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 degree spans 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.
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.
Marine Biology Degree highlights
Our course offers high tech training from scientific leaders in cutting edge fields such as deep-sea environmental impact assessment using submersible robots to next generations sequencing based population genetics studies.
- Examples include the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, the Fisheries Society of the British Isles and the Society of Biology.
World Class 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.
- Students complete a 16-week work placement period as a component of Stage 2. For many students this is the most important aspect of the degree, enabling them to experience the types of jobs which are available on graduation and through the preparation of CVs, interviews, etc ensuring they are well prepared for the job market.
Marine Biology provides a good fundamental training in data analysis, problem solving, teamwork and communication.
• Biodiversity Molecular Basis of Life
• The World of Microorganisms
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
• Animal Behaviour
• Animal Biology and Physiology
• Cell Biology 1 or Cell Biology 2
• Ecology and Evolution
• Work Placement (16 weeks)
• Conservation Biology
• Future Oceans
• Global Change Biology
• Research Project
• MSci Research Project
Students carry out a full-time research project under the supervision of academic staff. There are no taught modules or examinations in this year, thereby allowing students to concentrate fully on their research project.
People teaching you
Dr Jonathan Houghton
School of Biological Sciences
Contact Teaching Times
|Large Group Teaching|
12 (hours maximum)
Typically around 9 hours teaching [3 hours for each subject/module studied – see later information on course content] and 3 hours practical each week.
28 (hours maximum)
For private study and writing assignments each week
Learning and Teaching
On the MSci in Marine Biology we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning.
This is achieved 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:
E-Learning technologies, lectures, personal tutoring, practicals, self-directed study, seminars/tutorials, supervised projects, work placements, and work-related learning in the form of field trips and study tours.
Details of assessments associated with this course are outlined below:
The way in which you are assessed will vary according to the Learning outcomes of each module. Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction.
As you progress through your course you will receive general and specific feedback about your work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and your peers.
As a university student, you will be expected to take a greater role in reflecting on this and taking the initiative in continuously improving the quality of your work.
Feedback may be provided to you in a variety of forms including: formal written comments, face to face comments, placement employer comments or references, online or emailed feedback, pre-submission advice, feedback and outcomes from practical classes, and others.
A level requirements
AAB 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
AAB including Double Award Applied Science + GCSE Biology and Chemistry grade C or GCSE Double Award Science grades CC + GCSE Mathematics grade C
AAA including Biology + GCSE Chemistry grade C or GCSE Double Award Science grades CC + GCSE Mathematics grade C.
It would be an advantage to have studied Chemistry beyond GCSE level.
Irish leaving certificate requirements
H2H3H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H2 and H3 in any order 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
H2H2H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H2 in Biology + Ordinary Level grade O4 in Chemistry and Mathematics.
It would be an advantage to have studied Higher Level Chemistry.
MSci applicants will automatically be considered for admission to the BSc if they are not eligible for entry to the MSci, both at initial offermaking stage and when results are received.
In addition, to the entrance requirements above, it is essential that you read our guidance notes on 'How we choose our students' prior to submitting your UCAS application.
Applications are dealt with centrally by the Admissions and Access Service rather than by the School of Biological Sciences. Once your on-line form has been processed by UCAS and forwarded to Queen's, an acknowledgement is normally sent within two weeks of its receipt at the University.
Selection is on the basis of the information provided on your UCAS form, which is considered by the Selector for the School of Biological Sciences along with a member of administrative staff from the Admissions and Access Service. Decisions are made on an ongoing basis and will be notified to you via UCAS.
For entry last year, applicants for programmes in the School of Biological Sciences must have had, or been able to achieve, a minimum of five GCSE passes at grade C or better (to include English Language and Mathematics), though this profile may change from year to year depending on the demand for places. The Selector also checks that any specific entry requirements in terms of GCSE and/or A-level subjects can be fulfilled.
Offers are normally made on the basis of three A-levels. Two subjects at A-level plus two at AS would also be considered. The offer for repeat candidates may be one grade higher than for first time applicants. Grades may be held from the previous year.
Applicants offering two A-levels and one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent qualification), or one A-level and a BTEC Diploma/National Diploma (or equivalent qualification) will also be considered. Offers will be made in terms of performance in individual BTEC units rather than the overall BTEC grade(s) awarded. Please note that a maximum of one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent) will be counted as part of an applicant’s portfolio of qualifications. The normal GCSE profile will be expected and all subject requirements must be met.
