Ocean Sciences

Ocean Science Programmes

The ocean stores more than a 1000 times as much heat and 50 times as much carbon as the atmosphere. The ocean redistributes the heat and carbon over the entire globe, moderating the temperature contrasts between the equator and pole.

Life first emerged in the ocean and the plants in the ocean, phytoplankton, provide us with up to 50% of the oxygen we breathe everyday. Phytoplankton grow in surface waters where there is sufficient sunlight and nutrients, and their distribution is then affected by the physical circulation.

For the present day, there is a real challenge to understand the role of the ocean given ongoing climate change:  how are the oceans warming, where is sea level rising, how are the oceans taking up carbon from the atmosphere, and how are these changes affecting plankton and marine life.

How do we study the ocean?

Studying the ocean involves the full range of scientific disciplines. We offer degree pathways studying the ocean involving mathematics, physics, chemistry, marine biology and geography. You can choose the appropriate pathway for your skills and background.

Whatever pathway you choose, your degree will involve problem solving, analysis of data, critical and creative thinking, interdisciplinary skills, and an understanding of the ocean and climate system.

Ocean scientists with the above skills are in great demand and are instrumental in shaping our world, from advising governments on environmental policy to helping industry use the sea sustainably.

Take a look at our undergraduate courses.

A number of the School’s degree programmes involve laboratory and field work. The field work is carried out in various locations, ranging from inner city to coastal and mountainous environments. We consider applications from prospective disabled students on the same basis as all other students, and reasonable adjustments will be considered to address barriers to access.