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FdSc Marine Biology with Oceanography

Level 5

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Key Info

Learning Area   Marine & Natural Environment
Delivery Mode   Full-time
Duration   Up to 5 days per week for 2 years
Institution Code   C78
Course Code   12033-NQY-22

Dates & Locations

Course Type   University
Location   Cornwall College Newquay
Start Date   19/09/2022

The United Nations has proclaimed 2021-2030 to be the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. Higher Education must now produce science graduates capable of realising the ambitious goals of this framework. These graduates must be able to grasp the global scope and timeliness of the issues at hand, to undertake the science required that will provide answers to questions as they arise, then convey these faithfully and articulately to whichever audience needs to hear them.

You will be starting a journey on a marine programme like no other.

To our knowledge, no other degree programme in the UK has embedded the Ocean Literacy programme promoted by UNESCO to this extent. We can find no other course that has based a first-year module around this programme by using the seven ocean literacy principles as Assessed Learning Outcomes.

You will be embarking on a programme of study which embeds science communication. In each year, there is a specific module where science communication and education/interpretation/outreach are taught, and it forms part of the assessment. In addition, other modules have learning outcomes that make the dissemination of marine scientific knowledge a core attribute.

In your second-year subjects you will engage with a suite of three 20-credit modules that are heavily active and field-based. You will collect data, maintain equipment and publish recordings in an approach that is designed to be as practical as possible, with repeated attempts at activities that then embed them with your applied skillset. These modules cover biological, chemical and physical oceanography, thereby equipping you with skillset to become technicians in these fields, or well prepared to gain higher level qualifications to enable research-related careers.

You will be undertaking a module that cultivates your sense of entrepreneurship. This module teaches you the past achievements in marine resource use, allows you to develop your GIS skills in mapping the present marine resource use from a marine spatial planning perspective and then explore new products from marine resources – including learning about how these could be marketed.

You will be based in a fantastic rural campus in the heart of Newquay, with a small, family feel. The staff are research active and bring that expertise to the class. We often encourage students who write exceptional and publishable project reports to co-write their work for scientific publication, with them as the lead author.

You will be 10-30 minutes’ walk from a range of north Cornish coast habitats, a dive school with a range of dive courses on offer, a local and very active marine conservation group, a research-equipped vessel for coastal work and you will be 45 minutes’ drive from an additional range of south Cornish coast habitats. You will be four hours’ travel from the world-famous biodiversity hotspot of the Isles of Scilly, a location for which a residential fieldtrip could be based. There are a number of marine protected areas on your doorstep in which to learn your subject area, including one on your doorstep – Newquay and the Gannel Marine Conservation Zone.

Finally, we have strong links with local conservation and marine organisations to develop your work-related experience, which is a very strong thread through the programme.

  What You Will Learn

(Note there is some flexibility in order or modules studied, in addition some module titles and content may change.)

First year modules include:

- Our Ocean Planet - Our centrepiece module common to both FdSc Marine Biology with Conservation and FdSc Marine Biology with Oceanography is Our Ocean Planet, a 40 credit module based on the Ocean Literacy principles promoted by UNESCO. These seven YouTube videos were produced by UNESCO, supported by the Government Offices of Sweden for the 2021-30 United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. The seven videos below will hopefully give you a flavour of the content to be covered in this unique module.
- Skills for Scientific Success
- Marine Survey Techniques
- Fundamentals of Biology
- Diversity of Life

Second Year Modules Include:

- Marine Biology in Practice
- Applications of Biological Oceanography
- Applications of Chemical Oceanography
- Applications of Physical Oceanography
- Marine Resources Innovation and Management
- Individual Research Project

  Entry Requirements

64 UCAS Points in scientific subjects at Level 3; Cs/4-5s at GCSE in English, Maths and Science. If not in English and Maths then Level 2 Functional Skills in Literacy and Numeracy.

  Work Experience

100 hours


Mix of coursework, exam, test and practical


Level 6 top-up degree course, for example BSc (Hons) Applied Marine Zoology.




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# marine # biology # marinebiology # conservation # oceanography # wildlife # sea # environment # environmental # ocean # science # FdScMarineBiology

Courses listed on this website are indicative of the subject, nature and level of study. The College reserves the right to alter specific qualifications titles, awarding bodies and levels of qualification, which can change in year. Any cost may also vary, based on personal funding eligibility. The Cornwall College Group reserves the right to withdraw any course listed at any time.

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