Best UK universities to study Marine Biology

Have you ever discovered, in your own self, a great fascination and desire to explore the world underwater? If yes, then marine biology might well be the perfect career for you.

Marine Biology is a scientific discipline which deals with the study of all animal and plant life in oceans. Although it might not be among the most popular university degree courses, marine biology is for sure one of the most attractive and interdisciplinary study areas.

The variety of life forms on oceans is huge and that is to say the subject of study of Marine Biology is broad and very complex.

If you’re interested in a particular group of species or in a particular water ecosystem then there are plenty of specialist disciplines to focus.

Here are some sub-disciplines of marine biology

  • Marine biotechnology
  • Marine veterinary.
  • Biological oceanography.
  • Marine molecular biology.
  • Marine botany.

An Overview of Tuition Fees

There is a range of tuition fees applied at UK universities for students undertaking marine biology courses. First of all, your nationality is the main factor to determine your fee status at UK universities. The EU students are treated equally to local students in that they’re charged the same tuition fees (at least for the 2019/20) while non-EU students have to afford higher fees.

The cost of tuition fees for studying marine biology in UK it also varies according to the university you decide to study at.

Under current legal regulations, universities are allowed to charge undergraduate UK and EU students with annual fees capping at £9,250. Moreover, EU students enrolled at Scottish universities deal with much lower fees. On the other hand, tuition fees for non-EU international students range between £13,000 and £21,000.

Best UK Universities to Study Marine Biology

For you to be able to grasp a comprehensive theoretical understanding and practical skills of what it takes to become a marine biologist studying at a top-ranked university is necessary.

In that regard, the UK is by no doubt the best place for you to study marine biology.

The UK universities:

  • Receive high scores in global university ranking.
  • Have practice-focused marine biology courses.
  • Have a high rate of graduates’ employability.
  • Have leading professorship.
  • Have diverse student community.

Fortunately you have plenty of choices to study marine biology in the UK. But if you want to select the best perhaps you need some help.

Given below are the best UK universities to study Marine Biology

Bangor University

Your career as a future marine biologist start at Bangor University. They have one of the largest university centers for marine science in the UK and Europe. Among all, marine science courses taught at this university are valued for their great research emphasis. The university is located close to the sea and they own a £3.5 million ocean research ship which you can use during your studies. Based on the university’s data, around 85% of their marine biology graduates are employed.

Course name: Marine Biology BSc (Hons).

Application deadlines: 15 January (UK/EU) and 30 June (Non-EU).

Course start: September.

Duration: 3 years, full-time.

Annual fees: £9,000 (UK/EU) and £15,500 (non-EU students).

Entry requirements:

  • Recognized qualifications (from a wide range of subjects).
  • Grades’ certificate.
  • Proof of English proficiency.
  • IT and communication skills.

University of Aberdeen

The University of Aberdeen is regarded as one of the most eminent research center for marine biology in the UK. Specifically, their research activity is greatly focused on deep sea, harbour seals and dolphins, seabird ecology, fisheries management, fish and shark biology and marine areas that are under protection. This research emphasis is also reflected on the content of your marine biology course as one third of it is practical. Moreover in the final year of your studies there is an opportunity for you to undertake an independent research project. Statistics collected by the university show that 100% of their marine biology students are highly satisfied with their course. In addition, 90% of their graduates manage to get a job within the next few months from their graduation and 10% hold managerial positions.

Course name: Marine Biology, BSc.

Application deadlines: 15 January (UK/EU) and 30 June (non-EU).

Course start: September.

Duration: 4 years, full-time.

Annual fees: £1,820 (Scotland/EU), £9,250 (other UK) and £19,300 (non-EU).

Entry requirements:

  • Recognized high school qualification.
  • Grades’ certificate.
  • Proof of English proficiency (IELTS 6.0).

University of Southampton

According to the results of the National Student Survey in 2018, they had the sixth highest score in overall student satisfaction in ocean sciences. Marine biology students at the University of Southampton rate their study experience as intellectually satisfying. Students benefit from the university’s location in one of the biggest research institutions in Europe known as the National Oceanography Centre Southampton. As an effect of these research-focused study programs marine biology graduates at the University of Southampton are some of the most employable in the UK.

Course name: BSc Marine Biology.

Application deadlines: 15 January (UK/EU) and 30 June (non-EU).

Course start: September.

Duration: 3 years, full-time.

Annual fees: £9,250 (UK/EU) and £20,970 (non-EU).

Entry requirements:

  • A recognized high school certificate.
  • Grades’ certificate.
  • Proof of English proficiency (IELTS 6.5).

University of St Andrews

School of Biology of the University of St Andrews claimed the top in the list of best biology schools in UK in 2019 by the Guardian. As highly research-based institution, this university has two major research institutes: the Scottish Oceans Institute (SOI) and Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU).Topics covered by marine biology degree courses at the University of St Andrews include aquatic ecosystems, evolution of underwater species, behavioural biology, biodiversity, biological sustainability, marine microbiology and mammal biology.

Course name: Marine Biology BSc (Hons).

Application deadlines: 15 January (UK/EU) and 30 June (non-EU).

Course start: September.

Duration: 4 years, full-time.

Annual fees: £1,820 (Scotland/EU), £9,250 (other UK) and £22,350 (non-EU).

Entry requirements:

  • A recognized high school certificate.
  • Grades’ transcript.
  • Proof of English proficiency (IELTS 6.5).

Newcastle University

The Guardian ranked the Newcastle University fourth among UK universities in the subjects of earth and marine sciences. The Teaching Excellence Framework gave this university a gold rating. Newcastle Marine Biology will help you explore the vast diversity of marine organisms and their ecosystems. You’ll also have the chance to collect plenty of practical experience at their lab facilities and overseas field trips. Skills you’ll obtain during this time will prepare you to work in a wide range of careers in marine sector.

