Marine Science BSc (Hons)

UCAS code F710
Information line 01463 279190

What is special about this course?

Are you passionate about our seas and oceans? do you enjoy science?  Do you want to study in an area with an enormous wealth of marine and coastal environments at a campus right on the beach?

Study our BSc (Hons) Marine Science at the Scottish Association for Marine Science UHI (SAMS UHI) in Oban and explore the marine realm first hand. You will learn about marine science and technology from world-leading researchers and apply the latest technologies.

The facilities of this long-established and 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 an important element of the course and you will learn how to collect samples and data on research vessels, in aquaria and on the seashore. You will also develop excellent laboratory skills.

While the programme takes a holistic approach to the marine environment, students can specialise and graduate with exit qualifications in 'Marine Science with Arctic Studies' or 'Marine Science with Oceanography and Robotics.'

For more details please visit

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
  • Choose from streams in Marine Science or Marine Science with Arctic Studies or Marine Science with Oceanography and Robotics
  • Opportunity to spend one or two semesters at the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) in the Arctic Circle or at another partner university


We offer modern student accommodation on campus ideally suited to students on this course.

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 National 5, Standard Grade credit, or GCSE Maths and English or their equivalents
  • International students whose first language is not English must also meet relevant language competency standards
  • Applicants with other qualifications or experience will be considered on an individual basis.

Access routes

Students eligible to undertake Scottish Wider Access Programmes (SWAP) will be able to apply for entry to BSc (Hons) Marine Science with a grade profile of BBB in one of the below courses:

  • Access to: Biological Science (West Lothian College)
  • Access to: Health and Life Sciences (Fife College)
  • Access to: Life Sciences (Dundee & Angus College)
  • Access to: Life Sciences (Edinburgh College)
  • Access to: Medical and Life Sciences (North East College)
  • Access to: Physical Sciences (Dundee & Angus College)
  • Access to: Physical Sciences (Edinburgh College)

Year 1 - CertHE

Modules include:

  • Marine field course
  • Mathematics and statistics
  • 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
  • Advanced maths and programming

Year 3 - BSc

Modules available in third year for students at Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) UHI:

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

If you are accepted for an exchange semester or year at the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS), you can choose from the following modules:

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

Year 4 - BSc (Hons)

Modules include:

  • Fisheries ecology
  • Aquaculture
  • Behaviour and biological clocks
  • Defining the marine carbon cycle
  • Deep-seas
  • Marine environmental impacts assessment
  • Marine modelling
  • Polar seas

You must also complete a dissertation.

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 the Scottish Association for Marine Science (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?

  • Scottish Association for Marine Science UHI

Start date

  • September


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:

Study Mode2019-202020-21
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

Rest of UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland, including Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) and with a term-time address in Scotland the following fees apply:

YearLevel2019-20 Full-time2020-21 Full-time
Year 1 CertHE £9,000 £9,000
Year 2 DipHE £9,000 £9,000
Year 3 Degree £9,000 £9,000
Year 4 Honours free free

4th year free only for students studying full-time, on continuous study, who have paid for the previous three years at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Part-time (per 20 credit module) - £1,500.

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 while 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:

Study Mode2019-202020-21
Full-time per year (120 credit modules) per year £12,800 £13,200
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year £6,420 £6,600
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module) £2,140 £2,200

Part-time study is not open to international student requiring a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.

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.


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
  • Environmental management
  • Aquaculture or fisheries industries
  • Marine conservation
  • Marine biotechnology
  • Renewable energy sector
  • The oil industry
  • Environmental tourism
  • Environmental education
  • Academia/education

Can I progress into further study?

You can progress to the following postgraduate courses:


Is there more information available online?

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What our students, graduates and staff say

The course allows you to explore a multitude of areas within marine science and lets you get first-hand experience in research, new marine technologies and practical sampling methods on research vessels; all taught in a beautiful location. The class sizes are small so students receive a more interactive and personal learning experience. I also enjoy being part of diving and climbing clubs. With its magnificent sunsets and stunning scenery, Oban is a perfect hub to explore the Highlands and Islands.

Aalliyah Malla is studying in her fourth year of the BSc (Hons) Marine Science at our Scottish Association for Marine Science UHI campus.


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.

Got a question? Send us a message

Got a question? Send us a message

Send us a message
Got a question? Send us a message


Thank you for your interest in studying Marine Science BSc (Hons) with us.

If you are ready to apply, please start your application below by selecting when you would like to start your course. This will take you to the UCAS website or our online application system.

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