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Masters Degrees (Biological Oceanography)

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With a multidisciplinary emphasis, this MSc Oceanography Masters programme incorporates both taught modules as well as independent research. Read more

With a multidisciplinary emphasis, this MSc Oceanography Masters programme incorporates both taught modules as well as independent research.

Introducing your course

This is the course page for MSc Oceanography at the University of Southampton. Find out everything about Oceanography and what studying here involves.

In this course page we explain a range of key information about the course. This includes typical entry requirements, modules you can take and how assessment works. We also suggest career opportunities open to you as a University of Southampton graduate of MSc Oceanography.

If you still have questions, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to answer any enquiries. See our contact us page for our telephone, email and address information.

Overview

The MSc Oceanography degree is designed primarily for students with no previous specialisation in marine science. For example, if you are a graduate with a degree in biological sciences, chemistry or materials science, physics, maths, environmental science, physical geography or related disciplines. 

The programme includes compulsory introductory modules that provide a foundation in interdisciplinary marine science, along with the opportunity to specialise in particular areas through an option of modules, as well as research project experience with marine scientists at the National Oceanography Centre Southampton (NOCS).

To highlight the specialisations possible through the option modules of the programme, we have developed "pathways" of suggested module choices, which include:

  • Marine Biology and Ecology
  • Physical Oceanography and Climate Dynamics
  • Marine Biogeochemistry
  • Marine Geology and Geophysics
  • Climate Dynamics

Students can either follow one of these "pathways", or mix options from different pathways, where the timetable allows, to pursue broader interests.

Employment in the marine environmental sector is a common destination for MSc Oceanography graduates, and as the degree is a "conversion" to marine science from "pure" science backgrounds, around one-third of graduates also go on to PhD research in marine sciences.

View the programme specification document for this course



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This programme will give you the opportunity to focus on a particular area such as physical, chemical or biological oceanography, which may be inspired by your first degree. Read more

This programme will give you the opportunity to focus on a particular area such as physical, chemical or biological oceanography, which may be inspired by your first degree.

Introducing your course

This is the course page for MRes Ocean Science at the University of Southampton. Find out everything about Ocean Science and what studying here involves.

In this course page we explain a range of key information about the course. This includes typical entry requirements, modules you can take and how assessment works. We also suggest career opportunities open to you as a University of Southampton graduate of MRes Ocean Science.

If you still have questions, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to answer any enquiries. See our contact us page for our telephone, email and address information.

Overview

As a MRes student, you will spend around two thirds of your year on your research project and the rest of your time taking taught modules. Depending on your background knowledge, these will be a mix of core and optional subjects. You will be able to develop specific knowledge and skills through your selection of modules and choice of subject for your substantial research project.

The programme is taught by staff from across NOCS who draw on their topical cutting edge research to create a challenging and stimulating degree programme. You will also be encouraged to attend our research seminars, some delivered by leading visiting scientists.

View the programme specification document for this course



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This MSc is a full-time one-year course, consisting of 9 months taught course and 3 months research project, and examined by continuous assessment. Read more
This MSc is a full-time one-year course, consisting of 9 months taught course and 3 months research project, and examined by continuous assessment. The course provides advanced training in marine biology with a strong emphasis on practical training.

The course provides training addressing the following major themes:

Marine Ecology Skills
Habitat Ecology / Coastal Survey
Marine Fisheries
Marine Vertebrates
Marine Invertebrates
Research Design & Planning
Research Project / Dissertation
The programme is achieved through a series of compulsory modules encompassing theory, practical, private study and practical research.

The School of Ocean Sciences at Bangor University has over 50 years experience of teaching at postgraduate level, and excellent teaching and research facilities for the study of the marine biology. Undergraduate teaching was graded excellent in the last Teaching Quality Assessment, and research was graded 4* in the Research Assessment Exercise. NERC has designated the School as a Centre of Excellence in Coastal Seas, Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography.

The MSc course in Marine Biology is one of a suite of 4 focused MSc courses in marine science run within the School. New students on this course are inducted to the University and School via an introductory course consisting of orientation through site tours, excursions and social events, and 5 weeks of quantifying biological variability, learning Information Technology, and practising presentation skills. Pre-sessional English language training courses are also available for overseas students.

