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Course Description

In Marine Biology you learn about the diversity of sea life, from the smallest plankton to the largest marine mammals, and investigate their evolution, physiology, ecology and management. You study a range of marine habitats, including sandy beaches, rocky shores, mudflats and estuaries, open ocean and the deep sea, in field- and lab-based practical work.

This programme provides you with a strong foundation in biological sciences, principles and methodologies, while providing you with expertise in marine science. The interdisciplinary nature of marine biology means that you will graduate with a holistic understanding of the sea. Your courses include topics in ocean biology, oceanography, marine ecology, population ecology, international laws and policy related to fisheries management, marine-based renewable energy and aquaculture.

In Marine Biology you learn about the diversity of sea life, from the smallest plankton to the largest marine mammals, and investigate their evolution, physiology, ecology and management. You study a range of marine habitats, including sandy beaches, rocky shores, mudflats and estuaries, open ocean and the deep sea, in field- and lab-based practical work. This programme provides you...

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Course Content

Each year you take a selection of compulsory courses and optional courses that can be chosen from those on offer across the institution. The first two years lay a foundation for the more specialised third and fourth years.

  • Year 1

In year 1 there is substantial marine content. Other optional courses covering a wide range of complementary subjects can be selected as enhanced study.

Compulsory Courses

Professional Skills Part 1 (PD1001)

Frontiers in Biological Sciences (BI1009) - 15 Credit Points

Diversity of Life 1 (BI1012) - 15 Credit Points

Ecology and Environmental Science (BI1511) - 15 Credit Points

Diversity of Life 2 (BI1512) - 15 Credit Points

The Cell (SM1501) - 15 Credit Points

Oceans and Society (SX1015) - 15 Credit Points

Optional Courses

Select 30 credit points from courses of choice.

  • Year 2

In year 2 courses include Ocean Biology, Genes and Evolution, Ecology and Principles of Animal Physiology. You will also participate in a marine field course.

Compulsory Courses

Genes and Evolution (BI2017) - 15 Credit Points

Biological Enhanced Skills Training (BEST) (BI2018) - 15 Credit Points

Ecology (BI2020) - 15 Credit Points

Principles of Animal Physiology (BI2510) - 15 Credit Points

Ocean Biology (BI25Z4) - 15 Credit Points

Optional Courses

Select one of the below field courses, plus 30 credit points from by courses of choice.

  • Year 3

Compulsory courses in year 3 include Marine Ecology and Ecosystems, Applied Marine Biology and Animal Population Ecology. You will also choose from a range of elective courses on many other specialist topics.

Compulsory Courses

Statistical Analysis of Biological Data (BI3010) - 15 Credit Points

Animal Evolution and Biodiversity (ZO3011) - 15 Credit Points

Animal Population Ecology (ZO3307) - 15 Credit Points

Marine Ecology and Ecosystems (ZO3306) - 15 Credit Points

Environmental Physiology (ZO3513) - 15 Credit Points

Applied Marine Biology, Fisheries and Aquaculture (ZO3812) - 15 Credit Points

Optional Courses

Plus 30 credit points from courses of choice.

  • Year 4

In year 4, the Honours year, you will carry out a research project as well as writing an extended essay and completing advanced courses of your choosing.

Compulsory Courses

SBS Honours Project (Semester 1) (BI4016) - 45 Credit Points

Optional Courses

Select at least two of the following courses:

  • ZO4540 Sustainable Management of Marine Resources
  • ZO4811 Sustainable Aquaculture
  • ZO4529 Marine Mammology

Plus 30 to 45 credit points from courses of choice, to give a total of 120 credit points, at least 90 of which must be from courses delivered by the School of Biological Sciences.

Sustainable Management of Marine Resources (ZO4540) - 15 Credit Points

Sustainable Aquaculture (ZO4811) - 15 Credit Points

Marine Mammalogy (ZO4529)

Each year you take a selection of compulsory courses and optional courses that can be chosen from those on offer across the institution. The first two years lay a foundation for the more specialised third and fourth years. Year 1 In year 1 there is substantial marine content. Other optional courses covering a wide range of complementary...

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Entry Requirements

SQA Highers

Standard: AABB*

Applicants who have achieved AABB (or better), are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/ Advanced Highers may be required.

Minimum: BBB*

Applicants who have achieved BBB (or are on course to achieve this by the end of S5) are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will normally be required.

Adjusted: BB*

Applicants who have achieved BB, and who meet one of the widening participation criteria are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will be required.

* Including good performance in at least two Mathematics/ Science subjects by the end of your senior phase of education.

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

A LEVELS

Standard: BBB*

Minimum: BBC*

Adjusted: CCC*

* Including good performance in at least two Mathematics/ Science subjects by the end of your senior phase of education.

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

International Baccalaureate

32 points, including 5, 5, 5 at HL*.

* Including good performance in at least two Mathematics/ Science subjects by the end of your senior phase of education.

Irish Leaving Certificate

5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3 OR AAABB*, obtained in a single sitting. (B must be at B2 or above)

* Including good performance in at least two Mathematics/ Science subjects by the end of your senior phase of education.

Entry from College

Advanced entry to this degree may be possible from some HNC/HND qualifications, please see www.abdn.ac.uk/study/articulation for more details.

English Language Requirements

To study for an Undergraduate degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.0 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0

TOEFL iBT:

OVERALL - 78 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 54 with: Listening - 51; Reading - 51; Speaking - 51; Writing - 54

Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:

OVERALL - 169 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

SQA Highers Standard: AABB* Applicants who have achieved AABB (or better), are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/ Advanced Highers may be required. Minimum: BBB* Applicants who have achieved BBB (or are on course to achieve this by the end of S5) are...

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Assessment Methods

Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:

  • coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course;
  • practical assessments of the skills and competencies learnt on the course; and
  • written examinations at the end of each course.

The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, year of study and individual courses.

Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.

Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods: coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course; practical assessments of the skills and competencies learnt on the course; and written examinations at the end of each course. The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, year of...

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