Marine Science BSc (Hons)

Course code F710

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

For more information on the course content please see the module list and the module guide.

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; Van Halls Laurenstein in the Netherlands; Coastal Carolina, USA; or at another partner university


We offer modern student accommodation at a number of our locations.

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

SWAP Access courses
If you are eligible to undertake Scottish Wider Access Programmes (SWAP), please visit our SWAP access list for further information on grade profiles and available subjects.

Year 1 - CertHE

Modules include:

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

Year 2 - DipHE

Modules include:

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

Year 3 - BSc

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

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

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 geophysics
  • Arctic technology

Year 4 - BSc (Hons)

Modules include:

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

You must also complete a dissertation.

How will I study my course?

Additional information for course delivery in 2021-22

From September 2021, it is our intention that physical campuses will be open to all students for access to study facilities, support services and social activities, subject to Scottish Government guidance. Our priority is to provide a safe learning environment for all students and staff. We will continue to review government guidance as restrictions shift and will inform you of any further changes to the information provided below about your course. From September, where practical and safe to do so, on-campus teaching delivery will be prioritised in line with the Scottish Government guidance, including social distancing. Lectures and tutorials will be through both face to face and online delivery, where Scottish Government guidance allows. For larger classes delivery may be split between face to face and online delivery. Practical and fieldwork classes will be delivered on-campus. Further details will be provided prior to the start of semester. Online elements and self-directed study will continue to be through the university's virtual learning environment. You can access your online and video-based classes from home however it is our intention to provide on-campus space for individual students where required as far as possible. Further information will be provided by your home campus. You will have an opportunity to attend an online, face to face or blended induction at the start of the course. International students requiring a Student Route visa to study with us must access scheduled classes on-campus.
  • 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 (structured): 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, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

This includes

  • EU nationals with settled or pre-settled status in the UK,
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with settled status in the UK
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.
Study Mode2020-212021-22
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, studying full time, the following fees apply:

YearLevel2020-21 Full-time2021-22 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.

EU/EEA and Swiss nationals without settled or pre-settled status in the UK

Following the UK’s departure from the European Union, the Scottish Government has confirmed that EU/EEA and Swiss nationals starting their study in Scotland from academic year 2021-22, who do not have settled or pre-settled status, will be considered as international for fee purposes. For 2021-22, students will get an automatic scholarship of £4,000 per annum and the 4th year of study will be free for those studying full-time, on continuous study, who have paid for the previous three years at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

This includes EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are not self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.

YearLevel2021-22 Full-timeWith scholarship
Year 1 CertHE £13.620 £9,620
Year 2 DipHE £13.620 £9,620
Year 3 Degree £13.620 £9,620
Year 4 Honours Free Free

Students will need Student Route visa sponsorship to study in the UK.

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 Mode2020-212021-22
Full-time per year (120 credit modules) per year £13,200 £13,620
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year £6,600 £6,810
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module) £2,200 £2,270

Part-time study is not open to international student requiring Student Route visa sponsorship 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 rest of the UK, EU and international undergraduate students for continuous 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.

Additional costs

You are expected to purchase a lab coat either from the university or from an alternative supplier (lab coats cost approximately £20). As the course contains substantial elements of fieldwork, waterproof clothing may also be required.

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:

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

Can I progress into further study?

You can progress to the following postgraduate courses:


Is there more information available online?

QR Code - scan to visit course page

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

What our students, graduates and staff say

As a mature student I have to work part time to support myself. I received a scholarship which meant I was able to work less during the summer. This allowed me to pursue activities related to my degree and spend more time on voluntary
environment work such as beach clean-ups. 

Jasmin Manning is studying on the BSC (Hons)
Marine Science at our Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) UHI campus

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, studied on the BSc (Hons) Marine Science, having relocated from Birmingham to Oban to study at the 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.

If you're not quite ready, please message us or call 01463 279190 if there is anything we can do to help you with your decision. We will handle your query in line with our Privacy Notice.

Start your application

Apply for Marine Science BSc (Hons)

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2022

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate 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.

Message us

Please read our privacy notice.