The MSc course is managed by a course team comprising of the Course Director, Deputy Course Director and Postgraduate Course Administrator. The team report to the School Course Board, which in turn reports to the College of Natural Sciences. Each student has a personal tutor drawn from the teaching staff. The School has 30 academics teaching and researching across the marine science disciplines of Marine Biology (15), Biogeochemistry (2), Physical Oceanography (6) and Geological Oceanography (7) with a similar overall number of technical staff. Teaching on the MSc Marine Biology will be provided from 'in house' in the main, but additional teaching will be provided from the University's School of Biological Sciences and the National Museum of Wales.

The MSc course is housed in a fully serviced and dedicated postgraduate suite. The School is located on the shores of the Menai Strait which separates the Isle of Anglesey from the mainland. The Menai Strait is a proposed Statutory Marine Resource and EU Special Area of Conservation and there are unspoilt marine environments relatively close by.

The University's newly refurbished science library is located in nearby in Bangor. Specialist facilities in the School include temperate and tropical aquaria, satellite imaging processing and Geographical Information System computing, diving and field survey operations (including ROVs and sledges) and laboratories for benthic analysis, nutrition, microbiology, genetics, radiochemical analysis, stable isotopes, sediments and organic chemistry, scanning electron microscopy. An additional strength in our field teaching, is work at sea aboard the only ocean-going research vessel in the Higher Education sector (RV Prince Madog), which entered service in 2001.

MSc course students can benefit from the School's links with other institutions, especially for research project opportunities. Such links presently include the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, U.S.A., University of Mauritius, Catholic University Chile etc.

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Oceanographers investigate both fundamental and applied problems relating to the physics, mathematics, biology, chemistry, and geology of the sea, often working across traditional academic disciplines. Read more

Program Overview

Oceanographers investigate both fundamental and applied problems relating to the physics, mathematics, biology, chemistry, and geology of the sea, often working across traditional academic disciplines. Research carried out both independently and in collaboration with federal government laboratories occurs in many different oceanographic regimes, including coastal BC fjords, the inland sea of the Strait of Georgia, open ocean regions of the Subarctic Pacific, and many other locations, including the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans. The types of problems that can be studied include fundamental questions about the flow of stratified fluids at scales ranging from tens of meters to thousands of kilometers, applied research in estuaries, coastal, and deep-ocean processes, general ocean circulation and climate change issues, marine chemistry, geochemistry, and biogeochemistry, natural product chemistry, marine viruses, fisheries oceanography, plankton ecology and physiology, and primary production of the sea. The Department is well equipped to carry out research in the field (using either its own boat or larger vessels in the oceanographic fleet), at the laboratory bench, and in the numerical heart of a computer. Most problems involve aspects of all three.

Students in Oceanography may select courses, depending on their interest, from the following areas of specialization:
- biological oceanography
- marine chemistry and geochemistry
- physical oceanography and atmospheric sciences

Students are encouraged to broaden their knowledge by taking courses outside their area of specialization. Courses related to Oceanography are also offered in the Departments of Botany, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Geography, Physics and Astronomy, and Zoology.

Oceanography students normally begin their studies in September but may sometimes arrange to start their thesis/dissertation work in the summer before their first Winter Session. A student wishing to do graduate work in Oceanography should first discuss the proposed program with appropriate faculty in the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences.

Quick Facts

- Degree: Master of Science
- Specialization: Oceanography
- Subject: Science
- Mode of delivery: On campus
- Program components: Coursework + Options
- Faculty: Faculty of Science

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How does increasing temperatures affect whales and seals? How does the hole in the ozone layer affect plankton? How is biodiversity changing in the Wadden Sea?. Read more
How does increasing temperatures affect whales and seals? How does the hole in the ozone layer affect plankton? How is biodiversity changing in the Wadden Sea?

How are the oceans responding to climate change? In answering such questions, the two-year Master's degree programme in Marine Biology focuses on life in our planet's seas and oceans. Whether you are interested in biological oceanography, conservation of marine mammals, or coastal marine ecology, there are plenty of opportunities: you can design your own study programme to fit your personal preferences. In 2015, we start the renewed Marine Biology Master program in Groningen.

The modernized program is open for all students with a bachelor in biology. It includes a number of newly developed master courses which are jointly taught by several research groups in Marine Biology at the University of Groningen, and in close co-operation with the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (Texel, Yerseke). The programme is strongly research oriented. You will conduct research under the supervision of experienced scientists.

Why in Groningen?

