How can I book your facilities?
Please contact our Education team with any enquiries regarding SAMS field station facilities: firstname.lastname@example.org or via 01631 559 000. We'll be very happy to discuss your requirements, provide a quotation for you and perhaps arrange a tour, so you can experience the modern facilities, beautiful local environment and diverse accommodation options for yourself.
How much will it cost?
Prices vary depending on your specific needs; from the type of rooms / laboratories you plan to use and whether you require access to the research vessel, to the duration of your course, any teaching staff or expert operators required from SAMS and the standard of accommodation you would prefer. We would be more than happy to discuss your requirements and budget and produce a proposal which delivers what you need. Please contact us for further details.
Our pricing promise - We're committed to ensuring the UK continues to provide national marine field course facilities and exciting opportunities for developing skills which underpin marine science careers in the 21st century. As such, our prices are as competitive as possible.
How do I find accommodation for our group?
Oban is a beautiful tourist hub, set around a pretty horseshoe bay and brimming with different accommodation options. SAMS is lucky to be able to offer accommodation which best suits your budget and your students (from hotels and B&Bs to campsites and hostels) rather than being limited to University accommodation only.
Take a look at our local information pages to identify the most suitable options for you. We're also happy to advise you regarding accommodation options and any special offers we may be able to access.
Can we use the facilities over the weekend or in the evenings?
Yes. If you are arriving at a weekend we will arrange for a member of staff to open the facilities for you and show you around. You can be issued with a pass allowing access at weekends or evenings. Out of hours working requires compliance with SAMS Out Of Hours Health and Safety Policy, for example lone working is not permitted. Please ensure that the field work coordinator, Dr Clive Fox, is aware if you need out of hours access.
What catering options are there?
Through our on-site caterer, we can organise a range of catering options, from the usual buffet lunches, to packed lunches, BBQs and hot meals - again, to suit your needs, course activities and any special dietary requirements.
Alternatively you can join staff and students in our cafe and purchase a selection of hot and cold meals and snacks.
For meetings with regular refreshment breaks, tea, coffee and cold drinks can be pre-ordered.
If you would like to arrange evening meals in Oban for your group, we'd be happy to recommend suitable local restaurants. As the 'Seafood Capital', there are plenty of great options. Please discuss your preferences with our team.
How do we get to SAMS?
SAMS is situated on the spectacular West Coast of Scotland. The Institute is surrounded on three sides by water and is adjacent to the 13th Century Dunstaffnage Castle. It is just two-three hours drive from the major cities of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Inverness - although you often need to allow extra time for stopping to photograph the stunning scenery and local wildlife! Please visit our 'Get Directions' page for further details.
What local transport is available?
SAMS is situated just three miles from Oban and benefits from plenty of local transport links; from buses and taxis to a cycle path which connects Oban with Dunbeg via a secluded track which runs over moorland away from the main road. Minibuses from Oban to the site can also be arranged with prior notice. Please visit the local information folder for further information.
What can groups do in the evenings or over weekends in Oban?
The area is an extremely popular tourist destination and Oban is known as the 'Gateway to the Isles', with ferries leaving for the West Coast Islands throughout the day. The town itself is well serviced with restaurants, pubs, a community-run cinema, a ceilidh house and attractions such as Oban Distillery. Trips can be arranged to visit the Islands, go seal-watching, take part in sea kayaking and gorge walking, or you can just sit, relax and enjoy the view.
The town calender lists many events that take place throughout the year. The area is particularly attractive for those with an interest in outdoor pursuits and traditional music and arts.
Visit our local information pages for details.
What technical support can we access?
We can provide a range of support from IT to laboratory and teaching expertise. You can hire our vessels with a range of sampling and analytical equipment, rent space in our research aquarium, or hire some of our analytical facilities/smart observation instruments. Some of the more expensive and specialised equipment can only be hired with a SAMS operator but other equipment is available for you to operate yourselves. Please discuss your requirements with Dr Clive Fox.
Who deals with contracts and insurance at the Scottish Marine Institute?
Facility hire contracts are issued via either SAMS or SAMS Research Services Ltd. If you have specific inquiries regarding insurance, please discuss these with Dr Clive Fox.