Dates are being revised due to Covid-19

Are you a sixth form student considering a degree in biology, ecology or environmental science? Are you an undergraduate who would like to improve your marine biology? Would you like a career in marine biology, marine conservation or marine science? Do you want to meet working marine scientists and educators? The camp has been created to offer you an opportunity to explore future career or studying options. This residential will enable you to find out more about marine science, hear from experts working in the field and share the experience with others with similar interests.

This residential Marine Summer Camp is for: Higher and Advanced Higher Students, Undergraduates just about to start their 1st or 2nd year and Duke of Edinburgh Gold Residential students. The course includes two guided snorkelling tours, a wildlife boat trip, seminars from guest scientists, a mini independent research project, sessions on different marine environments and a careers workshop.

Participants will receive a certificate of attendance.

We anticipate that this course will run with between 5 and 30 participants.

Tutor: Christina Sinclair

Christina studied Marine Biology at the University of St Andrews and throughout her degree she developed a love of scuba diving and dived in Honduras, Thailand, Indonesia, Egypt, Australia, New Zealand and even balmy Scotland! After graduating she worked in Edinburgh Zoo as an Animal Presenter, working predominantly in the Giant Panda exhibit and discussing their biology and conservation. Now Christina is a Tutor with FSC Millport and uses her knowledge and passion to inspire others, whilst working by the sea.

Example Timetable


Arrival 12 midday

Afternoon: Course Introduction
An introduction to the course, the centre and the facilities for the week. We will then go for a guided tour of our aquarium and museum.

Wildlife Walk
To stretch our legs after a day of travel we will go for a walk around the coast looking for some of Cumbrae’s coastal species including seals and gannets.

Evening: Natural History of the Clyde
An overview of the flora, fauna and geology of the Firth of Clyde, our home for the week!

Welcome to the MBA
Our MBA representative will give a short talk on the MBA and register our new members.


Morning: Boat trip and Marine Sampling Techniques
A cruise around the local islands looking for marine mammals and seabirds. We will also conduct a benthic trawl to sample the animals that live on the seabed and bring them ashore to examine.

Afternoon: Trawl and Plankton Workshop
We will spend the afternoon studying the trawl specimens and produce annotated anatomical drawings to illustrate their amazing adaptations. We’ll also look at world of plankton (collected from the boat) and examine specimens under microscopes. The ecological importance of plankton will be discussed in a short talk.

Evening: Nocturnal Sampling
We will set a variety of nocturnal sampling devices overnight to study the creatures of the night around the centre. These will include small mammal traps and camera traps for the otter.


Morning: Marine Parasites
A dissection of mackerel to learn about fish anatomy and to look for a common marine parasite; the nematode worm! Specimens will be examined under microscopes.

Afternoon: 1st Snorkeling Session
For our first in-water session, we will head to the sandy shore to learn the basics of how to use a mask, snorkel and fins.

Evening: Marine Movie Night
After a vote on which marine-themed documentary shall be watched, we will have a relaxing evening learning about a key marine issue.


Morning: Sandy Shore
To develop our knowledge of the organisms that live beneath the sand, we will visit our local SSSI, Kames Bay, to sample the ‘in-fauna’ that lives there.

Afternoon: 2nd Snorkeling Session
We will head to the most diverse shore on the island, White Bay, for our final snorkeling session. This will focus on finding and identifying marine species underwater.

Evening: Campfire
We will end the final night with a campfire out on the point, to cook some popcorn and marshmallows and watch for wildlife in the Clyde.


Morning: Rocky Shore Survey
Heading to Farland Point, our local rocky shore, we will carry out an investigation of the communities that live there and how they are adapted to survive.

Afternoon: Careers in Marine Science
An overview of getting your foot in the door for a career in marine science, including tips on interviews and CV’s

To practice presenting their work to a scientific audience, students will deliver a short talk summarising their findings.

Depart 3pm.

Note: The order of activities may be altered to avoid equipment/transport clashes.

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Full Board Accommodation
  • Hot and Cold Drinks
  • In Course Transport

Before You Attend

  • Please feel free to request further details on the content and activities.
  • Students are requested to bring a packed lunchbox, water bottle and sun cream.  They may also find a camera useful.
  • All attendees should bring a swimming costume or shorts, but all other snorkeling equipment will be provided. If students have their own wetsuit, snorkel, mask or fins they can bring if desired.
  • Students will be outdoors for periods of time and should therefore be dressed appropriately for the weather conditions. A waterproof jacket is recommended for getting around the site as weather may be poor. Wellies, waterproof jackets and trousers can be borrowed from the centre if the student requires them.

Sorry this course has ended