Marine Environmental Science BSc (Hons)
BSc Hons Marine Environmental Science
Marine environments represent more than 95% of the world’s biosphere and supply 80% of the world's oxygen. On this professionally accredited BSc (Hons) Marine Environmental Science degree course, you'll develop your understanding of this vital resource and learn how to protect its delicate ecosystems from climate change and overfishing.
You’ll graduate primed for a career in areas such as marine environmental consultancy, marine conservation, coastal management, and underwater exploration and conservation. You'll also set yourself up to continue your studies at postgraduate level.
What you'll experience
On this course you'll:
- Study marine environments, from the tiniest plankton to the massive effect of global warming on our oceans
- Make use of our laboratories and beachside Institute of Marine Sciences, packed with expert staff, advanced analytical equipment, and experimental and aquarium facilities
- Get to grips with essential tests and techniques, including the study of marine water quality, marine life and pollutants
- Make the most of our location on Hampshire's coastline and put what you've learnt to the test with boat trips on the Solent and field trips to surrounding areas
- Get Student Membership of the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES) and Associate Membership of the IES when you graduate
You can also:
- Conduct research in places such as Malta, Portugal and Belize
- Learn specialist skills while you study, such scientific and technical diving in unit certified by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI)
- Spend time studying abroad at one of our partner institutions – these include Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain), Universite du Havre, (Le Havre, France) and Adam Mickiewicz University (Poznan, Poland)
Work experience and career planningTo give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course.
We can help you identify placements, internships and voluntary roles and research opportunities that will complement your studies.
After your second year, you can do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in industry or in research.
Our coastal location means there are many placement opportunities nearby. Previous students have been on placements to Dover Harbour Board and Portsmouth Waters.
We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.
Careers and opportunities
The ongoing threats to our natural environment mean the world needs people with the specialised scientific knowledge to safeguard marine resources for future generations. This means you'll have plenty of job opportunities after the course.
Previous graduates have gone on to work in areas such as:
- environmental consultancies
- sustainability specialists
- underwater exploration
- wildlife protection
- coastal management
Roles our graduates have taken on include:
- geographical information scientist
- environmental consultant
- spatial analyst
You could also continue your studies at postgraduate level.
When you finish the course you can apply for Associate Membership of the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES) and get Chartered Membership of the IES within 4-5 years, with appropriate work experience. Chartered Membership of the IES is required in many environmental careers.
After you graduate, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.
This degree course is accredited by the Committee of Heads of Environmental Sciences (CHES), which is the education committee of the Institution of Environmental Science (IES). This shows the course is high quality and industry relevant.
Tuition fees (2018 start)
- UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
- International students – £15,100 per year (subject to annual increase)
Additional course costs
These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.
Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.
You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.
You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.
Your travel and accommodation costs for compulsory fieldwork are included in the course fee, but you’ll need to pay for meals and other subsistence costs.
You’ll need to contribute travel, accommodation, and meal costs for compulsory project work, which normally takes place between years 2 and 3. These costs are between £0–£500.
You’ll need to cover the cost of any optional fieldwork that you do, including travel, accommodation, meals and other living cost. These will vary depending on location. For example, the cost of fieldwork in Belize is around £3400, while the cost of fieldwork in Portugal is around £800.
If you haven’t dived before, you can take the Scientific and Technical Diving A unit, which includes a PADI Open Water course, Dry Suit course and Scientific and Technical Diving course. This unit costs around £860, covering tuition, transport and diving costs.
If you already hold a PADI Open Water certificate (or equivalent), you can take the Scientific and Technical Diving B unit, which includes an advanced diving course (e.g. PADI Advanced Open Water), Dry Suit course and Scientific and Technical Diving course. This unit costs around £780, covering tuition, transport and diving costs.
You can take a Practical Boating skills unit, which includes a Day Skipper Theory course, a Powerboat Level 2 course and VHF radio course. This costs £550.
We supply field kit but you need to make sure you have suitable clothing for fieldwork such as appropriate footwear (walking boots) and a waterproof jacket and trousers.
What you'll study
Each unit on this course is worth a certain number of credits.
In each year, you need to study units worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 units worth 20 credits and 1 unit worth 40 credits.
Core units in this year include:
- Science for Earth Systems
- Environmental Systems
- Quantitative Methods
- Planet Earth
- Introduction to Oceanography
- Marine and Terrestrial Ecology
There are no optional units in this year.
Core units in this year include:
- Environmental Fieldwork and Analysis
- Environmental Geochemistry and Analytical Techniques
- Marine Organisms and Ecosystems
Optional units in this year currently include:
- Environmental Monitoring
- Energy Resources
- Hydrology and Freshwater Ecosystems
- Environmental Forensics
- Scientific and Technical Diving Techniques (PADI-accredited course)
Core units in this year include:
- Environmental Auditing Assessment
- Environmental Science Project
- Coastal Ecosystems
Optional units in this year currently include:
- Climate Change
- Waste Management and Environmental Pollution
- Applied Coastal Geomorphology
- Environmental Science Study Tour
We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.
As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).
ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:
- academic writing
- note taking
- time management
- critical thinking
- presentation skills
- working in groups
- revision, memory and exam techniques
Teaching methods on this course include:
- laboratory work
You'll be taught in small classes in an informal, friendly and supportive atmosphere.
How you'll spend your time
Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and an assessment period:
- Autumn teaching block – September to December
- Spring teaching block – January to Easter
- Assessment period – Easter to June
Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. There's no teaching on Wednesday afternoons. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.
The time you spend in teaching activities such as lectures and seminars varies year on year and will depend on which optional units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:
- Year 1 students: 27% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities and 73% studying independently
- Year 2 students: 27% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities and 73% studying independently
- Year 3 students: 21% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities and 79% studying independently
How you're assessed
You’ll be assessed through:
- fieldwork or lab notebook recordings
- site surveys
- computer-based exercises
- environmental data analysis
You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.
You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.
The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:
Admissions terms and conditions
When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.
If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also apply directly to us or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.
To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.
Want to start this course in 2019?
To start in 2019 you need to apply through UCAS. You can start your application now and submit it from 5 September. You’ll need:
- the UCAS course code – F912
- our institution code – P80
Not quite ready to apply?
Come to an Open Day to explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.
If you’re new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.