School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Undergraduate Marine Biology and Marine Zoology

Undergraduate Marine Biology and Marine Zoology

We nurture marine biologists of the future. You'll learn the role oceans play in global change.

Our Marine Biology students get the chance to visit the Bahamas to explore coral reefs and species like the sea turtle.

Our subject is vital to protecting the planet and during our degree programmes, we teach you about:

  • marine biology and ecology
  • marine zoology
  • oceans and climate
  • sustainable use of the seas
  • marine management
  • the conservation of marine animals

Teaching excellence

We conduct cutting-edge research of global importance. It addresses issues such as:

  • biodiversity and ecosystem management
  • global changes to our oceans
  • marine biotechnology and geoengineering
  • monitoring, mapping and modelling of marine ecosystems

Our degree programmes are delivered by research active and internationally recognised scientists in these fields.

Research active and internationally recognised scientists in this field will teach you.

Quality and ranking

Marine Biology and Marine Zoology at Newcastle University ranks in the:

  • Ranked 8th in the UK – Guardian University Guide 2019 (Earth and Marine Sciences category)
  • Top 200 – Earth and Marine Sciences category – QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017

The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST) accredit our degrees. You'll meet a requirement for chartered marine scientist registration.


96% of our 2016 UK-domiciled graduates progressed to employment or further study within six months of graduating.

Of our graduates who entered employment, more than three quarters (85.5%) achieved a professional or managerial position.

The seas are key to the UK's economy and quality of life. UK marine environment plays a large part in our nature conservation heritage, through:

  • energy supplies
  • ship-borne trade
  • fisheries
  • marine aggregates
  • tourism and recreation

During your second year, you will undertake a short, 35 hour placement within the marine sector. This is a great opportunity to gain experience during your degree, and many of our graduates have gone on to gain employment with our placement providers. Employers hold our graduates in high regard. Some have secured jobs with companies such as:

  • Marine Management Organisation (MMO)
  • Natural England
  • Ocean Ecology
  • Natural Power
  • BBC Natural History Unit
  • Lindisfarne Natural Nature Reserve

What our students say


You couldn’t be anywhere better than Newcastle. I’ve met so many lovely people in halls and on my course.


This year we will be going on an eight-day trip to Bermuda, which I am really excited to do since I’m very intrigued to see how different a tropical marine environment will be to the Northumberland coast.

Dove Marine Lab

The Dove Marine Lab has a proud history of supporting excellence in Marine Biology and Marine Zoology. The lab houses a wide range of equipment including:

  • standard field equipment for use on the shore, available for class sizes of up to 80 students
  • deep water tanks, with a water depth of 3 m with continuous water circulation
  • mesocosm measuring 2 m in diameter and 1 m high for large scale aquarium experiments
  • five experimental cabinets designed for smaller tank experiments at temperature (3-20°) and photoperiod
Blyth Marine Station and Research Vessel

Blyth Marine Station helps us support use of our Research Vessel, The Princess Royal. The station includes:

  • an operational office
  • workshops for support and maintenance of the vessel and its equipment
  • facilities for staff and students to use when preparing for vessel trips
  • facilities for engineering-related outreach activities for school children
Ridley Laboratories

We have a suite of 10 modern research-ready laboratories in the Ridley Building. Specialist facilities include:

  • computer controlled force gauge and Pressurised WaterJet
  • contact angle goniometer
  • Molecular Biology Suite
  • EthoVision® Video Tracking System and Simi Motion® 3D Tracking System
  • Sperm Class Analyser®
  • uHPLC and Mass Spectometry
  • freeze drier for sample preparation for analysis
  • gas chromatography for analysis of trace gases (Methane, Sulfur hexaflouride, Carbon dioxide and Nitrous oxide)
  • Air-Sea Gas Exchange Tank to simulate natural air-sea gas transfer with waves and surface films
  • Spectrophotometers -3D Fluorescence, UV-Vis and Microplate Fluorescence
  • timelapse video microscopy, digital image capture and high-speed video capture (1000frames/sec)

Choose a degree

Marine Biology BSc >>

Duration: 3 years - Entry requirements: A-Levels - ABB-BBB, IB: 32 points - You will learn about invertebrates, fish, seabirds and marine mammals, as well as plants, algae and cyanobacteria. You'll also explore the chemical and physical properties of the oceans and their impact on marine life.

Marine Zoology BSc >>

Duration: 3 years - Entry requirements: A-Levels - ABB-BBB, IB: 32 points - This degree explores animals in the marine environment, from single organisms right up to mammals such as blue whales. It has a strong emphasis on genetics, cellular and sub-organism processes, and provides an understanding of the marine environment in which animals thrive.