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Marine Biology with Professional Studies (BSc Hons) C164

BSc Honours

Marine Biology with Professional Studies

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Key Course Information

Entry Year

2017

Course length

4 year(s)

A-Level Requirements *

BBB/ABB

Faculty

Medicine, Health and Life Sciences

Attendance

Full-Time

Professional Year Out

Yes

UCAS Code

C164

School

Biological Sciences

*Indicative Only. Please see the Course Entry Requirements section for details on subject specific or GCSE requirements.

Overview

Over 70 per cent of the Earth's surface is covered by seawater and all known phyla are believed to have originated in the sea or have marine representatives. The world's oceans influence our weather and climate and provide a large proportion of the resources used by humans. Our Marine Biology degrees span this multidisciplinary field, by linking biology with oceanography to learn how life on Earth affects, and is affected by, marine processes. Areas of marine expertise at Queen's range from the evolution of marine flora and fauna, invasive species, community ecology and climate change to the migration and foraging ecology of marine vertebrates such as basking sharks and sea turtles.

We are ideally located for the study of marine biology, with close access to diverse habitats, from estuaries and mudflats to rocky shores and the Atlantic Ocean. The Queen's University Marine Laboratory is our research centre for interdisciplinary marine sciences, located 30 miles from the main campus, in the Strangford Lough Marine Nature Reserve, on a site we share with the Northern Ireland aquarium, Exploris. All students take at least one residential field course each year at the Laboratory, and have the opportunity to pursue an independent research project for their Honours thesis in their final year.

Why Queen's?

Facilities: excellent facilities for training and research are provided at the University's Marine Laboratory in Portaferry, which provides opportunities to gain field experience on in-shore research vessels and a wide range of shoreline and laboratory-based techniques.

Accreditation: examples include the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, the Fisheries Society of the British Isles and the Society of Biology.

Placement: students can complete an optional 16-week work placement period as a component of Stage 2. Marine Biology with Professional Studies students, on completion of Stage 2, undertake a 46-week period of work experience.

 

Course Content (including module information)

Stage 1

  • Biodiversity Molecular Basis of Life
  • The World of Microorganisms
  • Biodiversity

 This gives a broad base in the biological sciences on which to build Stage 2 and Stage 3 studies. This module combination provides students, who may be undecided as to their final specialist degree area, with considerable flexibility as they enter Stage 2; at this stage students enrolled in Marine Biology can move into Zoology or Biological Sciences.

 Stage 2

  • Animal Behaviour
  •  Animal Biology and Physiology
  •  Cell Biology 2 OR
  •  Cell Biology 1
  • Ecology and Evolution
  • Work Placement

Stage 3

  • Conservation Biology
  • Future Oceans
  • Global Change Biology
  • Research Project
  • Parasitology

During their final year, students undertake a two-module research project carried out under the supervision of one or more members of academic staff. The project generally involves practical work carried out in the field and/or at the Marine Laboratory, in one of the many active areas of marine research in the School.

Assessment & Feedback

The way in which you are assessed will vary according to the Learning objectives of each module.  All modules are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations.  Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction. 

Feedback (general):  As students progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and peers.  University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including: 

  • Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that you, as an individual or as part of a group, have submitted. 
  • Face to face comment.  This may include occasions when you make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help you to address a specific query.
  • Placement employer comments or references.
  • Online or emailed comment.
  • General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
  • Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid.  In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which you can review in your own time. 
  • Feedback and outcomes from practical classes.
  • Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.

Once you have reviewed your feedback, you will be encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work. 

Learning and Teaching

At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable students to achieve their full academic potential. 

On our Marine Biology courses we achieve this goal by providing a range of learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners.   Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:

Lectures: introduce basic information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading.  Lectures also provide opportunities to ask questions, gain some feedback and advice on assessments (delivered in large groups to all year group peers at Level 1, with smaller, more specialised course at Levels 2 and 3).

Practicals:  where you will have opportunities to develop technical skills and apply theoretical principles to real-life or practical contexts.  At level 1 practical sessions are generally laboratory based and are designed to reinforce the general principles of biology (e.g. physiology, genetics, micro-biology, biological diversity) with a residential field course at Portaferry Marine Laboratory associated with the Environmental Biology module. There is also a strong emphasis on skills development and data analysis during the first year through the ‘Skills for Biosciences’ module. Subject specific practicals come into play during Level 2 through the ‘Adaptations in the Marine Environment’ and ‘Marine Ecology (with field course)’ modules which are compulsory for all marine biology students. The final year starts with the ‘Marine Zoology’ module which introduces students to a range of contemporary skills used in marine science and includes 8 practical sessions on a range of marine species. The practical sessions in the other compulsory level 3 module, ‘Marine Processes’ help students to think critically and move beyond the text books into cutting edge marine science.

