France is best known for its historic infrastructure, stunning lakes, and exquisite cuisine. However, it is special for those fascinated by marine biology. This country has a vast coastline in the north, which offers immense opportunities for those interested in the said field.

Combine that geography with France’s high quality of education, the country is a great place for budding marine biologists. But before considering a degree in this field, it’s essential to know which universities in France are ideal for international students. In this article, we will provide you with a list of the top five marine biology schools in France to help you out.

Top Schools Offering Marine Biology Programs in France

Offering world-class marine biology programs with appealing facilities and located in some of the most enchanting cities, let’s now look into the top five marine biology schools in France!

1. Sorbonne University

Sorbonne University, a globally recognized institution formed in 2018 through the merger of Paris-Sorbonne University and Pierre and Marie Curie University, stands as the top French school in the field of marine biology.

Three main faculties make up the academic structure of the university: science and engineering, medicine, and arts and humanities. Notably, its Faculty of Science and Engineering hosts a renowned Master’s Degree program in Marine Sciences. This program focuses on marine biology and offers courses in both French and English.

It offers a thorough curriculum that covers subjects including ecology, biogeochemistry, management of the environment, marine biodiversity, and marine policy. Additionally, the course of study also integrates marine ecology and biological oceanography into an interdisciplinary framework. Students can also participate in research projects, field visits, and internships that are carried out in various maritime regions throughout their time at the university.

2. University of the Littoral Opal Coast

The University of the Littoral Opal Coast is another prestigious university in France that ranks among the top 150 universities in the Europe University Rankings – Western Europe 2024. Offering a Master of Marine Sciences – Marine Ecology and Fisheries, this program is designed to equip students with a comprehensive grasp of the marine environment and its resources.

It also imparts the essential skills needed to tackle the complexities of marine conservation and sustainable development, aligning with the ever-evolving challenges and opportunities in this field.

Graduates from this program take around 3.7 months to secure their first job, highlighting the program’s effectiveness in preparing students for successful career prospects in marine sciences. Thus, it’s no wonder the University of the Littoral Opal Coast makes our list of the best French marine biology schools.

3. University of Western Brittany

Established in 1995, the University of Western Brittany is a distinguished institution in France, particularly well-known for its marine sciences programs. This university, through its European Institute of Marine Science, offers a comprehensive master’s programs, covering marine biology, marine ecosystems, and environmental management. Additionally, the university provides opportunities for Ph.D. candidates to pursue advanced research in marine sciences.

On the international front, the university’s remarkable figures include 384 Erasmus mobility agreements and 113 international cooperation agreements. These agreements offer students diverse academic and cultural experiences, making the University of West Brittany an excellent choice for those seeking global exposure and research opportunities

4. University Côte d’Azur

University of Côte d’Azur is a public university in France that was established in 2015 by merging several higher education institutions in the French Riviera region. It offers an MSc in Science, Conservation and Valorization of Marine Resources (SCV-MAR) that is taught in English.

The said program aims to train students in the fields of marine science, conservation, and valorization, with an emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship. The program covers topics such as marine ecology, biotechnology, aquaculture, fisheries, blue economy, and marine governance. The program also includes fieldwork, internships, and research projects in collaboration with local partners.

5. Aix-Marseille Université

Aix-Marseille University, situated in the stunning port city of Marseille, offers an exceptional setting for living and pursuing education. Nestled in the South of France, this university enjoys a unique location that combines the charm of Mediterranean life with a competitive academic environment. But it’s not just the beautiful location that makes it part of our top five marine biology schools in France.

For those with an interest in marine biology, the university provides an outstanding master’s program in this field. It covers a wide spectrum of marine-related subjects and also offers additional pathways towards Physical and Biogeochemical Oceanography (OPB) and Biological Oceanography and Marine Ecology (OBEM), presenting students with an interdisciplinary approach.

FAQS About Studying Marine Biology in France

Is Pursuing a Degree in Marine Biology Worth It?

Absolutely! Pursuing a degree in marine biology can be more than worth it if you are fascinated by the ocean and its creatures, and if you want to contribute to the scientific understanding and conservation of marine ecosystems. Marine biology is a diverse and interdisciplinary field that offers many career opportunities.

Marine biologists usually work at universities, research institutes, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, private companies, or international organizations in France. They can be employed as ecologists, natural resource technicians, aquaculture technicians, environmental engineers, and professors, among others. Also, the average salary of a marine biologist in France is around 56,095 euros per year, which is market-competitive.


As our oceans face increasing threats and marine life becomes more vulnerable, these top marine schools in France are key players in nurturing future ocean life conservationists. With their focus on marine biology education, they empower students to champion ocean conservation and revitalization. So, join this global movement to protect our oceans and apply to these institutions today!


We hope this article has been of great help in deciding where to study marine biology in France. If your mind isn’t set yet, you may also consider other countries we share in our article about the Best Countries to Study Marine Biology Abroad!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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