Applicants offering other qualifications, such as the International Baccalaureate or Irish Leaving Certificate, will also be considered. The same GCSE profile is usually expected of those candidates offering other qualifications.
The information provided in the personal statement section and the academic reference together with predicted grades are noted but, in the case of degree courses in the School of Biological Sciences, these are not the final deciding factors in whether or not a conditional offer can be made. However, they may be reconsidered in a tie break situation in August.
A-level General Studies and A-level Critical Thinking would not normally be considered as part of a three A-level offer and, although they may be excluded where an applicant is taking four A-level subjects, the grade achieved could be taken into account if necessary in August/September.
Candidates are not normally asked to attend for interview.
If you are made an offer then you may be invited to a School Visit Day, which is usually held in the second semester. This will allow you the opportunity to visit the University and to find out more about the degree programme of your choice and the facilities on offer. It also gives you a flavour of the academic and social life at Queen's.
If you cannot find the information you need here, please contact the University Admissions and Access Service (email@example.com), giving full details of your qualifications and educational background.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
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 degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
- 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.
INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS - FOUNDATION AND INTERNATIONAL YEAR ONE PROGRAMMES
INTO Queen's offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare international students for undergraduate study at Queen's University. You will learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre on campus, and will have full access to the University's world-class facilities.
These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry.
The INTO progression course suited to this programme is
INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
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 interests and 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.
Further study is also an option open to Marine Biology graduates. Students can choose from a wide range of Master's programmes as well as a comprehensive list of research topics as shown on the University website.
Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Prizes and Awards(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Degree plus award for extra-curricular skills
In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Degree Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.
The tuition fee rates for undergraduate students who first enrol at the University in the academic year 2018-19 have not been agreed. Tuition fees for 2018-19 will be based on 2017-18 levels, normally increased by inflation and these are set out below.
|Northern Ireland (NI)||£4,160|
|England, Scotland or Wales (GB)||£9,250|
|Other (non-UK) EU||£4,160|
Tuition fee rates are calculated based on a student’s tuition fee status and generally increase annually by inflation. How tuition fees are determined is set out in the Student Finance Framework.
Additional course costs
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.
Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library.
If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. A programme may have up to 6 modules per year, each with a recommended text.
Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.
Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.
If a final year includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.
Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.
There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
Marine Biology costs
Year 1 students are required to buy a laboratory coat at a cost of £10 and an E-Book at a cost of £25. The following optional modules have a compulsory field trip: Year 1 Biological Diversity Module has a field trip costing £80. Year 2 Applied Ecology Module has a field trip costing £125. Year 2 Marine Ecology Module has a field trip costing £90. All students may apply to go on a School Workplace Tour at a cost of £100.
How do I fund my study?
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.
Information on funding options and financial assistance for undergraduate students is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/Fees-and-scholarships/.
Each year, we offer a range of scholarships and prizes for new students. Information on scholarships available.
Information on scholarships for international students, is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.
* information shown is for 2017-18 and should be used as a guide until 2018-19 scholarships are confirmed.
How to Apply
Application for admission to full-time undergraduate and sandwich courses at the University 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 2018 from 1 September 2017.
Advisory closing date: 15 January 2018 (18:00).
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.
Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.
The Institution code for Queen's is QBELF and the institution code is Q75.
Further information on applying to study at Queen's is available at: http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/How-to-apply/
Apply via UCAS
After an offer is made this will be notified to applicants through UCAS. Confirmation will be emailed by the Admissions and Access Service and this communication will also include Terms and Conditions (www.qub.ac.uk/Study/TermsandConditions) which applicants should read carefully in advance of replying to their offer(s) on UCAS Track.
Additional Information for International (non-EU) Students
- Applying through UCAS
Most students make their applications through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) for full-time undergraduate degree programmes at Queen's. The UCAS application deadline for international students is 30 June 2018.
- Applying direct
The Direct Entry Application form is to be used by international applicants who wish to apply directly, and only, to Queen's or who have been asked to provide information in advance of submitting a formal UCAS application. Find out more.
- Applying through agents and partners
The University’s in-country representatives can assist you to submit a UCAS application or a direct application. Please consult the Agent List to find an agent in your country who will help you with your application to Queen’s University.
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