E-Learning technologies:   Information associated with lectures and assignments is often communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Queen’s Online.  A range of e-learning experiences are also embedded in the degree through, for example:  interactive group workshops in a flexible learning space; IT and statistics modules; podcasts and web-based learning activities; opportunities to use IT programmes associated with design in practicals and project- based work etc. 

Seminars/tutorials:  Each of the four compulsory marine modules incorporates tutorials and question and answer sessions. These help students to move beyond merely memorising facts to pass exams, towards a deeper understanding of the subject matter. Tutorial sessions are also run prior to exams to allow students to revisit areas of the modules that they feel are their particular weak points. These sessions provide significant opportunity for students to engage with academic staff who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions of them and to assess their own progress and understanding with the support of peers.

Self-directed study:  This is a vital part of life as a Queen’s student when important private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and assignment research and preparation work is carried out. The subject matter covered in lectures and practical sessions is the backbone of the information you will need for exams, but it is always necessary to expand upon this material to achieve the highest marks.

Work placements:  Students taking Marine Biology (with Professional Studies) undertake a work-placement after Level 2.  This is a significant learning and employability enhancement opportunity.

Work-Related learning/Field Trips/Study Tours:  Facilities for training and research in Marine Biology are provided at the University's Marine Laboratory in Portaferry. The Laboratory provides opportunities to gain field experience on small boats and in the varied marine habitats found around the Northern Irish coast. 

Marine Biology students undertake a residential field course at the Marine Laboratory in all three years of their degree. These activities are supported by a well structured programme of extracurricular activities organised by the Queen’s Marine Biology Society. The aim of the Society is to encourage students to develop their CVs beyond the degree itself which feeds directly into the Queen’s Degree Plus scheme. 

Supervised projects:  In final year, you will be expected to carry out an independent research project under the guidance of one or two members of academic staff. This exercise serves to consolidate the information and practical skills you have obtained during your degree and is you first solid step to becoming a research scientists. The broad research interests of the Marine Biology staff at Queen’s (from molecules to ecosystems) means that students are able to choose a project that is suited to their own specific interests.

Personal Tutor:  Undergraduates are allocated a Personal Tutor during Level 1 and 2 who meets with them on several occasions during the year to support their academic development.

Entry Requirements

In addition to the entrance requirements below, it is essential that you read the How We Choose Our Students pdf prior to submitting your UCAS application.

 

ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS

A-level:

  • BBB including Biology and at least one from Chemistry (preferred), Geography, Mathematics or Physics + GCSE Chemistry grade C or GCSE Double Award Science grades CC + GCSE Mathematics grade C

OR

  • BBB including Double Award Applied Science + GCSE Biology and Chemistry grade C or GCSE Double Award Science grades CC + GCSE Mathematics grade C

OR

  • ABB including Biology + GCSE Chemistry grade C or GCSE Double Award Science grades CC + GCSE Mathematics grade C.

Note: it would be an advantage to have studied Chemistry beyond GCSE level.

Irish Leaving Certificate: 

  • H3H3H3H3H4H4/H3H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H3 in Biology and at least one from Chemistry (preferred), Geography, Mathematics or Physics + if not offered at Higher Level then Ordinary Level grade O4 in Chemistry and Mathematics 

OR

  • H3H3H3H3H3H3/H2H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H3 in Biology + O4 in Chemistry + if not offered at Higher Level then grade O4 in Mathematics. 

Note: It would be an advantage to have studied Higher Level Chemistry.

 

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

For information on international qualification equivalents, please click on Your Country in the International Students website.

If you are an international student and you do not meet the entrance requirements, you should consider a preparation course at INTO Queen's University Belfast, which will prepare you for successful study on these degree courses. INTO at Queen's is based on the University campus and offers a range of courses including the International Foundation in Engineering and Science.

For students whose first language is not English

An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at: http://go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this degree. Please click the links below for more information:

  • English for University Study - an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
  • Pre-sessional English - a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English 

How To Apply

Applications for admission to full-time undergraduate courses at Queen’s should normally be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full information can be obtained from the UCAS website at: www.ucas.com/apply.

When to Apply

UCAS will start processing applications for entry in Autumn 2017 from 1 September 2016.

The normal closing date for the receipt of applications is 15 January 2017.

Applicants are advised to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.

Earlier applicants normally receive decisions more quickly, however, UCAS accepts that some applicants, especially those from outside the UK, may find this difficult. Late applications are, in practice, accepted by UCAS throughout the remainder of the application cycle, but you should understand that they are considered by institutions at their discretion, and there can be no guarantee that they will be given the same full level of consideration as applications received by the advisory closing date.

