BSc Marine Biology C160

Course Overview

UG student on Noctiluca

Swansea was one of the first universities in the world to offer a single honours undergraduate degree in Marine Biology.

With our unique coastal location, we have easy access to a wide range of study habitats.

The course is highly practical and fieldwork based.

Our inshore research vessel is widely used for teaching.

All second year Marine Biology students receive training at sea.

All Marine Biology students attend a residential field course at the end of Year Two. Currently, this is based at Millport Marine Station, Isle of Cumbrae.

All final year students carry out an individual ten week research dissertation module based either in Swansea or on an overseas placement. In the last few years these have included locations such as Bermuda, Mexico, Indonesia, the USA and Australia.

The course has an emphasis on the development of personal and transferable skills to assist in employability.

Accreditation

RSB logo smallThis programme has been accredited by the Royal Society of Biology following an idependent 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. 

Key Features

  • Zoology at Swansea is TOP 5 in the UK and 98% for overall satisfaction [National Student Survey 2017]
  • Biology at Swansea is Top in Wales and 97% for overall satisfaction [NSS 2017]
  • We are 16th in the UK for graduate prospects  [Complete University Guide 2018]
  • 97.3% in graduate employment or further study six months after leaving University [HESA data 2013/14]
  • We are 7th in the UK for Research Excellence [Research Excellence Framework 2014]
  • £4.2m investment in state-of-the art Science laboratories
  • £1.3m Visualisation Centre which displays and manipulates multi-dimensional information from animal tag monitoring – unique in the world!  
  • £1.3m investment in a purpose-built 18 m catamaran-class survey vessel equipped with state-of-the-art survey and research equipment
  • Degrees accredited by the Royal Society of Biology
  • Top University in Wales [Times & Sunday Times University Guide 2017]

Modules

Disclaimer: Module selection options may change.

Year 1 (Level 4)

FHEQ 4 Degree / HECert

Students choose 120 credits from the following:

Compulsory Modules
Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule Name
BIO103Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Plants and Algae; Diversity Form and Function
BIO104Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Cellular & Microbial Biology
BIO108Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Molecular and Evolutionary Biology
BIO109Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Core Skills for Biological Sciences
Optional Modules
Biosciences Welsh Options 

Choose Exactly 20 credits from the following Modules:

NOTE : Select Welsh or English versions of the module below

Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule NameGuidance
BIO105Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Animal Diversity, Form and Function
BIO105CSemester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Amrywiaeth a Ffisioleg Anifeiliaid
AND
Biosciences Welsh Options 

Choose Exactly 20 credits from the following Modules:

NOTE : Select Welsh or English versions of the module below

Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule NameGuidance
BIO106Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Marine and terrestrial ecology and animal behaviour
BIO106CSemester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Ecoleg Dyfrol a Daearol ac Ymddygiad

Year 2 (Level 5)

FHEQ 5 Degree / HEDip

Students choose 120 credits from the following:

Compulsory Modules
Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule Name
BIO224Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)15Ichthyology
BIO227Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)15Marine Plankton And Oceanography
BIO231Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)15Year 2 Biological Sciences Literature Review
BIO237Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)15Marine Invertebrates
BIO238Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)15Marine Ecosystems
BIO245Semester 1 and 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)15Techniques in Marine Biology
BIO252Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)15Ecological Data Analysis
Optional Modules
Marine Biology Field Course 

Choose Exactly 15 credits from the following Modules:

NOTE : BIO251 is only to be selected by students who cannot attend the field course

Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule NameGuidance
BIO251Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)15Biosciences Year 2 field course alternative assessment
BIO260Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)15Marine Biology Field Course

Year 3 (Level 6)

FHEQ 6 Degree / Honours

Students choose 120 credits from the following:

Compulsory Modules
Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule Name
BIO346Semester 1 and 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)20Professional Skills in Marine Biology
BIO350Semester 1 and 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)30Biosciences Research Project
Optional Modules

Description

  • Swansea was one of the first universities in the world to offer a single honours undergraduate degree in Marine Biology.
  • With our unique coastal location, we have easy access to a wide range of study habitats including exposed rocky shores, steep cliffs enclosing sandy sheltered bays, salt marshes and estuarine mudflats.
  • The course is highly practical and fieldwork based.
  • Our inshore research vessel, the R.V. Noctiluca, is widely used for teaching and offers a platform for project work at sea.
  • All second year Marine Biology students receive training at sea.
  • All Marine Biology students attend a residential field course at the end of Year Two. Currently, this is based at Millport Marine Station, Isle of Cumbrae.
  • All final year students carry out an individual ten week research dissertation module based either in Swansea or on an overseas placement. In the last few years these have included locations such as Bermuda, Mexico, Indonesia, the USA and Australia.
  • The course has an emphasis on the development of personal and transferable skills to assist in employability.

