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Marine Science Scuba Field Course in False Bay

South Africa
2 to 4 weeks
18 to 85
Book now, pay later. Cancel anytime.

Trip overview

Once you dip your toe in the diverse waters off the Cape of Good Hope, your world will change forever. Live for a month in a little hidden-away corner of the Cape, just half an hour from Cape Town, giving you the best of both worlds, that unique wilderness experience and access to one of the most dynamic cities in the world. Spend your days exploring the oceans, making a genuine difference to the planet and exploring an underwater kingdom that few humans ever get to see. 

You will be helping to count, document and report on various species under the waves, making daily visits to vast kelp forests and rocky reefs. Every morning you will wake to the crashing of waves, the ocean luring you through your glorious, wild surroundings down to the sea to spend your afternoons gliding through the turquoise waters, getting to know your patch of this underwater world, as well as the one above the surface. After being suspended in this weightless paradise, surrounded by colourful fish and forests of kelp, you return to your base for sundowners (afternoon drinks) with the team, watching the bold African sun drop from the sky.  

We offer the complete package for those looking to learn how to scuba and make a difference to the state of the planet. This exclusive opportunity is expertly handled by our partners in the tiny town of Glencairn, 30km from Cape Town, so you don't need to worry about a thing. Your expert pre-departure team will be able to flawlessly sort out your airport pickup, accommodation, on-site training and so much more.  

This is a genuine once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to truly become one with the ocean, to take your scuba skills and knowledge of the seas to a completely different level. Not only this, but you will make new friends from all over the world and truly make a sustainable impact on the planet. Explore the wildlife of Africa that hardly anyone gets to see and help make a true difference for its unique inhabitants.


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Marine Research Course
Dedicated trip coordinator
Pre-Departure Guide
Personal Travel Concierge
Return Airport Transfer
Comfortable Accommodation
Project Supplies
Certificate of completion
Ongoing local team support
Global Emergency Line
gWorld Access
Global AcademyNEW
Marketplace DealsNEW
$250 Off Your Next Trip

Just in case it’s not clear already, we’re not an employment or recruitment agency. Read more


To qualify for this trip you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be between 18-85 years of age
  • Be a citizen of an eligible country
  • Have no criminal convictions in the past 5 years

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Trip details

The Marine Science Scuba Course in False Bay has been designed to get you enrolled on an exceptional overseas course in a safe and fun environment and with an incredibly rewarding purpose. Our expert team and local partners take care of everything you need to start making a positive impact, setting up your phenomenal course, accommodation and ongoing support throughout your entire journey. 

In your first week, you’ll get your own little patch of ocean, you will take to the water once or twice a day, depending on weather conditions, to dive down and participate in a wide range of activities. From tagging fish and sharks, sampling the amount of microplastics in the ocean and monitoring species numbers using a variety of techniques, to beach cleanups and tidal pool monitoring, you will be learning the ways of the ocean like no other. All of this, surrounded by an unbelievable, ethereal underwater landscape, filled with glittering fish, inquisitive octopi and so much more. 

South Africa is a diverse and vibrant country and heading down to the Cape is a phenomenal spot to spend your time. The town of Glencairn is just small enough to give you the feeling that you are living out in rural South Africa, well off the tourist trail, able to live like a local for a month. However, only 30 minutes away lies the beating heart of South Africa, Cape Town. Surrounded by incredible beauty, Cape Town is completely unique, with a party vibe down on Long Street or Victoria Road that is unlike anywhere else on Earth. Great food, good people and an opportunity to learn so much about life, Cape Town gives you the option to choose your own path, to search out exactly what it is that interests you. 

Arriving in Africa for the first time can be daunting, but you will be coming with the knowledge and confidence that absolutely everything has been pre-arranged for you. You will be able to jump straight into your duties or spend a couple of days in Cape Town first to acclimatise, with no other worries on your mind. With a group of like-minded students from around the world staying at your accommodation, you are going to make friends for life as you work and party together. 

This is a life-changing trip and we don’t mean that as a hollow platitude. What you will be doing is a game-changer, not only for the world we live in but for your own development. Spending so much time in this alien environment, getting to truly understand how it and its inhabitants function together will alter the way you see the world above the waves. When you are not diving, you will be cleaning the beaches, working with the community and getting to understand how other people live on the other side of the world from you. 


