Luka Seamus Wright – BSc (Hons) Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology

“Personally the quality of the degree and the extra-curricular learning possibilities were most important when choosing my university. 

The University of Plymouth is a hub for excellent marine researchers that produce and publish cutting-edge science.

Living next to the sea in Plymouth also completely contrasts living next to the mountains in Munich. For me, moving to England meant moving to the seaside, which is a positive experience. 

For someone who is fascinated by life in the sea, it was an easy choice.”

The adventure begins

“I grew up in an apartment in the middle of Munich, which is the third-largest city in Germany.

I first travelled to Plymouth to find accommodation. The second time I travelled to the city, my parents and I drove from Munich in a minibus. That was quite an adventure as we drove through much of Germany, Belgium and France before arriving in the UK.

I definitely enjoyed the road trip and would do it again, perhaps after completing my studies. 

After viewing many properties I decided to live in a shared house with other students. In Plymouth, there are mainly two-storey houses and the city is a lot smaller. 

While I used public transport in Munich, in Plymouth there are only buses and I decided to cycle everywhere.”

Feeling at home

“Honestly, being international doesn’t feel any different from being a local student. The student body is diverse and my friends are a mix of local and international students.

Because science is such a culturally diverse field, it is normal for me to be around people from different countries, both in the lecture theatre and the marine research centre.

Everyone is treated the same and I have noticed that, especially in my course, the international students are often the keenest, perhaps because they took the extra step and travelled to a different country to achieve their goals.

My best advice is to mingle with people and get to know as many interesting humans as possible. University is a unique experience where you are surrounded by diverse opinions and people of interesting backgrounds. I recommend fully immersing yourself in that experience.”

A modern university

“Plymouth is full of history relating to the sea: from early settlers leaving for America on HMS Mayflower in 1620, to Charles Darwin setting sail on HMS Beagle in 1826, to the Marine Biological Association of the UK being founded in 1884.

The University of Plymouth is a modern university. In that way, it stands out in the UK, which is known for its prestigious, ancient universities. The teaching and mentoring methods vouch for that modern approach. 

In my course, the lecture theatres are rarely filled (our course capacity is less than 30 students) and tutor groups are also kept small, to a maximum of six people.”

Living the dream

“I spend a lot of time outdoors, so there is rarely a weekend when I don’t go hiking, climbing, sailing or freediving.

I enjoy climbing at the Climbing Hangar, sailing in Plymouth Sound, freediving everywhere from Rame Head to Wembury and going hiking and rockpooling.

Rame Head shelters a beautiful cove facing Whitsand Beach, which is one of my favourite places to go.

Bring a camera if you own one because there is some beautiful scenery to take pictures of. 

Otherwise, a wetsuit and mask are essential for discovering what’s hidden beneath the waves. 

The underwater world can definitely keep up with the natural beauty on the surface: wandering through kelp forests I have discovered many fascinating creatures, from sea stars to little cowrie snails.”

 

“Cawsand has one of the nicest beaches around Plymouth and is easily accessible by boat.”

Cawsand

Emsworthy Rocks, Dartmoor

Dartmoor is definitely worth visiting and normally the only place close to Plymouth with snow during the winter months. In fact, it is possible to cycle there, which I did one day in the summer.”


“If the weather permits, I regularly go down to the seaside on The Hoe or Mount Batten to enjoy the views, especially the stunning sunsets.”

Mount Batten

Whitsand beach

“Sometimes, my friends and I travel to other beaches, such as Wembury, Whitsand or Cawsand.”

 

Foraging for fresh food

“Food-wise, I grew up next to a large fresh market, rarely going to the supermarket. That is another aspect that changed with life in Plymouth: supermarkets dominate the selection of consumer choices. 

Luckily, I found a small vegetable store just around the corner from my house which has been operating for at least 30 years. Otherwise, there are a few family-owned butchers left in Plymouth, it is possible to buy fish fresh from the landing dock in Sutton Harbour and the Plymouth Market is expanding their range of groceries.”

Find out about our on-campus cafes and restaurants

Study marine and coastal ecosystems in a global context

In this hands-on degree, one of the best in the UK and with an international reputation, you’ll tackle big questions, such as why are coral reefs so diverse, how do we best manage and conserve marine life, and how will climate change impact biodiversity? Fieldwork will be a key component of your studies, using the excellent marine and coastal habitats on Plymouth’s doorstep, as well as on residential courses in France and South Africa.

BSc (Hons) Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology