Marine Science PhD / MPhil

Marine Science focus on all aspects of the marine system, from the physics of how the ocean moves across the planet, the chemistry of micronutrients and pollutants, through to the biology of single cells phytoplankton all the way to marine mammals. We offer a multi-disciplinary research program to further our understanding of the ocean, its functioning and its importance in shaping our world.

Why study with us?

Studying for a PhD at Liverpool is allowing me to develop my passion for ocean biogeochemistry. I have been greatly supported, had many research experiences and opportunities that are now giving me confidence in myself. I guess this is what it feels like to become an independent researcher!

Lewis Wrightson - Marine Science PhD student
  • 84%

    of our research outputs deemed 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent' REF (2014).

  • 1919

    the oceans have been studied here since the formation of the Liverpool Tidal Institute in 1919.


Liverpool always had a close connection to marine sciences, from the young Jeremiah Horrocks (aged 22) who studied the influence of the moon on tides back in 1640, to William Hutchinson who recorded sea level twice a day for 30 years. It was no surprise that the fist Oceanographic department in the UK was open in Liverpool in 1919. This connection is still strong nowadays with the Ocean Science department having recently celebrated its Centenary and the University campus benefiting from the presence of the National Oceanographic Centre, a world renown research institute.

Our academic staff are internationally recognised with expertise in physics, chemistry and/or biology. We offer research topics that are often cross boundaries, aiming to answer fundamental questions about the functioning of the ocean, now and in the future. To find out more about individual research topics, please visit our Postgraduate Research page here.

By taking on a research project with us, you will integrate research groups that will train you to become an independent researcher while developing a range of transferable skills that will serve you in your future position(s), whatever they are. We aim to provide an emulative and exciting research environment to all PhD students to help them succeed in their research, during their PhD and beyond.  We will strongly encourage you to communicate and publish your research to the wider community.


Study options and fees

The fees below are for the academic year 2024/25

MPhil / PhD Duration UK students International Students
Full time 2-4 years £4,786
  • Faculty of Health and Life Sciences £29,750 (Band A)^
  • Faculty of Science and Engineering* £29,750 (Band A)^ or £23,400 (Band B)
  • Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences £23,400 (Band B)
Part time 4-6 years £2,393
  • Faculty of Health and Life Sciences £14,900 (Band A)^
  • Faculty of Science and Engineering* £14,900 (Band A)^ or £11,700 (Band B)
  • Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences £11,700 (Band B)

The fees stated in the table above exclude potential research support fees also known as ‘bench fees’. You will be notified of any fee which may apply in your offer letter.

* Please note that if you are undertaking a PhD within the Faculty of Science and Engineering the fee you pay, Band A or Band B, will reflect the nature of your research project. Some research projects incur a higher fee than others e.g. if you are required to undertake laboratory work. You will be informed of the fee for your programme in your offer letter.

^ Self-funded, full-time international students studying a PhD programme classified as Band A will receive a £2,000 reduction in their fees for the first year only.

Entry requirements

Applications are welcomed and will be considered in our highly competitive programme from well qualified graduates who would typically hold a UK first degree or equivalent in the first or 2:1 class, in a relevant subject.

English language requirements

IELTS Academic requirement - SELT and non-SELT Overall 6.5 no band below 5.5
TOEFL iBT requirement Minimum 88 overall with L 17 W 17 R 17 and S 19
C1 Advanced CAE requirement Overall 176 with no less than 162 in any paper
Trinity College London, Integrated Skills in English (ISE II)ISE II with an overall pass with merit in components
Cambridge IGCSE as a First LanguageGrade C
Cambridge IGCSE as a Second LanguageGrade B
Cambridge English Level 3 Certificate in ESOL International (Proficiency)Overall 176 with 162 in components
Cambridge English Level 3 Certificate in ESOL International (Advanced)Overall 176 with 162 in components
Cambridge English Level 2 Certificate in ESOL International (Advanced)Overall 176 with 162 in components

How to apply

Research degree applications can be made online.  You'll also need to ensure that you have funding to cover all fees.

Applications are open all year round.

More about applying for research degrees

Apply online

Before you apply, we recommend that you identify a supervisor and develop a research proposal

Find a supervisor

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Need help finding a supervisor? Contact us

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Find a scholarship

We offer a range of scholarships to help you meet the costs of studying a research degree.

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