Person swimming in a wetsuit with an air tank

Marine Biology BSc (Hons)

Begin your career as a marine biologist on this degree accredited by the Royal Society of Biology. Conduct research on the Solent European Marine Site at our internationally-renowned shoreside marine station.

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University of Portsmouth Connected Degree - 3 year course with 4th year placement

 

Key information

UCAS code:

C160

Accreditation:

This course is Accredited

Typical offer:

112-120 UCAS points to include 3 A levels, or equivalent, with 40 UCAS points from A level Biology

See full entry requirements
Study mode and duration
Start date

Clearing Hotline: 023 9284 8074

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Overview

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If you have your results, you can apply directly to us now to start in September 2024.

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Marine biologists are the first line of defence for our blue planet, and are crucial to enhance the ecology and environment of our oceans.

This BSc (Hons) Marine Biology degree, accredited by the Royal Society of Biology (RSB), will give you the skills you need to play your part.

With conservation projects and world class facilities on our doorstep, Portsmouth is the perfect place to begin a career as a marine scientist.

Course highlights

  • Work on active conservation projects – such as the Solent Oyster Restoration Project, the Solent BioHut project, the Isle of Wight UNESCO Marine Biosphere, and the Solent Seagrass Restoration Project – to gain first-hand experience of marine conservation
  • Access the Solent European Marine Site with its wide range of environments through the Institute of Marine Sciences, our internationally renowned shoreside marine station
  • Have the chance to go on a marine field trip abroad, where you can explore exotic, unique and diverse ecosystems
  • Get practical marine skills on our research vessels, including a large experimental raft, a 6-metre high-speed shallow draft launch for inshore work and a suite of sampling systems including dredges, grabs and nets
  • Build experience on a one-year work placement, study abroad at one of our partner universities, and learn powerboating with the Royal Yacht Association (RYA) or PADI-certified scientific and technical diving
Royal Society of Biology (RSB) 
Accredited Degree

Top 30

for student satisfaction

(Times Higher Education, 2024)

Accredited by:

This programme has been accredited by the Royal Society of Biology following an independent and rigorous assessment. Accredited degree programmes contain a solid academic foundation in biological knowledge and key skills, and prepare graduates to address the needs of employers. The accreditation criteria require evidence that graduates from accredited programmes meet defined sets of learning outcomes, including subject knowledge, technical ability and transferable skills.

Explore BSc (Hons) Marine Biology at Portsmouth

Find out more about our BSc (Hons) Marine Biology degree course, including what you'll study, the facilities you'll access, and the career opportunities it offers.

Ian Hendy: The course here at the University of Portsmouth for Marine Biology is a three-year degree. And the course is accredited with the Royal Society Biology. This is actually very important because it gives a really good firm accreditation for seal of approval for our degree.  

In our first year, they'll be based at the town campus where they have lots of lab facilities looking at microbiology and DNA extractions. But down here at the Institute of Marine Sciences, we have a large vessel where we could do some deep sea benthic trials. We have a smaller vessel where we can map seagrass habitats and kelp forests using sonar. We have oyster restoration and we also have coastal development and looking at habitat fragmentation and restoration.

The placement opportunity is an optional module. This could be locally, nationally or actual fact international as well. All governments have called for a climate crisis. Students can potentially find themselves in jobs such as charities, non-government organisations, working towards sustainability of restoration, benthic taxonomists, looking at impacts of oil spills, and you could also work in the research industry as well. So there's a whole breadth of jobs you could find yourself doing.

Living in Portsmouth, particularly in Southsea, is a lovely place to live. We're surrounded by the Solent. You have the Isle of Wight right next to you, we have Langstone Harbour and Portsmouth Harbour. So for a marine biologist, it's a dream.
 

Contact information

Admissions

+44 (0) 23 9284 5566

Contact Admissions

Clearing Hotline: 023 9284 8074

Clearing is open

This course is available through Clearing.

Apply now through Clearing

If you have your results, you can apply directly to us now to start in September 2024.

Apply now

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Apply now and you'll be offered a guaranteed room in halls if you accept your offer within 48 hours of receiving it.
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Connected Degrees®

Only at Portsmouth you have the choice to take a traditional sandwich placement before your third year, or to take your placement after your final year.

