Undergraduate

Marine Biology

A PhD marine biology student in the aquarium on campus
Marine biology and zoology students Hannah and Ellie
A female student wearing protective gloves and eye glasses works in the Advanced Training Lab
Marine Biology students wearing wetsuits take part in scuba diving course

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Study life beneath the waves and take your first step towards becoming a Chartered Scientist on this exciting course accredited by The Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES).
Become part of a small, friendly department with our expert team including three winners in the Royal Society of Biology’s Teacher of the Year Awards.
Marine biology doesn't just happen in lecture theatres. Our facilities offer industry-standard spaces to practise and develop your cutting-edge skills.
Open up your career options under the water by becoming a PADI-qualified diver as part of your degree.
Gain real world practical skills in the lab and in the field, with access to industry-standard facilities and teaching labs.
Develop the field, analytic and lab skills you’ll need to engage with potential employers as part of this hands-on, career-driven degree.
A PhD marine biology student in the aquarium on campus
Marine biology and zoology students Hannah and Ellie
A female student wearing protective gloves and eye glasses works in the Advanced Training Lab
Marine Biology students wearing wetsuits take part in scuba diving course
Cohen Building Marine Biology Lab
Brightly coloured fish swim amongst coral

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Sea levels are rising. Icebergs are melting. Species are facing extinction. Now more than ever, we need to protect our precious marine resources. That’s where you come in…

You’ll be studying at the centre of one of the UK’s most important aquatic habitats with the North Sea, internationally recognised research facilities – including The Deep – and the rest of the Yorkshire Nature Triangle on your doorstep.

Plus, this course is accredited by The Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES) so you’ll have a pathway to become a Chartered Environmentalist or Chartered Scientist when you graduate.

  • 95.7%

    of students in work or further study 15 months after graduating 1

  • Award-winning academics

    teach on this course 2

  • Your first step

    to becoming a Chartered Scientist

  • Dive in

    and train to become a PADI-certified diver 3

  • Course accredited

    by The Institution of Environmental Sciences

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Course overview
Module options

About this course

Study life beneath the waves on this exciting, accredited course that includes optional, subsidised scuba dive training.3

During your first two years with us, you’ll complete a broad and varied programme to give you a thorough foundation in essential marine biology studies. You’ll learn all aspects of the marine environment, from the diversity of marine organisms to the impact of ocean acidification and climate change.

In year three, you’ll then have the chance to specialise in the areas you’re most interested in and get involved in research that’s making a difference to our world and the people on it.

We’re constantly reviewing our optional modules – so everything you learn reflects the cutting edge of the subject and the latest research by our award-winning staff2 – and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to get hands-on.

Our field trips here are exceptional – both at home and overseas. Recently, our students got the chance to work in far-flung places like Brazil and Egypt.

On top of this, we offer part-funded PADI advanced scuba dive training as part of your degree.

Scheduled study hours and how you’re assessed

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.

How you'll be assessed depends on the course you study, and the modules you choose. You may be assessed through a mix of examinations, coursework, presentations and group projects.

Choose your modules

Each year, you’ll study modules worth a certain number of credits, and you need 120 credits per year. Most modules are 20 credits – so you’ll study six modules each year. Some longer modules, such as a dissertation, are worth more. In these cases, you’ll study fewer modules - but the number of credits will always add up to 120. Some modules are compulsory, some are optional, so you can build a course that’s right for you.

Preparing for Learning in Higher Education

This module is designed to give you the best possible start to your university studies, making sure you have all the essential skills you need to succeed. Through lectures and workshops we will teach you how to write in an academic style, how to find quality sources, how to reference work, culminating in writing up a mini-research project.

Core20 credits

Introduction to Biological Sciences 1

This module covers basic knowledge on cells and biological molecules and how they are connected to the function of major organ systems in animals, plants and humans. The main topics are cell structure, exchange and transport, the genetic code, microbiology and energy processes.

Core20 credits

Introduction to Biological Sciences 2

Explore a range of biological topics relating to whole organism biology, diversity and adaptations. Through lectures, workshops and practical sessions you will delve in to the world of classification and identification, natural selection and evolution, food security, population biology, environmental monitoring and human impacts.

Core20 credits

Introduction to Data Analysis

You'll be introduced to different ways of analysing qualitative and quantitative data, learn how to code qualitative data and use descriptive and inferential statistics to analyse quantitative data.

Core20 credits

Group Challenge (Sciences)

In a group, you'll formulate questions that can be tested by scientific investigations and take part in weekly workshops with academics.

Core20 credits

Foundation Maths Skills

This module delivers core mathematics skills at level two and three to give a solid basis for future studies. You will study the following topics: manipulation of numerical data and converting between different units of measurement; exponentials and logarithms; and standard form and problems involving ratio, proportion and percentages.

