"Studying at SAMS is a unique experience with a level of intimacy and engagement between staff and students which you won't find at larger universities. Having experienced life on a campus university and lectures with more than 80 students my preference would always be for smaller class numbers and lectures which are more like tutorials, which is the norm at SAMS, as you just learn much more and faster. That said, Oban is a small town and there aren't 50 student clubs to choose from, or a student union bar, or indeed many other students, but situated as it is on the coast and in the Highlands there are huge opportunities to embrace the outdoor life with a very active community at SAMS.
John Bainbridge, undergraduate student 2006-2009, PhD student 2010-present
"Coming to study Marine Science at SAMS is one of the best decisions I have ever made. The teaching staff are friendly and at the forefront of science. Being situated in a small West Highland town has certainly not turned SAMS into a scientific "sleepy hollow", there is a sense of purpose and drive in the place that sweeps you along with it...
Even when the essays aren't going well and the work is getting to you, SAMS is great: the cafe has what must be one of the best views in the world, so a cup of tea and five minutes looking out the window and all seems good again."
Pete Taylor, BSc (Hons) Marine Science honours year student 2011
"I chose to come and study at SAMS largely because I have always grown up around the sea and I never saw myself with an office job. This Marine Science degree balances theory with practical skills right from the very first semester so you never feel like you are missing out on the action! I’m learning so much with every project I do and I’m so lucky to be in such a beautiful location. I’ve had so many opportunities so far and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for my future here at SAMS."
Ruth Paterson, BSc (Hons) Marine Science second year student 2011
"The Scottish Association for Marine Science, in association with the University of the Highlands and Islands, has given me to date I believe an un-paralleled undergraduate degree experience in marine science. Like few other universities the wealth of practical, highly relevant field experience, small class sizes and access to research leaders on offer to us as undergraduates is phenomenal."
Paul Rhodes, BSc (Hons) Marine Science second year student 2011
"SAMS is a great place to study, but you have to put the work in to get the most out of it. The course is great, but don't expect to come along and gaze in awe at pretty fishes and dolphins all day! You also have to have a bit of your own get up and go - you won't be spoon fed and your classmates will get very annoyed very quickly if you rely on them to do everything for you!"
Tammy Green, BSc (Hons) Marine Science first year student 2011
Comments from parents
"My daughter has known the Oban area all her life and the opportunity to live and study there was a dream come true. She moved 400 miles from home but quickly settled and made new friends. SAMS' BSc course in marine science was interesting, varied and developed her ability and confidence in so many ways. She is now in Norway furthering her education on a Masters course but intends to return to Argyll on completion. I can recommend SAMS to anyone considering a future in learning about our world."
"When Pete was accepted to SAMS it was a great day for my family and I. It marked the day when Pete started to chase his dreams. Since then he has been very happy at SAMS, living near Oban. Although I was concerned that the town is too isolated for someone used to city life, he quickly made friends with his class mates and got involved with a few activities that you just can’t do very easily when you live in a city. After he graduated, Pete was able to stay on at SAMS, still doing what he loves, while building a career in academia."
“As Oban is our home, we were delighted when our daughter was accepted to study Marine Science at SAMS. She has had fantastic opportunities during her degree including the chance to take part in research in state-of-the-art laboratories, a 2 week research cruise to the Arctic and a she also spent 4 months studying at UNIS in Svalbard (at 78°N!). She’s since gone on to be a PhD researcher at Glasgow University”
David and Sandra McColl