UHI ranked first in Scotland for earth and marine science studies 

UHI has been ranked first in Scotland and fifth in the UK for earth and marine sciences in the Guardian’s University Guide 2023. The rating highlights UHI’s BSc (hons) marine science, BSc (hons) environmental science and BSc (hons) archaeology and environmental studies courses. 

The Guardian University Guide uses nine measures of performance, covering all stages of the student life cycle, including student satisfaction and career prospects, as well as looking at research excellence in the relevant area. Student satisfaction scores, taken from National Student Survey data, measure how satisfied students are with their courses: for UHI’s BSc (hons) marine science, 100% of students reported that they are satisfied with the course for the last three years. 

Dr Su Bryan, Dean of Faculty of Science, Health and Engineering, said: “I’m really pleased to see our earth and marine science degrees ranking first in Scotland, as they did last year, but I’m not surprised. Being based in the heart of some world-class environments, reaching from Oban to Shetland, our students have access to mountains, peatlands, woodlands, coastal and marine environments. With so many exciting developments in our region, such as renewable energy through offshore wind, environmental monitoring and aquaculture, we are ideally placed to have a positive impact on local economies as well as driving economic growth.” 

“Our courses have consistently scored well too when it comes to student satisfaction, despite levels of satisfaction across the UK taking a dip during the pandemic. Our strong digital infrastructure, supportive teaching model and strong student relationships all play a part in ensuring that UHI truly offers education for all.” 

Professor Keith Davidson, Associate Director for Education at SAMS, said: “I am delighted to see that UHI is consistently being ranked among the best in the UK for earth and marine science subjects. The Guardian rankings recognise our excellent student satisfaction rates on these courses at UHI, as well as the world-class teaching students receive from active, senior researchers. Such acclaim comes with a responsibility to ensure we continue to meet our own high standards. Given the various pressures on our ocean and wider environment, we must continue to develop well-informed and dedicated scientists to become leaders for the next generation.” 

Senior Research Fellow Kenny Boyd from the Environmental Research Institute, based at UHI North Highland’s Thurso campus said, “Our Environmental Science Programme, while firmly based in the Highlands and Islands, covers global as well as local environmental issues.  The broad curriculum covers marine, freshwater and terrestrial environments and has an emphasis on developing the practical field, laboratory and data analysis skills necessary for a career in environmental science.” 

UHI covers the largest geographical area of any campus-based university or college in the UK and has the largest student population in Scotland, with over 30,000 students studying across the partnership each year. Together, it offers a diverse and flexible learning approach with research and partnership opportunities, giving a student experience like no other.  

To find out more about studying at UHI or to learn more about the world-class research facilities, visit www.uhi.ac.uk 

Case study  

Blair Watson, who graduated from UHI’s marine science BSc in 2017 and now works at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh, shares his experience of studying at SAMS in Oban:  

“It was the interdisciplinary nature of this degree that really caught my eye. For so long, marine biology was the only option I had considered, but when I found SAMS, I realised that that was just the tip of the iceberg! Life in the sea fascinated me, but then so do the ocean currents, hydrothermal vents, seamounts and marine technology - by going to SAMS I knew that I would have the opportunity to try a variety of fields and find what felt like a natural fit to myself. Plus, the location of the campus helped make the choice rather easy! Without a shadow of a doubt, I would say that the field and practical work were absolute highlights. To head out on the water, feel the sea spray on my face and investigate our own local waters was an absolute joy and I would do it all over again in an instant.” 

ENDS  

For more information, contact communications@uhi.ac.uk  

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Notes to editors  

UHI is a tertiary partnership serving our communities and connected to their needs. We offer flexible and supported learning from access level to PhD, as well as research opportunities rooted in place and purpose. The diversity and flexibility of our partnership is our greatest strength, allowing us to deliver more.