Undergraduate BSc (Hons)

Marine Biology

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Attendance

Full-time

With placement

Part-time

Course

Three year

Four year

Six year

Next enrolment

September 2021

Introduction

In a nutshell

Climate change, pollution and unsustainable fishing are just some of the many challenges facing marine life today. Our BSc (Hons) Marine Biology will enable you to gain a systematic understanding of key aspects of the marine environment, including the animals, as well as a detailed insight into the industry that relies on it.

Hands-on learning

The Marine Biology course curriculum is contemporary, managing to strike a fine balance between theoretical knowledge and practical skill learning. Practical training is particularly relevant and will be delivered during two residential field trips. The first one, in the second year of study, will be carried out in Scotland, at the renowned FSC Millport Field Station. The second trip will be organised at the beginning of the third year, in Kavala, Greece, in collaboration with the national Fisheries Research Institute.

Career-focused, accredited programme

The programme, accredited by the Royal Society of Biology aims to prepare future leaders, figures whom, thanks to skills acquired at the University of Salford, will be actively involved in managing and preserving the oceans.

You will:
  • Develop the skills necessary to manage and preserve our oceans
  • Have the opportunity to get real-world experience through field trips and placements
  • Combine theoretical knowledge with practical skills
Placement

options available

International

students accepted

This is for you if...

1.

You are interested in the study of the marine environment and processes

2.

You want to learn more about biodiversity, challenges faced and management of the oceans

3.

You want a career in marine biology to help preserve the oceans

Course details

All about the course

BSc (Hons) Marine Biology is delivered over three years of study - or four, if you choose an industry placement, you will develop and advance your marine biology knowledge and field work skills.

If you are studying part-time you select two to four modules from each year of study. This leads to a maximum eight-year duration for a part-time degree. If studying part-time you do not have the placement option.

  • In year one, you will build knowledge across the breadth of the subject. Core modules focus on biodiversity, global distribution of wildlife, genes to ecosystems and study skills. 
  • As you progress into year two, you will expand your subject knowledge and take compulsory modules covering ocean challenges, animal evolution, applied freshwater biology and more. 
  • In your final year you will undertake a research project based on a subject topic of your choice and focus your knowledge in areas such as fisheries science, marine management and marine biotechnology. 

The BSc (Hons) Marine Biology is the first of its kind in the north-west, managing to strike a fine balance between theoretical knowledge and practical skill learning. Thanks to the supportive learning environment, you 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 field trips. The first one, in the second year of study, will be carried out in Scotland, at the renowned FSC Millport Field Station. The second trip will be organised at the beginning of the third year, in Kavala, Greece, in collaboration with the national Fisheries Research Institute.

Industry Placements

On this course, you'll have the option to take an industry placement year between years two and three. Although you'll be responsible for securing your placement, a tutor will support you, monitor your progress and assess your final placement report.

Year one

Biodiversity

Life arose on Earth at least 3.5 billion years ago. Today, Earth hosts an extraordinary diversity of organisms, with recent study estimating that there are between 2 and 20 million eukaryote species alive today (the vast majority of which have still not been identified and described by scientists). However, this is a small fraction of all the species that have ever lived, >99.9% of which are extinct. This module will give you an overview of this remarkable biodiversity, focusing on the major groups, their characteristics, their diversity, and their evolutionary relationships.

Molecules to Microbes

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.

Study Skills for Marine Biology

In this module you will learn by observation, investigation, comparison and engagement and will develop practical learning and presentation methods which can be applied generically during year one and beyond. You will also gain an appreciation of Personal Development Planning and effective data handling, calculation and numerical skills.

Genes to Ecosystems

In the first trimester, this module provides a systems-led approach to understand basic concepts of genetics. In the second trimester, this approach is extended to understand basic concepts of ecosystems. 

