underwater

Faculty of Science and Engineering

Marine Biology

UndergraduateBSc (Hons)

Year of entry:
UCAS code: C160

What you'll study

Study life beneath the waves on this exciting course. It includes subsidised PADI scuba training and takes advantage of local resources like the North Sea and The Deep.

We offer a foundation year to boost your skills and knowledge if you don't quite meet our academic entry requirements.

First year

All modules are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.

The course consists of 120 credits per year. Most modules are 20 credits, meaning you’ll study six modules each year. Some longer modules, such as a dissertation, are worth more (e.g. 40 credits). In these cases, you’ll study fewer modules - but the number of credits will always add up to 120.

Compulsory modules

Core and compulsory modules are fundamental to achieving the learning outcomes for your course and must be studied.

  • Skills for Biologists

  • Diversity of Life

  • Introduction to Environmental Science

    As well as providing an introduction to fundamental principles of environmental systems and the interconnectedness of humankind with the environment, this module introduces key practical skills needed in Environmental Science.

  • Ecology and Evolution

  • Practical Ecology

    A week long residential field course examining the ecology of specific habitat types found in the vicinity e.g. sandy and rocky shores, shallow water marine environments, woodlands, grasslands and the principles of ecological sampling. You'll implement a range of field-based sampling methods to collect data from a range of habitats and learn the principles of scientific project design.

Optional modules

Optional modules let you tailor the course to your interests. Please note, the availability of optional modules can vary each trimester. And some modules may require prior study (taking an earlier module, for example).

  • Dive Training

  • Science Communication

    Communicating science effectively is a skill you will need within your degree and beyond. This module allows you to learn theory and practise of communicating a topic related to your degree, in a range of ways (video, writing, infographics) and for a range of audiences.

Second year

All modules are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.

The course consists of 120 credits per year. Most modules are 20 credits, meaning you’ll study six modules each year. Some longer modules, such as a dissertation, are worth more (e.g. 40 credits). In these cases, you’ll study fewer modules - but the number of credits will always add up to 120.

Compulsory modules

Core and compulsory modules are fundamental to achieving the learning outcomes for your course and must be studied.

  • Aquatic Zoology

  • Marine Biology and Oceanography

  • Professional and Research Skills for Biologists

    Develop key experimental design and data analysis skills necessary for your degree. You’ll learn how to identify and evidence your skills and experience, to help you secure employment in the future.

  • Intertidal Systems

    Here we look at the temporal and spatial factors affecting composition and productivity of intertidal systems, and the sustainability of intertidal resources. Develop your field sampling and laboratory identification skills and apply them in an intertidal monitoring context.

Optional modules

Optional modules let you tailor the course to your interests. Please note, the availability of optional modules can vary each trimester. And some modules may require prior study (taking an earlier module, for example).

  • Animal Form and Function

    The module provides an integrated view of animal biology by showing how ecology shapes morphology, physiology and behaviour in different animals and across different environments, including marine and terrestrial ecosystems.

  • Geographical Information Systems

  • Conservation Biology

  • Green Planet

    This module will introduce you to the fascinating world of photosynthetic organisms, from single celled marine algae to the giant trees of the tropical rain forests. You'll look at photosynthetic organisms from their biochemistry, genetics, physiology, ecological distribution and evolutionary history. Practical classes will teach you ways of investigating plants and algae in the lab and in the field.

Final year

All modules are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.

The course consists of 120 credits per year. Most modules are 20 credits, meaning you’ll study six modules each year. Some longer modules, such as a dissertation, are worth more (e.g. 40 credits). In these cases, you’ll study fewer modules - but the number of credits will always add up to 120.

You choose to undertake a research project in a subject area of interest or undertake a work placement module in school or industry. A choice of destinations is usually available in the optional Field Studies module, however, you take Aquatic Resource Management as your core module as it is essential to your overall degree.

Compulsory module

Core and compulsory modules are fundamental to achieving the learning outcomes for your course and must be studied.

