From microscopic algae to giant whales, most of our planet’s life is found in the oceans.
As a marine biologist, you will learn about the behaviour, physiology, and ecology of marine organisms, and how marine food webs are influenced by global warming and fisheries.
We produce highly employable marine biologists, able to apply their knowledge and skills to fields including monitoring, pollution, conservation, and aquaculture.
Our four-year integrated master’s programme is designed to train high performing marine biologists to the best possible standard to prepare them for PhD research and employment.
Programme in detail
Modern marine biology requires a wide range of skills, from fieldwork to data analysis. The first two years of study help you develop these core skills. There are week-long field courses in every year of study, including opportunities for boat work. Students currently make an independent overseas study visit in the summer of Year Two, for which past destinations include Australia, Tanzania, Ecuador and Iceland.
In Year Three, you will take advanced modules in your area of interest, and spend a large amount of time working on your independent research project. Recent projects include investigating physiological data on how cormorants stay warm while diving in frigid Arctic waters, building mathematical models of coral reefs, and looking at the impacts of a wind farm on benthic communities.
You can choose modules from across the School of Environmental Sciences and from the School of Life Sciences. In each year there are topics such as climate change and ocean physics, population ecology, physiology, conservation, parasitology, microbiology, molecular biology and genetics.
Our degree is one of only a handful in the UK to be accredited by the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMAREST).
A number of the School’s degree programmes involve laboratory and fieldwork. The fieldwork is carried out in various locations, ranging from inner city to coastal and mountainous environments. We consider applications from prospective disabled students on the same basis as all other students, and reasonable adjustments will be considered to address barriers to access.
Students go on week-long residential field courses in each year of study. We also make the most of the unrivalled diversity of marine ecosystems in our local area which include estuaries, mudflats, restored and commercial docks, sandy shores and dune systems and rocky coasts which can be visited on whole-day and half-day trips.
Department Key Facts
Number of first year students
120 Earth, Ocean and Ecological Sciences first year students 2018
UK league tables
1st Liverpool was the first UK university to offer a degree in Marine Biology
93% of 120 Earth, Ocean and Ecological Sciences graduates are employed or in further study six months after graduating (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education 2016/17)
Why this subject?
Be part of a group whose world-leading research is helping to tackle today’s greatest environmental challenges
Our research into the vulnerability of marine species and habitats to fishing, global climate change and coastal development is helping organisations such as the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea to develop sustainable management plans.
Bring your studies to life with field teaching
Field teaching is at the centre of learning in all years, because it gives students practical hands on experience of the natural environment that cannot be achieved in the classroom alone.*
*A number of the School’s degree programmes involve laboratory and field work. The field work is carried out in various locations, ranging from inner city to coastal and mountainous environments. We consider applications from prospective students with disabilities on the same basis as all other students, and reasonable adjustments will be considered to address barriers to access.
Broaden your perspective by experiencing study overseas
All of our students organise and undertake an independent study visit overseas to a country of their choice. This gives you vital scientific work experience on a subject that interests you.
Benefit from our excellent facilities and partnerships
Our unique partnership with the Marine Biological Association allows us access to their specialist staff, laboratories and research vessel. We also have close links with the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), based in Liverpool and access to custom-built remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROVs), and the award-winning Central Teaching Laboratories (CTL).
Thrive in our friendly and supportive atmosphere
Intensive field courses and projects will give you the opportunity to work closely with our award-winning academic staff. Throughout your studies, your personal tutor will guide and support you and help to prepare you for the next step in your career.