Plymouth University: Conserving Earth’s Natural Wonders, One Student at a Time
There is no better way to learn how to protect the earth’s natural wonders than by exploring. Just ask Jordan Elliot-Murray, a nature lover with the utmost respect for the marine and terrestrial environment. To gain the scientific knowledge, skills and practical experience necessary to launch a rewarding career, she decided to pursue a BSc (Hons) Ocean Science and Marine Conservation at the University of Plymouth.
In just her second week, Elliot-Murray realized that the university’s approach to education –– “learn by doing” –– was true. Life jacket and all, she ended up at sea, aboard the RV Falcon Spirit –– a 14-meter science catamaran –– which is used, alongside a fleet of smaller boats, for practical work in group and individual project work. His class was on their way to collect water samples. Ashore, they surveyed local beaches to assess storm erosion.
“The amount of technology, equipment and opportunities they have is incredible,” she says. “This is only our second week in Plymouth and we are already on boats, we are already at the ferry station and we are already having a fantastic time.”
In the face of increasing coastal erosion, pollution and threatened ecosystems, the School of Biological and Marine Sciences at the University of Plymouth is fighting to highlight the importance of the world’s oceans as a precious natural resource . To train students to become protectors of marine environments, the top-ranked university offers an educational experience of a lifetime that steadily extends beyond classrooms and UK borders.
Experiences like Elliot-Murray’s are the norm, as are trips to the Caribbean, Portugal, South Africa, Sweden, France, etc. In Plymouth itself, a natural laboratory, students have access to the Marine Station, a historic £ 4.65million development located on the shores of Plymouth Sound – the UK’s first national marine park.
It is no coincidence that this natural laboratory has one of the highest concentrations of world-class marine institutions, which, in addition to the university, includes: the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, the Marine Biological Association and the National Marine Aquarium. The teaching and research of the University benefit from close links between all these organizations. The University of Plymouth is also unique in offering its students the opportunity to obtain the HSE Professional SCUBA certification in addition to their degree.
Undergraduate study programs offering such opportunities are:
Opportunities also extend at postgraduate level on:
Budding environmentalists are also spoiled for choice. Another area of study in which the school excels is the biological sciences. These study programs are accredited by the Royal Society of Biology, each comprising practical fieldwork both locally and internationally. Enrolled students explore their interests in a well-stocked laboratory and resource center. Equipped with new knowledge, they participate in optional one-year internships.
Alice Mosley, BSc (Hons) Animal Behavior and Welfare student, appreciates these offerings while gaining the knowledge she will need to influence change for a greener world.
“As I familiarize myself with the behavior modules, I begin to choose the areas in which I want to specialize, in preparation for my internship year and beyond,” she explains. “I want to gain as much experience as possible. So far I have worked for the Natural History Book Service. Volunteer at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary. Saw gorillas in the wild. With the support of the university, I am on the right track to turn my passion into a profession.
After graduating, she hopes to work in a position that combines animal behavior and conservation, leveraging her growing skills to improve the relationship between animals and society.
Understanding animal behavior in terrestrial, marine and freshwater environments is just one of the many skills that the School of Biological and Marine Sciences guarantees to its future agents of change. It nourishes the minds of those who are passionate about biodiversity conservation; manage and restore habitats; and provide solutions to an impending global food crisis.
The programs producing these experts, at the undergraduate level, are:
And at the postgraduate level, are:
In the school’s main areas of biology, marine sciences and marine biology, more than 70 academics and 40 technical staff guide more than 1,200 students to achieve their ambitions. With world-renowned discoveries being made every day, the School of Biological and Marine Sciences truly is the place to start accelerating an impactful career. Its unique location and resources are the icing on the cake.
Emma Mellor, a BSc (Hons) Animal Behavior and Welfare and MSc Zoo Conservation Biology graduate confirms this, stating: “I would recommend Plymouth for high quality coursework and teaching, academic support and of course a nice combination of sea and moor. The beautiful location of Plymouth and the surrounding countryside was an added bonus! ”
It’s no wonder that many programs in the School of Biological and Marine Sciences achieved 100% student satisfaction in the National Student Survey (NSS, 2019). To join them in admiring these wonders while strategizing to ensure future generations can too, learn more here.
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