A fish swimming in coral

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals influence our research and your learning

Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

We don’t yet know how long it takes plastic to degrade in the natural environment. We’ve only been mass-producing plastic for around 60 years and the likelihood is that all of the conventional plastics we’ve ever made are still with us on the planet, unless they’ve been incinerated.

Richard Thompson OBE FRSRichard Thompson OBE FRS
Director of the Marine Institute

It’s a sobering thought, especially when you consider that 300 million tonnes of plastic is produced every year, with around one third destined for single-use products.
Plastic bottles floating in the sea

Our researchers have produced more scientific publications addressing the issue of marine plastics than any other university worldwide

We are recognised as an innovative leader in higher education for marine, across teaching and learning, research and our University operations

Plastic litter washed up on beach with tree

International Marine Litter Research Unit
Furthering our understanding of litter on the environment and defining solutions

Man fishing in small boat above coral reef. 

Marine Conservation Research Group
Investigating the consequences of human activity on marine biodiversity and its ecosystem services

Ghana fishing

One Ocean Hub
Ensuring that knowledge, experiences and rights of people reliant on the oceans are recognised and included in decision-making and resource management

Be part of a university tackling global issues (marine sustainability)

Join the response and make a difference with a masters

At Plymouth, you’ll be part of a community that takes marine conservation and the sustainable use of the seas and oceans seriously.
Our masters programmes are specifically designed to channel your passion for protecting the planet's marine environment.

Search for a course

We want to build on our impact

Ranked top 5 out of 379 institutions for its work in support of SDG 14: Life Below Water (Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2022), the University of Plymouth has an international reputation for outstanding marine and maritime teaching, research and innovation.
Top 10 Ranking in the Times Higher Education for SDG 14 (Life Below Water)