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Entry requirements

BSc (Hons) Marine Biology degree entry requirements

Typical offers

  • A levels - BBB-BBC
  • UCAS points - 112-120 points to include 3 A levels, or equivalent, with 40 points from A level Biology. For A levels which include a separate science practical component, a pass is desirable and may strengthen an application (calculate your UCAS points)
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) - DDM-DMM
  • International Baccalaureate - 25

You may need to have studied specific subjects – find full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept.

English language requirements

  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications.

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Typical offers

  • A levels - BBB-BBC
  • UCAS points - 112-120 points to include 3 A levels, or equivalent, with 40 points from A level Biology. For A levels which include a separate science practical component, a pass is desirable and may strengthen an application (calculate your UCAS points)
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) - DDM-DMM
  • International Baccalaureate - 25

You may need to have studied specific subjects or GCSEs – see full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept.

English language requirements

  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications.

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

We look at more than just your grades

While we consider your grades when making an offer, we also carefully look at your circumstances and other factors to assess your potential. These include whether you live and work in the region and your personal and family circumstances which we assess using established data.

Explore more about how we make your offer

If you don't meet the entry requirements, you may be able to join this course after you successfully complete a foundation year.

I can honestly say that Marine Biology at the University of Portsmouth exceeded all my expectations and I really am living my dream. The Institute of Marine Sciences has amazing facilities and the best lecturers; with a beautiful sea view for inspiration.

Gemma Scotts, BSc Marine Biology

Facilities and specialist equipment

You'll spend plenty of time at our industry-leading marine station, the Institute of Marine Sciences (IMS), located just metres from the sea and the Solent European Marine Site.

You'll monitor and test seawater, looking at how humans impact marine ecosystems and how materials react to different marine environments. These are some of the facilities and equipment you'll use at the IMS.

male student observing marine life sample on pontoon

Floating research platform

Our large floating research platform is permanently moored in the centre of the harbour and used for marine remote sensing, tidal turbine trials and marine monitoring, for which testing instruments can be submerged at any level from the surface to the sea bed.

IMS Pontoon; 18th June 2019

RV Calypso and RV Noctiluca

IMS has 2 research vessels - the 5.4m high-speed shallow draft dory, RV Calypso, used for inshore and intertidal work, and the larger RV Noctiluca, which can sample offshore within the Solent and beyond, carrying up to 12 students plus 2 crew.

IMS Pontoon; 18th June 2019

Aquatic centre and lab suite

Our purpose-built 318m2 aquatic centre includes an aquarium, wet lab and seawater system, with seawater sourced directly from the harbour, enabling temperature controlled experiments and ambient seawater experiments.

India's experience studying BSc (Hons) Marine Biology

India, a student on our Marine Biology BSc course, talks about her experiences on the programme as a first year.

Why did you choose to study Marine Biology at the University of Portsmouth?

India: I've always been really passionate about marine biology. I love the facilities that are available. I got a tour of the labs. I enquired a little bit about additional support and things too, because I have a disability myself. When they told me about the services, about ASDAC (Additional Support and Disability Advice Centre), I thought that seemed really good and it seemed a lot better than other universities I'd looked at.

What is your favourite thing about the Marine Biology course?

India: My favourite aspect of the course has been the practical side. Since I've been here I've done about five practical lab sessions. They've really given me a lot of skills as a scientist.

After you graduate, what are your plans for the future?

India: I've been quite interested in deep sea ecology for a while so I find the deep ocean really interesting. Another area that I'm really interested in is also sustainable fisheries and aquaculture.

What would you say to convince someone to study Marine Biology at the University of Portsmouth?

India: Something that I've noticed since I've been here is how amazing the lecturers are. I think that the amount of support available at the university is exceptional really, but I'd also say that the facilities are amazing and in terms of science, there are some really great labs and great lab equipment.

Careers and opportunities

Marine biology is the study of the organisms, plants and animals that make up the world's saltwater ecosystems. It's a vital area of science when it comes to protecting our oceans and seas - marine biologists aim to better understand marine environments and to investigate the factors that alter marine ecosystems, both natural and man-made.

On this BSc (Hons) Marine Biology degree, you'll learn about a wide array of marine organisms, from phytoplankton to cetaceans, and how to protect the oceans and their delicate ecosystems against the growing threats of climate change, habitat destruction and resource exploitation.

