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MRes Ocean Science

Course Description


You will focus on a particular area of oceanography, which may be influenced by the subject area of your first degree, and develop specific knowledge and skills in areas determined by the modules you select and the nature of the research you undertake. The MRes is a research-led programme that differs from the MSc in focusing less on taught modules and more on the research project (about two-thirds of the year).


Semester one Core modules: Contemporary Topics in Ocean and Earth Science; plus one from: Introduction to Biological Oceanography; Introduction to Chemical Oceanography; Introduction to Marine Geology; Introduction to Physical Oceanography

Optional module: one from: Biogeochemical Cycles in the Earth System; Computational Data Analysis for Geophysicist and Ocean Scientists; Deep-sea Ecology; International Maritime and Environmental Law; Introductory Remote Sensing of the Oceans; Large scale Ocean Processes; Zooplankton Ecology and Processes

Semester two
Optional module: one from: Applied Biogeochemistry and Pollution; Applied Coastal Sediment Dynamics; Climate Dynamics; Ecological Modelling; Environmental Radioactivity and Radiochemistry; Global Climate Cycles; Reproduction in Marine Animals; Sea Floor Exploration and Surveying 2; Structure and Dynamics of Marine Communities; UN Convention on the Law of the Sea

Plus research project

Visit our website for further information...

Visit the MRes Ocean Science page on the University of Southampton website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Jason Argent

I started my course after a year out following my undergraduate degree in Marine and Freshwater Biology. I liked the look of the course at Southampton as I wanted to get into deep sea research and the National Oceanography Centre Southampton (NOCS) looked and felt like a world-class research institute when I came for my interview.

Postgraduate study was a lot more challenging than undergraduate study, particularly with my course focusing so much on the research project. This makes the course and the department good for anyone wishing to pursue a career in research, but I would advise anyone thinking of taking on a masters degree to make sure they want to do it, as it is not an easy option. I enjoyed Boat Week in the first semester as it gave me a chance to carry out some specimen and data collection on a boat, something I had not been able to do much in the past. The research project was also very enjoyable while challenging me at the same time. I was able to volunteer along with people associated with the aquarium at NOCS to help out the Hampshire Wildlife Trust and New Forest National Park in beach safaris and shoresearch surveys along the coast.

The staff are on the whole very friendly and approachable and the staff in the postgraduate office are incredibly organised. There are a diverse range of subjects to study in Ocean and Earth Science at Southampton and I enjoyed learning about geology, chemical oceanography, and deep sea ecology as I had not been able to study these before.

I am hoping to find a job in marine or coastal ecology/conservation, but I am open to the idea of a PhD at some point in the future.


Entry Requirements

2:1 (BSc Honours) or equivalent degee in a relevant discipline such as Oceanography, Chemistry, Physics, Geology, Geophysics, Environmental Sciences, Biology, Engineering and Mathematics. May accept a 2:2 but must be referred to the School. Int Officers only to make Conditional Offers - subject to Personal Statement or any other outstanding conditions.

Last Updated

05 December 2016

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