Marine Biology

Marine Biology at St Andrews covers aquatic environments, evolutionary processes, behavioural biology, biodiversity, biological sustainability, marine microbiology and marine mammal biology.

The University is home to the world-renowned Scottish Oceans Institute, which delivers multidisciplinary, topical courses at a high level of specialisation, preparing students to become researchers in marine-related science.


Undergraduate - 2020 entry

Marine Biology BSc (Hons)
Marine Biology MMarBiol (Hons)
Sustainable Aquaculture UGCert
FE-HE Pathway to Science Pathway to BSc (Hons)
Gateway to Science Gateway programme

Undergraduate - 2021 entry

Marine Biology BSc (Hons)
Marine Biology MMarBiol (Hons)
FE-HE Pathway to Science Pathway to BSc (Hons)
Gateway to Science Gateway programme

International Foundation programmes - 2020 entry

International Foundation programmes prepare international students for undergraduate study in the UK and at the University of St Andrews in particular.

Science September Foundation
Science January Foundation 

Postgraduate - 2020 entry


Marine Ecosystem Management MSc
Marine Mammal Science MSc
Statistical Ecology PGDip/MSc
Sustainable Aquaculture - Distance Learning PGDip/MSc
Sustainable Aquaculture - Distance Learning (January 2020 entry) PG Certificate
Sustainable Aquaculture - Distance Learning modular


Please contact a supervisor in your research area to inquire about PhD opportunities.

Visit St Andrews


If you are interested in studying at St Andrews, join us at a visiting day or talk and tour to explore the town, find out about our courses and meet current students.

Upcoming visiting days:

  • Wednesday 1 April 2020
  • Wednesday 8 April 2020
  • Wednesday 15 April 2020

Visit us


Upcoming visiting days:

  • Wednesday 11 March 2020

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Marine Biology research areas

Marine Biology research at St Andrews is focused around three research themes:

Careers for graduates in Marine Biology

Graduates of Marine Biology are well prepared to become scientists and managers, delivering the research and scientific advice needed for integrated resource and biodiversity management all over the world.

A degree in Marine Biology also provides students with transferable skills applicable to a wide range of scientific and non-scientific careers.

Graduates from Marine Biology programmes pursue careers in:

  • biotechnology
  • environmental consultancy
  • global aquaculture
  • government policy
  • media
  • publishing and journalism
  • research
  • teaching.

See recent graduate employment case studies.

Work experience

Work experience is invaluable when it comes to securing graduate-level employment. There are a number of marine biology-specific opportunities for students to gain work experience:

  • Complete a summer research internship in an area of interest with RISE Germany.
  • Become a member of Transition, a group of St Andrews students and staff who work together on environmental projects.
  • Join an expedition to get involved with environmental and sustainable development projects:
    • Earthwatch Institute offers expeditions in ocean health and ecosystems.
    • Operation Wallacea runs a series of biological and conservation management research programmes in remote locations.
    • Frontier provides a number of marine conservation volunteering opportunities across the globe.
    • Expedition Akumal protects and restores the coral reefs of Akumal in Mexico.

Funding opportunities

There is a range of funding opportunities available to prospective undergraduates, postgraduates and PhD students.


There are various undergraduate funding opportunities offered by the University of St Andrews.

Undergraduate scholarships


Funding is available for postgraduate taught study.

Postgraduate taught scholarships

PhD students

BBSRC studentship funding
The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council provides competitive funding for research in many areas including: whole organism biology, biological populations and systems, and biodiversity.

Funding for PhD students


REF 2014

‌The impact of research in the School of Biology was ranked first in Scotland and second in the UK in the Research Excellence Framework 2014.

University league tables

The School of Biology was ranked first in Scotland and joint second in the UK by the Guardian University Guide 2020 and was ranked second in Scotland by the Complete University Guide 2020.

Athena SWAN Bronze Award

The School of Biology has achieved an Athena SWAN Bronze Award in recognition of advancement of gender quality.


School of Biology
University of St Andrews
Biomolecular Sciences Building
North Haugh
St Andrews
KY16 9ST

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 3441

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