Take care to enter the details of the institutions and courses clearly and correctly on the application. For Queen's, the institution code name is QBELF and the institution code is Q75. These should be entered in the Choices section of your UCAS application. A Campus Code is not required. For further information on applying to study at Queen’s, please click here.

Queen’s University Belfast Terms and Conditions 2017 Entry
The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study.

Career Prospects

An Honours degree in Marine Biology offers comprehensive training in one of the most popular environmental disciplines, and good graduates move on to pursue diverse careers at home and abroad.  Many recent graduates have secured MSc and PhD positions at leading universities in the UK, Republic of Ireland and overseas whilst others work in secondary education or for conservation organisations and government environmental agencies.  The experience that you gain from applying the scientific approach to living organisms, solving numerical and practical problems, developing written and oral communication skills and using a wide range of sophisticated equipment will also help you to find employment in a variety of non-biological careers. Many employers are looking for graduates in any discipline, provided they show academic confidence, the ability to communicate, handle quantitative data and solve problems, and have good social skills, a wide range of interestsand a record of success.  We believe that studying Marine Biology at Queen's will enable you to acquire and develop these qualities. 

The most generally appropriate professional bodies for graduate marine biologists are the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, the Fisheries Society of the British Isles and Society of Biology

Other Career-related information: Queen’s is a member of the Russell Group and, therefore, one of the 20 universities most-targeted by leading graduate employers.  Queen’s students will be advised and guided about career choice and, through the Degree Plus initiative, will have an opportunity to seek accreditation for skills development and experience gained through the wide range of extra-curricular activities on offer. 

Degree Plus and other related initiatives:  Recognising student diversity, as well as promoting employability enhancements and other interests, is part of the developmental experience at Queen’s.  Students are encouraged to plan and build their own, personal skill and experiential profile through a range of activities including; recognised Queen’s Certificates, placements and other work experiences (at home or overseas), Erasmus study options elsewhere in Europe, learning development opportunities and involvement in wider university life through activities, such as clubs, societies, and sports. 

Queen’s actively encourages this type of activity by offering students an additional qualification, the Degree Plus Award (and the related Researcher Plus Award for PhD and MPhil students).  Degree Plus accredits wider experiential and skill development gained through extra-curricular activities that promote the enhancement of academic, career management, personal and employability skills in a variety of contexts.  As part of the Award, students are also trained on how to reflect on the experience(s) and make the link between academic achievement, extracurricular activities, transferable skills and graduate employment. Participating students will also be trained in how to reflect on their skills and experiences and can gain an understanding of how to articulate the significance of these to others, e.g. employers.

Overall, these initiatives, and Degree Plus in particular, reward the energy, drive, determination and enthusiasm shown by students engaging in activities over-and-above the requirements of their academic studies.  These qualities are amongst those valued highly by graduate employers.

Fees & Scholarships

There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union. Higher education funding arrangements mean that students can study now and pay later.

Further details can be found on our fees and funding section.

Queen's works to ensure that all those who can benefit from a university education have the chance to do so, and a generous system of financial support is in place to help them. Each year Queen’s offer a range of scholarships and prize for new students. The most up to date listings are available here.

For international students, information on tuition fees, can be found here. Information on scholarships for international students, can be found here.

Assessment & Feedback

The way in which you are assessed will vary according to the Learning objectives of each module.  All modules are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations.  Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction. 

Feedback (general):  As students progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and peers.  University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including: 

  • Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that you, as an individual or as part of a group, have submitted. 
  • Face to face comment.  This may include occasions when you make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help you to address a specific query.
  • Placement employer comments or references.
  • Online or emailed comment.
  • General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
  • Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid.  In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which you can review in your own time. 
  • Feedback and outcomes from practical classes.
  • Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.

Once you have reviewed your feedback, you will be encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work. 

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Telephone

For entrance requirements
E: admissions@qub.ac.uk
T: +44 (0)28 9097 3838

For course information
The School Manager
School of Biological Sciences
T: +44 (0)28 9097 5786
E: e.purdy@qub.ac.uk
W: http://www.qub.ac.uk/bb

Email

For entrance requirements
E: admissions@qub.ac.uk
T: +44 (0)28 9097 3838

For course information
The School Manager
School of Biological Sciences
T: +44 (0)28 9097 5786
E: e.purdy@qub.ac.uk
W: http://www.qub.ac.uk/bb

Website

For entrance requirements
E: admissions@qub.ac.uk
T: +44 (0)28 9097 3838

For course information
The School Manager
School of Biological Sciences
T: +44 (0)28 9097 5786
E: e.purdy@qub.ac.uk
W: http://www.qub.ac.uk/bb

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