You’ll conduct fieldwork in a range of intertidal habitats, including rocky shores, estuaries, saltmarsh and mangroves, and become an expert in diverse and rich marine ecosystems, from coral reefs to the deep sea.

When you graduate, you'll be ready for a career in a range of marine science areas, such as conservation, resource management and aquaculture, or to pursue academic research, lab work, field work or policy making.

You could also continue your studies at postgraduate level. Many graduates go onto study MRes Science or MSc Applied Aquatic Biology.

Memberships

You'll also be able to apply to be a Registered Marine Scientist and you'll meet some of the academic requirements to become a Chartered Marine Scientist. And you'll be eligible to apply for Associate Membership of the Royal Society of Biology, which includes access to exclusive grants and awards.

I think that the amount of support available at the University is exceptional really, but I'd also say that the facilities are amazing and in terms of science, there are some really great labs and great lab equipment.

India Harwood, BSc Marine Biology

What areas can you work in with a marine biology degree?

Previous graduates of this course have gone on to work in:

  • post-graduate research
  • coastal zone management
  • environmental toxicology
  • marine conservation
  • aquaculture
  • marine policy
  • marine resource management

Graduate roles

Roles previous graduates have gone on to do include:

  • lab analyst
  • field technician
  • agriculture supervisor
  • radioactive chemist
  • extraction scientist
  • day yacht skipper
  • watersports instructor
  • biology teacher

Placement year

After your second or third year, you can do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in the industry. Placements give you the opportunity to apply what you've learnt so far in a real workplace, boosting your employability and making you attractive to employers after graduation. 

You can work for a company or organisation here in the UK or overseas, although our coastal location means there are many placement opportunities nearby.

Our partners include commercial, research and non-profit organisations such as:

  • Maidenhead Aquatics
  • Field Studies Council
  • ORCA
  • Blue Marine Foundation

Whichever route you choose, you'll receive support and guidance. Our specialist team of Science and Health Careers advisors can help you with finding a work placement and improving your employability skills. They'll provide you with a database of placement vacancies, support with your job search – including help with applications and interviews – and support throughout your placement year.

Study abroad

You'll also have the opportunity to study abroad at one of our partner universities. Studying overseas is a fantastic opportunity to enhance your CV and experience a different culture as an international student.

Many of our students describe their time spent studying abroad as truly life-changing, as well as an excellent way to stand out to future employers.

Modules

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, four modules worth 20 credits and one module worth 40 credits.

What you'll study

Core modules

All modules in this year are core.

On this course you'll:

  • Outline the mechanisms underlying the process of evolution.
  • Recall how biodiversity has evolved over Earth¿s history.
  • Outline the Tree of Life and how phylogenetic relationships can be reconstructed.
  • Summarise the characteristics and evolution of archaea, bacteria, fungi, algae and protists.
  • Define the evolutionary relationships between and within major metazoan phyla and list their features.
  • Summarise the evolution of land plants and list the features of major groups.

On this course you'll:

  • Acquire core laboratory practical skills, recognise that safety procedures must be complied with in the lab, identify and implement good laboratory practice (GLP)
  • Demonstrate skills in statistical methods, including: mean, mode, median, STdev, data management, statistics programs, regression correlation, Chi-squared, T-test and ANOVA methods.
  • Be able to rigorously communicate experimental findings in written form, and appropriately place them within the wider context of relevant scientific literature.

On this course you'll:

  • Develop competency in scientific communication using written and verbal means.
  • Demonstrate competency in basic numeral, algebraic, and calculus skills and their application to problem solving in theoretical and practical biology.
  • Recognise basic chemical notation and demonstrate ability to understand and describe key biologically significant chemical reactions and mechanisms.
  • Identify techniques / resources to help with the transition to studying at university and consider on-going personal development needs.

On this course you'll:

  • Describe and explain the origins of eukaryotic cells.
  • Describe the biochemistry and cellular function of lipids , nucleic acids and proteins.
  • Describe and explain the endomembrane system and its role in the synthesis of secreted protein.
  • Describe and understand the basic laboratory techniques to analyse specialised cells in multicellular eukaryots.