Global Distribution of Wildlife

This module will give an overview of the world’s major biomes and, using case studies from around the globe, will explore the principal factors that drive the distribution of species and communities and the way wildlife adapts to these factors. Moreover, the module will provide you with a sound understanding of how the application of biogeographic principles can aid conservation planning.

Biological Skills

This module will help you develop practical laboratory skills employed in biological laboratory practice and relevant to cell, organismal, micro and molecular biology, which will form a basis for competence in biological and biochemical experimental work.

Year two

Introduction to Marine Biology

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.

Marine Biology Research Skills

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.

Ocean Challenges

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. The module encourages you to adopt an investigative approach to ecological studies.

Choose two options from the following

Ecology in Action

You will study the fundamental principles of population and community ecology, including the impact that factors such as competition, predation and parasitism may have on population size and community structure. This module also has a residential field course where students put theory into practice and conduct their own ecological studies.

Conservation Biology

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.

Animal Evolution

This module provides a structured approach to evolution and covers the evolution of animal body plans with a focus on vertebrates as well as covering the mechanisms that drive evolution.

University Wide Language Programme

This module provides the opportunity to learn or develop a language with the University-wide language programme.

Plus one option from

New

Educational Principles and Practice in STEM

The module will provide you with an introduction to teaching and learning at key stage 4 (level 2 GCSE qualifications) through the application of core educational concepts. You will design and deliver an educational activity for a laboratory, workshop or through an online interactive system. The module will provide a taster for students considering teaching as a career.

Applied Freshwater Biology

This module aims to enable you to gain a knowledge and critical understanding of the biology and ecology of freshwater systems relevant to the water industry and related organisations which regulate and control pollution of the aquatic environment.

It also provides you with the necessary skills and techniques to undertake biological and chemical evaluation of water quality ecology, fish population and condition to apply these in novel situations to generate data for interpretation. In particular, you will be provided with the necessary laboratory skills to test water quality to the standards of the Water Framework Directive UK.

Wildlife Behavioural Ecology

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.

University Wide Language

Courses are available in: Arabic, German, French, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.

Year three

Marine Management

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 beyond 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.

Fisheries Science

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. 

Marine Biotechnology

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 option from

Final Year Project with Science Communication and Professional Skills

This dissertation module allows you to develop independent research skills, including data analysis, while conducting research on a topic in an area relevant to your programme of study. You will learn about science communication and the variety of methods in which science can be disseminated and communicated, and then put these methods into practice. You will also develop your professional skills, with a focus on employability. 

Final Year Project and Professional Skills (HANS)

This dissertation module allows you to develop independent research skills, including both data collection/generation (for example, via lab-based research or fieldwork) and analysis, while conducting research on a topic in an area relevant to your programme of study. You will also develop your professional skills, with a focus on employability. 

Plus one option from

Environmental Geographical Information Systems

The aim of this module is to develop your knowledge and understanding of the factors controlling the design and implementation of GIS solutions to map, monitor and model terrestrial environments. You will also examine the major issues and impacts of GIS evolution and diffusion on society.

Diving for Marine Conservation

The aims of this module are to provide students with the opportunity to gain a critical understanding and experience of underwater surveying techniques in a field setting. In addition students will receive a structured series of lectures to provide an appreciation of the different diving techniques and how to critically analyse marine underwater data.

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.

What will I be doing?

TEACHING 

Teaching methods include lectures, tutorials, practical classes, fieldwork and a research project.

ASSESSMENT

Assessment throughout is by a combination of coursework and examination, with coursework accounting for around one third of the marks in years one and two and up to half in year three. Continuous assessment includes the research project, laboratory reports, essays, data analysis and presentations. 

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Rising to the challenge of a changing world, our degree courses are designed to shape the next generation of urbanists, scientists, engineers and industry leaders. 

Driven by industry, and delivered by supportive programme teams, you can develop the knowledge and skills to become unstoppable in your career.

facilities

 

You will experience a modern learning environment, enriched with accessible lecture theatres and AV-equipped classrooms, computing suites and multimedia libraries, with access to industry journals, databases, and simulation software. 