- Wadden Sea nearby: unique in the world (on UNESCO World Heritage list)
- Research projects on the level of cells, organisms, populations in seas and oceans
- In cooperation with Dutch national research institutes on marine life

Job perspectives

- About one third of the graduates continue in academic research with the pursuit of their PhD degree in The Netherlands or abroad.
- About one third of the graduates continue in various kinds of research and management related to fisheries and coastal zone management.
- About one third of the graduates work in the public sector, for example in journalism, teaching or communication.

Job examples

- PhD research position
- Research and Management related to marine biology
- Work in the public sector

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Ocean acidification, energy resources, coastal erosion and flooding are just some of the issues that make ocean science such an important component when addressing the world’s most pressing environmental, energy and construction challenges. Read more
Ocean acidification, energy resources, coastal erosion and flooding are just some of the issues that make ocean science such an important component when addressing the world’s most pressing environmental, energy and construction challenges. This course allows you to tailor your study towards employment in a specific sector including oceanographic and environmental research and consultancy, marine renewable energy, marine conservation management, offshore exploration and hydrographic surveying.

You will equip yourself for a career in hydrographic surveying by choosing the hydrography pathway in the final year - study the exploration and sustainable management of marine resources, construction and environmental support. You’ll conduct a research or consultancy-type project closely linked to one of our marine science research groups or industrial partners, providing an experience of working with established marine scientists and contributing to current work in a wider context.

Key features

-Gain a sound knowledge base across all areas of ocean science with options to develop specialist skills in marine conservation, oceanography or hydrography.
-Specialise in subjects that most interest you including coastal dynamics, seafloor mapping, physical oceanography, meteorology, remote sensing, offshore exploration, biological oceanography, marine pollution and conservation.
-Equip yourself for a career in hydrographic surveying by choosing the hydrography pathway in the final year (with potential high-level professional FIG/IHO/ICA accreditation) - study the exploration and sustainable management of marine resources, construction and environmental support.
-Conduct a research or consultancy-type project closely linked to one of our marine science research groups or industrial partners, providing an experience of working with established marine scientists and contributing to current work in a wider context.
-Develop your range of practical skills with our own fully-equipped fleet of boats, a new £4.65 million Marine Station used as a base for fieldwork afloat, industry standard oceanographic and surveying equipment and a type-approved ship simulator.
-Option to take the industry-recognised professional diving qualification (HSE Professional SCUBA) alongside your degree, and an optional scientific diving module to provide training and qualification for diving-based research projects and employment (limited places and additional costs apply).
-Experience an overseas field course that's aimed at integrating ocean science knowledge and understanding across the different sub-disciplines.

Course details

Year 1
Your first year, shared across the Marine Science Undergraduate Scheme, introduces the full range of topics within the degree and develops your underpinning scientific knowledge and practical skills. You’ll develop your understanding of the Earth’s oceans and the key physical, chemical, biological processes that occur in these systems. You’ll build practical skills and enhance your ability to analyse, present and interpret scientific data through field-based activities.

Core modules
-OS101 Introduction to Ocean Science
-OS103 Biology and Hydrography of the Ocean
-OS105 Mapping the Marine Environment
-OS102 Physical and Chemical Processes of the Ocean
-OS104 Measuring the Marine Environment

Optional modules
-GEES1002PP Climate Change and Energy
-GEES1003PP Sustainable Futures
-GOV1000PP One Planet? Society and Sustainability
-ENGL405PP Making Waves: Representing the Sea, Then and Now
-GEES1001PP Natural Hazards
-OS106PP Our Ocean Planet
-OS107PP Space Exploration

Year 2
In your second year, the emphasis will be on understanding core aspects of ocean science, including topics in ocean exploration, oceanography and marine conservation, and enhancing your practical and research skills. You’ll participate in a field work module based at our Marine Station, learning how to use industry standard instrumentation and software for measuring a variety of parameters in the coastal zone and you’ll develop a proposal for your final year project. There's also opportunity to apply scientific diving skills gained alongside the degree for suitably qualified individuals.

Core modules
-OS201 Global Ocean Processes
-OS202 Monitoring the Marine Environment
-OS206 Researching the Marine Environment

Optional modules
-OS208 Meteorology
-OS209 Marine Remote Sensing
-OS207 Scientific Diving
-OS203 Seafloor Mapping
-OS204 Waves, Tides and Coastal Dynamics
-OS205 Managing Human Impacts in the Marine Environment

Year 3
You’ll focus on topics with special relevance to your future plans including options across the specialisms offered through the related BSc Marine Science courses. A residential field course allows you to develop a group-based in-situ investigative study. A large part of the year is spent completing a research project, carrying out an in-depth investigation under the guidance of a member of academic staff.

