Marine Science BSc (Hons)

UCAS code F710
UHI information line 0845 272 3600

What is special about this course?

Are you passionate about marine science?  Do you want to study in an area with an enormous wealth of marine and coastal environments.

Study the BSc (Hons) Marine Science degree at the Scottish Association for Marine Science UHI (SAMS UHI) in Oban and you will examine many of these ecosystems and habitats first hand with access to scientists and technology at the leading edge of marine science research.

The facilities of this internationally renowned marine laboratory and the ready access you will have to experts in the field will be a great springboard to success in your future marine science career.

Fieldwork is important throughout the course; you will develop your practical skills through both boat and shore-based practical activities, studying a range of marine habitats.

Special features

  • The coastline around Oban is the ideal location for studying marine science
  • You will have access to the facilities of an internationally renowned marine laboratory
  • Independent research projects and field courses form a key part of your studies
  • Excellent staff to student ratio
  • Opportunity to spend one or two semesters at the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) in the Arctic Circle

Entry requirements

  • 3 Scottish Highers at grade BBB or above OR
  • 3 A levels at grade BCC or above
  • These must include two science subjects PLUS
  • You must also have English and Maths at Standard Grade or GCSE UCAS tariff 250 points
  • Non-UK applicants require an IELTS score of 6 or a TOEFL score of 550 (paper-based test) or 213 computer-based test
  • Applicants without traditional entry qualifications are welcomed on the basis of a portfolio of alternative evidence of required knowledge and experience

Access routes

Relevant Scottish Wider Access Programme (SWAP) with grades BBB:

  • Access to biological science (West Lothian College)
  • Access to health and life science (Fife College) or,

Through discussion with the course team, other suitable access courses will allow entry

Year 1 - CertHE

Modules include:

  • Marine field course
  • Mathematics and statistics for science
  • Fundamentals of marine biology
  • Fundamentals of marine physics
  • Fundamentals of marine chemistry
  • Fundamentals of marine geology

Year 2 - DipHE

Modules include:

  • Statistics and experimental design
  • Marine biology
  • Biochemistry and molecular biology
  • Marine resources
  • Physical oceanography
  • Chemical oceanography
  • Marine geology

Year 3 - BSc

Modules available in third year for students at SAMS UHI:

  • Fisheries Ecology
  • Aquaculture
  • Marine conservation
  • Marine zoology
  • Marine microbial ecology
  • Marine biotechnology
  • Ocean circulation and climate
  • Marine biogeochemical cycling
  • Marine pollution
  • Literature review

If you are accepted to study at UNIS you can choose from the following modules:

  • Arctic biology
  • Arctic geology
  • Arctic technology
  • Arctic geophysics

Year 4 - BSc (Hons)

Modules include:

  • Behaviour and biological clocks
  • Defining the marine carbon cycle
  • Science communication
  • Deep-sea ecosystems
  • Marine environmental impact assessment
  • Marine modelling
  • Palaeoceanography

You must also complete a dissertation.

  • Polar seas

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)
  • You will learn by face-to-face lectures, tutorials and practical field and laboratory work, with support at SAMS UHI in Oban, on the west coast of Scotland
  • You will have access to state-of-the-art lab facilities, and expert advice from SAMS UHI marine researchers

How long will my course last?

  • Full time: 4 years @ 40 hours per week
  • Part time: 8 years @ 20 hours per week

Number of hours per week indicates the total number of hours you should dedicate to the course, which includes time spent in lectures and your own time spent on individual study and research.

Where can I study my course?

Start date

  • September

How much will my course cost?

For students normally domiciled in Scotland or the European Union/EEA (outside of the UK) and with a term time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

  2016-17 2017-18*
Full-time (120 credit modules) per year
£1,820 £1,820
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year £645 £645
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module) £215 £215
*The Home-Scotland/EU fee has not yet been agreed by the Scottish Government.  The indicative fee level is shown in the table.

Rest of UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland) and with a term time address in Scotland studying this course full time, the following fees apply:

  Level 2016-17 2017-18
    Full-time Full-time
Year 1 CertHE £9,000 p.a. £9,000 p.a.
Year 2 DipHE £9,000 p.a. £9,000 p.a.
Year 3 Degree £9,000 p.a. £9,000 p.a.
Year 4 Honours free** free**

**4th year free only for students studying full-time who have paid for the previous 3 years at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Part-time (per 20 credit module) -  £1,500 (2016-17 and 2017-18).

Fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

There are a number of funding options available to UK and EU students to help you pay for your studies and your cost of living whilst studying.

International students

For students who do not normally reside in the UK or European Union and with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

2016-17 2017-18
Full-time per year (120 credit modules) per year £11,000 £11,550
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year*** £5,520 £5,775
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module)*** £1,840 £1,925

***There is no part-time study option for Tier 4 sponsored international. students.

Further information on international course fees.

A no fee increase guarantee is available for self-funding full-time and structured part-time RUK and International undergraduate students for continuous and contiguous study for the same award, up to the permitted standard time limit for the relevant award.

What funding can I apply for?

External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact SAMS UHI for more information.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Once you have successfully completed your BSc (Hons) Marine Science course, you might like to consider careers in:

  • Environmental assessment
  • Aquaculture and fisheries research
  • Marine conservation
  • Marine biotechnology
  • Renewable energy sector
  • The oil industry

Can I progress into further study?

Is there more information available online?

You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

What our students, graduates and staff say:

The reputation for the BSc (Hons) Marine Science at the Scottish Association for Marine Science UHI, was so high that I chose to study here. During your studies you are taught by respected scientists in their field; offered hands-on experience in the industry; and taught course material which is relevant and up-to-date.

Sarahjane Pugh, 2nd year BSc (Hons) Marine Science student, relocated from Birmingham to Oban to study at the Scottish Association for Marine Science UHI campus.


I discovered the course through a friend who was already enrolled. She lived in the Arctic for her 3rd year of studies and I went to visit her. I had such a good time and met so many wonderful people, both studying with the university and from around the world, that I was inspired to go on to further studies.

I love the opportunities that students can get involved in; there are so many projects going on and by simply asking and showing a keen interest in an area of study you can get involved and get stuck in. The lecturers and support staff always have time if you show willing and that is really encouraging. So far this year I have been out on several boat trips, launched underwater gliders, am involved in active work in the geochemistry lab and will be heading out on a 3 week cruise to Iceland over the summer! Not bad!

James Coogan, 2nd year BSc (Hons) Marine Science with Arctic Studies student based at our Scottish Association for Marine Science UHI campus.

The Scottish Association for Marine Science UHI is one of the world’s leading marine institutes and students are able to get experience working directly with researchers from around the world both in the lab and doing fieldwork. Opportunities with researchers on real projects really help students to get a strong hold on what their careers may involve in the future.

Jason Dobson, 2015 BSc (Hons) Marine Science graduate

Apply for Marine Science BSc (Hons)

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2017

International applicants should apply using the UHI International application form. Please download and print the form, complete and return using the address indicated. More information is available for international applicants at our international student page

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI). UHI operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.

Search again