019Full-time£9,250£20,970
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 addition to this, students registered for this programme typically also have to pay for:

List of additional costs for this course
TypeDescriptionCost
Printing and copyingCoursework such as essays, projects and dissertations may be submittable online. However, some items will require submission as a printed copy, including some items where it is not possible to submit online Please remember that we are unable to refund any credit that has not been used by the end of your course, so please consider this when topping up your printing/copy account. You will be given a printing allowance towards the costs of printing lecture handouts or you may choose to use digital versions only during lectures. The University Print Centre also offer a printing and copying service as well as a dissertation/binding service. Current printing and copying costs can be found here (https://www.southampton.ac.uk/printcentre/copyrooms/service.page). They also provide a large format printing service, e.g. Academic posters. Current costs can be found here (https://www.southampton.ac.uk/printcentre/exhibition/academicposters.page). £0.05-0.50

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

TypeDescription
StationeryApproved Calculators: Candidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved models are Casio FX-570 and Casio FX-85GT Plus. These may be purchased from any source and no longer need to carry the University logo.
StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
EquipmentField Equipment and Materials: Please see Appendix 4.
EquipmentLaboratory Equipment and Materials: Laboratory equipment and consumables will be provided where appropriate. (Please also see Appendix 4).
FieldworkLogistical costs: Please see Appendix 4.
ClothingLab coats and safety spectacles: Marine Biology students will receive a lab coat, dissection kit and waterproof notebook during Induction. If these are lost the student must replace them at their own expense.
ClothingField course clothing: You will need to wear suitable clothing when attending field courses, e.g. waterproofs, walking boots. You can purchase these from any source.
ClothingWet Suits: You will need to purchase a suitable wet suit and associated snorkelling equipment if participating on SOES6052.
EquipmentData Storage : Students are expected to provide their own data storage device
EquipmentSoftware Licenses: Will be provided by the University where appropriate
EquipmentHardware: It is advisable that students provide their own laptop or personal computer, although shared facilities are available across the University campus.

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.

Appendix 4: Fieldwork and related University contributions and Costs

This appendix covers all programmes offered in Ocean and Earth Science that include fieldwork.

Fieldwork: introduction

Experience of working in the field is an essential part of your learning process and is also widely regarded as valuable in personal development.

Please note that circumstances may dictate that some field-courses are timetabled within part of the vacation period.

For compulsory residential field courses, accommodation and travel are provided (for Independent Geology Mapping a fixed amount is provided to cover these costs for the least expensive area). You are usually expected to cover the costs of food and drink, although some courses may include meals. For optional field courses, students are asked to make a contribution to the travel and/or accommodation costs. Details are provided in the table below.

Please note that if a field course is compulsory for your degree programme and you later move from that degree programme to one where that field course is optional, you will be charged for the cost of that field course. To provide an example: students on the MSci Marine Biology programme undertaking the field course to Bermuda will be charged the full cost of the field course if they later choose to transfer to the BSc Marine Biology degree programme.

In addition to the field courses mentioned in this booklet, there are also one-day field courses associated with specific modules; students are expected to cover food and drink costs for these days, but transport is arranged and paid for by the department. As the department arranges transport, should students wish to make their own way to or from field courses, then they must meet these costs themselves.

Additional Information

SOES3020: Tenerife Field Course

As this is an overseas field course which requires the department to make early flight bookings to minimise costs, students who pre-register for this module will be liable for the full flight costs if they subsequently opt not to take the module.

SOES3025: Independent Geology Mapping

Precise costs depend on specific arrangements made by students and on individual destinations. The department undertakes to cover the costs for accommodation and travel up to the cost of the least expensive destination, and currently provides £500 per student.

SOES6052: Tropical Field Course

This field trip is optional and open only to MSci Marine Biology and MSci Biology with Marine Biology students. Students are expected to fund their travel and to provide their own snorkelling equipment, including 3mm-thick wetsuit. The total cost is currently expected to be no more than £800-900. The department provides full board, IT and lab facilities and course-related travel whilst on Bermuda.

Notes:

Where a student contribution is made, invoices will be issued approximately 2 weeks prior to the start of a field course and payment will be due within 7 days.

Dates and costs are correct at the time of going to press.

Fieldwork equipment 

Geology and Geophysics students

• Geology and Geophysics students will need a minimum amount of field equipment and this is provided by the department. Most will be provided during Induction.

• Geology students receive: compass-clinometer; geological hammer; hand lens; waterproof field notebooks (quantity depends on degree programme); steel tape measure; safety helmet; clip board; safety goggles; bottle for dilute hydrochloric acid; outdoor first aid kit; 3 mapping pens; grain size comparator cards.

• Geophysics students receive: compass-clinometer; hand lens; waterproof field notebooks (quantity depends on degree programme); steel tape measure; safety helmet; clip board; safety goggles; bottle for dilute hydrochloric acid; outdoor first aid kit; 3 mapping pens; grain size comparator cards.

• All Geology and Geophysics students are recommended to purchase the following items: a pair of compasses; set squares; protractor; pencils (including coloured); eraser; University-approved calculator.

• Geology and Geophysics students will also need to provide their own walking boots, waterproof clothing, and a rucksack; some students purchase a ‘Weather writer’ which affords more protection for maps in wet weather.

• Some of the items not included in the induction pack can be purchased from the department/University. Please visit Room 161/05, Level 1, NOCS.

Marine Biology and Oceanography

• Marine Biology students will receive a lab coat, dissection kit and waterproof notebook during Induction.

• Oceanography students will receive a lab coat and waterproof notebook during Induction.

Insurance (travel, medical, personal property and baggage)

Students are automatically insured whilst on University organised field courses undertaken as part of their official studies, including field work.

Ocean and Earth Science is strongly committed to providing the very best learning experience to all our students in a friendly and stimulating environment. We are known nationally and internationally for our excellence in teaching, and are continually improving the scope and delivery of our activities

On arrival at the University all BSc Marine Biology with Oceanography degree students are assigned a personal tutor from the academic staff, who provides pastoral and academic help and encouragement throughout the degree course and beyond, into industrial or academic careers and research opportunities. Each degree programme is a stimulating mix of lectures, practical classes, field work and tutorials, supported by computer-aided learning, and independent study. You will acquire an in-depth understanding of the fundamental principles and modern concepts within your chosen subject, as well as a good personal and transferable skills profile. The fully modular course structure allows you maximum flexibility for specialisation according to your own interests.

As part of the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (NOCS), Ocean and Earth Science has a strong research-led world reputation. Cutting-edge research carried out by academic staff provides direct and enthusiastic input into the challenging and stimulating teaching programme. There is unique opportunity for students to undertake research projects with other NOCS-division scientists.

Breakdown of study time and assessment

Proportion of time spent in scheduled learning, teaching and independent study
Learning, teaching and assessment stage123
Scheduled learning & teaching study33%34%29%
Independent study67%66%71%
Placement study0%0%0%
Proportion of assessment by method
Learning, teaching and assessment stage123
Written exam assessment55%43%43%
Practical exam assessment14%16%6%
Coursework assessment31%41%51%

Study Locations

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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