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Course content


This degree is designed primarily for students with no previous specialisation in marine science such as graduates with a degree in biological sciences, chemistry or materials science, physics, mathematics, 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. 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

Students can either follow one of these ‘pathways’, or mix options from different pathways, where the timetable allows, to pursue broader interests.Graduates often pursue careers in the marine environmental sector or undertake PhD research in marine sciences.


Semester one

Core introductory modules: Biological Oceanography; Chemical Oceanography; Marine Geology; Physical Oceanography Plus: Key Skills and Literature Review

Optional modules: two from: Applied and Marine Geophysics; Biogeochemical Cycles in the Earth System; Coastal Sediment Dynamics; Computational Data Analysis for Geophysicists and Ocean Scientists; Deep-sea Ecology; Geodynamics and Solid Earth Geophysics; International Maritime and Environmental Law; Introductory Remote Sensing of the Oceans; Large-scale Ocean Processes; Microfossils, Environment and Time; Zooplankton Ecology and Processes

Semester two

Optional modules: three from: Global Ocean Carbon Cycle, Ocean Acidification and Climate; Applied Coastal Sediment Dynamics; Climate Dynamics; Ecological Modelling; Environmental Radioactivity and Radiochemistry; Global Climate Cycles; Global Ocean Monitoring; Seafloor Exploration and Surveying 2; Structure and Dynamics of Marine Communities; UN Convention on the Law of the Sea

Plus: Key Skills and Literature Review Research project: From June to September, students work full-time on an independent research project that represents one-third of the MSc degree.

Visit our website for further information.

Visit the MSc Oceanography page on the University of Southampton website for more details!






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