FSC | Field Studies Council

Field Studies Council: Bringing Environmental Understanding to All


FSC Millport welcomes university groups for a range of subjects on either a self-taught, centre assisted or centre taught basis. At FSC Millport we pride ourselves in using every element of the environment around us in our Higher Education teaching. We are extremely lucky to have access to terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments to enable us to deliver a high-quality teaching and learning atmosphere in the beautiful setting of the Firth of Clyde.

The Centre has excellent facilities for University groups including our own Research Vessel.  See more about our facilities

 Click here For more infomation about what FSC can do for Universities

Centre-Taught Courses

FSC Scotland is proud to continue the tradition of offering high-quality, centre-taught, university courses at Millport. We offer a wide range of HE courses aimed at undergraduate levels 1 - 3 and MSc students. We can deliver courses directly tailored to your institutions requirements; these can run from a few days to weeks or longer! Our well-stocked equipment store and specialist equipment ensures that we can deliver a high level of support for Higher Education Groups.

The Firth of Clyde is an ideal location to teach a variety of different subjects including Marine Biology and Ecology, Geology, Geography, Social History, Marine Mammal Ecology, Coastal Zone Management and a wide range of other bespoke courses. This is because the area has a wide range of different habitats (both terrestrial and marine) and a rich social and industrial history.

Our StaffTeaching On Boat

Our Higher Education courses are delivered by an experienced team led by Dr Phillip Cowie, (BSC, MSc, PhD, PGCAP) who has taught marine biology and ecology and researched different aspects of the Clyde for 18 years. He has published a variety of scientific articles on subjects ranging from marine microbiology to the effects of plastics on marine organisms. Dr Cowie is supported by other members of our HE team who also have a long association with Clyde organisms and Habitats, this wealth of experience helps to ensure that your course runs smoothly and your students have a high-quality educational experience.

This team can deliver a wide range of courses, they encompass a broad spectrum from more traditional Marine Biology/Ecology courses to subjects such as Marine Microbiology and Marine Mammal Biology and Ecology. If required, we can also teach courses with a greater emphasis on terrestrial and fresh-water environments.

University Course Types

Marine biology and ecology
• Marine microbiology
• Coastal zone management
• Sampling the marine environment
• Diversity of life – this course allows students to study microorganisms to multicellular organisms from the terrestrial, freshwater and marine habitats
• Fisheries ecology
• Ecological sampling methods (marine, freshwater and terrestrial sampling)
• Marine and freshwater biology
• Marine conservation
• Marine mammal and seabird ecology
• Ornithology

Elements of different courses can be combined to give you the exact course you require that fits in with your overall teaching programme and desired student learning objectives. Please contact Dr Phillip Cowie [email protected] for more information or if you wish to discuss developing new courses at our Scottish centres.

Taught Days

In addition to delivering fully taught courses we can support your team by delivering individual subjects or taught days that can fit into/within your own courses. This is useful, because the experience and skills of our staff can be used to supplement your own teaching team – especially when our staff have expertise in a specific, specialist area.

Marine Habitats

Marine Habitat

Located on the Firth of Clyde, FSC Millport is uniquely placed for teaching and research – there is a wide variety of marine habitats right on our doorstep. This means that students can become acquainted with a diverse range of organisms from limpets and FSC Millport's marine habitats and teaching sitesstarfish to seals and Minke whales! Our purpose built, on-site accommodation means that students can go from the laboratory to different field sites in minutes - a distinct advantage when planning courses and maximising the benefit of field courses.

See more about our marine habitats and teaching sites

A wide range of important marine research has been conducted at the institute over the decades, from the early pioneering work of great figures such as John Barnes, Sheina Marshall and C.M. Yonge; to recent, on-going research conducted into modern topics such as the impacts of plastics in the marine environment, marine conservation, fisheries management and marine microbiology. The permanent staff and everyone visiting the station are passionate about marine biology and the role of the station in providing facilities for research and teaching.


There is a long history of intertidal and sublittoral research being conducted at FSC Millport, going back to the 1800s and continuing to the present day. We are happy to support research projects at the centre, giving our help and advice. However, our centre can be very busy and priority is given to Universities who use FSC Millport or our sister centre FSC Kindrogan. Please contact Dr Phillip Cowie [email protected] if you wish to discuss either conducting undergraduate or other research at the centre and the support we can offer.

Contact Us

For more information or to enquire about booking for your University group please get in touch with us on 01475 530581 or [email protected]