Course name: Marine Biology BSc Honours.

Application deadlines: 15 January (UK/EU) and 30 June (non-EU).

Course start: September.

Duration: 3 years, full-time.

Annual fees: £9,250 (EU/UK) and 22,800 (non-EU).

Entry requirements:

  • A recognized high school certificate.
  • Grades’ transcript.
  • Proof of English proficiency (IELTS 6.5).

Exeter University

In view of their performance in key rankings, the Exeter’s marine biology courses rate as excellent. The variety of degree courses in marine biology and its specialities is of course the most eye-catching feature of this university. Besides regular three-year courses you can also select another course which includes spending a year abroad.This practice-focused approach largely explains why 90% of their marine biology graduates find a job within the next six months after their graduation.

Course name: BSc Marine Biology.

Application deadlines: 15 January (UK/EU) and 30 June (non-EU).

Course start: September.

Duration: 3 years, full-time.

Annual fees: £9,250 (UK/EU) and £20,500 (non-EU).

Entry requirements:

  • A recognized high school certificate.
  • Grades’ certificate.
  • Proof of English proficiency (IELTS 6.5).

University of Plymouth

Based on their reputation and world-class education the University of Plymouth has earned its place in the list of the best UK universities to study marine biology. Plymouth Marine biology will help you achieve a broad level of knowledge about the biology of marine organism from tiny microbes on coral reefs to vertebrates. High access on experimental work and professional guidance by their leading tutors will have a determining role in your career.

Course name: BSc (Hons) Marine Biology.

Application deadlines: 15 January (UK/EU) and 30 June (non-EU).

Course start: September.

Duration: 3 years, full-time.

Annual fees: £9,250 (UK/EU) and £13,400 (non-EU).

Entry requirements:

  • A recognized high school certificate.
  • Grades’ transcript.
  • Proof of English proficiency (IELTS 6.0).

University of Essex

On a point-based system Essex university scores high for focus on research and practicality, world-class professorship and hugely diverse student community. Your marine biology studies at the Essex University will help you develop a strong understanding of species living in oceans and their relationship with specific ecosystems.Under the Research Excellence Framework their research work received gold rating. Many of their academics take part in big projects and are closely engaged with the most cutting-edge developments in marine sciences. Essex University is also valued for giving their students a fulfilling international experience as foreign students weigh for a significant proportion of all enrollees.

Course name: BSc Marine Biology.

Application deadlines: 15 January (UK/EU) and 30 June (non-EU).

Course start: October.

Duration: 3 years, full-time.

Annual fees: £9,250 (UK/EU) and £16,980 (non-EU).

Entry requirements:

  • A recognized high school certificate.
  • Grades’ certificate.
  • Proof of English proficiency (IELTS 6.0).

University of Salford

The University of Salford offers one of the best undergraduate courses on marine biology. The regular course lasts for three years of full-time studies, but there is also an optional year if you want to gain valuable work experience. Marine Biology students at this amazing university are also sent at two different field trips including one Greece from which students benefit both professionally and personally. Your hands-on experience will largely determine your further career path as many employers will highly value your education.

Course name: Marine Biology BSc (Hons).

Application deadlines: 15 January (UK/EU) and 30 June (non-EU).

Course start: September.

Duration: 3 years, full-time.

Annual fees: £9,250 (UK/EU) and £12,660 (non-EU).

Entry requirements:

  • A recognized high school certificate.
  • Grades’ transcript.
  • Proof of English proficiency (IELTS 6.0).

University of Liverpool

Department of Earth, Ocean and Ecological Sciences of the University of Liverpool is said to be the first department of all UK universities to have offered a degree course in marine biology. A proportion of 93% of their graduates are either employed or in further study six months after graduation. Moreover, 60% of these employed graduates hold managerial positions at their workplace.

Course name: Marine Biology BSc (Hons).

Application deadlines: 15 January (UK/EU) and 30 June (non-EU).

Course start: September.

Duration: 3 years, full-time.

Annual fees: £9,250 (UK/EU) and £20,700 (non-EU).

Entry requirements:

  • A recognized high school certificate.
  • Grades’ transcript.
  • Proof of English proficiency (IELTS 6.0).

 How to apply

After you have collected all required documents and re-checked to see if everything is included it is time to continue with your application. The application can be done in person, by post or online. Note that some universities might only admit application through a certain channel e.g in person and online.

Most international students apply online because it is less-time consuming and more streamlined. For some, it is even the only option. Non-EU students who must have a visa to enter the UK have to apply online.

When it comes to online application you must know that most universities in the UK collect international applications through a common online application platform known as UCAS. At those few universities which don’t support applications through UCAS you can apply on their online website. Usually on their official website there is an “online application” section where you can send your application through. At that time you must have converted your documents on PDF or JPG format (as specified by your university). There is also an online application form to fill.

Job prospects

The rewards of becoming a marine biologist are many. Exploring life on oceans is for sure very exciting, but most importantly there are excellent job prospects. The rate of employability for marine biology graduates is very high.

Oceans not only a tourism attraction, but an essential factor to sustain the economy of many countries. Therefore the need for professional marine biologists who can help to preserve oceans is ever-growing.

Given below are some jobs you can get with a degree in marine biology in UK:

  • Marine ecologist.
  • Aquatic researcher.
  • Marine science coordinator.
  • Aquatic and Fishery scientist.
  • Oceanographer.
  • Natural resource manager.
  • Environmental engineer.
  • Marine archaeologist.
  • Aquatic veterinarian.
  • Underwater scuba diving instructor.

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