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Integrated Masters Degree in Marine Biology with Oceanography

University of Southampton
4 years
Full time
Master's degree
Scholarships available
On campus
September 2022

Program description

Integrated Masters Degree in Marine Biology with Oceanography

This degree examines the biology of marine organisms within their environments, from intertidal coasts to deep sea and hydrothermal vents systems. You'll learn how marine plants and animals interact with their environment and respond to change.

You'll become part of one of the largest marine science communities in Europe through the world-leading research institution, the National Oceanography Centre Southampton (NOCS). Our research vessels are only a 10-minute walk from the lecture theatres. Boat-based fieldwork is an important part of the programme.

With this course, you can:

  • gain detailed knowledge of marine biota and the physics, chemistry and sedimentology that influence them
  • cover a broad variety of topics, from hydrothermal vents to coastal lagoons
  • take part in a full fieldwork programme including residential trips
  • complete an independent research project working alongside active research staff
  • get practical experience of doing experiments, learning to adapt to sea state and weather conditions, collect samples, and use ocean instrumentation
  • select optional modules depending on your area of interest – for example, you can study palaeobiology and explore how fossils are used to study ecology
  • choose from a variety of semester abroad study opportunities

This degree is accredited by the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST).

Admission requirements


AAB including Biology (minimum grade B) and one further science subject

International Baccalaureate Diploma

Pass, with 34 points overall with 17 points at Higher Level, including 5 and 6 at Higher Level Biology and one further Higher Level science subject


  • D in the BTEC Subsidiary Diploma plus AA in A Level Biology and one further science subject.
  • We do not accept the BTEC Diploma/BTEC Extended Diploma without two AA grades in A Level Biology and one further science subject.

Other requirements

GCSE requirements

Applicants must hold GCSE English Language (or GCSE English), Mathematics and Science (minimum grade C/4).

International Students

English language requirements

If English isn't your first language, you'll need to complete an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to demonstrate your competence in English.

For more information about admission requirements, please visit the university website.

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Program content

Year 1

  • Earth and Ocean System
  • Introduction to Functional Marine Biology
  • Introduction to Marine Ecology and Evolution
  • Introduction to Ocean Biogeochemistry
  • Key Skills for Marine Scientists
  • Marine Invertebrates
  • Physics of the Ocean
  • Statistical Computing for Marine Sciences

Year 2

  • Coastal Ecology Field Course
  • Coastal Ocean Processes
  • Monitoring Coastal and Estuarine Environments
  • Phytoplankton and Primary Production
  • Zooplankton Ecology and Processes (L5)

You must also choose from the following modules in year 2:

  • Marine Benthic Ecology
  • Marine Vertebrates
  • Molecular Tools for Advancing Marine Biology Research
  • The Dynamic Ocean

Year 3

  • Applied Oceanography and Fieldwork
  • Oceanography and Marine Biology Research Training

You must also choose from the following modules in year 3:

  • Biogeography
  • Global Challenges in Biology
  • Large Scale Ocean Processes and Climate
  • Marine Conservation and Policy
  • Marine Fisheries Ecology
  • Marine Microbial Ecology and Biotechnology
  • Palaeoclimate Change
  • Shelf Seas and Shelf Edge Dynamics
  • Understanding Coral Reefs
  • Zooplankton Ecology and Processes

Year 4

  • Contemporary Topics in Oceanography and Marine Biology
  • MSci Advanced Independent Research Project

You must also choose from the following modules in year 4:

  • Advanced Oceanography Fieldwork
  • Data Management and Generalised Linear Modelling for Biologists
  • Deep Sea Ecology
  • Ecological Modelling
  • Geographical Information Systems for Environmental Consultants
  • Introductory Remote Sensing of the Ocean
  • Marine Conservation and Policy
  • Pathogens and Disease in Marine Systems
  • Reproduction in Marine Invertebrates
  • Sea level rise and coastal management
  • Seafloor Exploration and Surveying 2

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please visit the university website for more information.

Tuition fees

  • UK, Channel Island, Isle of Man and Irish students: £9,250 per year
  • EU and international students: £22,760 per year


  • Final award: Master in Science (MSci)
  • Name of award: Marine Biology with Oceanography
  • Interim Exit awards:
    • Bachelor of Science with Honours (BSc (Hons))
    • Bachelor of Science (Ordinary)
    • Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE)
    • Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE)
  • FHEQ level of final award: Level 7

Continuing studies

Graduate from this marine biology often continue their studies to postgraduate taught degree or PhD level. They also embark on careers at universities, museums or consultancies, or with employers such as NERC (Natural Environment Research Council), CEFAS (Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science), Natural England or the Environment Agency.

Career opportunities

You'll graduate from this marine biology with oceanography master's with the specialist skills and knowledge to start a successful career in marine biology, oceanography, or a related field.

Roles our marine biology graduates have gone into include:

  • marine scientist
  • oceanographer
  • conservation officer
  • geologist
  • fisheries officer
  • oil spill consultant
  • marine science officer

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About this institute

University of Southampton

The University of Southampton is a top 100 global University with a top 15 UK University place. We are a founding member of the prestigious Russell Group, as demonstrated by our research intensity. We have a wonderful global community, with...

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Why study at University of Southampton

The University of Southampton is a welcoming and close knit student community of roughly 22,000 students. We have an international student population which makes up just under 30% of our student body which is wonderful. With 98% of our graduates going into work or further study 6 months after graduation, we offer the chance to study at a world leading Russell Group University whilst safe in the knowledge you will be well on your way to succeeding your chosen career.

Contact info

University of Southampton

University Road
SO17 1BJ Southampton
United Kingdom

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