Optional modules
-BPIE338 Ocean Science Placement

Year 4
Pathway options in the final year provide both an opportunity for you to pursue your choice of topic in greater depth and an opportunity to increase the breadth of your study through modules from the applied contemporary offerings of our Marine Science MSc programmes: Applied Marine Science, Marine Renewable Energy and Hydrography. You’ll conduct a research or consultancy-type project closely linked to one of our internationally-leading marine science research groups or industrial partners, providing an experience of working with established marine scientists.

Optional modules
-MAR517 Coastal Erosion and Protection
-MATH523 Modelling Coastal Processes
-MAR520 Hydrography
-MAR522 Survey Project Management
-MAR515 Management of Coastal Environments
-MAR518 Remote Sensing and GIS
-MAR521 Acoustic and Oceanographic Surveying
-MAR507 Economics of the Marine Environment
-MAR523 Digital Mapping
-MAR516 Contemporary Issues in Marine Science
-MAR519 Modelling Marine Processes

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

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Goal of the pro­gramme. Society urgently needs experts with a multidisciplinary education in atmospheric and Earth System sciences. Read more

Goal of the pro­gramme

Society urgently needs experts with a multidisciplinary education in atmospheric and Earth System sciences. Climate change and issues of air quality and extreme weather are matters of global concern, but which are inadequately understood from the scientific point of view. Not only must further research be done, but industry and business also need environmental specialists with a strong background in natural sciences. As new regulations and European Union directives are adopted in practice, people with knowledge of recent scientific research are required.

Upon graduating from the Programme you will have competence in

  • Applying experimental, computational and statistical methods to obtain and analyse atmospheric and environmental data
  • Knowledge applicable to solving global challenges such as climate change, air pollution, deforestation and issues related to water resources and eutrophication
  • Making systematic and innovative use of investigation or experimentation to discover new knowledge
  • Reporting results in a clear and logical manner

Further information about the studies on the Master's programme website.

Pro­gramme con­tents

The six study lines are as follows:

Aer­o­sol phys­ics

Aerosol particles are tiny liquid or solid particles floating in the air. Aerosol physics is essential for our understanding of air quality, climate change and production of nanomaterials. Aerosol scientists investigate a large variety of phenomena associated with atmospheric aerosol particles and related gas-to-particle conversion using constantly improving experimental, theoretical, model-based and data analysis methods.

Geo­phys­ics of the hy­dro­sphere

Hydrospheric geophysics studies water in all of its forms using physical methods. It includes hydrology, cryology, and physical oceanography. Hydrology includes the study of surface waters such as lakes and rivers, global and local hydrological cycles as well as water resources and geohydrology, the study of groundwater. Cryology focuses on snow and ice phenomena including glacier mass balance and dynamics, sea ice physics, snow cover effects and ground frost. Physical oceanography covers saline water bodies, focusing on describing their dynamics, both large scale circulation and water masses, and local phenomena such as surface waves, upwelling, tides, and ocean acoustics. Scientists study the hydrosphere through field measurements, large and small scale modelling, and formulating mathematical descriptions of the processes. 

Met­eor­o­logy

Meteorology is the physics of the atmosphere. Its best-known application is weather forecasting, but meteorological knowledge is also essential for understanding, predicting and mitigating climate change. Meteorologists study atmospheric phenomena across a wide range of space and time scales using theory, model simulations and observations. The field of meteorology is a forerunner in computing: the development of chaos theory, for example, was triggered by the unexpected behaviour of a meteorological computer model. Meteorology in ATM-MP is further divided into dynamic meteorology and biometeorology. Dynamic meteorology is about large-scale atmospheric dynamics, modelling and observation techniques, whereas biometeorology focuses on interactions between the atmosphere and the underlying surface by combining observations and modelling to study the flows of greenhouse gases and energy with links to biogeochemical cycles, for example.

