Our 5-day Snorkelling for Marine Biology residential allows you to explore the UK waters which are full of amazing marine life, but they are often under-appreciated. This course will give you a taste of our fascinating underwater world and will qualify you as a Scuba Schools International (SSI) Snorkel Diver.

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Aimed at beginners, this progressive course will cover practical skills and theory sessions.
Each day will take you on a new adventure at the astonishing Scottish coast. Time out of the water will be spent learning about marine habitats and species, marine conservation and current threats to our oceans. Talks will be from centre staff and guest speakers.
Our residentials also give you the chance to develop a range of transferable skills. These types of skills help across many areas of life and are particularly good for including in job or education applications. Here are some of the transferable skills that are likely to be covered in this residential:

  • Communicating with others
  • Working as a team
  • Managing your time
  • Taking the lead
  • Resilience
  • Reliability
  • Keeping focused
  • Problem solving
  • Decision making

This course is open to young people aged 16-25. When you book, it is essential that you enter the age and attendees name in the Order Notes at the checkout.  If the attendee is under 18, the booking must be made by a parent/guardian.

If these course dates do not suit you, we run similar courses at many of our other centres.

  • Children jumping on a beach
  • Sea life under water

Example Timetable

Example Timetable

Day 1
Arrive-before 12:00
Welcome to the Centre and Introduction to snorkelling equipment, get kitted out with wetsuits and masks. The first snorkel session will be at SSI Kames Bay, a short walk away from the field centre. This first snorkel is a chance to get used to the water, and check equipment all fits correctly we observe hermit crabs, plaice & Co. in their natural habitat.

Day 2
The second snorkel session aims to improve comfort in the water, buoyancy, we do that at White Bay, a site great for sea urchins, starfish, dogfish, and a good chance a seal is visiting the group.  During the day there will be a lecture on sandy and rocky shore ecosystems, and a bit more theory on snorkelling techniques.  In the afternoon snorkel session, we focus more on surveying and start to collect data. It is planned at Sheriff’s bay – a diverse area with rocky outcrops, small sandy beaches, and kelp. Fantastic views on isle of Arran and Bute are guaranteed.

Day 3
The morning session is planned at the Wishing well, another location of rich biodiversity due to rock terraces under water. We fine-tune buoyancy and surveying skills. Beyond that you learn how to collect marine plankton samples and practice microscopy skills identifying the different species. The afternoon session is quite different, we snorkel from board of the RV Actinia focussing of safety and team-building.

Day 4
Using all your knowledge and skills, you will help plan and lead your own guided snorkel session. This will be a full day out at and around the beautiful SSI Ballochmartin Bay. This site is again very different, as it is mud field and therefore, we can complete our marine habitat surveys after having seen rocky and sandy shore.
Alternative destinations will be discussed during the week with regards to weather, tides, and currents.

Day 5
A final morning snorkel session at a location of your choice, it could be a site you haven’t been before, or you want to return. We would like to leave here a bit decision space as the final snorkel session depends on the skills and confidence of the group. For example, a snorkel to the Eileans in Millport Bay is an option.
After lunch: Review of the course and presentation of certificates. Talk on how to further your marine interests, education, or careers.


Important: All locations might change slightly due to weather conditions; however, the curriculum will be followed.

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Full Board Accommodation
  • Hot and Cold Drinks
  • In Course Transport
  • Lunch
  • Expert guidance by fully trained Field Studies Council staff
  • Rigorous health and safety procedures including 24-hour emergency cover
  • Full board accommodation including a cooked breakfast, lunch,  and an evening meal
  • All activities and transport during the course

Before You Attend

A full kit list will be sent to you prior to the course.

This course is open to young people aged 16-25. When you book, it is essential that you enter the age and attendees name in the Order Notes at the checkout.  If the attendee is under 18, the booking must be made by a parent/guardian.

Opportunities to attend this course

This course is not currently available to book. Dates will follow soon.

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