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Marine Sciences FET

Marine Sciences FET

Take Marine Sciences as a Grade 10 to Matric school subject

What is Marine Sciences?

Written by the teaching staff at the Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation and approved by Umalusi and the Department of Education, Marine Sciences is an official school subject for Grade 10, 11 and 12 learners who are looking to gain a deeper understanding of the ocean, its workings, and its impact on humans and our planet.

The programme is designed for learners to develop a sense of belonging and commitment to the oceanic environment. Marine Sciences nurtures informed citizens who value scientifically substantiated decisions and contribute to the health of our planet’s oceans as future scientists, journalists, teachers, or specialists. Ideally, these learners would take up work and study opportunities in the marine sphere – an area with abundant possibilities for young, ocean-minded people.

The Marine Sciences curriculum is of stellar standard. Through multidisciplinary approaches, the subject builds connections between the realms of water, sediments, rocks, air, and marine organisms, looking at human interaction with each. Marine Sciences explores human impact on ocean ecosystems and equips learners with a thorough understanding of conservation and sustainability.

What topics does Marine Sciences cover?

Oceanography: Marine geology, geography, chemistry and physics
  • Chemical composition and properties of seawater and the effects of pollutants on ocean life
  • Ways in which the ocean acts as a driver of weather and climate
  • Diving science, waves, tides and currents
Marine biology
  • Investigates classification, fundamental biology, marine biodiversity, evolutionary processes, and organism adaptations to their environments, incorporating all the major phyla
  • Introduces ecological concepts
  • Explores ecosystems such as rocky shores, kelp forests and sandy beaches through ecological concepts including nutrient cycles and food chains
Humans and the ocean
  • Marine careers
  • Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) as a model for sustainably managing ocean resources
  • Harvesting of renewable and non-renewable ocean resources
  • The importance of research in understanding the ocean and the effects that human activities
  • Climate change and ocean acidification

Study Marine Sciences: How to apply


The Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation offers Marine Sciences as a three-year online course.

You can choose Marine Sciences as one of your Grade 10 subjects OR pick it up in Grade 11 or as an adult!

Simply complete the relevant online application form below. NOTE: APPLICATIONS ARE CLOSED 

How will it work?

Format: Content can be accessed online, followed by self-assessment as well as live tutorials.

Time commitment: Four hours of instruction per week (excluding time needed to complete homework, assignments and prescribed assessments as necessary).

Practical learning: Practical experiences that supplement the course content can be attended during South African public school holidays.

Assessments and Examinations: Any examinations will be written at the students’ local schools or official examination centres. Alternative arrangements can be made.

Subject Registration: Anyone interested in signing up for the course must register Marine Sciences as one of their subjects at their school for 2024.

Start date: January 2024

Cost: R7 790

This course is also available to adults. We currently have adults who are taking the course out of interest as well as school students taking the subject as an 8th Matric subject. There are schools where it is agreed that this course is one of their 6 core Matric subjects (excluding Life Orientation). Examinations and assessments will be arranged with each adult participant individually, depending on whether they are interested in pursuing an NSC certificate, or are happy to receive a certificate from the Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation.

You can contact us at if you have any questions.

Hear from Past Pupils

We chatted with a few Marine Sciences past pupils to get their perspectives. They agreed that Marine Science is the best choice for your future! 

This subject sets you up with a lifelong dedication to the marine environment and, more importantly, the skills, knowledge, and drive to protect it.

Go to: Find out more here
Marine Sciences FET


  • What is the cost?

    R 7 790 (subject to change annually)

  • What other subjects do I need to take with Marine Sciences?

    There is no need to take any other Matric Subjects.

  • Do I need to take Maths and Physical Science with Marine Science?

    No, you do not need to take either. However, these are often requirements for tertiary-level marine science and general science qualifications, so do your research and ensure you have the correct subjects for your potential career choice.

  • What do I need to qualify to do Marine Sciences at the Aquarium?
    • Minimum 60% in Natural Science
    • Minimum 50% in Maths
    • You will need to submit your Grade 9 results as a screening requirement.
  • Do I have to attend all the live sessions?

    We would prefer that, but if you have sport or other extra murals, such as art or debating, then we understand that you can catch up on your own.

  • Will Marine Sciences get me into university?

    The development of the curriculum was done with the guidance of an Advisory board from UCT, UWC, CPUT and Stellies. These advisors have supported us and indicated that having Marine Sciences as a Matric subject is a definite advantage to getting into their faculties.

    The bottom line for getting into UCT Science is to get adequate points as determined by their faculty, with Maths and Physical Sciences as compulsory subjects. One needs at least 640 points. But they get enough people with enough points and so it is advisable to get more.

  • How do we deal with Practicals?

    Attendance of Practical Enrichment session is compulsory (travel and accomodation at own expense).


In the initial phases of introducing Marine Sciences FET, we sought to answer questions like: How can we produce education programmes of the greatest value? How can we address the disparity of schools in the South African education landscape? How can an informal Education Centre support schools from a position in the formal education sector?

So, we visited schools and spoke to children, parents, school principals, district officials, and curriculum specialists in the Department of Education and universities. Our research established that one of the most meaningful offerings that an Aquarium could make is to offer enrichment programmes and courses. That was the embryonic phase of the South African Marine Sciences Curriculum, which the teaching staff of the Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation has written.

When creating content for these courses, we looked at the gaps universities were experiencing among their marine zoology and oceanography students at first- and second-year levels. Over time, the Aquarium courses were refined, resulting in the content for the Aquarium Marine Sciences Academy. The Academy comprises a series of courses offered from Grades 6 to 11. Content is scaffolded from one year to the next, where components integrate. For example, studying a marine animal requires an understanding of the physical water quality of its habitat, whether temperature, pH, sediment load, or salinity.

After successfully running courses, we were approached by officials from the Western Cape Education Department to use this content to write a formal subject curriculum. This subject, Marine Sciences, consists of four pillars: Marine Biology, OceanographyOcean Ecosystems, and Humans and the Ocean. These are split into 85 topics, including marine phyla, water chemistry, sustainable seafood, aquaculture, and marine protected areas. After working with the Department of Basic Education and Umalusi, South Africa’s curriculum quality assurance body, the curriculum was approved for Grade 10 to 12 students as a school-leaving Matric subject. In January 2018, six schools launched Marine Sciences as part of their extramural programmes and, more recently, during school hours for Grade 10 students. The Aquarium teaching staff supported the schools with teaching resources and online content.

With this curriculum, we believe the Two Oceans Aquarium can offer significant value in supporting South African and international education.