Biogeo­chem­ical cycles

Biogeochemistry studies the processes involved in cycling of elements in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems by integrating physics, meteorology, geophysics, chemistry, geology and biology. Besides natural ecosystems, it also studies systems altered by human activity such as forests under different management regimes, drained peatlands, lakes loaded by excess nutrients and urban environments. The most important elements and substances studied are carbon, nitrogen, sulphur, water and phosphorus, which are vital for ecosystem functioning and processes such as photosynthesis. Biogeochemistry often focuses on the interphases of scientific disciplines and by doing so, it also combines different research methods. It treats ecosystems as open entities which are closely connected to the atmosphere and lithosphere. You will thus get versatile training in environmental issues and research techniques. As a graduate of this line you will be an expert in the functioning of ecosystems and the interactions between ecosystems and the atmosphere/hydrosphere/lithosphere in the context of global change. You will have knowledge applicable for solving global challenges such as climate change, air pollution, deforestation and issues related to water resources and eutrophication.

Re­mote sens­ing

Remote sensing allows the collection of information about the atmosphere, oceans and land surfaces. Various techniques are applied for monitoring the state and dynamics of the Earth system from the ground, aircraft or satellites. While Lidar and radar scan from the surface or mounted on aircraft, instruments on polar orbiting or geostationary satellites permit measurements worldwide. In atmospheric sciences remote sensing has found numerous applications such as observations of greenhouse and other trace gases, aerosols, water vapour, clouds and precipitation, as well as surface observations, for example of vegetation, fire activity, snow cover, sea ice and oceanic parameters such as phytoplankton. Synergistic satellite data analysis enables the study of important processes and feedback in the climate system. Remote sensing advances climate research, weather forecasting, air quality studies, aviation safety and the renewable energy industry.

At­mo­spheric chem­istry and ana­lysis

Atmospheric chemistry studies the composition and reactions of the molecules that make up the atmosphere, including atmospheric trace constituents and their role in chemical, geological and biological processes, including human influence. The low concentrations and high reactivity of these trace molecules place stringent requirements on the measurement and modelling methods used to study them. Analytical chemistry is the science of obtaining, processing, and communicating information about the composition and structure of matter and plays an essential role in the development of science. Environmental analysis consists of the most recent procedures for sampling, sample preparation and sample analysis and learning how to choose the best analytical methods for different environmental samples. Physical atmospheric chemistry studies focus on the reaction types and reaction mechanisms occurring in the atmosphere, with emphasis on reaction kinetics, thermodynamics and modelling methods.



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There is a pressing national and international need to understand the nature and consequences of climatic change and to develop adaptation strategies. Read more

There is a pressing national and international need to understand the nature and consequences of climatic change and to develop adaptation strategies. The UCL Climate Change MSc provides rigorous scientific and vocational training for the next generation of climate change professionals.

About this degree

The programme provides you with a knowledge and understanding of the Earth system (incorporating the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, lithosphere) and the nature and causes of climate variability and change. It combines observationally based climate and environmental science with state-of-the-art modelling, specifically concerned with understanding the impacts of climate change. It seeks to place climate change within the context of broader anthropogenic environmental change and social policy dimensions.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consist of four core modules (60 credits), four optional modules (60 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, full-time nine months) is offered.

A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits, full-time 12 weeks, part-time one year) is offered.

Core modules

  • Climate Dynamics
  • Models in Environmental Science
  • Past Climates
  • Global Environmental Change

* modules running are dependent on staff sabbaticals

Optional modules

Options may include:

  • Biological Indicators of Environmental Change
  • Climate Modelling
  • Coastal Change
  • Cities and Climate Change
  • Environmental GIS
  • Impacts of Climate Change on Hydro-ecological systems
  • Non-biological Indicators of Environmental Change
  • Ocean Circulation and Climate Change
  • Politics of Climate Change
  • Terrestrial Carbon: Modelling and Monitoring
  • Surface Water Modelling

Other MSc modules offered across UCL may be taken at the discretion of the MSc convenor. *Availability of modules is dependent on staff sabbaticals.

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of approximately 12,000 words and an oral presentation.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials and laboratory and computer-based practical classes. Assessment is through independent project work, practical-based and written coursework, and the dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Climate Change MSc

Careers

The programme provides an ideal foundation for PhD research, or for employment with a wide range of private industries, non-governmental organisations, government agencies and environmental consultancies. Graduates have gone on to careers in the commercial, non-profit and academic sectors. Examples include government policy implementation, sustainability consultancy, science communication and research. A significant proportion of students go onto further study such as a PhD.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Policy Manager, Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC)
  • MSc Environmental Economics, UCL
  • PhD in Hydrology, University of Leeds

Employability

Climate change is big issue with many governmental, non-governmental and commercial cosequences. This programme will give graduates an edge when applying for jobs in the private sector relating to adaptation and mitigation - such as the insurance industry and carbon monitoring companies respectively. It also provides a great stepping-stone to a PhD.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

As one of the world's top universities, UCL excels across the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities. The MSc is run by UCL Geography, which enjoys an outstanding international reputation for its research and teaching.

