What do I need to work in the UK as a marine scientist?
The UK is one the countries with largest tradition in the maritime affairs. The UK universities usually receive high scores in global university rankings and have plenty of practice-focused marine science courses. Some universities that offer graduate and postgraduate courses in the UK are Bangor University, University of Aberdeen, Plymouth University, University of Southampton, University of St Andrews, Newcastle University, Exeter University and the University of Liverpool, among others.
The UK marine industry is a significant employer of the country’s graduates and post graduates in marine sciences and has a highly skilled research base.
However, the Brexit changed the rules to apply for a job in the UK. If you are interested in working in the UK, you should undertake the quick test provided by the British Government here to find out whether you need a UK visa. Roles that required a university degree such us marine scientist, marine biologist, consultant, etc. are considered as “skilled job” and you will need to apply for a Skilled Worker visa. Your visa can last for up to 5 years and then you can extend it as long as you’re still eligible. After 5 years, you may be able to apply to settle permanently in the UK.
The eligibility criteria include:
- working in an eligible job;
- having a job offer;
- being paid a minimum salary – how much depends on the type of work you do;
- usually proving that you can read, write, speak and understand English.
Depending on the length of your stay in the UK, the employer company and the type of contract, other visas may apply, such as Senior/Specialist Worker visa, Graduate Trainee visa, Temporary Work visas, Secondment Worker visa, etc.
The cost to apply for a Skilled Worker visa varies depending on the years of the contract. The application fee for a job up to 3 years is £625 per person, and £1,235 per person if you are planning to stay in the UK for more than 3 years. In addition, you will need to pay £624 per year as healthcare surcharge. You’ll also need to prove you have £1,270 available to support yourself in the UK if your employer cannot cover these costs.
And remember, you won´t need to apply for a visa if you are an EU/EEA/Swiss nationals resident who worked in the UK by or before 31 December 2020, holding status via the EU Settlement Scheme.
Find out the latest vacancies in marine sciences in the UK (Updated on August 7th):
- Laboratory Manager – Marine Microbiome Centre of Excellence (The Marine Biological Association)
- Principal Consultant – Climate Change, Adaptation and Resilience (Mott MacDonald)
- Senior Marine Ecologist/Environmental Scientist (Mott MacDonald)
- Blue Carbon Economist (Blue Marine Foundation)
- Research Assistant – based in the UK (NEKTON MISSION)
- Senior Research Programme Manager (Maternity Cover) (British Antarctic Survey)
- Head, Ocean Technology & Engineering Group (National Oceanography Centre (NOC))
- Coastal Ocean Modelling Scientist (National Oceanography Centre (NOC))
- Marine Geoscientist (British Geological Survey)
- Senior Lecturer in Environmental Science (Marine) (University of the West of England)
- Junior Biogeochemist (Plymouth Marine Laboratory)