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C350 - Marine Zoology

Marine Zoology

BSc Honours

  • UCAS code: C350
  • Full time
  • 3 years
  • Next start date: September 2020

This degree explores animals in the marine environment, from single organisms right up to mammals such as blue whales.

Fees (per year)

  • UK/EU: £9250
  • International: £22800

Entry requirements

  • A Level: ABB-BBB
  • IB: 32 points

UCAS Institution name and code:

  • NEWC / N21
Work placement opportunity Professional accreditation

Course overview

This course has a strong emphasis on genetics, cellular and sub-organism processes, and provides an understanding of the marine environment in which animals thrive.

It is important to understand the biology and function of marine animals if we want to conserve and protect them.

You will enjoy high levels of practical experience – using our coastal laboratory and research vessel – and develop skills for a range of careers in the marine sector.

Our location near the coast provides fantastic fieldwork opportunities.

Students looking out to lighthouse

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Quality and ranking

We rank 4th in the UK in the Earth and Marine Sciences category, The Guardian University Guide 2020.

Professional accreditation

All professional accreditations are reviewed regularly by their professional body.

Modules and learning


The information below is intended to provide an example of what you will study.

Most degrees are divided into stages. Each stage lasts for one academic year, and you'll complete modules totalling 120 credits by the end of each stage. 

Our teaching is informed by research. Course content changes periodically to reflect developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback.

Optional module availability
Student demand for optional modules may affect availability.

Full details of the modules on offer will be published through the Programme Regulations and Specifications ahead of each academic year. This usually happens in May.

To find out more please see our terms and conditions.

You will study topics in marine zoology and biology that deal with the form, function and classification of marine animals. You'll focus on cell biology and genetics, marine ecosystems and biological oceanography. You'll gain experience through laboratory classes and fieldwork. You will undertake a residential field course to develop skills and an appreciation of the UK’s marine biodiversity.


Compulsory Modules Credits
Marine Biology 20
Diversity of Marine Animals 20
The Marine Environment 20
Academic and Professional Skills for the Biosciences 20
Marine Practical Skills 1 20
Optional Modules Credits
Genetics and Evolution 20
Marine Microbiology and Primary Producers 20

We place emphasis on topics such as: the adaptations of marine organisms to their environment; molecular biology and genomics; and field and laboratory techniques. You will study creatures, from zooplankton to marine mammals and birds. An internship with an external organisation gives you practical work experience.


Compulsory Modules Credits
Animal Function (Physiology and Development) 20
Ecology of Marine Systems 20
Research and Employability Skills 20
Marine Practical Skills II 20
Marine Vertebrate Biology and Ecology 20
Optional Modules Credits
Molecular Evolution and Systematics 20
Applied Marine Biology 20
Deep-Sea and Polar Biology 20

You carry out an individual research project, which accounts for one third of your time throughout the final year. This can involve laboratory work or fieldwork, computer-based study or use of the University’s research vessel.


Compulsory Modules Credits
Advanced Marine Biology 30
Advanced Marine Zoology 30
Optional Modules Credits
Research Project: Marine Zoology 60
Research Project: Overseas 60

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods

The course is taught through:

  • lectures and seminars to introduce you to new knowledge
  • laboratory sessions in our modern labs that help you develop essential investigative and analytical techniques
  • visits to offshore sites on the University’s research vessel to give you practical skills and experience

Assessment methods

You'll be assessed through a combination of:

  • Coursework

  • Dissertation or research project

  • Examinations – practical or online

  • Practical sessions

Skills and experience

Research skills

As a student at Newcastle, you will have access to plenty of research resources related to your degree.

You'll use the Dove Marine Laboratory, based by the coast, to study live organisms in our research aquaria, as well as our on-campus research laboratories in the Ridley Building and have access to our state-of-the-art research vessel, The Princess Royal. 

Business skills

You will undertake an overseas residential field course during your final year, and have the opportunity to undertake your final-year dissertation project abroad. Between your second and third year, you'll have the opportunity to gain first-hand experience in the sector on a work placement.

Practical skills

Our Marine Zoology degree is very hands-on, through opportunities at our coastal laboratory and aboard our research vessel you'll gain plenty of practical experience and skills, which are crucial for a career in the marine sector. 


Study abroad

Experience life in another country by choosing to study abroad as part of your degree. You’ll be encouraged to embrace fun and challenging experiences, make connections with new communities and graduate as a globally aware professional, ready for your future.

You can choose to spend up to a year studying at a partner institution overseas.