Entry Requirements

  • A levels: grades ABB-BBB, to include Biology or Human Biology, or equivalent.
  • Welsh Baccalaureate:  Requirements are as for A levels where you can substitute the same non-subject specific grade for the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Level Core Grade
  • BTEC Extended Diploma - Grades DDD plus at least one GCSE grade B in Science with GCSE Grades C in English/Welsh and Mathematics. Only science-based BTECs will be considered (excluding Animal Management and Health Science).
  • Scottish Highers: ABBCC to include Biology grade B.
  • Access to HE (Science): Pass with Distinction (24 Distinctions to include 3 in Biology, plus 15 Merits). Only science-based Access will be considered (excluding Health Sciences).
  • IB: 33-32 to include 5 in Higher Level Biology or Human Biology.
  • IELTS 6.0 (with a minimum of 6.0 in each component) or equivalent English test.
  • We may consider other qualifications if they are Science-based, if they are equivalent to A-levels, and if the content of the qualification includes significant amounts of Biology (i.e., equivalent to A-level Biology).
  • All applications will be considered on an individual basis, and we will look at the whole application when deciding whether to make an offer of a place, including: the balance, nature and quality of A-level, AS and GCSE subjects (or equivalent); personal statement and referee’s comments.
  • General Studies and Key Skills qualifications are normally excluded from our offers.
  • International students:  please visit our International pages for information on entry requirements for your country. Contact international-science@swansea.ac.uk

How To Apply

  • All applications for full-time undergraduate degrees must be made through UCAS. Further information is available on the UCAS website.
  • For UK applicants, please apply online at www.ucas.ac.uk
  • For International students, please click here

Tuition Fees

Annual tuition fees for entry in the academic year 2018/19 are as follows:

UK/EU International
BSc (Hons) Full-time £9,000 £16,900

Important Information for 2018/19: The Welsh Government has recently issued a statement (July 2017) outlining intentions to increase the maximum tuition fee in 2018/19 for full-time undergraduate degree programmes in line with inflation. This may mean the maximum tuition fee for 2018/19 could be set to increase from £9,000 to £9,295 per annum. If the Welsh Government passes this update to The Higher Education (Amounts) (Wales) Regulations 2015 later in the year, the University will apply to the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) to increase its maximum fee level to £9,295 subject to satisfactory approval of a variation to the 2018/19 Fee & Access plan. If approved by HEFCW, the University will immediately write to all students affected notifying them of this fee increase as soon as is practically possible.

Fees for full time Undergraduate UK/EU students may be increased in subsequent years of study by an inflationary amount determined by Welsh Government.

Fees for full time Undergraduate International students will increase by 3% for each subsequent year of study.

You can find further information on fees and how to pay on our tuition fees page.

You may be eligible for funding to help support your study. To find out about scholarships, bursaries and other funding opportunities that are available please visit the University's scholarships and bursaries page.

Current students: You can find further information of your fee costs on our tuition fees page.

Additional Costs

  • Lab coat and dissection kit (Level 1 for all degree programmes) – approximately £30
  • Tropical Marine Biology field course in Puerto Rico - (costs ~£1200 - £1700 tbc)
  • Sikkim overseas field trip (Biology and Zoology Level 3 - optional) – student contributes £500 towards travel and accommodation

*We also advise all students to have suitable outdoor clothing and sensible footwear (wellington boots)

International Entry Requirements

International students:  please visit our International pages for information on entry requirements for your country:  Africa, South Asia, East Asia, Europe and Russia, Middle East, North America, South America, South East Asia.  If your country is not listed within these regions, please contact international-science@swansea.ac.uk

Teaching and assessment

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars and discussion groups, supported by practical classes.

You will be assessed through a variety of methods, including examinations, coursework and a practical research project.



Student profiles

"Swansea is the ideal place to study Marine Biology, with a department packed with world-leading researchers, passionate lecturers and the beautiful Gower peninsula right on the doorstep. The course is designed to produce skilled marine scientists, beginning with an introduction to core subjects and essential research skills before moving on to in-depth study of marine species, habitats and processes. It’s also an amazing place to live and offers a student experience you would struggle to find elsewhere.
 