The Climate Change MSc brings together the strong expertise of the department, offering a distinctive blend of fundamental climate science, environmental modelling, impacts and adaptations, delivered from both natural and social science perspectives.

By bringing together students and researchers we aim to create a vibrant and informal academic environment of mutual discovery and ongoing debate.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Geography

81% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.



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The School of Earth Sciences has strong international links and the presence of researchers from all over the world makes for an exciting and stimulating environment. Read more
The School of Earth Sciences has strong international links and the presence of researchers from all over the world makes for an exciting and stimulating environment. Research involves the full breadth of the earth sciences and has benefited from major investment in new laboratories and equipment in the past few years. Important initiatives include experimental and theoretical studies of physical, chemical and biological processes of the Earth.

Please note: If you are applying for this programme, you need to select Geology as the programme choice when completing your online application form.

Research groups

The research programme at Bristol is characterised by an expanding range of exciting subject areas. Research in the School of Earth Sciences encourages interdisciplinary collaboration between its five research groups, which in turn nurtures revolutionary research.

Geochemistry
The Geochemistry group uses fundamental chemical techniques to understand natural processes on a range of temporal and spatial scales. This can be from single atoms on mineral surfaces and the environmental geochemistry of the modern Earth to the large-scale chemical structure of planets and the birth of the solar system. The group has considerable expertise in isotopic measurements, spectroscopy and first-principles calculations.

Geophysics
Geophysics uses physical properties of the solid Earth to measure structure and processes on scales from the single crystal to the entire planet. Members of the Bristol Geophysics group use gravity, seismic and satellite data to image the Earth in a variety of different contexts. These include the Earth's core, mantle and tectonic processes, volcanoes, oil and gas reservoirs and mines.

Palaeobiology
The Palaeobiology group uses the fossil record to study the history of life. Research focuses on major diversifications, mass extinctions, dating the tree of life, phylogenomics and molecular palaeobiology, morphological innovation, biomechanics, and links between evolution and development; the organisms of interest range from foraminifera to dinosaurs.

Petrology
The Petrology group uses a combination of high-pressure and high-temperature experiments, petrology, geochemistry and mineral physics to attack a wide range of problems in the solid Earth - from the core to the surface.

Volcanology
The Volcanology group at Bristol aims to understand the physical processes underlying volcanic phenomena and develop methods of hazard and risk assessment that can be applied to volcanoes worldwide.

Recent case studies and collaborators include the Met Office, Montserrat Volcano Observatory, Eyjafjallajökull, Iceland and INGEOMINAS in Columbia.

Research centres

The School of Earth Sciences is involved in a number of collaborative research groups on an international level. Inter-faculty research centres such as the Biogeochemistry Research Centre and the Cabot Institute involve collaboration across several departments and faculties.

Centre for Environmental and Geophysical Flows
This interdisciplinary research centre brings together expertise from the Schools of Earth Sciences, Geographical Sciences, Mechanical Engineering and Mathematics. This creates diverse research activities and interests, from traffic flow to explosive volcanic flows, meteorology to oceanography.

Biogeochemistry Research Centre
The Biogeochemistry Research Centre involves staff from the Schools of Earth Sciences, Geographical Sciences and Chemistry. The research aims to develop our understanding of the biogeochemistry of modern-day and ancient environments and the way that it is affected by natural processes and the actions of mankind.

Bristol Isotope Group
The Bristol Isotope Group is a world-class research facility for isotope measurements directed at understanding natural processes, from the formation of the solar system, the origin of Earth - its deep structure and atmosphere, through to the evolution of that atmosphere and contemporary climate change.

Interface Analysis Centre
The Interface Analysis Centre specialises in the application of a wide range of analytical techniques and is used by the Schools of Chemistry, Earth Sciences and Physics.

The Cabot Institute
The Cabot Institute carries out fundamental and responsive research on risks and uncertainty in a changing environment. Interests include climate change, natural hazards, food and energy security, resilience and governance, and human impacts on the environment.

