BSc (Hons) Marine & Freshwater Biology

Undergraduate, Full-time

Marine & Freshwater Biology BSc (Hons)



Discover the diversity of the fascinating aquatic realms and develop the knowledge and skills to protect them.

Overview

Explore the aquatic environment, its importance in understanding climate change, and how to monitor and protect marine and freshwater species in a sustainable manner.

The aquatic realm makes up more than 70 per cent of the Earth’s surface and represents the largest domain on earth. This course focuses on the study of the fascinating diversity of life contained in these habitats.

You’ll come to appreciate the issues involved in management of aquatic resources and learn how a firm understanding of the organisation of aquatic ecosystems can promote use in a sustainable manner.

Aquatic habitats and organisms are also pivotal in the understanding of climatic change making this course very relevant to a career in conservation and environmental protection.

Two students collecting samples from a river

Mode of Study:

Full-time (available as Part-time)

Duration:

4 years

Start date:

Sep

UCAS code:

C161

Study Abroad:

Yes


About you
Enter first name
*
Enter last name
*
*
*
*
*
*

Course details

Are you interested in global issues? Are you interested in the marine or freshwater environment? If it’s aquatic biology including coral reefs and sea birds that takes your fancy or indeed conservation and the impact of pollution on the aquatic environment, this is certainly a course worth joining.

You’ll study the adaptation, ecology and behaviour of a range of species found in marine, coastal and freshwater environments. You’ll learn about the non-living environment, including climate, weather, water and sediment properties and pollution. You’ll also learn about aspects of management, including pollution assessment and control and fisheries science.

Scotland is home to some fascinating aquatic environments and you’ll get to experience these during practical fieldwork, both locally and further afield, including a residential field course to the Isle of Cumbrae.

The course will equip you with a broad portfolio of skills in both specialist techniques such as species identification, surveying, data analysis and GIS along with communication of scientific information, IT, problem solving and team working which will allow you to pursue a range of possible career paths.

Find out more by visiting our Facebook page.

  • calendar How you’ll be taught

    You will learn through a variety of different methods, including lectures, tutorials, field studies and laboratory classes. 

    More than two-thirds of our permanent academic staff are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy, reflecting their dedication and formal training in teaching undergraduate students. Together with our accreditation by The Royal Society of Biology - which is your assurance of the quality and relevance of our course to the needs of employers - this is your assurance of the up-to-date knowledge of our teaching staff and guarantee of a supportive learning environment.

  • note and pen Assessments A variety of assessment methods are used, including examination, assignments and practical assessments.  These are balanced across the Programme to provide a challenging assessment experience, which allows you to do your best.
  • study abroad Study abroad

    Erasmus opportunities. Links with a Danish university to study in English: Roskilde University.

    Placement and Study Abroad opportunities are subject to UK and Scottish Government health and travel advice.

Popular modules

Year 1

  • Common Foundation Year
  • Foundation in Science
  • Life on Earth
  • Comparative Anatomy and Physiology
  • Scientific Enquiry
  • Introductory Microbiology
  • Cell Biology

Year 2

  • Genes and Inheritance
  • Ecology and Sustainability
  • Practical Skills in Biodiversity and Ecology
  • Physiology, Adaptation and Disease
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Option module

Year 3

  • Research Methods
  • Habitat Assessment and GIS
  • Ecology Field Studies
  • Conservation Biology
  • Marine Biology
  • Freshwater Biology

Year 4

  • Professional Practice
  • Fish and Fisheries Biology
  • Current Topics in Ecology
  • Project (60 credits)


ACCREDITED BY

Disclaimer

Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Placement and study abroad opportunities are subject to UK and Scottish Government health and travel advice.

Full information is available in our disclaimer.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Our entry requirements indicate both Standard and Minimum qualifications with which we normally accept students. Competition for places varies from year to year and you aren't guaranteed a place if you meet the minimum qualifications.

Advanced entry

Advanced entry into Year 2 or Year 3 is possible for students with suitable qualifications.

Minimum year 1

SQA Higher

Standard Entry Requirement

BBBB including Human Biology, Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Psychology at Grade B.

