Course Comparison

Course BSc (Hons) Marine Biology with Foundation Year BSc (Hons) Ocean Sciences with Foundation Year
Award Bachelor of Science - BSc (Hons) Bachelor of Science - BSc (Hons)
Duration 4 years 4 years
Course type Full-time Full-time
Placement (+ optional placement) (+ optional placement)
Location Plymouth Plymouth
Provider School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Entry requirements

The foundation year is intended for higher level motivated students who wish to study marine biology, who have already achieved Level 3 qualifications but do not meet the usual entry criteria for entry to the first year of our honours degree courses in marine biology, marine biology and oceanography or marine biology and coastal ecology.

A limited number of places are available and applicants will only be considered if they can provide suitable evidence of qualifications already achieved, together with strong relevant interests or experience appropriate to marine biology.’ Applications from mature students are especially welcomed; other qualifications and professional experience will be considered. An interview is normally required. 

  • For applicants with A levels at least 96 points from a minimum of two A levels including biology and a second science is normally required. BTEC Diploma (112 points) and comparable international qualifications at an appropriate level and with relevant subjects will also be considered.
  • GCSE mathematics and English language at grade C or above is normally required. 
  • All applicants are normally interviewed prior to a formal offer being made. 
  • Applications from mature students are especially welcomed; other qualifications and professional experience will be considered. Please contact us to discuss your options.

BTEC National Diploma modules
If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.

Please contact us to enquire about your suitability for admission. 

For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary

The foundation year is intended for highly motivated students who wish to study the marine sciences, but who do not yet meet the usual criteria for entry to the first year of our honours degree courses.

A level: A minimum of 2 A levels to include at least one pass in a science subject such as biology/human biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics. soft science: geography, environmental science/studies, geology, geography, environmental science or geology. Excluding general studies. Note points may vary depending on subjects.

BTEC: 18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma PPP in a science related subject. 12 Unit BTEC National Certificate/QCF Diploma MP in a science related subject.

BTEC National Diploma modules: If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information, we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.

Access: pass Access course (preferably from a science/combined studies/natural sciences/nursing subject) (including GCSE English and mathematics grade C/4 or above or equivalent). For candidates that do not have a science, electrical or technology background please contact admissions@plymouth.ac.uk for further advice.

International Baccalaureate: 24 overall to include 1 subject from science such as biology/human biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics. English and mathematics must be included.

GCSE: mathematics and English at grade C/4 or above.

Applications from students with non-standard qualifications, including those without science qualifications at Level 3, are welcomed and are assessed on an individual basis. This course is also suitable for those returning to study who can offer work or other related experience in place of formal qualifications and who have the equivalent of basic mathematical, English and science skills (i.e. the equivalent of a grade C at GCSE level).

Please contact us to inquire about your suitability for admission.

For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.