Marine Science A level


Who should take this course?


This course continues to build upon the content covered in GCSE science courses and is an introduction to the science of the marine environment.

This course is an ideal subject combination for students who wish to study Marine Biology or Environmental Science at university or those students who wish to follow a career in shipping, fisheries, tourism or aquaculture.


What will I learn?


Marine science is designed to help you develop your scientific skills such as communication, data analysis, objectivity and to enjoy science as an informed interest in the subject that may lead to further study.   In addition, students will develop an understanding of their responsibility to others/society and to care for the environment.


Students will study various marine ecosystems such as the open ocean, tropical coral reefs and the mangrove forest.  Students will also study the physiology of marine organisms, planning for a sustainable marine environment and considering the impact of humans on the marine ecosystems.   


How will I be assessed?


This A level is a two year linear course which will culminate in four exams at the end of year 13.   All papers are worth 25% of the overall grade. 

Assessments will expect students to use a variety of source material such as passages of text or diagrams, descriptions and images of investigations and photographs of habitats. 

Candidates will not be expected to plot graphs, produce biological drawings or construct tables.


Practical work is incorporated into the course and is assessed in paper two and four of the terminal assessments and accounts for 15% of the marks available. 


Where will it take me?


There are a wide variety of training and education routes open to students who are successful in marine science.  Options for ongoing study or employment vary in content, duration and the qualification achieved.  Some of the most popular courses/employment routes include:

  • A marine science degree – a degree that develops your knowledge further which is likely to include field work.


  • Marine animal trainer – trains animals to perform tricks and interact with humans. They are also likely to provide basic animal care.


  • Aquaculture technician – raises fish and marine plants for food, pets and research.


  • Aquarist – a type of zookeeper who cares for captive fish and marine animals in aquariums, zoos and theme parks.


  • Marine conservationist – an environmental specialist who protects marine environments and the flora and fauna found there.


  • Environmental planner – an individual who makes sure residential and commercial developments comply with environmental laws and regulations.