You’ll examine the physical and chemical processes that control the distribution and composition of seawater, as well as marine-life habitats, populations, and interactions among organisms and their surrounding environment. You’ll bring all of this together to produce a review on a particular oceanographic topic.

On this course you'll:

  • Become competent in basic microbiology laboratory skills, such as aseptic technique, preparation and maintenance of pure cultures, Gram-staining and microscopy.
  • Define the main types of microbiology culture media and identify the main methods of sterilisation and decontamination.
  • Describe and understand the main concepts of microbiology, including diversity of microbial life, pathogenic and beneficial microorganisms, microbial growth requirements, control of microbial growth, diversity and replication of viruses
  • Recall and understand the structure and organisation of genetic material and explain the mechanisms of inheritance.
  • Describe and understand the processes of DNA replication, transcription and translation.
  • Recall and understand the control of cellular processes at the molecular level and the nature of genetic damage and its repair.

Core modules

On this course you'll:

  • Record, analyse and interpret field-collected data from different types of habitat and in a variety of contexts, including using taxonomic keys to identify and classify specimens
  • Use aspects of ecological theory to design field experiments and understand the outcomes thereof
  • Present and effectively communicate results and insights from ecological field studies
  • Demonstrate an awareness of how ecological interactions, phenotypic traits, biodiversity, phylogeny and coevolution shape and structure ecological communities

On this course you'll:

  • Develop a foundational understanding of key marine phyla, with a focus on their morphological and physiological adaptations to various habitats within marine ecosystems.
  • Investigate the structure and function of marine ecosystems, with a focus on the interactions among marine organisms and their environment.
  • Explore the role of biological, chemical, and physical processes in shaping marine ecosystems and the adaptations of marine organisms to these environmental factors.
  • Understand the impacts of climate change and other human activities on marine organisms and ecosystems.
  • Develop a foundational understanding of the techniques used to study marine organisms applying principles of taxonomy, systematics, and ecology through laboratory techniques and data analysis.
  • Cultivate critical thinking and problem-solving skills by evaluating scientific literature on marine organism¿s biology and ecology, as well as engaging in collaborative learning and discussion.

On this course you'll:

  • Plan the experimental approach for a scientific investigation, including ethics and risk assessment.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in research skills.
  • Analyse and interpret scientific data.
  • Demonstrate comprehension in molecular biology methods.

Optional modules

On this module you'll:

  • Describe and compare major physiological processes
  • Describe and compare various morphological and behavioural adaptations in the animal world.
  • Discuss the effects of the environment on systems.
  • Analyse and evaluate experimental data in animal science

You’ll rapidly build knowledge across disciplines like marketing, finance and project management. You'll become equipped to evaluate and pursue new commercial opportunities. 

Working in teams, you’ll practice skills from communication to negotiation by developing plans for a prospective venture, receiving expert insights from practitioners along the way. With assessments focused on conceiving and presenting an impactful business case, you’ll strengthen abilities to persuade with data-backed reasoning.

It focuses on empirical findings and methodological and theoretical issues in Comparative and Evolutionary Psychology. The current module offers you the opportunity to explore why we behave the way we do by studying the relationship between human and animal psychology.

On this course you'll:

  • Perform basic analyses of DNA/protein sequences.
  • Apply the principles of recombinant gene technology.
  • Interpret genetic data and information relating to inheritance patterns, chromosome behaviour, mutations, and populations.
  • Contrast gene organisation and gene expression in prokaryotes and eukaryotes.
  • Calculate probabilities associated with inheritance patterns, including appropriate statistical tests to evaluate genetic predictions.
  • Interpret phylogenetic trees based on sequence data.

You’ll learn core theory underpinning GIS and RS, before applying the theory through the use of industry standard software. You’ll explore the capture, interpretation and analysis of geographical and environmental data from a variety of sources to explore 'real world' problems and challenges.

You’ll get familiar with the big issues and contemporary debates in education studies as well as the role and expectations of a teacher.

You’ll develops fundamental knowledge and skills that teachers require, as well as your capability to structure and critique a lesson plan.

