Masters degrees in Ocean Sciences offer advanced study of the oceans, seabed and the atmosphere.
Courses range from taught MSc degrees, to research oriented MRes and MPhil programmes. Entry requirements normally include an appropriate undergraduate degree such as Environmental Science.
Courses in this field are interdisciplinary in nature, combining theory and methods from disciplines such as Biology, Chemistry and Physics. They also combine practices from Oceanography.
Studies may cover a range of topics, such as the biogeochemical cycles in the Earth System, and deep-sea ecology. For example, you may wish to investigate climate dynamics and their impacts on sea levels, or the reproduction of marine animals.
Consideration may also be given to maritime law and environmental regulation, for example costal marine management and transport logistics.
Practical training includes computational data analysis, ecological modelling, remote sensing and the production of GIS (geographical information systems).
Careers in this field are highly varied. They may include direct analysis of and research about ocean cycles or areas, for example on conservation projects for international agencies and NGOs. They could also include roles in public policy or legislation, charity work, or community development.
The MSc by Research (MScRes) is a one-year full-time research programme that differs from a taught Masters programme by placing more emphasis on research, and by being examined much more like a PhD, by viva voce (oral) examination, rather than by grading of coursework and dissertation. This degree will equip you with confidence and competence in the latest research skills (including generic skills such as literature searching, legal and ethical aspects, project planning, grant proposal writing, and statistical manipulation of data) and allow you to apply for further research training (PhD) programmes, or to directly apply for research positions in universities or research institutes. Specific funded projects leading to this degree may be advertised from time to time, but you are welcome to discuss options at any time with potential supervisors. Details of research specialisms and contact details for staff can be found on the School Research pages. As well as offering strong support for research activities, the School offers unique opportunities for students to conduct project work under internationally recognised supervisors. Students also benefit from our extensive local, national and international links with state and private sector organisations.
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.
The MER master program provides high quality teaching in general oceanography with a specialization in marine environment (ecology, ecotoxicology, biochemistry, geochemistry, sedimentology, paleo-oceanography) and living or non-living marine resources. The MER program benefits from a consortium of four EU universities (Bilbao - Spain, Bordeaux-France, Southampton-UK and Liège-Belgium) and a worldwide network of associated partners.
The MER master program is organized according to three teaching semesters (Semester 1-3: coursework) plus a research master thesis (Semester 4) carried out via an internship at any partner research institution worldwide. Mobility is mandatory and three different mobility opportunities are proposed for the coursework:
Coursework is organized according to six mandatory and optional modules (total: 90 ECTS).
Module 1 to 6: Content
The MSc thesis research (Module 6) is carried out during Semester 4 (30 ECTS) at any Marine Research Institute worldwide.
Successful completion of this program will prepare students for a leadership role in various marine sectors such as conservation and environmental management, fisheries, nongovernmental organizations and all levels of government positions from local to global. Students benefit from a worldwide network of partner institutions.
From the start (2007), the MER program has trained more than 100 students. More than 50% of graduates continue with a PhD. Other graduates integrate public or private organizations in their field of expertise.