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Study marine science abroad

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

Marine science degrees abroad

Marine science, sometimes called oceanography, is the scientific study of the ocean and marine life. It’s a subject that includes elements of biology, geology, chemistry, geography, and physics.

As a marine science student, you’ll develop a detailed understanding of the operations and roles of oceanic ecosystems. You’ll explore every aspect of marine life, from the ocean’s great mammals to its tiny phytoplankton. You’ll also examine the threats faced by today’s marine ecosystems, and evaluate international conservation and protection efforts.

While using textbooks to study marine science is possible, it’s no substitute for real-life experience. By studying overseas, you’ll have the chance to visit the world’s coral reefs, lagoons, salt marshes, and mangroves in person. Observing marine life in its natural environment is not only mesmerizing but also key to your professional development in the field.

Marine science program structure

Bachelor’s programs in marine science usually last three or four years, but this largely depends on where you choose to study. Most undergraduate programs will also encourage students to complete an additional work placement year during their studies. Placements are an excellent way of gathering experience and making professional connections.

If you’ve set your sights on studying in the US, you’ll probably select marine science as your major. All bachelor’s degrees in the US last four years. You’ll spend the first two years taking general education classes, before focusing on marine science courses in the final half of your program.

If your BSc has left you hungry to learn more, you can enroll in a postgraduate program. A master’s degree can be studied over one or two years, followed by a PhD which can take between four and seven years to complete.

Most marine science programs blend classroom teaching with hands-on fieldwork so that students develop a sound theoretical and practical understanding of the subject. As such, your timetable will probably consist of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical laboratories, and field trips.

It’s important to remember that the exact content of marine science programs will be heavily influenced by countries’ native marine diversity and ecosystems. However, most courses around the world will address these core study areas:

  • Marine organisms and ecosystems
  • Marine biology
  • Physical oceanography
  • Chemical oceanography
  • Marine geology
  • Mathematics and statistics
  • Marine protection and conservation
  • Earth sciences

Types of marine science degrees

How to study marine science abroad

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Marine science study abroad programs

Marine science undergraduate programs

Bachelor's in marine science

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    Marine Science - BSc University of South Carolina, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    33,928 USD
    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about Marine Science
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    Coastal and Marine Science - BCMSc University of Newcastle, Australia

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    3 years
    Tuition fees per year
    35 AUD
    Start date
    February, July, September
    Show program overview about Coastal and Marine Science
  • false

    Marine Science - BSc (Hons) Ulster University, UK

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    14,480 GBP
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about Marine Science
  • false

    Environmental Science - Marine Science - BSc Western Washington University, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    24,690 USD
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about Environmental Science - Marine Science
  • false

    Marine Science - BSc University of Southern Mississippi, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    10,770 USD
    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about Marine Science
See all bachelor's degrees in marine science

Marine science graduate programs

Master's in marine science

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    Marine Science - MPhil University of Newcastle, Australia

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    38,825 AUD
    Start date
    February, July, September
    Show program overview about Marine Science
  • false

    Marine Science - MSc University of Southern Mississippi, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    10,770 USD
    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about Marine Science
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    Marine Science - 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 Marine Science
  • false

    Marine Science - MSc University of the South Pacific, Fiji

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    14,857 USD
    Start date
    February, July
    Show program overview about Marine Science
  • false

    Marine Science - MSc California State University, Monterey Bay, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    15,600 USD
    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about Marine Science
See all master's degrees in marine science

Doctorate in marine science

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    Marine Science - PhD University of Southern Mississippi, USA

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    10,770 USD
    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about Marine Science
See all doctorates in marine science

Future marine science careers

The world’s marine ecosystems are under increasing threat. Governments, businesses, and organizations are trying to limit their contributions to climate change, habitat destruction, pollution, and overfishing. As such, your skills and expertise will be highly valued in a range of roles across the public and private sectors.

Marine science graduates dive into various positions, including:

  • Marine biologist
  • Aquatic veterinarian
  • Marine conservationist
  • Researcher
  • Marine policy expert
  • Fishery data manager
  • Environmental engineer
  • Maine biotechnologist

If figuring out what you’d like to do after university is proving tricky, have a chat with your University’s career service. They’ll help you work out what you’re most interested in, secure some work experience, and perfect your resume.