If you choose to study abroad, it will extend your degree by a year. 

Find out more about study abroad

Work placement

Get career ready with a work placement and leave as a confident professional in your field. You can apply to spend 9 to 12 months working in any organisation in the world, and receive University support from our dedicated team to secure your dream placement. Work placements take place between stages 2 and 3.

You'll gain first-hand experience of working in the sector, putting your learning into practice and developing your professional expertise.

If you choose to take a work placement, it will extend your degree by a year. Placements are subject to availability.

Find out more about work placements

Facilities and environment


You'll be based in the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences at our city-centre campus.

You'll study living organisms and local marine ecosystems with access to the Dove Marine Laboratory in Cullercoats and our research vessel, The Princess Royal.

On campus, you'll receive teaching in our purpose-built laboratories and be able to visit the Great North Museum, where there's a range of important biological collections. There's also our controlled-environment aquaria in the Ridley Building.

Away from the main campus, you'll have access to teaching at our two University-run farms. These are used as demonstration facilities as well as a field station with glasshouse and dedicated teaching facilities.


As a new student, you'll receive a tablet, so you can download online learning resources, helping to make our campus more sustainable.

You will also receive a lab coat and dissection kit, along with a copy of Levinton’s Marine Biology textbook and Johnson & Scott’s Study and Communication Skills for the Biosciences textbook.

You'll have the support of an academic member of staff as a personal tutor throughout your degree to help with academic and personal issues.

Your future

Graduates from our Marine Zoology degree have gone on to work for government agencies, such as Natural England and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee and the US-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Some graduates have taken on roles like environmental consultants and researchers. 

Industry links

Studying marine sciences at Newcastle equips you with skills you need to pursue a career in this growing sector. 

You will see marine management in action through the University's collaboration with a wide range of organisations, this includes the Marine Management Organisation, who regulate the seas around England and Wales. 

We also have staff representation on the regional fisheries committees, on the regional biodiversity committee, and on other prominent national organisations.

Enterprising students

Student discusses the challenge

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Careers support

Our Enterprise Challenge gives students the opportunity to work with industry on a project that tackles real-world issues. Watch the above video to find out more.

Our award-winning Careers Service is one of the largest and best in the country, and we have strong links with employers. We provide an extensive range of opportunities to all students through our ncl+ initiative.

Visit our Careers Service website

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2020 entry.

A Level


International Baccalaureate

32 points

Other UK qualifications (and PARTNERS)

Qualifications from outside the UK

English Language requirements


Through our PARTNERS programme, you could receive an offer up to three grades lower than the typical requirements, and get support throughout the application process. To apply through PARTNERS, you must be based in the UK and meet our eligibility criteria. 

Find out more about PARTNERS

Entrance courses (INTO)

International Pathway Courses are specialist programmes designed for international students who want to study in the UK. We provide a range of study options for international students in partnership with INTO. 

Find out more about International Pathway Courses

Admissions policy

This policy applies to all undergraduate and postgraduate admissions at Newcastle University, including Newcastle University London. It is intended to provide information about our admissions policies and procedures to applicants and potential applicants, to their advisors and family members, and to staff of the University.

Tuition fees and scholarships

Tuition fees for 2020 entry (per year)

UK Students


International Students


The maximum fee that we are permitted to charge for UK students is set by the UK government.

As a general principle, you should expect the tuition fee to increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases and in line with inflation.

Read more about fees and funding

You will be charged tuition fees for each year of your degree programme (unless you are on a shorter exchange programme).

The tuition fee amount you will pay may increase slightly year on year as a result of inflation.

Read more about fees and funding

Year abroad and additional costs

For programmes where you can spend a year on a work placement or studying abroad, you will receive a significant fee reduction for that year. 

Some of our degrees involve additional costs which are not covered by your tuition fees.

Find out more about:


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How to apply

Apply through UCAS

To apply for undergraduate study at Newcastle University, you must use the online application system managed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). All UK schools and colleges, and a small number of EU and international establishments, are registered with UCAS. You will need:

  • the UCAS name and institution codes for Newcastle University (NEWC/N21)
  • the UCAS code for the course you want to apply for
  • the UCAS 'buzzword' for your school or college

If you are applying independently, or are applying from a school or college which is not registered to manage applications, you will still use the Apply system. You will not need a buzzword.

Apply through UCAS

Apply through an agent

International students often apply to us through an agent. Have a look at our recommended agents and get in touch with them.

Visit our International pages

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