  • Aquatic Resource Managament

    Learn key elements of aquatic resource management including status of aquatic resources, exploitation methods, management processes and sustainability. You will develop an understanding of key pressures on aquatic resources and identify impacts of fishing in terms of stock depletion and habitat destruction.

Optional modules

Optional modules let you tailor the course to your interests. Please note, the availability of optional modules can vary each trimester. And some modules may require prior study (taking an earlier module, for example).

  • Sensory Physiology of Animals

    Discover the fascinating world of animal communication to learn how sensory systems control behaviour, and how this is applied and affected by human activity, including climate change.

  • Biology in Education

    This exciting module enables you to conduct original research in a subject of your choosing, within the broad area of Educational studies. You will plan, implement and report with guidance from a supervisor and through guided group tutorials.

  • Field Studies

  • Independent Research Project

    You will have the unique opportunity to work on your own lab-based project alongside researchers. You'll have direct input into experimental design and will analyse your data before writing it up in a dissertation. For many students, this is the highlight of their degree as it's a chance to show off your skills in a real-world environment.

  • Environmental Impact Assessment

  • Marine and Environmental Law

  • Polar Systems

  • Environmental Monitoring

    Examine the need for and context of field-based environmental monitoring strategies for both habitats and species. By taking part in fieldwork and research, you'll monitor a range of species, habitats and environmental factors. Choose from mammals, birds, herpetofauna, insects, terrestrial vegetation, freshwater monitoring and monitoring of marine communities.

  • Marine Challenges

  • Extinction

    Investigate and discuss questions on prehistoric, historical and contemporary extinctions, from genetic, evolutionary, ecological, paleoecological, geographical and geological perspectives.

  • Conservation in a Changing World

    We live in uncertain times, and predicting future trends in many environmental factors is difficult, but we do know that many aspects of the natural world are being significantly affected by human activity. In this module, you will explore how the natural world is responding and will respond to future changes, and how conservation science, practice and policy is being used to protect and enhance that world.

  • Practical Conservation

    Work in partnership with local environmentally orientated organisations to help further their objectives. You'll learn about the day-to-day practicalities of species/habitat management, population surveys, public engagement and promoting sustainable use of environmental resources.

  • Structured Research Project

“By studying Environmental Science, I feel like I can see the world in a different way.”

Nadira Hendarta Watch video

More about this course

A marine biologist rises to the challenge of conserving and managing marine resources against a background of environmental change. You'll become familiar with a range of marine organisms and habitats – and confident with survey and data analysis techniques.

  • Become a qualified advanced open water diver on one of the few courses to offer subsidised PADI training.
  • Field work is an integral part of the course: including opportunities for residentials in Britain and overseas.
  • 95% of our graduates are in work or further study within six months (UK domicile full-time first degree leavers; Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey for the academic year 2016/17, published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency 2018).
  • Industry-standard facilities include our 33,000-litre tropical aquaria.

The North Sea forms a perfect backdrop for the degree; making Hull an ideal place to study marine biology. With access to internationally recognised research facilities – including The Deep – you'll enjoy getting hands-on experience as you learn.

Teaching and learning

Throughout your degree, you’re expected to study for 1,200 hours per year. That’s based on 200 hours per 20 credit module. And it includes scheduled hours, time spent on placement and independent study. How this time’s divided among each of these varies each year and depends on the course and modules you study.

Scheduled hours typically include lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, and supervised laboratory and studio sessions. The types of scheduled lessons you’ll have depend on the course you study.

Placement hours typically include time spent on a work placement, studying abroad, or field trips.

Independent study is the time outside your scheduled timetable, where you’ll be expected to study independently. This typically involves coursework, assignments, reading, preparing presentations and exam revision.

Assessment
Written
Practical
Coursework

First year

40%

5%

55%

Second year

37%

28%

35%

Final year

42%

19%

39%


Written assessment typically includes exams and multiple choice tests.

Practical is an assessment of your skills and competencies. This could include presentations, school experience, work experience or laboratory work.

Coursework typically includes essays, written assignments, dissertations, research projects or producing a portfolio of your work.

