What will I learn?

Marine biology is a broad and dynamic subject, reflecting the diversity of marine ecosystems and the fantastic array of life they contain. Biological marine processes exert massive influences on the Earth's climate and biogeochemical cycling. Closely linked with the diverse research pursuits of scientists at the Marine Biological Association (MBA) and University, this programme allows you to develop research skills in a marine context that are widely applicable.

Careers with this subject

Career opportunities

Opportunities for trained marine biologists exist within the public and private sector worldwide, including regulatory bodies, government agencies, conservation organisations, environmental consultancies, aquaculture, and fisheries management. The programme also acts as a springboard to an academic career, typically via a PhD.

Key features

  • Study in Plymouth, an internationally renowned city for marine biological research.
  • Participate in a specifically designed, topical programme jointly hosted by Plymouth University and the Marine Biological Association (MBA) of the UK.
  • Choose between pathways to suit your research interests, biodiversity and ecology or cellular and molecular biology.
  • Benefit from being taught by recognised experts with worldwide links to research organisations and projects.
  • Draw on our expertise, working alongside research staff on a personal project.
  • Undertake an extensive, original and innovative research project, often in collaboration with MBA Research Fellows, or one of our other partner institutions (Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science and the National Marine Aquarium), either in the UK or abroad.
  • Excellent training for further research.
  • See the benefit from close links with the research community worldwide.

In your first term you will study core modules which concentrate on building up your general research and academic skills. You’ll also be introduced to the research and organisation of the MBA and the Marine Biology and Ecology Research Centre at the University, with a focus upon raising your awareness of potential dissertation topics and advisors. You’ll take a specific module based on your chosen specialisation. The ecology option includes additional training in the analysis of ecological data and conservation/biodiversity assessments. The cellular and molecular option meanwhile focuses on DNA and microbiological techniques, biological imaging, and electrophysiological methods. The majority of time from mid-January onwards is spent on your research project and dissertation. You’ll undertake your project working directly with researchers at the MBA, Plymouth University or one of our other partner institutions. It may also be possible to conduct your project abroad.

Overseas applicants must submit their application 4.5 months prior to the proposed programme start date. For Home/EU applicants the deadline is 2.5 months prior to the proposed programme start date. There are three possible start dates per year, 1 October, 1 January and 1 April.

Which department am I in?

School of Biological and Marine Sciences

Study options

Full Time (1 year)

Tuition fees
£16,200.00 (US$ 21,776) per year
This is a fixed fee

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Start date

1 January 2022, 1 April 2022

Venue

Plymouth University

Drake Circus,

Plymouth,

PL4 8AA, England

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Students need a good (3.0 / 4.0 min GPA) undergraduate degree in a relevant subject from a regionally-accredited American university. Postgraduate programmes: ILETS 6.5 overall with Minimum component scores 5.5 in all four components (listening, reading, speaking and writing).

For international students

A 2:1 or first-class honours degree or equivalent, preferably in a biological subject, with 2:1 grade or equivalent in a research project or dissertation. International students: IELTS score of 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in each element) or equivalent. The TOEFL Score would be 90 and Component scores of listening 17, reading 18, speaking 20, writing 18.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.

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About University of Plymouth

Two-thirds of the research conducted by the University of Plymouth is ranked as either world-leading or internationally excellent.

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  • The university has 139,000 alumni across 135 countries
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