Marine Science A-Level

Marine Science A-Level

Bookings are now being taken for the 2019 course provisionally dated 14 Jan – 6th May 2019. There are 18 remaining places (17/05/18).


Imagine spending four months on a tropical island; living a castaway lifestyle, diving everyday, the sun on your back and the sand under your feet whilst everyone else is trudging through February; cold and grey

Replanting the damaged reef

and wet.

Imagine that you could spend your days working with like-minded people from around the world, learning about the oceans and tropical ecosystems, marine biology, aquaculture, fisheries, scuba diving and conservation.

Imagine you could earn an extra A-level in Marine Science, valid anywhere in the world whilst having a CV worthy experience and the adventure of a lifetime.

Here at TRACC we offer just that! Our Cambridge Marine Science intensive A-Level course allows you to complete an entire A-level in just 15 weeks. The 360 hours of study required are all undertaken consecutively so that you eat, breathe and sleep marine science until you walk away from the examinations in early May. Nothing in your head is more than three months old. Your real life can’t get in the way. There are no other subjects competing for your brain power. It’s just you, the living breathing marine environment on our doorstep with TRACC’s team of professional scientists behind you.

This course has been running since 2012 and our results speak for themselves. 94% of our students obtain a B grade or higher. 28% of our students obtain an A* and our candidates scored Best in the, World in 2015 and 2016. Read the reviews here.

Interested? Get in touch and we will get back to you. Email: for any questions, please add the email address to your contact list to ensure the reply isn’t directed into your junk box.

Course Overview

The Marine science A-level is split into two parts, the first part; the AS-level and the second; the A2 level. The AS level investigates the scientific study of the sea and its ecosystems whilst the A2-Level looks at human activities that depend on the seas and have an impact upon them. There are seven and eight modules in AS and A2 respectively. The topics are as follows

AS level modules

Recording biodiversity on the reef.
  1. Scientific method
  2. Marine ecosystems and biodiversity
  3. Energetics of marine ecosystems
  4. Nutrient cycles in marine ecosystems
  5. Coral reefs and lagoons
  6. The ocean floor and the coast
  7. Physical and Chemical oceanography


A2 level modules

Field trip; investigating the workings of a prawn farm
  1. Physiology of marine primary producers
  2. Aspects of marine animal physiology
  3. Marine animal reproductive behaviour
  4. Fisheries management
  5. Aquaculture
  6. Human impact on marine conservation
  7. Marine conservation and ecotourism
  8. Marine biotechnology

Please refer to the Syllabus for a in-depth overview.

Daily Life

At TRACC we try and get as many people diving as possible. Why? In order to value something you need to see it. We try and evoke passion and enthusiasm for the marine environments to all our visitors. This is a typical day at TRACC in the life of a Marine Science A-leveler.

Some of our rookie divers learning
  • 8am –  9am: Breakfast
  • 9am – 12pm: Classroom presentations and practicals
  • 12pm -1pm: Buffet style lunch
  • 1pm – 3pm: Science Dive / Field study / PADI Training
  • 4pm – 5pm: Review on days lessons
  • Evening: Watch the sunset and enjoy a delicious buffet dinner

How will I be taught?

As shown in the sample itinerary classes will be held in the morning. Between 9am – 12pm students will be actively taught their modules by teaching professionals. Classes and teaching techniques vary depending on module. Most classes are taught using computer presentations to explain the theory followed by hands on experience to reinforce lessons learnt. Between 12pm and 4pm students will have lunch followed by more hands on experience. Students will participate in either a science practical dive, learn to dive with a PADI instructor or go on a filed trip adventure with one of the A-level instructors. Between 4 pm and 6 pm students will review the lessons learnt from the day. Depending on the module this may require students to give a presentation, write an essay, take a quiz, have a discussion or simply re-read their notes. At the end of a long day we recommend watching a beautiful sunset on our jetty.

One of our local residents


The early-bird fee for the 2019 A-Level is £3,500 for our comprehensive package . This is a large sum of money but bear in mind that 2 weeks volunteering at Tracc is over £1,000 and an A-level at a British college is approximately £9,000. At Tracc we offer an intensive course which allows you to gain an extra A-level qualification and leave you with enough time to rebuild funds before entering that university of your choice.

What’s Included

  • 16 weeks glamping accommodation
  • 16 weeks full board (self made breakfast, buffet style lunch and dinner)
  • 16 weeks unlimited diving including equipment scuba rental
  • Practical classes equipment
  • Comprehensive teaching
  • Two PADI dive courses- all instruction, tuition and materials
  • Airport pick up on Monday 15th January
  • Boat transfers to and from the main land on Mondays and Thursdays
  • 10 day field trip across Borneo (for more details see here)
  • Two weeks in Kota Kinabalu for revision and exams
  • Food, accommodation and transportation for field trip, revision and exam weeks
  • Merchandise pack

What is not included

  • Flights from home country to Tawau, Sabah (TWU).
  • Visa (Free Visa on arrival for UK, Australian, Canadian and US Citizens). Depending on your destination country and your country of origin, you might require a visa. Please see the appropriate country consular website for details.
  • Rental of a dive computer (these are not essential for diving but we recommend you bring your own, some will be available to rent)
  • Alcoholic beverages

Insurance. You’ll need to buy appropriate travel insurance covering your participation in the Marine Science A-level. This will require additional coverage for scuba diving up to 30 meters, including hyperbaric therapy treatment.


Learning about the mangrove environment

This is dependent upon the 2019 exam timetable announcement by Cambridge, but is provisionally:

The course will commence on the 14th of January and will be taught in 2 teaching blocks.

  • 14th Jan – 4th March AS-level modules 1-7
  • 4th March – 14th March Field trip, visa run, A-level modules 11,13,14
  • 14th March – 22nd April A-level modules 8,9,10,12 & 15
  • 22nd April – 29th April Revision Week
  • 29th April – 6th May Exam Week

The 10 day road trip is a unique opportunity to traverse Borneo, well off the beaten track, from Semporna to Brunei and back again. Over these 10 days we visit the major fishing ports of North Borneo and compare the differences in ecosystems, fishing and aquaculture techniques, catch and conservation. We also use this as an opportunity to study conservation and human impacts on the marine environment.

Accommodation and Food

The climate on the island provides good camping conditions year round so we stay in tents. Each tent is pitched under a secondary roof and comes with an electrical output and fan, a single bed with a mattress, pillow, bedding and towel. Power is supplied to the tents from dusk till 8am the next day. We are currently upgrading from dome to glamping tents and although we hope to have one for every student in 2019 these will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Food Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner will be served buffet style at 8am, 12pm and 6pm respectively. Our chef is currently learning an expanded repertoire of vegetarian and vegan dishes. Meat will be served every second day. Special diets such as gluten-free and lactose intolerant can also be catered for.

If you would like any more information please do not hesitate to contact us through the form at the top of the page.