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Marine Biology with Foundation Year

BSc (Hons)

School - School of Environment & Life Sciences

Subject area - Biology and Zoology

UCAS Code: C163

Start Date(s): September

Duration:

4 years full-time
5 years full-time with a placement year
Up to 8 years part-time

Fees:

UK - £6,165 for Foundation Year; £9,250 for subsequent years

International - £12,300 per year

In Brief:

  • Gain a broad, basic knowledge of biological  principles to prepare you for more advanced study
  • An excellent route into science for those from a non-scientific background
  • Ideal if you are returning to education or seeking to develop your career in a new direction
  • Part-time study option
  • Work/industrial placement opportunity
  • International students can apply

Course Summary

This course will provide you with a strong foundation in biology and environmental issues, allowing you to progress onto a BSc (Hons) Marine Biology degree course within the School of Environment and Life Sciences.

It is ideal if you want to develop your career along a biological pathway but have a non-scientific background, or you don’t meet the entry requirements for direct entry to an Honours degree. This course may also be attractive if you are returning to education or if you wish to change career direction.

During the Foundation Year you will study modules which will increase your knowledge and understanding of basic biology and other aspects of environmental studies. There is an emphasis on both understanding and problem solving in addition to practical and communication skills. These skills will aid and enhance your performance on the Honours degree.

The new BSc (hons) Marine Biology is the first of its kind in the Northwest, managing to strike a fine balance between theoretical knowledge and practical skill learning. Thanks to the supportive learning environment, the student will gain a systematic understanding of key aspects of the marine environment, as well as a detailed insight into the industry that relies on it. The curriculum is contemporary and will enhance employability through the University’s industry collaboration initiative.

Practical training is particularly relevant, and will be delivered during two residential fieldtrips. The first one, in the second year of study, will be carried out in Dale (Wales), at the renowned Dale Fort Field Station. The second trip will be organized at the beginning on the third year, in Kavala, Greece, in collaboration with the national Fisheries Research Institute.

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Foundation Year

Explore the characteristics of plant and animal cells which are the building blocks of all life forms; their interactions with micro and macro environments, and learn about the diversity of animal and plant life in a range of ecosystems.
Take a hands-on approach to develop biological and chemical laboratory skills, practise environmental and fieldwork techniques, and apply scientific knowledge in the interpretation of results of experiments and surveys.
Develop skills for application of statistical and mathematical methods and practise using Information Technology for effective presentation and communication of data and ideas.
Develop life-long learning skills including techniques for self-assessment and reflection, written and verbal communication skills for meetings, debates and presentations.  

Choose two modules from:

Understand the significance of the structure of atoms, their classification in the periodic table, chemical reactions and bonding to form organic and inorganic molecules and the importance of pH.
Explore the interactions of earth processes, geological structures and environmental functions, the use of resources e.g. fossil fuels including fracking and consider the differential impacts of a range of geological hazards – earthquakes, volcanic activity and rising sea levels.
Understand key ecological concepts, explore biogeography, appraise conservation techniques and consider priorities and issues in management of habitats and wildlife.
Evaluate a range of environmental and scientific factors that interact to influence health – e.g. pollution, nutrition, drug development and consider examples of environmental interventions and clinical trials.

Year one

This module focuses on the origins and diversity of living organisms (including humans), the environmental processes and their role in the generation of biodiversity.
This module focuses on the basic principles involved in the build-up of molecules from atoms: the formation, properties and importance of bio-organic molecules, the diverse nature of micro-organisms and their structure, function and importance.  
A combination of lectures, tutorials and laboratory or field based workshops relevant to the wider field of Marine Biology, with associated explanatory feedback. Tutorials will involve in-class assessment and more detailed assignments. Use of blackboard to provide learning support material and formative  self-assessment tests.
The aim of this module is develop an understanding of basic genetics, evolution and population genetics and how these disciplines are relevant to wildlife studies. You will also look at how wildlife species interact with the ecosystems in which they live
The module provides you an overview of the world’s major biomes. You learn about the importance of biogeography and the principal factors that drive the distribution of species and communities and how wildlife adapts to these factors.  
This module will help you develop practical laboratory skills relevant to cell, organismal, micro- and molecular biology which will form a basis for competence in biological and biochemical experimental work.  

Year Two

The module will involve a combination of lectures, small group tutorials and computer lab/workshop sessions focused on different aspects of undertaking scientific research. Students will compile a scientific report involving a literature review on a topic relevant to marine biological research, experimental design and data analysis. Formative assessment will comprise short exercises in information retrieval/utilisation, scientific writing and statistical analyses. A seminar presentation will accompany the scientific report.      
This module will equip you with knowledge of marine ecosystems and marine organisms. A comprehensive series of lecture sessions, delivered by marine biologists and an invited seminar speaker, will present an overview of the biodiversity of marine organisms, their evolution, behaviours, intra- and inter-specific interactions and adaptations to their environments. The module provides the you with the opportunity to work under lab conditions to recognise morphological adaptations to different environments.  
In this module you will learn about the challenges faced by the marine ecosystems and marine organisms. The module provides the you with the opportunity to engage in actual data collection and data analysis during a residential course (compulsory to the module). You will also look at contemporary environmental issues in marine biology.

Choose one from:

Study the consequence of human actions on the environment from prehistoric times to the present day, the appropriate ecological principles involved in population biology and in the autecology of selected dominant species.
This module focuses on the principles of wildlife ecology and animal behaviour with particular reference to mammal and bird species. It also introduces scientific methods in the study of ecology and behaviour.
Courses are available in: Arabic, German, French, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.  

