Marine Institute


Representing 3000 staff, researchers and students, the University of Plymouth's Marine Institute is the first and largest such institute in the UK.

We provide the external portal to our extensive pool of world-leading experts and state-of-the-art facilities, enabling us to understand the relationship between the way we live, the seas that surround us and the development of sustainable policy solutions.

We are integrating our multidisciplinary expertise in marine and maritime research, education and innovation to train new scientists, engineers, policy-makers, artists, technicians and business managers of the future.

The staff represented by the Marine Institute are housed across the University and form the broadest portfolio of marine expertise within a single institute in Europe.

We hope you enjoy reading about the scope and relevance of the research and facilities the Marine Institute represents and the University’s marine education and innovation activities.

Together with our partners, we are responding to the challenge of providing science, education, technological innovation and business leadership for tomorrow’s world.


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World leaders

We are ranked the number one university globally for the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal number 14: life below water.

The award recognises the quality of our marine research and teaching as well as our efforts to reduce the impact of campus activities on the marine environment. 

Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2021: life below water

Innovators for a sustainable ocean: World Ocean Week 2020

As the United Nations put the global spotlight on ‘innovation for a sustainable ocean’, the University’s Marine Institute reflected on the innovative approaches our researchers take towards sustainable marine resource management.

From offshore renewable energy to coastal resilience, the National Marine Park to plastics, we reflected on our role in securing a healthier, protected future for our oceans.

During the week, a number of our marine conservation researchers led events that brought together global experts to inform future policy recommendations.

Find out more about our involvement with World Ocean Week

Recent highlights

Ashfords Marine Research Prize

Ashfords LLP has generously committed a £2,000 donation which will be divided between four students – a winner, runner up, and two honourable mentions.

The prize is open to current undergraduate students whose final year research project relates to the marine sector.

Find out more about the prize

Ashfords Scholarship

The Marine Institute has secured funding to support two scholarships to enable current final-year undergraduate students to continue their education at the University via a marine-related postgraduate masters level course.

This scheme has been made possible via a generous donation from Ashfords Solicitors with a key aim of helping to retain talented students in the region. Two scholarships each of £2000 are available for students who are offered a place on one of our marine-related postgraduate masters level courses starting in September 2021.

Find out more

The Queen's Anniversary Prize for pioneering research on marine microplastics pollution and its impact on the environment and changing behaviour

Nearly two decades of world-leading research into the effects of marine plastics on our environment by Plymouth researchers, led by Professor Richard Thompson OBE FRS, has received the highest honour that can be bestowed upon a higher education institution.

Recognition for our discovery of microplastics

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Marine Institute news

New book explores the causes and consequences of our biodiversity crisis

Biodiversity: A Beginner’s Guide, by Professor John Spicer, highlights how COVID-19 has shown us that the transformative change is possible

6 May 2021