School of Biological and Marine Sciences

MRes Scientific Diving

Planned new course

Programme code 7892

1 year

Course type


Location Plymouth

Delivering a cutting-edge scientific diving programme to students with a background in biology, marine biology or marine sciences. Learn the skills you need to be a professional scientific diver on the only masters level scientific diving programme in the world and contribute to our understanding of the oceans in your future career.

Scientific Diving

Careers with this subject

With the strong and increasing international interest in marine conservation and research, highly trained scientific divers are a critical resource.
Scientific diving is a highly useful skill to the marine scientist, but obtaining professional standard training is very difficult. Many science divers start off with recreational diving qualifications and gradually gain professional skills over many years. The MRes Scientific Diving programme aims to train you comprehensively in the core skills you need to work professionally as a diving scientist at the start of your scientific career. With the increasing understanding of the importance and vulnerability of the oceans, and the push to protect 30% of our oceans by 2030, employment potential for highly skilled graduate scientific divers globally is increasing, from the poles to the tropics.

Key features

Course details

  • Year 1

  • This programme is structured around three modules: the existing HSE SCUBA Diving Course with alternative options for students who already hold this qualification, and two new modules: a statistical and experimental design module and a scientific diving methods module, including a tropical diving field-course. 
    The programme will include a nine-month research project either based at the  Marine Station, or embedded within a UK-based or international organisation that utilises scientific diving.   

Entry requirements

An honours degree in a relevant discipline such as marine biology, marine science, biology, zoology, ocean science, or an overseas equivalent at 2.1 or better. 
If a candidate applies with a degree in a non-related discipline this may be considered if the applicant has significant relevant industry experience.  
A minimum of grade C in English language at GCSE level OR a minimum overall score of 6.5 in IELTS with no less than 5.5 in any component. 

Fees, costs and funding

Student 2023-2024 2024-2025
Home N/A £18,000
International N/A £25,000
Part time (Home) N/A N/A
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. More information about fees and funding.

Exceptional facilities

You’ll mainly be based at our  Marine Station, situated on the shores of Plymouth Sound as part of our ‘Waterfront Campus’. The facility offers labs and classrooms extending out into the natural environment.
It is the base for our research vessels and a centre of excellence for diving.
Marine station

Plymouth is one of the top UK diving destinations and people come from all over the UK to dive there. As a student on the HSE diving course you get to dive these areas as part of the course - from famous ship wrecks to reefs with large amounts of marine life. Having the HSE diving qualification helped me get my dream job as a Marine Biologist working for The British Antarctic Survey and to this day keeps me in an exciting marine science career.

Terri Souster, BSc (Hons) Marine Biology graduate
Terri Souster sitting in the snow