Fieldwork is an essential part of all degree programmes in the School of Environmental Sciences. For Ocean Sciences, our fieldwork programme involves spending time at sea on research vessels. At sea you are directly involved in the collection of samples and data using research grade equipment and instruments, in the analysis of samples using chemical and biological techniques, and in application of data analysis tools and interpretation of data. This hands-on experience allows you to place theories and ideas gathered throughout your degree programme in context. You will be taught by scientists who regularly spend time at sea and will therefore be highly trained in up-to-date techniques vital for modern observational oceanography.
The fieldwork schedule starts within the first few weeks of year 1, when students attend a fieldwork weekend in North Wales. During this two-day training session students are introduced to basic skills in data collection and techniques used for making oceanographic and meteorological observations. In year 2 students collect samples from the coastal waters north of Liverpool, and use those samples to learn key analytical techniques in our laboratories. This analytical experience is then used in year 3, when students participate in a 6-day field course off Oban, northwest Scotland, working on board the RV Calanus and RV Seol Mara. Students collect samples and data in order to understand the biological, chemical and physical characteristics of the coastal environment and how they interact.
Spending time at sea will not only provide you with knowledge and hands-on experience in Ocean Sciences but will allow you develop your skills in self-organisation, teamwork and communication and improve your confidence in making observations, attributes attractive to employers both within and outside the field of Ocean Sciences.
The School of Environmental Sciences will cover essential costs of all compulsory field courses - and you will have the option, via our ‘Go Abroad’ programme, to study abroad for part of your degree.