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This programme is a pathways-based MSc degree, with a strong emphasis on the development of skills and specialism in Bioarcheology, including opportunities to gain experience with both human and zooarchaeological remains. Read more

This programme is a pathways-based MSc degree, with a strong emphasis on the development of skills and specialism in Bioarcheology, including opportunities to gain experience with both human and zooarchaeological remains.

Students will acquire expertise in the anatomy of humans and animals, bone identification, sexing, ageing, health and disease, paleopathology, growth, diet, death and burial, and ethics. They will learn how to consider issues such as status, ethnicity, social identity, disability, migration and domestication thorough skeletal material and mortuary contexts.

The programme has a strong practical component. Students have full and unlimited access to the large human skeletal collection held in purpose-built facilities in the Department of Archaeology, including Bronze Age, Roman, Anglo-Saxon, and medieval skeletons, as well as one of the largest faunal comparative collections in the UK, including fish and birds. Practical work further includes opportunities to work with isotopes for analysis of diet and migration in our isotope preparation lab, with analysis undertaken at National Oceanography Center, part of University of Southampton. State-of-the-art imaging is available at University of Southampton MuVIS Imaging Centre where students can access a full scanning, imaging and micro-CT suite through Archaeology’s collaboration with Bioengineering. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and 3-D printing facilities are also available. In addition, students engage with the latest developments in molecular techniques that can be applied to osteological material.

Bioarchaeology at University of Southampton has close links and collaboration with Anatomy through the Centre for Learning Anatomical Sciences and with Historic England. It is a global leader in research with projects across the globe including Spain, Romania, Croatia, Sudan, Egypt, USA, Canada, Denmark, UK and students frequently participate in these. Staff are actively involved in the following journals and organisations: Bioarchaeology International, Paleopathology Association, British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology (BABAO), and American Journal of Physical Anthropology (AJPA)

Overview

You will engage with hands-on, real-world archaeological materials and situations, including opportunities to collaborate with a range of stakeholders and partners in the archaeological sector through a professional placement. By these means you will acquire skills for vocational employment or subsequent PhD research. Your programme will be embedded within Southampton Archaeology’s distinctive research culture, with world-class expertise, diverse practice, and contacts with the commercial environment and the heritage sector.

The specialism in Bioarchaeology includes elements that familiarise you with human skeletal biology; key research questions in, and approaches to, bioarchaeology; palaeopathology and disease; the archaeology and anthropology of death; and zooarchaeology. This pathway provides a springboard towards further research or a career in the commercial sector. 

Important aspects of the programme are available across all specialisms. These include the compulsory dissertation module, which should focus on an area of your specialism, if you have chosen one. Furthermore, modules from each pathway are open to you as options, regardless of your chosen specialism. By these means you will be able to build a personalised and flexible programme tailored to your needs. 

This programme includes opportunities for credit-bearing placements within organisations involved in commercial archaeology, heritage management, fieldwork projects and/or museums. The placements are typically organised by the University, and may be available to students following all specialisms, or crossing between them.

View the programme specification document for this course



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Your programme of study. Read more

Your programme of study

If you want to save our oceans from ever increasing amounts of development affecting the natural world or you want to study man made effects on marine life, or you want to work in statutory conservation bodies, government regulators, departments, consultancies assisting private and public sector organisations with their marine environmental reports and assessments, this programme will support you towards that goal.

Human activity in our oceans affect marine environments and conservation. We have increasing shipping lanes and worldwide logistical needs, marine based wind farms, energy production and extraction, and many other industry sectors impacting on the marine environment. There is a need to ensure that the balance for economic benefit does not conflict with the natural world and its long term sustainability. There are also sensitive receptors and geographical areas which must be protected and sustained and which provide essential knowledge to transfer.

You develop practical and analytical skills to apply to marine ecosystems. Contributors to the programme include Marine Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee and you study ecology, fish biology, design and analysis of experiments, population, GIS, conservation management, literature in ecology, conservation and environment, research and conservation management in the marine environment

Courses listed for the programme

Semester 1

  • Marine Ecology and Ecosystem Management
  • Fish Biology
  • Experimental Design and Analysis
  • Population and Community Ecology
  • Introduction to GIS

Semester 2

  • Readings in Ecology, Conservation and Environment
  • Research Project Planning

Optional

  • Ecology, Conservation and Society
  • Marine Spatial Management and Top Predators
  • Advanced Modelling for Ecology and Conservation
  • Spatial Information Analysis
  • Sustainable Management of Marine Resources
  • Catchment Management

Semester 3

  • Research Project

Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page

Why study at Aberdeen?

