Our Marine Science Camp in Devon will include sessions on rocky shore ecology, marine citizen science and marine conservation as well as giving insights into careers in marine biology and higher education courses.

It is run in partnership with the Marine Biological Association (MBA), for young people between 16 and 24 years old who are interested in marine biology and marine science.

Activities will include an exploration of issues and life in a variety of habitats ranging from freshwater ecosystems and estuarine habitats, to the rocky shore and the deepest parts of Plymouth Sound. With field sites in Slapton Ley National Nature Reserve and Marine Conservation Zones, and unmissable opportunities to visit the MBA Labs in Plymouth (including sampling on the MBA Research Vessel Sepia) and take a behind the scenes look at the National Marine Aquarium, this course is a must for any budding marine scientists!

This camp will allow participants to gain skills in aquatic biology, microscope work, ecosystem survey techniques and species identification, as well as meet working marine scientists and share experiences with other young people with similar interests.

The fee includes one year’s free Young Marine Biologist (YMB) or student membership of the Marine Biological Association for new and existing members. A limited number of MBA travel bursaries are available for existing MBA student and YMB members, details available here.

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

Bookings must be made by over 18’s but if booking for a young person please ensure you enter their name and age in the Order Notes at the checkout.

FSC are approved DofE providers. Attendance can qualify you for your Duke of Edinburgh Gold Residential.

Tutor: Centre Staff

This course will be led by our experienced and enthusiastic tutors.
  • Three teenagers rock pooling
  • group rock pooling
  • Young people on a boat
  • FSC Slapton Ley

Our centres are operated in a fully Covid-secure way and accommodation will be in suitably shared rooms based on the current government guidance.

Example Timetable

Day 1: Welcome, introductions and lunch

  • Opportunity to meet fellow participants, leaders and mentors, icebreaker activities
  • Discuss personal aims and objectives for the week

Life in Inland Waters

  • Introduction to freshwater macroinvertebrates and marine plankton samples
  • Microscope workshop

Day 2: Estuarine Biology and National Marine Aquarium visit

A visit to the estuarine mudflats of Averton Gifford to explore processes and flow of energy in this important intermediate habitat. In the afternoon there is a ‘behind the scenes’ visit to the National Marine Aquarium.

Day 3: Rocky Shore Ecology at Prawle point

A visit to a local rocky shore to survey the wide variety of marine life found in this amazing habitat. Focus on taxonomy and fieldwork techniques and take part in long term monitoring surveys, including the MBA citizen project ‘Shore Thing’.

Day 4: Coastal oceans with the Marine Biological Association

A day in Plymouth visiting the Marine Biological Association laboratories. There will be a trip on the MBA research vessel Sepia and a chance to examine and dissect samples from our naturalist dredge.

Day 5: Coastal Walk and Research

Spend the morning walking along the South West Coast Path and exploring the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. In the afternoon there will be an opportunity to research and deliver a short presentation on a species, issue or environment you have encountered during the course

Finish by 16:00pm

Please note: This is an example timetable and may be subject to change


Accrediting Agency

Duke of Edinburgh Award

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Full Board Accommodation
  • Hot and Cold Drinks
  • In Course Transport
  • Expert guidance by fully trained FSC staff and MBA Biologists
  • Rigorous health and safety procedures including 24-hour emergency cover
  • Full board and accommodation including a cooked breakfast, picnic lunch, home-made cakes and an evening meal
  • All activities and transport during the course including a trip on the MBA research vessel Sepia.
  • Young Marine Biologist (YMB) or student membership of the Marine Biological Association

Before You Attend

Start and Finish Times

Participants are requested to arrive for registration by 12:00 on Day 1. A train station pick-up is offered at 11.00 from Totnes train station (£20 return, please book). Supper is usually at 18:30. Breakfast will be from 08:00 in the morning. The course will end at approximately 16.00 on the final day. Please vacate your room by 09:00 on day of departure. Storage is provided for your luggage. A train station departure will leave from the centre at 16.15.  Please allow 45 minutes for the journey to the station.


Pay a deposit of £100.00 per item