The knowledge and skills accumulated during my time at Swansea helped me find employment with the Environment Agency Wales and a 15 month placement with the Countryside Council for Wales during my degree. Following graduation, I was offered a research assistant post by Dr Richard Unsworth and spent a month studying seagrass and coral reef connectivity on Green Island, Australia.
 
I am now working as Marine Policy Officer for WWF Wales, where I work on a campaign with other NGOs to secure greater conservation and sustainable management of Welsh seas.”

Dan Crook, BSc Marine Biology, 2012

Read our student profiles

Read about our Marine Conservation Society

Facilities

The Department of Biosciences provides access to an extensive range of specialist facilities for both undergraduate and postgraduate students.  These include: Research and IT laboratories; Constant temperature rooms; Growth rooms; Aquaria; Greenhouses; Zoology Museum; A custom-designed 12.5m coastal research vessel, RV Noctiluca.

Our new Teaching Laboratory is a significantly upgraded facility to teach a higher level of transferable laboratory techniques and skills, with a capacity to hold 150 students; it includes a full range of AV facilities able to transmit to several plasma screens output from a variety of sources including microscopes, PCs, DVD/Video players and visualise/camera units.

Find out more about the facilities used by Biosciences students at Swansea University.
 
 



Careers

As scientists in training you will be taught a full range of core skills and practises by leading experts that will enable you to successfully pursue a career within biology and ecology.

Every year we survey our recent graduates to ascertain their employment status.  The data is more commonly known as the Graduate Destinations Survey and is reported to HESA (the Higher Education Statistics Authority).  Here are some examples of job titles from the recent survey:

  • Ecologist (Jacobs Engineering & CSA Environmental)
  • Delivery Officer (Biotechnology & Biological Science Research Council)
  • Project Officer (Amphibian & Reptile Conservation Trust)
  • Hydrometry and Telemetry Officer (Natural Resources Wales)
  • Benthic Taxonomist (Oceanology Ltd)
  • Wildlife and Education Officer (Ipswich Borough Council)
  • Crop Technician (Humber Growers)
  • Animal keeper (All Things Wild)
  • Quality Control Associate (Amgen Biovex Ltd)
  • Royal Navy Officer (Britannia Royal Navy College)
  • Research Assistant (TRP Research)

Find out more about employability

Swansea Marine Biology Graduates

Ever wondered what our marine biology students do after they have graduated from Swansea University? Check the Swansea Marine Biology Graduates Facebook Page for job, PhD and masters profiles. Also included are useful web links to marine biology job related sites:

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/Swansea-Marine-Biology-Graduates/151661738225359

Research

All academic staff in Biosciences are active researchers and the department has a thriving research culture. Find out more

Fieldwork

All our Marine Biology students carry out fieldwork activities including a ten week final year research project. Recent project subject areas include sea turtle migration, whale behaviour, octopus habitat selection, ray and skate ecology, effects of oil pollution on intertidal organisms and environmental impact assessments of fishing techniques.

Most projects are undertaken in marine habitats close to Swansea and the Gower, although some students have secured placements in more exotic locations such as Indonesia, the Caribbean and South Africa.

Our field courses include:

Animal Ecology

Tropical Marine Biology, Puerto Rico

Swansea University's Tropical Marine Ecology fieldtrip to Puerto Rico video (Tom Rees)

Sikkim, Himalayas

Terrestrial Ecology

Accreditation

RSB logo small‌This programme has been accredited by the Royal Society of Biology following an idependant 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. 

Cruising into a New Era of Marine Biology

Blyth 1From estuaries to the sea shelf, the spectacular coastline of Wales is buzzing with diverse habitats and wildlife, and provides tremendous potential for developing a low carbon, sustainable economy to ensure the well-being of future generations in Wales. 

Swansea University has long been a leader in training Marine Biologists, conducting high impact research, and assisting the conservation and sustainable development of the marine and coastal resources in Wales. Now we are ready to make new waves again! 

Blyth 2Swansea University has invested £1.3m in the construction of a purpose-built 18 m catamaran-class survey vessel. The new vessel can accommodate 26 passengers and have a top speed of 23 kts with crusing at about 16kts, and will be equipped with state-of-the-art survey and research equipment. 

From surveying the coastline to mapping critical habitats, studying water quality, observing marine wildlife and deploying marine equipment, the new vessel will support the best teaching, research and business assistance Swansea University has to offer. The new vessel is scheduled to launch in Dec 2017.