  • The programme is supported by contributions from Marine Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage and others
  • You are taught by renowned researchers and leading practitioners with outdoor field work at research sites and Aberdeen Harbour
  • You have access to laboratories to monitor water quality
  • You have tours of Marine Scotland's fleet of research vessels

Where you study

  • University of Aberdeen
  • Full Time
  • 12 Months
  • September

International Student Fees 2017/2018

Find out about international fees:

  • International
  • EU and Scotland
  • Other UK

Find out more about fees on the programme page

*Please be advised that some programmes also have additional costs.

Scholarships

View all funding options on our funding database via the programme page and the latest postgraduate opportunities

Living in Aberdeen

Find out more about:

  • Your Accommodation
  • Campus Facilities
  • Aberdeen City
  • Student Support
  • Clubs and Societies

Find out more about living in Aberdeen and living costs 



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Our Ecological Consultancy MSc gives you knowledge, specialised technical skills and professional awareness. It will prepare you for a career as an ecological consultant or in other environmental roles. Read more
Our Ecological Consultancy MSc gives you knowledge, specialised technical skills and professional awareness. It will prepare you for a career as an ecological consultant or in other environmental roles. The course has a professional focus, preparing you for the workplace.

We equip you with key skills which will enable you to pursue careers in ecology, including:
-Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing
-Experimental and survey design
-Wildlife surveying
-Wildlife legislation and natural history
-Environmental Impact Assessment

Graduates of this course have an excellent track record of gaining employment in the environmental sector. Within one year of graduation 18 of the 19 students from the 2011-12 cohort were employed, most in the environmental sector and the majority with ecological consultancy companies.

Examples of recent graduate destinations include students now working in ecological jobs for:
-Wardell-Armstrong
-Mott MacDonald
-BSG Ecology
-E3 Ecology

We provide a link to cutting-edge research that feeds into ecological consultancy, e.g.:
-Research projects on black grouse and wind farms. Paper in review with the Journal of Applied Ecology
-Noise and bird behaviour. Paper in revision in PLOS ONE
-Contracts for the Scottish Bird Wind Farm Steering Group. The class of 2013-14 helped collect data for one of these contracts. They were authors on the paper which is being written up on the data they collected.

Placements

Each Ecological Consultancy project runs in conjunction with an industrial client. These tend to be consultancies or NGOs, e.g.:
-E3 Ecology
-BSG Ecology
-Baker Consultants
-Denny Ecology
-Mott MacDonald
-RSPB
-Natural England
-IUCN
-Northumberland Natural History Society
-Durham Wildlife Trust

Ecological consultants contribute to the course via informal talks. For example, E3 Ecology run a workshop in induction week where company directors discuss how to get into the industry.

Practitioners with extensive UK wildlife legislation and wildlife management experience teach on some modules.

Accreditation

We are in the process of applying for accreditation from the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM).

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This joint European programme provides the opportunity to study in Southampton, Bilbao, Liege and Bordeaux. Introducing your course. Read more

This joint European programme provides the opportunity to study in Southampton, Bilbao, Liege and Bordeaux.

Introducing your course

This is the course page for MSc Marine Environment and Resources at the University of Southampton. Find out everything about Marine Environment and Resources and what studying here involves.

In this course page we explain a range of key information about the course. This includes typical entry requirements, modules you can take and how assessment works. We also suggest career opportunities open to you as a University of Southampton graduate of MSc Marine Environment and Resources.

If you still have questions, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to answer any enquiries. See our contact us page for our telephone, email and address information.

Overview

The 18-24 month Master of Science in Marine Environment and Resources (MER) is a European degree programme developed from a collaboration between three leading European institutions in this field:

You will develop your ability to think through complex issues, to analyse the marine environment and its resources and to ensure development is sustainable. Examples of topics you could study across the MER programme include integrated coastal zone management, the assessment of marine ecosystem health, protection and recovery of marine and estuary environments and competitive and responsible fisheries management.

You can find out more about the programme and studying at each of these universities on the MER Consortium website.

Our partner universities offer structured tuition in local languages during your stay and these are free of charge.

View the programme specification document for this course



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