underwater

Undergraduate

BSc Marine Biology

Study life beneath the waves on this exciting course which includes subsidised PADI advanced scuba dive training.

Key information

Study mode

Full-time

Course length

3 years

Entry requirements

120 points

A Level grades: BBB

UCAS code

C160

Choose an option

Start date

Course overview

A marine biologist rises to the challenge of conserving and managing marine resources against a background of environmental change.

On this course, you'll become familiar with a range of marine organisms and habitats – and confident with survey and data analysis techniques.

The North Sea forms the perfect backdrop to this degree; making Hull the 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.

Six reasons to study Marine Biology at Hull

  1. Learn to scuba dive as part of your degree§
  2. Fieldwork opportunities overseas and in the UK
  3. Tropical aquariums totalling 33,000 litres
  4. 95% graduate employability rating
  5. Study under experts in issues like microplastics
  6. Benefit from The Deep, the world’s only submarium

What you'll study

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.

First year modules

  • Compulsory

    Diversity of Life

    ​Through practical workshops, this module introduces you to the diversity of life and the fascinating adaptations that enable organisms to inhabit nearly all conceivable ecological niches. 

    Practical Biology

    ​This module introduces key general learning skills and essential practical skills required for a degree in the biological sciences. 

    Introduction to Environmental Science

    You'll be introduced to fundamental principles of environmental systems and the interconnectedness of humankind with the environment.

    Ecology and Evolution

    You’ll cover topics such as the genetic basis of evolution, natural selection, animal behaviour, population biology and ecosystem ecology.​

    Practical Ecology

    A week long residential field course examining the ecology of specific habitat types such as sandy and rocky shores, shallow water marine environments, woodlands and grasslands.

  • Optional

    Dive Training

    Train to PADI Advanced Open Water Diver standard and develop specialist diving skills including underwater navigation, deep diving, photography, and underwater naturalist.​

    Science Communication

    This module allows you to learn theory and practise communicating a topic related to your degree, in a range of ways for a range of audiences.

Second year modules

  • Compulsory

    Aquatic Zoology

    You’ll carry out practical observations of fish, squid, crustaceans, annelids and nematodes, and improve your skills in taxonomy and identification.​

    Marine Biology and Oceanography

    Study physical and chemical oceanography and marine ecosystems such as tropical marine systems, deep sea and hydrothermal vents.​

    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. 

  • Optional

    Animal Form and Function

    The module shows how ecology shapes morphology, physiology and behaviour in different animals and across different environments, including marine and terrestrial ecosystems.

    Geographical Information Systems

    Develop your understanding of the principles and processes behind GIS, the nature and use of spatial data and the application of GIS on this practical module.

    Conservation Biology

    You’ll examine current threats to biodiversity and the characteristics, such as life-history, ecology and distribution, that make some species more vulnerable than others.

    Green Planet

    You'll be introduced to the fascinating world of photosynthetic organisms, from single celled marine algae to the giant trees of the tropical rain forests. Practical classes will teach you ways of investigating plants and algae in the lab and in the field.

Final year modules

  • Compulsory

    Aquatic Resource Managament

    Learn key elements of aquatic resource management, including status of aquatic resources, exploitation methods, management processes and sustainability. 

  • Choose one

    Independent Research Project

    You'll have the opportunity to work on your own lab-based project. For many students, this is the highlight of their degree, as it's a chance to show off their skills in a real-world environment.

    Structured Research Project

    Undertake a collaborative research project, working with a team of other students to investigate research questions relevant to your degree. 

    Biology in Education

    Thinking about teaching as a career? Undertake placements in local schools and deliver your own science lesson.

  • Optional

    Sensory Physiology of Animals

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

    Field Studies (Biology)

    Recent students have selected from destinations including a dive-based trip in Malaysia and an exploration of the Atlantic rainforest in Brazil (financial contribution required).

    Environmental Impact Assessment and Monitoring

    Learn about the socio-economic, ecological, environmental, aesthetic and legislative aspects of EIAs, the industry standard for assessing the impact of new developments. 