  • You must be able to understand and speak English (all courses and lectures are in English).
  • You must be able to swim.
  • You must complete our dive medical questionnaire once you register to check you’re fit and healthy to go diving.

What extra costs will I have? 

Flights, travel insurance, souvenirs & spending money.

Trip itinerary


You will be picked up from Cape Town airport by the team and transferred down to Glencairn. Once you arrive you will get a tour and over a few beers, you will get to know your fellow conservationists and get a better understanding of what lies ahead in the weeks to come.

Week 1

In week one you will focus on dive training and acclimatisation and a thorough introduction to the course and research. Lecture subjects include an introduction to the area, substrates, fish and invertebrate species, and the systems and processes that create the unique biodiversity found in the Cape Peninsula. The scientific method is introduced through various Citizen Science initiatives. Practical diving sessions this week focus on developing buoyancy skills and familiarisation with sampling techniques and equipment.

Week 2

In week two we put to use the skills developed during the first week. Research projects are introduced with comprehensive lectures on project backgrounds and methods. Students begin survey dives and collect data for the various research projects utilising the observation techniques learned in week one. Workshops on additional skills like GIS and Freediving are also introduced this week.

Week 3

Week three continues data collection for the projects introduced during week two and for new projects that will be introduced this week. We discuss the concept of biodiversity and how this is measured from study design to statistics and inferences. Students will also begin to process data collected in the previous weeks.

Week 4

This week wraps up the course with continued data collection and developing biological and analytical knowledge. Lecture topics cover a variety of subjects and can include shark physiology, white shark population dynamics and population modelling and others depending on the interests of students.

Day to Day

This is an example of your day to day itinerary. It will differ slightly, with only one dive on some days depending on schedules and the weather, but generally, this is how you will spend your weeks.  9 am - Morning pick up from the accommodation. Head to HQ for daily project introduction and practical methodology presentation, or a workshop session.  Dive/field briefing by lead dive instructor/scientist. 12 pm - Lunch break. 1 pm - Equipment set up and loading of vehicles/boat. Head out for a practical session - dive survey + data collection, then head back to HQ for data input and debriefing, daily skill review and updating of the logbooks. 4 pm - Drop off back at the accommodation. Evening - Head out for dinner at a local restaurant in the village with other students, grab some drinks for the magic of the South African sunset.

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Frequently asked questions

Why are you the best company to choose?

As the world’s leading gap-year and "work & travel" company, we pride ourselves on providing a premium service for Global Travellers. Choose from a variety of awesome experiences worldwide, and let us assist you with visas, pre-departure preparations, flights, insurance, and tours. Throughout your journey, our cool tech features will support you every step of the way. As a Global Traveller, gain access to gWorld, our personalised app designed to enhance your travel experience. Keep important documents and trip details handy, and take advantage of exclusive Marketplace deals, a vibrant social network, language learning resources, side trips, meet-ups, and more. It's like having all your favorite travel apps merged into one, but even better! But our support doesn't end there. With four international offices, over 100 dedicated staff members, a 24/5 emergency team, and the backing of over 90,000 Global Travellers who have turned their travel dreams into reality with us, rest assured you're in good hands. We also proudly boast the most and best reviews in the biz, and maintain a massive following on our social channels including Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook. Embark on your next adventure with confidence and ease. Join us and discover the world in a meaningful way!

Are flights & insurance included?

While we would love to include flights and insurance in our trip packages, it is not feasible to have a fixed price due to the diverse destinations, trip durations, and individual coverage needs of our travellers from around the globe. However, once you register for the trip, we will assign you a dedicated Travel Concierge. They will work closely with you to arrange the ideal flights and insurance tailored to your specific adventure. Rest assured, our team is here to ensure you have a smooth and hassle-free travel experience from start to finish!

How do I choose the right study trip?

With so many incredible options, we understand that selecting the perfect study trip can be tricky. That's why we recommend booking your favourite one, and your dedicated Trip Coordinator will guide you through the project details. They will consider your interests, goals, and desired outcome for the trip. If we find another trip that better suits your preferences, we can easily swap you over to ensure you have the ideal study experience. Rest assured, we're here to help you find the right fit!

Do I need any prior experience for a study trip?

Most of our study trips are designed to cater to participants of all abilities and levels of experience. You can confidently join our program without any previous background or expertise. Our courses are structured to provide a valuable and enriching learning experience for everyone, ensuring you can make the most out of your study trip adventure, and go home with a new or developed skill!

