BSc (Hons) in Marine Science


Program Description

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.'

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 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, UCAS tariff 250 points 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 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
  • 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 instrumentation 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:

  • Behaviour and biological clocks
  • Defining the marine carbon cycle
  • Science communication
  • Deep-sea ecosystems
  • Marine environmental impact assessment
  • Marine modelling
  • Coastal and shelf sea dynamics
  • Polar seas

You must also complete a dissertation.

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
Last updated Nov 2020

About the School

The University of the Highlands and Islands is an integrated university encompassing both further and higher education.

The University of the Highlands and Islands is an integrated university encompassing both further and higher education. Read less
Perth , Shetland , Scalloway , Kirkwall , Thurso , Stornoway , Dingwall , Inverness , Elgin , Kilbeg , Fort William , Oban , Dungooley + 12 More Less