Founded in 1971 at the tip of Brittany, the Université de Bretagne Occidentale (UBO) is a multi-disciplinary university (more than 300 courses) in phase with the social, economic, political, cultural or environmental changes of our societies and the associated challenges. UBO has more than 22,000 students, 600 professors and researchers, 500 doctoral students and 32 laboratories, half of which are affiliated with a national research organization (CNRS, INSERM, IRD, Ifremer). Firmly focused on innovation and development, research at the UBO focuses on themes that are relevant to the problems of contemporary society.

With its strong territorial roots and network, it is naturally focused on the sea (ranked 11th in the world in the Shanghai rankings, in the "oceanography" category in 2022), though its national and international influence also benefits from its strengths in information sciences and technologies, human and social sciences and health sciences.


UBO concentrates its training and laboratories in marine sciences in the Eurropean Institute for Marine Studies (IUEM) which occupies a prime position in a territory that has defined as a strategic sector "the sea par excellence" and has been able to develop major 

"Investissements d'Avenir" projects such as the LabexMER and the ISblue University Research School in its continuity, and ensure the international influence of its marine research.


IUEM occupies a prime position in a region that has defined "the sea par excellence" as a strategic sector and has been able to develop major "Investissements d'Avenir" projects such as LabexMER and the ISblue University Research School, and ensure the international influence of its marine research.


As an internal school of the University of Western Brittany (UBO), the IUEM offers eight master's degree programs in the field of Marine and Coastal Sciences (SML), which are very closely associated with its laboratories. The Master of Marine and Coastal Sciences is unique in France. The 8 majors cover, each according to its disciplinary field, different aspects of Marine and Coastal Sciences: Biotechnology, Biology, Environmental Management, Applied Economics, Law of Maritime Activities, Earth, Planet and Environmental Sciences, Chemistry and Life Sciences, Marine Physics. The IUEM also houses the Doctoral School of Marine and Coastal Sciences (EDSML), a multidisciplinary school involving 25 host laboratories, both inside and outside the IUEM. The IUEM contributes to the training of more than 270 students, in master and 200 doctoral students.



Its research, based on disciplinary excellence, develops profoundly interdisciplinary projects based on 4 axes 

1.         The ocean, a major player in the biogeochemical cycles and climate of our planet

2.         Marine ecosystems and biodiversity

3.         The deep domain still unexplored

4.         The coastline, a complex and fragile interface


IUEM's mission is to study the ocean, the coastline and related human activities, through observation, experimentation and modeling, and to transmit this knowledge through teaching and communication, to serve the objectives of sustainable development of maritime activities and the preservation of marine and coastal ecosystems.


IUEM includes seven laboratories (Joint Research Units associating the UBO, the UBS, the CNRS, the IRD and Ifremer) where more than 500 researchers, teacher-researchers, engineers, technicians and administrative staff work. IUEM is a major player in French and European research in marine sciences. Benefiting from a privileged environment that includes more than half of the national potential in this field, its teams are present on all the major research issues and work on all the oceans, from the polar regions to the inter-tropical zone. All disciplines studying the marine environment and the activities that take place there are represented: physics, chemistry, biology, genetics, ecology, biogeochemistry, geophysics, geology, geography, law, economics... 


7 research laboratories 

- AMURE Aménagement des Usages des Ressources et des Espaces Marins et Littoraux (UBO / CNRS / Ifremer) 

- BEEP Biology and Ecology of Deep Marine Ecosystems (UBO / CNRS / Ifremer) 

- Geo-Ocean Ocean Geosciences Laboratory (UBO / CNRS / Ifremer)

- LBCM Laboratory of Biotechnology and Marine Chemistry (UBO / UBS) 

- LEMAR Marine Environment Sciences Laboratory (UBO / CNRS / Ifremer : IRD) 

- LETG-Brest Littoral Environnement, Télédétection, Géomatique (UBO / CNRS) 

- LOPS Physical and Spatial Oceanography Laboratory (UBO / CNRS / Ifremer / IRD) 



The IUEM, as an Observatory of the Sciences of the Universe (OSU) of the CNRS/INSU, contributes to a national mission of observation carried by a dedicated service unit. The ocean is observed from the coastline to the open ocean, from the surface to the deep sea and in all its aspects: living and physical ocean, coastal and bottom interfaces, interactions with human communities. Observation is, along with experimentation and modeling, one of the fundamental approaches in marine sciences. By contributing to the constitution of essential time series and to the understanding of local and global changes, observation constantly feeds research. Through its observation mission (national and international), and within integrated territorial approaches, IUEM is a leading contributor to the knowledge of the evolution of the sea system.


Mailing address

Rue Dumont D'Urville
29280 Plouzane

Courses within this university