Our teaching staff

Where you'll study

The location below may not be the exact location of all modules on your timetable. The buildings you'll be taught in can vary each year and depend on the modules you study.

Click to view on Google Maps
Hull Campus

Click to view directions on Google Maps

Learn to scuba dive and become a PADI-certified advanced open water diver (extra fee may be payable).

Exciting field work opportunities in the UK or in destinations like Brazil, Malaysia or Mallorca.

Learn in superb facilities such as our botanical gardens and brand new environmental classroom.

We are a leading centre for research into environmental issues of global importance. 

Find out more

Entry requirements

2019 Tariff points: 112 points. Points can be from any qualification on the UCAS tariff, but must include at least 80 points from 

  • A levels
  • BTEC Subsidiary Diploma, Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • OCR Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma, Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • CACHE Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • Irish Leaving Certificate
  • Scottish Highers
  • Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma
  • or a combination of appropriate Level 3 qualifications
  • Applicants should have A level Biology/Applied Science at Grade C or above (or merit from relevant BTEC). Applicants taking the reformed A-level must also Pass the practical element.

UCAS has changed the way that qualifications earn points under the Tariff system. Please click here to work out your estimated points and to find out more about how the University of Hull considers qualifications.

Alternative qualifications

  • IB Diploma: 28 points including 5 in HL Biology
  • Access to HE Diploma: Pass Access to HE Diploma (Science) including 18 credits in Biology at merit or higher

We welcome applicants with a range of qualifications from the UK and worldwide which may not exactly match the combinations shown above. Please contact the University’s Admissions Service for individual guidance.

International students

If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study or if your first language is not English you will be required to provide acceptable evidence of your English language proficiency level.

This course requires academic IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in each skill. For other English language proficiency qualifications acceptable by this University, please click here.

If your English currently does not reach the University's required standard for this programme, you may be interested in one of our English language courses.

Visit your country page to find out more about our entry requirements.

Fees and funding

  • Home/EU: £9,250 per year*
  • International: £16,600 per year

*The amount you pay may increase each year, in line with inflation - but capped to the Retail Price Index (RPI).

UK and EU students can take out a tuition fee loan to cover the cost of their course, and UK students can take out a maintenance loan of up to £8,700 to cover living costs.

Substantial discounts are available for International students.  

More information on fees can be found in the Money section of the website.

Additional costs

Your tuition fees will cover most costs associated with your programme (including registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examination).

There are some extra costs that you might have to pay, or choose to pay, depending on your programme of study and the decisions you make. The list below has some examples, and any extra costs will vary.

  • Books (you’ll have access to books from your module reading lists in the library, but you may want to buy your own copies
  • Optional field trips
  • Study abroad (including travel costs, accommodation, visas, immunisation)
  • Placement costs (including travel costs and accommodation)
  • Student visas (international students)
  • Laptop (you’ll have access to laptops and PC’s on campus, but you may want to buy your own)
  • Printing and photocopying
  • Professional-body membership
  • Graduation (gown hire and photography)

Remember, you’ll still need to take into account your living costs. This could include accommodation, travel and food – to name just a few. 

Future prospects

A number of our research areas, such as the University of Hull International Fisheries Institute and The Institute of Estuarine and Coastal Studies, have consultancy and research links with government agencies, including the Environment Agency, Natural England, the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, and the Association of Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities, who regularly employ graduates.

The practical and multidisciplinary skills you learn are much sought after in governmental and non-governmental organisations. The field and laboratory skills are ideal preparation for a scientific officer career with organisations such as the Environment Agency or Fisheries Agencies, and linking these core biological skills to an understanding of marine management and environmental impact assessment may help towards a career in consultancy.

Students who are more conservation and education focused might pursue a career with a wildlife trust or conservation organisation. Students who develop diving qualifications could end up as scientific divers or dive instructors. Some of our research-focused students continue their studies by taking a taught Masters degree or by progressing onto doctorate or research Masters. There are opportunities for further study within the University of Hull.