On this course you'll:

  • Show competence in safe and effective handling of microorganisms in the laboratory and be able to independently obtain, analyse and evaluate data.
  • Understand the differences between bacteria, archaea, fungi and viruses, appreciate their diversity and different roles in environmental processes, global health and disease.
  • Synthesise knowledge of microbial metabolic activities and the environmental effects in functional microbial ecology.
  • Recall and understand microbial physiology and growth, and how this effects the environment and industrially relevant applications.
  • Critically evaluate and reflect upon the evolution and phylogeny of microbial life.
  • Develop an awareness of critical environmental issues in microbiology - such as nutrient cycle alterations associated with climate change and antimicrobial resistance in food chains.

You'll gain practical experience conducting measurements at sea on a coastal survey ship and in the lab. You’ll also develop your computing and data analysis skills by evaluating and interpreting the data you collect in computer workshop sessions. Gain an understanding of oceanographic processes and how these influence chemical and biological materials in coastal and estuarine systems.

On this course you'll:

  • Demonstrate fundamental knowledge of plant structure, ecology, growth and development, genetics, sexual reproduction, systematics, and trait diversity.
  • Identify the significance of plants and plant biodiversity to ecosystems at multiple scales.
  • Evaluate the biology of plant domestication and the importance of plant diversity for society (e.g., agriculture, biotechnology, ecosystem function).
  • Demonstrate, via practical skills (lab and computational), an understanding of plant evolution (morphology and genetics), by analysing and evaluating data from both experimental manipulations and observations.

You’ll do a combined RYA Powerboat Level 2 course and complete an RYA Marine Radio Short Range Course through an RYA accredited provider. Among other skills, you’ll become familiar with common nautical terminology, and safely launch and recover a boat from a trailer and safely handle a powerboat in the right conditions, being aware of own limitations and those of the craft.

You’ll build your skills gained from your basic diving qualification, you'll learn the theory and practice of working diving and appreciate the issues faced during underwater scientific operations. Through classroom based workshops, you'll demonstrate understanding of HSE legislation, risk assessment, project reports and the conduct of a diving project, within relevant Approved Codes of Practice. You’ll then apply your knowledge by planning a dive and undertaking practical diving in the field.

Core modules

On this course you'll:

  • Demonstrate understanding of processes involved in, and effects of, exploitation of marine resources.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the manipulation and processes involved in the aquaculture of a range of organisms.
  • Evaluate the key biological processes of marine organisms, including those associated with recruitment, growth, development and reproduction and how they affect exploitation of marine resources.
  • Demonstrate early professional level skills in teamwork, information searching, communication and independent thinking.
  • Demonstrate a scientific and critical perspective of management strategies for marine ecosystems

On this course you'll:

  • Analyse functioning of marine ecosystems using data collection and interpretation.
  • Critically evaluate marine ecosystem functions and the key challenges of implementing effective marine conservation, including active restoration.
  • Demonstrate early professional level skills in teamwork, information searching, communication and independent thinking.
  • Demonstrate a scientific and critical perspective of human impacts on marine ecosystems; biodiversity and function
  • Demonstrate scientific knowledge of the ecology of a range of marine habitats

On this course you'll:

  • Characterise and analyse the responses of marine organisms to environmental variables.
  • Explain the adaptations of marine organisms to their environment.
  • Critically evaluate and interpret data relating to the effects of environmental conditions on marine organism function.
  • Investigate, summarise and evaluate primary literature information on marine ecophysiology.

Supported by your Academic Tutor, you'll select and manage information and competently undertake research tasks. You'll assess health and safety, the ethical considerations in pursuing independent research, and critically evaluate your findings against knowledge in available academic literature. You'll learn to discuss and communicate your key findings found from your research and write a dissertation in accordance with academic conventions.

Optional modules

You’ll examine the physical factors driving climate over history and the signatures of modern anthropogenic influence. Through climate modelling software, you'll investigate future warming scenarios and impacts regionally and globally. In a self-directed study, you'll assess vulnerabilities and solutions - evaluating possibilities for adaptation and mitigating climate change.

On this course you'll:

  • Understand the nature and interactions of whole microbial communities in environmental and host systems
  • Gain an overview of modern approaches & techniques to study microbes in their natural habitats
  • Appreciate the critical functions of microbes in key Earth and host systems
  • Acquire basic skills in bioinformatic/computational analyses of microbiome data
  • Prepare a written report of a laboratory investigation, incorporating a critical discussion of the findings and supported by background research

Boost your employability by taking an industry-based work placement year with a relevant organisation or immerse yourself in another culture by studying for a year at one of our partner universities worldwide.