As a marine biology student, you will have access to our state-of-the-art, integrated teaching laboratory known as the Bodmer Lab. The Bodmer Lab is a specialist, purpose-built facility and ensures our students benefit from the latest technologies to support their learning and remain on the cutting edge of innovation and discovery.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

EMPLOYMENT

The course is designed to help you to develop a range of personal and professional skills which will make you highly-employable. These include specialised knowledge of marine ecosystems, organisms and conservation as well as field work, data interpretation, report writing and team work skills among others.

Climate change, pollution and unsustainable fishing are just some of the many challenges facing marine life today. Studying marine biology and building an understanding of the marine environment is the first essential step to finding solutions to these global issues.

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.

FURTHER STUDY

You might find you want to learn more about specific areas of biology or wildlife conservation through further study. We offer a range of bioscience postgraduate courses where you can build specialist knowledge and take your subject interest even further. Salford graduates and alumni also receive a significant fees discount. 

 

A taste of what you could become

A marine biology technician

A research assistant

A fishery data manager

An environmental engineer

A professor in marine ecology

And more...

Career Links

INDUSTRY PLACEMENTS

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 link to a wildlife trust, or a research organisation. Popular placements organisations/institutions are Operation Wallacea (various destinations worldwide) and Archipelagos (Greece), working with charismatic animals like sea turtles and marine mammals. The students gain invaluable practical expertise, learns (and applies) new skills, and create a link with industry.

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 two mark.

Requirements

What you need to know

APPLICANT PROFILE

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

ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS

All of our courses are taught and assessed in English. If English is not your first language, you must meet our minimum English language entry requirements. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this, and we also accept a range of equivalent qualifications.  

Read more about our English language requirements, including information about pathways that can help you gain entry on to our degree courses. 

Standard entry requirements

GCSE

English language and mathematics at grade C or 4 or above. Equivalents are accepted.

You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.

UCAS tariff points

104 - 112 UCAS points 

A level

104 - 112 UCAS points including a grade C at A2 Biology. A Pass in the Practical Element of Science A levels must be achieved.

BTEC National Diploma

DMM in a suitable science subject, which must include biology

BTEC Higher National Diploma

Possible entry to year 3

Foundation Degree

Possible entry to year 3

Scottish Highers

104 - 112 UCAS points including Higher Level Biology

Irish Leaving Certificate

104 - 112 UCAS points including Higher Level Biology

European Baccalaureate

Pass in Diploma of at least 60% including at least one science subject

International Baccalaureate

30 points including grade 4 in Higher Level Biology

Access to HE

104-112 UCAS points from QAA Approved Access Science Couse, must include Biology

Alternative entry requirements

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.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2021/22 £9,250per year
Full-time international 2021/22 £15,600per year
Part-time 2021/22 Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Full-time home 2022/23 £9,250per year
Full-time international 2022/23 £15900per year
Part-time 2022/23 Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Additional costs

All field trips are funded by the school but you may need to consider additional costs such as food and spending money. 

International field trips that are part of core modules are also funded by the school but you will need to pay towards international field trips that are part of optional modules (although these are subsidised by the school) and you will be made aware of these costs before selecting the module. 

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

Scholarships for international students

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships.
 
We have a range of scholarships available for students applying for courses in 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. Our Global Gold Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,500 and our Global Silver Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,000 - both are available for students studying in our 2021/22 intakes.

We also offer the Salford International Excellence Scholarship which offers up to £5,000 discount on tuition fees. As this is a prestigious award we have a limited number of these scholarships available.

See the full range of our International Scholarships.

Apply now

All set? Let's Apply

Enrolment dates

September 2021

September 2022

UCAS information

Course ID C161

Institution S03

Interested in starting university in September 2022? Book your place on our next Open Day.