Optional20 credits

Foundation Mathematics A

You will study pure mathematics topics, including proof, algebra, trigonometry, differentiation, integration, exponentials, logarithms, sequences and series. The applied topic is probability and statistics.

Optional20 credits

This year provides an introduction to the study of marine biology. You will learn through a mix of formal study, discussion and practical experience. For those who do not have a recent history of study, it provides a foundation of scientific, intellectual and investigative skills and knowledge, while developing relevant study skills.

7 Modules

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.

Compulsory20 credits

Marine Biology: An Introduction

From space, the planet is blue. Marine life has evolved into a myriad of forms living in some of the most extreme habitats on the planet; from great depths to battered coasts. This introduction to marine biology explores the marine environment, the diversity of life within it and how to conserve it.

Compulsory20 credits

Planet Earth

A look at the planet we live on and its constituent systems and processes: oceans, atmosphere, biosphere and tectonics.

Compulsory20 credits

Evolution

Why did sex evolve? Why do we die? What is a species? How can evolutionary medicine help us? This module will provide you with an understanding of how life on earth came to be what it is, from genes to species. Without evolution, nothing in Biology makes sense.

Compulsory20 credits

Ecology (with optional Dive Training)

Ecology is the study of interactions among living organisms and their environment, and is the basis for nature conservation and understanding human impact on the planet. Gain an understanding of ecological theory, applied ecology, and the collection and analysis of ecological data. You can choose to complete integrated PADI Advanced Open Water training, with an opportunity to develop specialist diving skills relevant to ecological science.

Compulsory20 credits

Introduction to Environmental Science

Discover the fundamental principles of environmental systems and the interconnectedness of humankind with the environment.

Compulsory20 credits
6 Modules

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.

Compulsory20 credits

Coastal Seas

This module explores the shallow water marine environments around the UK.  It is based around a 6 day residential field course where you get hands-on experience of sampling marine organisms in their natural environment, develop your organism identification and experimental design skills and experience what it is like to conduct marine investigations.  

Compulsory20 credits

Marine Interactions

This module will explore the interactions between marine species, from individual species to marine communities. We will look at individual adaptations, the interactions that structure communities and how species live together.

Compulsory20 credits

Marine Biology and Oceanography

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

Compulsory20 credits

Vertebrate Zoology

This module provides an integrated view of vertebrate biology by showing how changes over time and geography drive morphology, physiology, behaviour, and ecology in different vertebrates. Structure-function relationships are presented to appreciate how different animals evolve similar solutions and adaptations to the same ecological challenge while closely-related animals diversify in response to different environmental challenges.

Optional20 credits

Conservation Biology

Have we entered a new era of mass extinctions? Examine current threats to biodiversity and the characteristics that make some species more vulnerable than others. Learn to use scientific evidence to support biological conservation strategies.

Optional20 credits

Molecular Evolution and Genomics

This module will focus on the big topics in molecular evolution. What do genomes contain and why? How do we build trees from DNA sequences? How can recombination or gene duplication or transposons lead to adaptation? How do we detect selection in the human genome? We’ll cover these in theory and in practice with some fascinating examples from nature.

Optional20 credits

Ecological Monitoring

You'll monitor species, habitats and environmental factors. Choose from mammals, birds, herpetofauna, insects, terrestrial vegetation, freshwater and marine communities.​

Optional20 credits

Behavioural Ecology

Develop your understanding of why wild animals behave the way they do. You’ll study the proximate and ultimate causes of behaviour, and the interactions between animals and their environment.

Optional20 credits
9 Modules

Final Year Projects

Show off what you have learned across your degree! Undertake traditional research-based projects with experts in subjects like climate change, or try something a bit different like creating a documentary on shark attacks. Whatever you choose, it will be something that takes pride of place on your CV. 

Core40 credits

Biology in Education

Gain valuable experience in the professional environment of education via placements at local schools, colleges or other educational organisations. You'll be a role model for science in the classroom while you train your communication and collaborative skills.

Core40 credits

Red Listing Conservation Project

The IUCN Red List is the “world’s most comprehensive information source on the global extinction risk status of animal, fungus and plant species”. In this module, you will learn how to undertake Red List assessments of species, determining their vulnerability against the Red List criteria, and could gain an official IUCN endorsement of your abilities. You’ll then apply your knowledge to undertake a desk-based research project to explore extinction risk, threats and conservation of a species group, habitat or geographical region that interests you.

Core40 credits

Aquatic Resource Management

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

Compulsory20 credits

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.

Compulsory20 credits

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.

Optional20 credits

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).

Optional20 credits

Sex and Social Behaviour

You'll develop a deeper understanding of fascinating topics such as the evolution of sex, cryptic female choice, sperm competition, sexual conflict, parental care, brood parasitism, co-operative breeding and much more.