This is an amazing opportunity to either put everything you’ve learned so far into action in a real workplace or expand your horizons and set yourself up for your future career by studying abroad.

Depending on what you choose, we’ll help you find and secure an exciting placement opportunity within an appropriate company or organisation, or you’ll expand your global perspective and develop additional skills to boost your future career during a study abroad year.

This is a Connected Degree

We're the only university that gives you the flexibility to choose when to take a work placement. Take it after your 2nd year, before returning to finish your studies. Or after your final year, connecting you into the workplace.

If you're not sure if or when to take your placement, don't worry. You'll have plenty of time to settle into your studies and explore your options before making your choice. 

Find out more about Connected Degrees

 

Changes to course content

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. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • written exams
  • course work in the form of practical write ups
  • posters and oral presentations
  • individual research project

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

Teaching

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • workshops
  • tutorials
  • laboratory-based practical work
  • field trips

You'll learn from researchers who are members of the Institute of Marine Sciences, with expertise in subject areas such as ocean acidification, plastic pollution and cetacean behaviour. You'll also get a personal tutor, who will support you with your studies.

Parasites and pollutants with Professor Alex Ford

When you pour a medicine down the sink or flush it down the loo, where do the chemicals end up? Marine biologist, Professor Alex Ford, has been exploring how the behaviour of sea creatures changes when zombie-like parasites thrive in polluted waters, even causing their hosts to change sex.

External Audio

How you'll spend your time

One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.

We use a blended learning approach to teaching, which means you’ll take part in both face-to-face and online activities during your studies.  As well as attending your timetabled classes you'll study independently in your free time, supported by staff and our virtual learning environment, Moodle.

A typical week

We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your Marine Biology degree. In your first year, you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as tutorials, lectures, practical classes and workshops and external visits for about 11 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course. You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching in years 2 and 3, but this depends on which modules you choose.

Most timetabled teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.

Term dates

The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.

See term dates

Supporting you

Types of support

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next meeting.

You'll have help from a team of faculty learning support tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • understanding and using assignment feedback
  • managing your time and workload
  • revision and exam techniques

As well as support from faculty 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
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone, or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

Course costs and funding

Tuition fees

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £9,250 a year (including Transition Scholarship – may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £19,200 per year (subject to annual increase)

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £9,250 a year (including Transition Scholarship – may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £19,200 per year (subject to annual increase)

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

Additional course costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

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.

Travel or accommodation for compulsory fieldwork is included in the course fee, but you will be expected to pay for meals and other subsistence costs. These costs will be in the region of £10 a day.

There are optional field work opportunities to a tropical location. These costs will be in the region of £1500–£2000 depending on the duration and location of the field trip.

If you haven’t dived before, you can take the Scientific and Technical Diving A module, which includes a PADI Open Water course, Dry Suit course and Scientific and Technical Diving course. This module 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 module, which includes an advanced diving course (e.g. PADI Advanced Open Water), Dry Suit course and Scientific and Technical Diving course. This module costs around £800, covering tuition, transport and diving costs.

There is a Practical Boating skills unit which costs in the region of £710.

In your final year, you'll be primarily based at the Institute of Marine Sciences. You'll also need to attend some teaching here in your second year.

You may need to pay for travel to the Institute of Marine Sciences, which is around 3.5 miles from the main University campus and 2 miles from popular student housing areas.

If you take a placement year or study abroad year, tuition fees for that year are as follows:

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £1,385 a year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £1,385 a year, including Transition Scholarship (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £2,875  a year (subject to annual increase)

How to apply

Apply now through Clearing

If you have your results, you can apply directly to us now to start in September 2024.

Apply now

Applying for year 2 or 3

If you've already completed part of this course with us or another university and would like to apply for the second or third year with us in September 2024, use our online application form.

September 2025 applications

To start this course in 2025, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – C160
  • our institution code – P80

 Apply now through UCAS

If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form:

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

  • Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • Speak with lecturers and chat with our students 
  • Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join

If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

Applying from outside the UK

As an international student you'll apply using the same process as UK students, but you’ll need to consider a few extra things. 

You can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

Find out what additional information you need in our international students section

If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.

Clearing Hotline: 023 9284 8074