Learning with us

There are a variety of opportunities and resources at PML for those who are keen to learn more about the marine environment. We host students at a variety of levels, from voluntary undergraduate placements to formal postgraduate opportunities as well as apprenticeships.
Our advanced training can teach new skills and techniques in a preferred area of science while allowing students to progress their research in connection with their formal studies/qualifications and enhance a student's CV.

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook to be notified of any future opportunities. If you have any questions about learning at PML please contact us at: careersNOSPAM@pml.ac.uk.

PML is strongly committed to the culture and principles of Athena SWAN, and we have achieved an institutional Bronze Athena SWAN award. This award recognises and celebrates good practice in recruiting, retaining and promoting women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) in research and higher education. 
Disability confident employer mark  Athena Swan bronze award logo

PhD studentships

We have a significant number of PhD students, working on projects mapped onto our principal research topics, ranging from studies focused around marine ecology to ecosystem modelling. We partner universities across the UK in co-supervising and hosting students in a vibrant learning environment. Our PhD students, as well as early career researchers also have the opportunity to take part in the Annual Student Conference of the Plymouth Marine Science & Education Foundation, supported by us and our local partners.

Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs)

We are core partners in the following NERC funded DTPs:

NERC GW4 logo  ARIES Logo 

For details of our current PhD studentship opportunities please click here.


On-the-job training is a fantastic way to learn and develop skills and we are fortunate to have the people and facilities to enable this and contribute to the development of next generation scientists.

PML is proud to have supported three apprentices starting their careers in marine science. 

Two of our apprenticeships were made possible due to the generous support of the Lloyd's Register Foundation. These apprenticeships have now been completed and Oban and Rebecca are now members of staff at PML.

Our third apprenticeship is ongoing and was funded by a generous donation from an anonymous benefactor which will allow Thomas to learn a range of skills from sea-going fieldwork to analytical laboratory techniques.

Montage of apprentices in the field and lab

From left: Oban getting to grips with the RIB, the apprentices taking a well earned break during river sampling, Rebecca working in the lab, Thomas in our microscopy lab.

"Lloyd’s Register Foundation exists to enhance the safety of life and property and to advance public education. As such, the Foundation has been delighted to work with PML. Our support for two apprenticeships on the globally unique Western Channel Observatory has enabled a greater understanding of the ocean, and how it is likely to affect society in the future. The fact that both apprentices have attained qualifications, a considerable range of new skills that can make the world a safer-place and are now well-placed to act as leaders and influencers of the future is even more exciting. We note that both apprentices have accepted open-ended appointments with PML and believe this is testament not only to their ability but to the care and dedication of the whole PML team."
- Dr Tim Slingsby, Director of Skills and Education, Lloyd’s Register Foundation

“I would highly recommend Plymouth Marine Laboratory as an employer for apprenticeships. The training given by PML is of a very high standard and the apprentice will learn valuable technical skills which can be used as they progress through their scientific career. PML is a very supportive employer from day one, actively encouraging the development of the apprentice in the workplace and the laboratory”
- Cerys Wood from South Devon College speaking about Rebecca and Oban's experience of training at PML.


Videos related to education and training

Monitoring the Oceans from Space MOOC

Join oceanographer and BBC science presenter Dr Helen Czerski, (University College, London), Dr Hayley Evers-King, marine Earth observation scientist (Plymouth Marine Laboratory), and Dr Mark Higgins, (EUMETSAT), to learn more about how the satellites are used to keep an...

Ocean acidification: Connecting science, industry, policy and public

A powerful short film on Ocean acidification: Connecting science, industry, policy and public. 

Being a scientific apprentice - our experience at Plymouth Marine Laboratory

Becca May and Oban Jones talk about their experience as scientific apprentices after their first year at PML.

The apprenticeships would not have been possible without the generous funding and continued support from the Lloyd's Register Foundation.

Other recent news articles


Training tomorrows leaders in environmental science

PML is delighted to welcome the arrival of 8 new PhD students, to be trained across the full range of multidisciplinary marine science topics available here.


PML success in £100m investment in environmental science doctoral training

The Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts, has announced £100m of new Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) investment in 15 Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs), which specialise in training environmental science PhD students. PML is a full partner ...


Generous donation new apprentice

​PML is delighted to announce the arrival of a new apprentice, Thomas Mesher, who is embarking on training to gain the experience and knowledge necessary for a career in marine science.

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