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Study marine biology abroad

An in-depth guide to studying marine biology as an international student.

Marine biology degrees abroad

The study of marine biology focuses on understanding the biology of marine organisms and their ecosystems. Most of our planet’s life is found in the oceans, ranging from microscopic algae to massive blue whales, and as a marine biologist, you’ll learn about their behavior, physiology, and ecology, and how they are influenced by factors like climate change and fishing.

The pressure being put on our oceans by pollution and rising global temperatures means the role of marine biologists has never been more important. If you want to play an active role in protecting marine biodiversity and the future of our oceans, then this could be the ideal program for you.

Choosing to study marine biology abroad means you have a wide range of programs from all over the world to choose from. You could study in a country with access to diverse marine biodiversity, or choose a university with cutting edge facilities that you’d not find in your home country.

Marine biology program structure

At undergraduate level you can study marine biology as a BSc over three or four years. It’s also possible to study an MBiol (Master of Biology), which is taught over four or five years and combines a bachelor’s and master’s degree in one program.

If you already have a bachelor’s degree in marine biology or a related subject, you can study a separate master’s in biology (MSc) over one or two years. If you want a PhD in marine biology, most doctorate programs can take up to five years to complete.

Most marine biology programs will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, fieldwork and laboratory sessions. Your progress will be assessed through essays, written exams, presentations, lab reports and a final year research dissertation.

Marine biology is often offered in combination with another subject as a joint honors degree, or specializing in a specific area. For example, you could choose to study marine biology and oceanography or marine biology and zoology.

As marine biology can cover a number of different areas, it’s no surprise that each program’s content and structure will differ depending on the university you choose to go to. Therefore it’s worth checking the curriculum before you apply, but here are some of the modules you can expect to study:

  • Biodiversity and evolution
  • Marine ecology and oceanography
  • Microbiology
  • Zoology
  • Research methods in marine biology
  • Marine invertebrates
  • Marine vertebrates
  • Exploitation of the sea
  • Marine conservation

How to study marine biology abroad

  1. Universities & programs

    Find the right program for you and your career aspirations

  2. Application assistance

    Be guided through your application process

  3. Visa & embassy guidance

    Maximise your chances of being granted a visa

  4. Enrollment & travel advice

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Marine biology study abroad programs

Marine biology undergraduate programs

Bachelor's in marine biology

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    Biology (Marine Biology) - BSc St. Francis College, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    26,688 USD
    Start date
    January, May, September
    Show program overview about
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    Biological Sciences - Marine Biology - BSc Louisiana State University, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    28,700 USD
    Start date
    January, May, August
    Show program overview about
  • false

    Marine Biology - BSc Florida International University, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    18,566 USD
    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about
  • false

    Marine Biology - BSc Auburn University, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    32,220 USD
    Start date
    January, May, August
    Show program overview about
  • false

    Marine Biology - BSc (Hons) (with placement) University of Portsmouth, UK

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    17,600 GBP
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about
See all bachelor's degrees in marine biology

Marine biology graduate programs

Master's in marine biology

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    Marine Biology - MSc University of North Carolina Wilmington, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    18,548 USD
    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about
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    Marine Biology - MSc/PhD Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi, USA

    Program type
    Master's/Doctorate
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    11,536 USD
    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about
See all master's degrees in marine biology

Doctorate in marine biology

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    Marine Biology - MSc/PhD Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi, USA

    Program type
    Master's/Doctorate
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    11,536 USD
    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about
See all doctorates in marine biology

Future marine biology careers

As a graduate, you’ll have all the specialist skills and knowledge you’ll need to start a career as a marine biologist or in a related field. The transferable skills you’ll learn in analysis, problem-solving, research and teamwork mean you’ll be well suited to work in many other areas.

Some of the roles marine biology graduates go into include:

  • Marine scientist
  • Marine ecologist
  • Oceanographer
  • Conservation officer
  • Dive operations manager
  • Fisheries officer
  • Environmental consultant
  • Marine resource manager
  • Oil spill consultant

If you know what area of marine biology you want to pursue after graduation, make sure you look for a program that matches your aspirations. Most universities have career services that will be able to guide and advise you on how to get the role you want after university.