Masters degrees in Geological Oceanography offer advanced study of the sedimentary processes within the Earth’s oceans, including deposition and marine dynamics.
Related postgraduate specialisms include Geological Sciences and Marine Science. Entry requirements normally include an appropriate undergraduate degree such as Environmental Science, Geology or Marine Biology.
Courses in Marine Geology explore the ways in which the oceans interact with sediments, rocks and air, as well as the effects of the Earth’s mantle on the sea floor. Their purpose is to uncover geological events that have occurred in the past, to understand current processes and predict those likely to occur in the future.
For example, you may examine the biogeochemical cycles of different marine ecologies, the effect of natural and manmade pollutants on sedimentary processes, and human impact on coastlines and coral reefs.
Practical training may include geomatic techniques such as bathymetry (measuring ocean floors and benthic zones), and geovisualisation methods such as ocean surface topography and geoid assessment through satellite geodesy.
Careers may range from coastal marine management and environmental monitoring, to maritime law and consultancy.
This programme provides broad knowledge of marine geological and geophysical techniques and advanced training in marine geophysical exploration techniques, mathematical modelling, geodynamics, coastal processes, micropalaeontology or palaeoceanographic expertise.
You will gain hands-on research experience through an advanced project with leading international researchers. The MRes focuses less on taught modules and more on the research project (about two-thirds of the year).
Core modules: Contemporary Topics in Ocean and Earth Science; Introduction to Marine Geology; plus one from Introduction to Chemical Oceanography or Introduction to Physical Oceanography
Optional modules: Applied and Marine Geophysics; Basin Analysis; Coastal Sediment Dynamics; Computational Data Analysis for Geophysicists and Ocean Scientists; Geodynamics and Solid Earth Geophysics; Microfossils, Environments and Time
Optional modules: Applied Coastal Sediment Dynamics; Ecological Modelling; Global Climate Cycles; High-resolution Marine Geophysics
Plus research project
This masters by research programme is an opportunity to carry out a substantial piece of research in any of the following major branches of geosciences:
The programme allows you to work on research throughout the year, and your work will be judged solely on your final dissertation. You can follow taught courses by arrangement with your supervisor, but none are required.
The programme aims to provide a structured approach to basic research training, allowing you to explore an area of research that may be subsequently developed into a PhD. You may also have the opportunity to develop links with research projects at national and international levels.
The School has the largest geoscience research group in the UK, with about 370 academics and researchers. The ambition and quality of our research was reflected in the latest Research Assessment Exercise, where 66% of our research was rated within the top two categories: world-leading and internationally excellent.
All research students are affiliated to one a research institute, which provides a forum for the development of ideas, collaboration, and dissemination of results, and an environment for training, development and mentoring of research students and early-career researchers. Our research institutes each have a very active seminar series drawing distinguished external guests as well as internal speakers, and you will be encouraged to attend and participate.
You can follow taught courses by arrangement with your supervisor, but none are required.
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.
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
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.