hey people!i am an a level student and its my last year before uni. I want to be a marine biologist but I don't know where to start.im so confused so if someone can help me please?
you could apply to do a Marine Biology or Ecology degree ?
The chances of you becoming a marine biologist are extremely low. It's a very popular career and there are not many jobs in it. You will often need postgraduate qualifications to sustain a long term career.
However, that doesn't mean you shouldn't go for it. But you should make sure your degree gives you a solid plan B. I would recommend a biology degree, perhaps one with the option to do marine as an option in the final year. You might find you change your mind when you are at university and biology would be a solid choice with other transferable skills. I would usually recommend a general degree like biology over a more specialised degree like marine biology or zoology.
So in terms of marine biology, the bulk of this is working on e.g. planktons and corals in relation to climate change and similar issues. Being a whale biologist or similar is generally less common - if all the whales died tomorrow, it would be sad but, there wouldn't be a catastrophic change in the ecosystem and climate. If all the plankton died, everything else would pretty quickly...
For degree courses, most Marine Biology courses have a relatively broad outlook and cover all these relevant areas and then give you scope to specialise more in different areas. This is usually not species-based but more along the lines of "deep sea" vs "tropical" vs "benthic" etc. But you can of course do some specific research on some particular species or what have you (which might be whales - I did see some research being done at Stanford about the role of whale excrement in the ocean nitrogen cycle, with particular reference to the Gulf of Mexico).
You don't need to do a degree in Marine Biology specifically to go into the area - a more general Biology or Ecology/Conservation/Zoology oriented course, or an Environmental/Climate Science type course would also be suitable. However these of course won't use the specific frame of reference of the marine environment, so you will need to extrapolate the results to those ecosystems and environments yourself - whereas a Marine course will focus on that from the get go. You will also get Marine Bio specific lab experience (like boat work quite often) in a marine course.
Some specific Marine Bio courses I'm aware of that seem worth looking into are Southampton, Exeter/Cornwall Campus (and trust me, coming from me this not an overrating) and Plymouth. I'm sure there are others though, and as above even courses that don't have a specific marine focus may a) have some marine biology options and b) still provide a suitable background to going on to a marine focused PhD etc.