Optional20 credits

Conservation in a Changing World

Managing and protecting the natural environment is difficult enough, but we currently face rapid and dramatic change in climate, environment and socio-economic structures. Explore the challenges of planning effectively for conservation in a changing world.

Optional20 credits

Practical Conservation

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

Optional20 credits

Environmental Impact Assessment and 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.

Optional20 credits

Animal Welfare and Ethics

Animals are used by humans in various ways. You'll explore animal welfare and ethics questions in the use of animals. What are the conflicts between human needs and animal welfare? What is known about animal suffering? 

Optional20 credits

In your final year, you'll select one core module.

12 Modules

This course is accredited by

Playlist

Dr Nicky Dobson

Course Overview 2 mins

Marine Biology in 60s

Course Overview 1 min

Malaysia field trip

Course highlight 1 min

Extracting DNA

Subject session 2 mins

Entry requirements

What do I need?

When it comes to applying to university, you'll need a certain number of UCAS points. Different qualifications and grades are worth a different amount of points. For this course, you'll need…

We consider experience and qualifications from the UK and worldwide which may not exactly match the combinations above.

But it's not just about the grades - we'll look at your whole application. We want to know what makes you tick, and about your previous experience, so make sure that you complete your personal statement.

Have questions? Our admissions team will be happy to help.

What do I need?

If you require a 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.

See other English language proficiency qualifications accepted by the University of Hull.

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 & funding

How much is it?

Additional costs you may have to pay

Your tuition fees will cover most costs associated with your programme. 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:

  • Books (you can borrow books on your reading lists from the library, but you may buy your own)
  • Optional field trips
  • Study abroad (incl. travel costs, accommodation, visas, immunisation)
  • Placement costs (incl. travel costs and accommodation)
  • Student visas (international students)
  • Laptop (you’ll have access to laptops and PC’s on campus, but you may want 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, food and more.

How do I pay for it?

How much is it?

Additional costs you may have to pay

Your tuition fees will cover most costs associated with your programme. 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:

  • Books (you can borrow books on your reading lists from the library, but you may buy your own)
  • Optional field trips
  • Study abroad (incl. travel costs, accommodation, visas, immunisation)
  • Placement costs (incl. travel costs and accommodation)
  • Student visas (international students)
  • Laptop (you’ll have access to laptops and PC’s on campus, but you may want 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, food and more.

How do I pay for it?

Take a look at our facilities

Marine Biology Laboratory

Get up close with marine life on campus in this laboratory – one of our core facilities for our biological and environmental science teaching and research.

Flume Laboratory

At the heart of our Environmental Science facilities is The Flume, a device for studying the bodies of water that dominate our planet.

Advanced Training Lab

You’ll spend a lot of time getting hands on with your subject in our newly-refurbished lab with opportunities for hands-on skills development using both traditional and modern techniques.

Tropical Aquarium

Home to a vast range of tropical fish and marine species, our on-campus aquarium allows teaching and research to take place side by side.

See more in our virtual tour

Look around

Look around

students in the Advanced Training Lab looking at a petri dish

Look around

Cohen Building Marine Biology Lab
Cohen Building Flume Laboratory
students in the Advanced Training Lab looking at a petri dish
Tropical Aquarium
A Marine Biology student holds a net while working in the tropical aquarium on campus

Future prospects

The field and lab skills you'll learn will open up a wide range of careers, such as being a scientific officer with organisations such as the Environment Agency, local councils or fisheries agencies.

Many of our graduates pursue careers in environmental consultancy or if you’re more focused on conservation, you can pursue a career with a wildlife trust or conservation organisation like recent graduate Hannah Lightley.

There’s also the option to move on to postgraduate study. Like our MSc in Environmental Change Management and Monitoring, a PhD, research Masters or teacher training.

University of Hull Open Day

Your next steps

Like what you’ve seen? Then it’s time to apply.

The standard way to apply for this course is through UCAS. This will give you the chance to showcase your skill, qualities and passion for the subject, as well as providing your academic qualifications.

Not ready to apply?

Visit our next Open Day, and see all that Hull has to offer for yourself. Talk to our lecturers about your subject, find out what university is really like from our current students, and take a tour of our beautiful campus and amazing facilities.

  1. (Marine Science) UK domicile full-time first degree leavers; Higher Education Graduate Outcomes statistics, for the academic year 2020/21, published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency June 2023.
  2. Three of our friendly, supportive lecturers are winners of the Royal Society of Biology’s 'Higher Education Bioscience Teacher of the Year Award'.
  3. Choose subsidised dive training as part of our Ecology module and become a PADI-certified Advanced Open Water Diver (extra fee may be payable).

 

All modules presented on this course page are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.

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