Which? uses cookies to improve our sites and by continuing you agree to our cookies policy

Bachelor of Science (with Honours) - BSc (Hons) years full-time 2018
Bachelor of Science (with Honours) - BSc (Hons) years full-time, sandwich 2018
Ucas points guide


% applicants receiving offers


  • Biology
Student score
85% MED
% employed or in further study
92% LOW
Average graduate salary
£16.5k LOW
Icon pencil

What do you need to get in?

Source: UCAS

Main entry requirements

A level
Not Available

A typical offer would be: 128 UCAS Tariff points including a minimum of 2 GCE A-Levels Including GCE A level Grade B in Biology and Grade B in 1 further science subject, (includes Chemistry, Environmental Science, Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Physics or Psychology). General Studies and Key Skills are excluded.

Scottish Highers
Not Available

Considered in combination with Advanced Highers.

BTEC Diploma
Not Available

Considered in combination

International Baccalaureate

30 overall to include 5 at Higher Level Biology and 5 in a second relevant subject at Higher Level. English and Maths accepted within.

UCAS tariff points

A typical offer would be: 28 UCAS Tariff points including a minimum of 2 GCE A-Levels Including GCE A level Grade B in Biology and Grade B in 1 further science subject, (includes Chemistry, Environmental Science, Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Physics or Psychology). General Studies and Key Skills are excluded.

If your qualifications aren’t listed here, you can use our UCAS points guide of 128-144 and refer to the university’s website for full details of all entry routes and requirements.

The real story about entry requirements

% applicants receiving offers


Provided by UCAS, this is the percentage of applicants who were offered a place on the course last year. Note that not all applicants receiving offers will take up the place, so this figure is likely to differ from applicants to places.

What does the numbers of applicants receiving course offers tell me?

Tuition fee & financial support


Maximum annual fee for UK students. NHS-funded, sandwich or part-time course fees may vary.

If you live in:

  • Scotland and go to a Scottish university, you won’t pay tuition fees
  • Northern Ireland and go to an NI uni, you’ll pay £3,805 in tuition fees
  • Wales you’ll pay £3,810 in fees and get a tuition fee grant to cover the rest
Icon docs

Will this course suit you?

Sources: UCAS & KIS

Every degree course is different, so it’s important to find one that suits your interests and matches the way you prefer to work – from the modules you’ll be studying to how you’ll be assessed. Top things to look for when comparing courses

Course description

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 will lay strong foundations for a successful career using our extensive industry links to secure a paid, one-year work placement. You’ll gain the confidence, real-world know-how and vital industry experience that employers are looking for. You’ll become adept at working with the very latest industry-standard software, in our high specification laboratories. Both will help you develop a strong understanding of fundamental principles, whilst honing your skills at the same time. In the 2016 National Student Survey, 89 per cent of students felt staff on this course were good at explaining things; 91 per cent felt that the staff made the subject interesting; 89 per cent found the course intellectually stimulating and 86 per cent were satisfied with the course overall. Explore the full diversity of marine life, from microscopic plankton to iconic marine mammals. Study marine organisms from every angle including how they work, develop and behave and where they are found, how they have evolved and what the future holds for them. Study marine life in the wild with access to the beautiful and varied Devon and Cornwall coastline. A recent World Wildlife Fund report highlighted the South Devon coast – which can be reached on foot from campus – as the area of highest marine biodiversity in the UK. Access the University’s research vessels based in the Plymouth Sound Special Area for Conservation and, from 2014/15, our new Marine Station. LABplus is a unique open access laboratory and resource centre designed for students studying science and engineering courses. The lab provides a flexible workspace, computing facilities, specialist software, access to microscopes, microscope cameras and bespoke resources. Benefit from our reputation as an international centre for marine research. Our expert teaching staff collaborate on many varied research projects – one of the many reasons why 91 per cent of our graduates said that our staff made the subject interesting. Opportunities to gain extra experience working in one of the marine research organisations located in Plymouth, alongside your studies. The University enjoys strong links with the internationally renowned marine research establishments based in the city, including the Diving Diseases Research Centre, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, the Marine Biological Association of the UK and the Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science. Increase your knowledge and apply your skills in an international setting, with two residential field courses abroad (France and Portugal) that give you the chance to study marine organisms not found in UK waters.


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. 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. The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Plymouth University

Roland Levinsky building

Plymouth is a top 50 UK research institution with genuine clusters of world class expertise across areas as diverse as marine science and engineering, medicine, robotics and psychology. With 21,000 students and a further 17,000 studying University of Plymouth awards at partner colleges, it is one of largest higher education providers in the country, and has a strong track record in teaching with one of the highest numbers of National Teaching Fellows of any UK university.

How you'll spend your time

Sorry, we don’t have study time information to display here

How you'll be assessed

Sorry, we don’t have course assessment information to display here

What do the numbers say for

The percentages below relate to the general subject area at this uni, not to one course. We show these stats because there isn't enough data about the specific course, or where this is the most detailed info made available to us.

Icon bubble

What do students think about this subject here?

Source: NSS

Here's how satisfied past students were taking courses within this subject area about things such as the quality of facilities and teaching - useful to refer to when you're narrowing down your options. Our student score makes comparisons easier, showing whether overall satisfaction is high, medium or low compared to other unis.

What do student satisfaction scores tell you?

Overall student satisfaction 91%
Student score 85% MED
Able to access IT resources


Staff made the subject interesting


Library resources are satisfactory


Feedback on work has been helpful


Feedback on work has been prompt


Staff are good at explaining things


Staff value students' opinions



Who studies this subject?

Source: HESA

Start building a picture of who you could be studying with by taking a look at the profile of people that have studied this subject here in previous years.

UK / Non-UK
8% of students here are from outside the UK
Male / Female
53% of students are female
Full-time / Part-time
6% of students are part-time
Typical Ucas points
338 entry points typically achieved by students
2:1 or above
63% of students achieved a 2:1 or above
Drop-out rate
6% of students do not continue into the second year of their course
Icon ribbon

What are graduates doing after six months?

Source: DLHE

Here’s what students are up after they graduate from studying this subject here. We’ve analysed the employment rate and salary figures so you can see at a glance whether they’re high, typical or low compared to graduates in this subject from other universities. Remember the numbers are only measured only six months after graduation and can be affected by the economic climate - the outlook may be different when you leave uni. What do graduate employment figures really tell you?

% employed or in further study 92% LOW
Average graduate salary £16.5k LOW
Graduates who are sales assistants and retail cashiers


Graduates who are animal care and control services


Graduates who are other elementary services occupations


Employment prospects for graduates of this subject

Sources: DLHE & HECSU
The recession was tough on biology graduates, and although the jobs market has improved for them - a lot - it's still not back to where it was a few years ago. If you want a career in biology research — and a lot of biology students do - you'll need to take a doctorate, so give some thought as to where you might do it and how you might fund it (the government still funds doctorates for good students). A lot of graduates also take 1 year Masters courses to specialise in this wide and deep subject - most students take a standard biology course for their first degree and then specialise in subjects like ecology, conservation or marine biology later. Hospitals, universities, biotech firms, zoos and nature reserves and clinical and scientific testing are common industries of employment for biology graduates.
Carousel arrow left Carousel arrow right
Get all the advice
Expert tips for uni - straight to your inbox
Free to students, teachers and parents
Sign me up
Follow us