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Marine and ocean sciences courses

If you are fascinated by marine life or the role oceans play in controlling our climate and shaping our coastline you may be interested in marine biology or oceanography. Courses include core sciences such as biology, chemistry, physics and geology, practical lab work, field trips on research boats and could include diving. These courses prepare you for careers in areas such as research, oil exploration, conservation, environmental monitoring and weather forecasting.
Header studying

Studying marine and ocean sciences at university

Example course modules

  • Marine organisms and ecosystems
  • Oceanography
  • Marine animal science
  • Basic and scientific diving
  • Introduction to marine ecology
  • The Earth system
  • Quantitative earth and ocean science
  • IT communication, field and laboratory skills
  • Dynamic earth
  • Geomorphological processes

Teaching hours / week

Average for this subject

19
Hours
5
14
Hours

Average for all subjects

The time you'll spend in lectures and seminars each week will vary from university to university, so use this as a guide.

More on studying and contact hours at uni

Who studies this subject

  • Male : 52%
    Female : 48%
  • Mature : 17%
    School leaver : 83%
  • Full-time : 81%
    Part-time : 19%
Header need

What you need to get on a course

Subjects you need

A-levels (or equivalent) usually required

  • Choose two from biology, chemistry, physics and maths

Useful to have

  • geography
  • Geology

Application checklist

Here's a guide to what to expect from the application process - also check individual university entry requirements, as these may differ.

  • January application
  • October application
  • Personal statement
  • Portfolio
  • Interview
  • Entry test
  • Work experience
  • Audition

Personal statement advice

Whatever subject you're studying, here are 10 things to be certain to include in your Ucas personal statement to get the attention of university admissions tutors...

Header search

Search for marine and ocean sciences courses

All courses

Find all the different courses on offer for this subject - from courses covering specialist areas of study to combined or related options.

Popular specialist areas

There aren’t any courses covering specialist areas of study available for this subject yet.

Popular combined courses

There aren’t any combined course options available for this subject yet.

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Career prospects

Sources: HECSU & KIS
The recession has been difficult for some environmental scientists, with jobs and funding cuts, so bear that in mind when you look at the figures. This is also one of those subjects where graduates don’t usually go to London to work, so if you want to work in East Anglia or the South West – or overseas – this might be a good subject. Graduates tend to get jobs in the environment, in surveying and as lab technicians, but, like a lot of other subjects, if you want a job in research, start planning to take a doctorate. The stats also include a small number of oceanographers and meteorologists.
Professional and accrediting bodies:

Six months after graduating

Typical graduate job areas
  • Conservation and environment professionals
  • Other elementary services occupations
  • Sales assistants and retail cashiers
Average graduate salary £18.5k
MED
% employed or in further study 93.7%
LOW

Longer term career paths

Jobs where this degree is useful

  • Oceanographer
  • Marine surveyor
  • Environmental officer

Other real-life job examples

  • Geophysicist

What employers like about this subject

Students of marine and ocean sciences can gain subject-specific skills in the biology, physics, chemistry and geology of the marine environment; in oceanographic and marine field skills and training in experimental practice and design. You'll also gain a whole suite of sought-after transferable skills including numeracy, communication, data handling, team-working and problem-solving skills. Marine and ocean science graduates work in industries including oil and gas, scientific research, higher education, technical consultancy, museums and zoos and government.

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