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MST3103 : Advanced Oceanography

Semester 2 Credit Value: 30
ECTS Credits: 15.0


This module provides a 'finishing course' for students with interests in postgraduate studies in Oceanography, and will provide insights into various topics at the forefront of contemporary research in these science areas. Study units will involve workshop-type small group teaching thus permitting interaction with research active teaching staff. The overall goal of the module is to illustrate modern, multidisciplinary research across the entire range of marine sciences and will cover a wide range of topics in current research in Oceanography.

Outline Of Syllabus

4 x 8 hour lecture blocks based on current topics in Marine Biology linked to academic staff research interests. Topics could cover subjects such as:

Oceanographic modelling
Sea Surface Microlayer
Carbon and Nitrogen Cycles
Time Series Data Sets

In addition, all students will complete a full day session on-board the research vessel, the further develop their subject-specific practical survey skills.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture321:0032:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion13:003:00Examination
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion321:3048:00Examination revision
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical18:008:00Research vessel practical
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading324:00128:00Lecture follow up: reading
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading322:0064:00Lecture follow up: ReCap
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching12:002:00Modelling tutorials
Guided Independent StudySkills practice115:0015:00Modelling worksheet
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will present relevant, research-focused course material, allowing students to gain a greater appreciation of the research activities undertaken by academic staff. Students will be further encouraged to develop their critical thinking skills to participate in advanced discussions of the primary literature relevant to the topics covered.

Practical sessions are designed to cover more advanced subject-specific survey techniques and will build upon practical skills developed at Levels 4 and 5.

Directed research and reading will support the information received through formal lectures by guided independent study using key papers from primary literature. Students build upon the independent learning skills developed at Levels 4 and 5.

Assessment preparation and completion will allow students to fully prepare written examination. They will have the opportunity to consolidate and build upon knowledge gained in the taught sessions.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A50N/A
Written Examination1202A50N/A
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Practical/lab report2MResearch vessel worksheet
Practical/lab report2MModelling Worksheet
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The written examination will assess the level of knowledge and understanding of all aspects of the module, including student reading. The examination will present students with two questions from each of the four topics, and students have to answer one question per topic.

The formative research vessel report will consolidate students analytical skills of practical techniques. The formative modelling worksheet will give students the opportunity to practice using modelling software to manipulate relevant oceanographic data.

Reading Lists