National 5 C in English, Maths, Biology and Chemistry.

Minimum Offer Entry Requirement

BBCC including Human Biology, Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Psychology at Grade C.


National 5 C in English, Maths, Biology and Chemistry.

You may be given an adjusted offer of entry if you meet our specified minimum entry requirements within our widening participation criteria, and outlined in our Contextual Admissions Policy. Click here for further information about our entry requirements and admissions policies

A Level

BCC including Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Applied Science or Psychology.

GCSE Grade C/4 English, Maths, Biology and Chemistry (or Double Award Science) also required.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Grades H2, H2, H3, H3 at Higher Level including a Science (Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Psychology).

Grade O4 at Ordinary Level in English, Maths, Biology and Chemistry also required.

BTEC (QCF) Extended Diploma Level 3

Minimum grades DMM (Distinction, Merit, Merit) in a related subject.

GCSE Grade C/4 English, Maths, Biology and Chemistry or DA Science also required.

BTEC (QCF) National Diploma Level 3 plus A Level

Minimum grades DM (Distinction, Merit) in a related subject.

A Level grade C

GCSE Grade C/4 English, Maths, Biology and Chemistry or DA Science also required.

International Baccalaureate Diploma

Award of Diploma with 28 points overall with three HL subjects at grades 6, 5, 4 including a Science (Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Psychology) at minimum grade 5.

4 points in SL English, Maths, Biology and Chemistry.

European Baccalaureate

70% with Grade 7 in three subjects including Human Biology, Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Psychology.

Grade 6 in English, Maths, Biology and Chemistry.

Minimum Year 2

SQA Advanced Higher

BBC to include Biology


A Level

BBB to include Biology

HNC

Pass in a related subject* with B in the graded unit

*HNC in Biomedical Sciences, HNC in Biological Sciences, HNC in Applied Sciences, HNC in Bioscience, HNC in Applied Bioscience or HNC in Wildlife and Conservation Management


Minimum Year 3

HND

Pass in a related subject* with Grades BB at SCQF Level 8 in the graded units.

*HND in Biomedical Sciences, HND in Biological Sciences, HND in Applied Sciences, HND in Applied Biological Sciences or HND in Wildlife and Conservation Management

If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test and our minimum English language requirements will apply.

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English. Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.

International students

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
Entry requirements by country

Please note that international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:
  • BN Nursing/MSc Nursing (Pre-registration) (Adult or Mental Health)
  • BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery

Admissions policies

We’re committed to admitting students who have the potential to succeed and benefit from our programmes of study. 

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures, and how we use the information you provide us in your application to inform the decisions we make.

Undergraduate admissions policies
Postgraduate admissions policies

Fees & funding

The course fees you'll pay and the funding available to you will depend on a number of factors including your nationality, location, personal circumstances and the course you are studying. We also have a number of bursaries and scholarships available to our students.

Tuition fees
Students from 2021/22 2022/23
Scotland £1,820 tba
England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Republic of Ireland £9,250 tba
Overseas and EU £15,990 TBA

Students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Republic of Ireland will be invoiced the tuition fees for 3 years of their 4 years of study. Please note that the tuition fees liable to be paid by mainland EU nationals commencing their studies from 1 August 2021 will be the Overseas fee rate. The University offers a range of attractive Tuition Fee bursaries to students resident in specific countries. More information on these can be found here. For EU students who commenced their studies prior to 1 August 2021 or hold pre or settled status in the UK, fees will remain the same as Scottish Students.

Please note tuition fees are subject to an annual review and may increase from one year to the next.
For more information on this and other Tuition Fee matters please see Frequently Asked Questions about Fees

Click this link for Information of Bursaries and Scholarships

If additional compulsory costs other than the tuition fees are applicable, these will be detailed in the course details.


Careers

Two students photographing wildlife on the cliffs at St Abbs
  • Aquaculture
  • Fisheries management
  • Conservation
  • Environmental protection agencies
  • Habitat and species management
  • Pollution control
  • Consultancies and public education
Student working in a science lab at Napier University