What is the typical group size I'll be studying with?

The group sizes for our study trips typically range from 4 to 12 people, with variations depending on the specific trip. Most of our participants are travelling solo and share a common enthusiasm for learning and making new connections. And as our travellers come from various countries worldwide, joining a study trip offers an exceptional opportunity to build a diverse network of friends from all corners of the globe!

Do I get a certificate upon completing the study course?

Absolutely! Upon successfully completing the study course, you will be awarded a certificate to acknowledge your hard work and dedication. This valuable certificate serves as a notable achievement and an impressive addition to your resume. Future employers will recognise your commitment to personal and professional growth, reinforcing your qualifications and enhancing your career prospects. Or, frame it on your wall to show off to family and friends of the epic skill you picked up abroad!

Why should I book now?

After the last unexpected disruption to travel caused by the..c word..people are now more eager than ever to venture out and explore the world, determined not to miss out on any experiences. Global Work & Travel works on a first-in-best-dressed basis. Booking earlier ensures that you don’t miss out on the best intake, season, placements and more! We recommend our travellers take 6-12+ months to plan their trip for a reason - to make sure you’ve got everything organised perfectly, stress-free. As a Global Traveller you’ll get exclusive access to gWorld, our personalised app where you can keep all of your important documents and trip details in one spot and gain insider access to everything Global. This is where you will find exclusive Marketplace Deals, a unique social network to connect you with other like-minded Global Travellers, access to our Academy with an ever-growing range of skills & languages, and so much more. Think all of your favourite apps merged into one, but like, better? Why not give yourself something to look forward to by booking that trip!

Can I travel with a friend or partner?

Yes you can! Simply tell your Trip Coordinator after booking that your friend is also going and they can link your profiles. For most of our trips we should be able to have you and your friends placed together or nearby. Meaning that you can live, work, play & travel together! But wait there's more! Not only can you travel the world with your besties at your side, you can also earn some extra cash towards your own trip just by referring your friends to Global Work & Travel. You can learn more about the great referral rewards program inside your gWorld account once you join. And for those who decide to go-it-solo, we’ve made it easier to meet other Global Travellers in the same region as you. Just like any other social platform, you’ll be able to interact, share, chat and meet with some really cool people who are doing trips just like you!

Can I bring my pet along?

At Global Work & Travel, we share a deep love for animals and fully understand the special bond you have with your pet. We recognise the challenges of embarking on a trip without them. Due to travel restrictions, requirements, and limited pet-friendly accommodations among our host organisations, we regretfully cannot facilitate their inclusion in the journey. However, many of our customers choose to entrust their pets to a family member or friend, embark on their adventure, and return home to wagging tails and furry cuddles.

What happens if I need to cancel my trip?

We know that life can get in the way of travel, so all our trips come with a great deal of flexibility. In most cases, if you cannot travel on your selected date, you can place your trip on hold to deal with whatever is holding you back, and continue in the future without incurring any penalty. You may also have the option of transferring to an entirely different trip and destination as well, or even transferring your trip to a friend or family member. In the event that you need to outright cancel your trip, if you give us 84* days notice you can do so with only a 50% cancellation fee. Your refund of the balance will come in the form of a Store Credit which you can put toward any other trip that we offer, including tours through third-party providers, as well as holidays through, and is valid for 2 years from date of issue. As international travel can be complex, your options are based on the progress of your trip organisation and our support team can assist you in finding the best solution for your needs.

How it works

1. Choose a trip style

Find your dream experience & destination, then secure your spot with a flexible & low deposit. Activate your gWorld to unlock some cool perks. Well done! The hardest part’s over!

2. We become friends

Book a time to meet your dedicated Trip Coordinator who knows all the ins & outs of your trip. They’ll be by your side and working behind-the-scenes to pull everything together.

3. Time to go!

We’ll get your tickets, accommodation & transfers ready. Our in-country team or partner will have everything prepared & waiting for your arrival. Get on the plane with no worries!

4. 24/5 support

Never stress, knowing we’re there with you when you need us with ongoing & unlimited local team support. And just in case, we’ve got an emergency team on stand-by, 24 hours, Mon-Fri.

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With over 10 years in the industry and a team of over 90 passionate pros, you can bet we know our stuff better than anyone else.

Partner network

We have over 1,200 partners around the globe, so we have access to plenty of exclusive opportunities to make your trip the best it can be.

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