    Marine and Environmental Law

    ​Environmental law is a fast-growing discipline essential for effective management of marine ecosystems. This module introduces you to the principles of environmental law and policy. You'll gain an understanding of marine legislation in the context of environmental issues, such as fisheries management, marine energy, climate change and marine conservation.​

    Polar Systems

    You’ll study the importance of polar regions, how animals and plants have adapted to survive in sometimes extreme environments, and evaluate the threats to critically important ecosystems.​

    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

    You’ll study how climate change, overfishing, pollution and other critical challenges threaten marine ecosystems. ​

    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

    The natural world is being hugely affected by human activity. You'll explore how nature is responding and will respond to future changes. 

    Practical Conservation

    Work in partnership with local environmentally orientated organisations to learn about the day-to-day practicalities of species and habitat management.

    Threatened Marine Habitats

    Study the dynamics and ecology of threatened marine habitats (like coral reefs, mangroves, hydrothermal vents and polar regions), their anthropogenic threats and strategies for mitigation. 

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

How you'll study

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.

Overall workload

204 hours

Scheduled study Scheduled hours typically include lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, and supervised laboratory and studio sessions.

996 hours

Independent study Independent study is the time outside your scheduled timetable, where you’ll be expected to study independently.

Indicative assessment proportions

40%
5%
55%
  • Examination

    Written assessment typically includes exams and multiple choice tests.

  • Practical

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

  • Coursework

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

Overall workload

240 hours

Scheduled study Scheduled hours typically include lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, and supervised laboratory and studio sessions.

960 hours

Independent study Independent study is the time outside your scheduled timetable, where you’ll be expected to study independently.

Indicative assessment proportions

37%
28%
35%
  • Examination

    Written assessment typically includes exams and multiple choice tests.

  • Practical

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

  • Coursework

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

Overall workload

216 hours

Scheduled study Scheduled hours typically include lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, and supervised laboratory and studio sessions.

984 hours

Independent study Independent study is the time outside your scheduled timetable, where you’ll be expected to study independently.

Indicative assessment proportions

42%
19%
39%
  • Examination

    Written assessment typically includes exams and multiple choice tests.

  • Practical

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

  • Coursework

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

Ellie Hey Biological Sciences

"The University of Hull feels like home. It's a cosy, intimate campus with some fantastic new facilities."

Entry requirements

Don't meet our requirements?

We offer a Foundation Year to boost your skills and knowledge – it’s a great way to make your way into higher education.

Switch to the foundation year

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.

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.

Don't meet our requirements?

We offer a Foundation Year to boost your skills and knowledge – it’s a great way to make your way into higher education.

Switch to the foundation year

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. See other English language proficiency qualifications accepted by this University.

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.

Our teaching staff

Click and drag

Take a tour of the facilities

Take a 360-degree look at our tropical aquariums where you'll study the richness and diversity of marine life.

Fees and funding

Home / EU

Fees for Home/EU students have not yet been confirmed for 2020/21. 2019/20 fees were £9,250 per year*. The University sets fees in line with Government direction.

International

£17,200 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.

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. 

Attainment
Scholarship

If you achieve

112 UCAS tariff points

from three A levels or equivalent, you could receive a reward of

£1,200

Find out more

An affordable city for students

From bills, to meals, to pints – you’ll find that your money goes a lot further in Hull.

Your future prospects

  • Scientific officer
  • Fisheries officer
  • Conservationist
  • Environmental consultant
  • Diver or dive instructor

The field, analytic and lab skills you’ll learn here are ideal preparation for a career as a scientific officer with organisations such as the Environment Agency and the fisheries agencies.

Students who are more focused on conservation and education might pursue a career with a wildlife trust or conservation organisation.

Open Day at University of Hull

Ready to apply?

You can apply for this course through UCAS. As well as providing your academic qualifications, you’ll be able to showcase your skills, qualities and passion for the subject.

APPLY NOW VIA UCAS HOW TO APPLY
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This. Is. Hull.

A place where we stand up to kings, do deals with the world and take a wrecking ball to the slave trade. A place where culture stands out and the phone boxes are a different colour. A place where we're free-thinking, independent and proud of it.

§Module options include PADI-certified Advanced Open Water Diver training (extra fee may be payable)

†Previous destinations include Brazil, Malaysia and Majorca (extra fees may be payable)

‡Percentage of students from biological sciences subject area in work or further study within six months of graduating: UK domicile full-time first degree leavers; Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey for the academic year 2016/17, published by HESA 2018