And two from:

This module will introduce you to the modern concepts of conservation biology at the level of species and populations, the existing tensions between theory and practice in species conservation planning, and an overview of the interdisciplinary toolbox used by conservation biologists (for example IT packages and DNA fingerprints). You will also be given the chance to design an appropriate conservation programme for a species or population, including the projection of future survival under varying scenarios.  
This module provides an overview of how diversity in the animal kingdom has evolved. It also illustrates the basic principles of evolution as a force to create biodiversity.
Courses are available in: Arabic, German, French, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.  

Year Three

This module will engage you in some of the most challenging marine management problems currently faced as well as highlighting the complexity and controversy around the way we use the sea. You will grapple the uncomfortable realities of the trade-off faced by marine managers and policy developers, moving beyon  that traditional ecological issues to consider socio-economics, governance and representation, power, equality, and ethics. The module will encourage you to consider multiple perspectives, whilst reflecting on your own views.    
This module will give you a broad understanding of the world’s fisheries, their usefulness, their drivers, their controversies; and the ability to assess the conflicts of interests among stakeholders. The module will be delivered by experts in the field, and includes a residential field trip to a coastal region in the Mediterranean.
This module will equip you with knowledge and skills of cutting-edge biotechnologies applied to the marine ecosystem. This module provides you with the opportunity to engage in bioinformatic data analysis during computer-based sessions.  

Choose one of the following options:

This dissertation module allows you to develop independent, experimental, investigative and analytical research skills as you conduct a substantial research project based around a specific aspect/topic in your relevant bioscience discipline area.
This dissertation module allows you to develop independent, investigative and analytical research skills while conducting research on topic in an area relevant to your programme of study. It further allows you to learn about science communication and the variety of ways in which science can be disseminated.

Plus one from

This aim of this module is to develop your comprehension of the factors controlling the design and implementation of GIS solutions to map, monitor and model terrestrial environments. You will also be encouraged to examine the major issues and impacts of GIS evolution and diffusion on society.  
The aim of this module is to provide students with knowledge of methods and tools at the forefront of wildlife management and conservation.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

Entry Requirements

Qualification Entry requirements
European Baccalaureate Completion of two full years study and an awarded qualification
GCSE
You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.
English Language and Maths at grade C or 4 or above
UCAS tariff points 64 points
GCE A level 64 points
BTEC National Diploma MPP
Scottish Highers 64 points from Higher Level
Irish Leaving Certificate 64 points from Higher Level
Access to HE 64 points

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

Please note that you should discuss the possibility of being considered for the scheme with the Admissions Tutor  before making an application. Please contact the Environment and Life Sciences school office to speak with the Admissions Tutor for this course: +44(0)161 295 4656

English Language Requirements

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this.

Applicant profile

You should be interested in the study of the marine environment and processes, its biodiversity, challenges faced and management.

Fees and Funding

Fees

Fees 2018-19

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £6,165 for Foundation Year; £9,250 for subsequent years
Part-time Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Full-time International £12,300 per year

Additional costs

  • Field courses - a non refundable deposit of £25 is charged for all residential field courses 
  • Field trips - students will not be charged for field (day) trips but are expected to provide their own refreshments.
  • International field courses - there may be a small fee for the trip to Europe

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Teaching

Teaching methods include:

  • Lectures, which will offer information and illustrative application, presenting and exploring core ideas in the subject area surrounding marine biology.
  • Tutorials, which will be directed student-centred and problem-based sessions, and provide the chance to discuss material taught in lectures and laboratory practical classes.
  • Practical classes, which will provide demonstrations of techniques and methods used in marine biology and provide you with a structured opportunity to acquire such techniques/methods and the chance to develop both individual and group-working skills.
  • Fieldwork, which will enable you to further develop skills in team working; learn and put into action ecological techniques; enhance observational and species recognition skills and appreciate the ethical aspects of handling animals within their environments.
  • Research project, which will allow you to practice the application of appropriate, selected techniques and methods used in marine biology in an academic context, demonstrate research methodologies and acquire skills in the marine biological field.

Assessment

Assessment throughout is by a combination of coursework and examination, with coursework accounting for around one third of the marks in years 1 and 2 and up to half in year 3. Continuous assessment includes the research project, laboratory reports, essays, data analysis and presentations. The final degree award is weighted to reflect year 2 (25%) and year 3 (75%) performances

Employability

Heather Wells, BSc Zoology graduate

Heather graduated with a first class degree having completed a 12 month placement in the Airway Pharmacology group at Wythenshawe hospital

What I enjoyed most about the course at Salford was the learning environment. The classes were much smaller than those I had experienced at a previous university, meaning it was a friendlier atmosphere in which to learn and make lots of friends. 

I think the course itself is really well structured, covering a broad range of subjects in relation to zoology, giving students a thorough background into the subject. I feel that it prepared me well to continue on to Master's level study.

Career Prospects

Marine Biology graduates can enter a wide range of career paths. These include careers related to the wider sciences training such as science communication and publishing, science administration, to marine life conservation and management. Other graduates may go on to work in the environmental consultancy industry, marine biotechnology as well as research institutes and government agencies.

Links with Industry

Between years two and three of this course we encourage students to complete a placement year, which is arranged with our support. The position is often salaried, with a major company linked to the environmental sector or wildlife trust, or a research organisation. In our experience, final degree results and employability are enhanced for students who undertake a placement year. The placement also counts towards the final degree classification as part of the year 2 mark.

Placement Opportunities

Between years two and three of this course we encourage students to complete a placement year, which is arranged with our support. The position is often salaried, with a major company linked to the environmental sector or wildlife trust, or a research organisation. In our experience, final degree results and employability are enhanced for students who undertake a placement year. The placement also counts towards the final degree classification as part of the year 2 mark.

Further Study

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