Ocean Sciences MOSci (Hons) Add to your prospectus

  • Offers study abroad opportunities Offers study abroad opportunities
  • Opportunity to study for a year in China Offers a Year in China

Key information

  • Course length: 4 years
  • UCAS code: F710
  • Year of entry: 2018
  • Typical offer: A-level : AAB / IB : 35 / BTEC : Not accepted

Module details

Programme Year One

You will take core and optional modules in Years One, Two and Three of the MOSci, selecting from a three-year Ocean Sciences degree programme, the choice depending on your interests and skills. You will select one of the following three-year Ocean Sciences degree programme routes:

  • F700: Ocean Sciences, either the oceanography, physics or chemistry route
  • FF78: Geography and Oceanography
  • C1F7: Marine Biology with Oceanography
  • G1F7: Mathematics with Ocean and Climate Sciences

Then you will follow the Year Four of the MOSci in Ocean Sciences

Programme Year Four

Compulsory Modules:

  • ENVS402: Ocean Sciences Masters Research Project
  • ENVS414: Modelling Processes in Ocean and Climate
  • ENVS413: From Sampling to Models in Ocean Biogeochemistry

Students can choose one optional module from a range of Masters Level modules from across the School:

  • ENVS485: Human Impacts on the Environment
  • ENVS412: Advanced Ecology – Conserving Resources
  • ENVS525: Politics of the Environment
  • BIOL761: Dynamic Population Modelling
  • ENVS475: Climate Processes and Variability

Year Four Compulsory Modules

  • Integrated Masters Research Project (ENVS402)
    Credit level60
    SemesterWhole Session
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
  • ​Carry out a critical and focused survey of relevant scientific literature.
  • ​Be able to articulate clearly, both written and orally, the state of knowledge in a wider field of science around the planned research, showing the relevance and timeliness of the planned research.
  • ​Write coherent scientific prose in the format of a scientific paper targetted at a specific journal.
  • ​Produce a concise, well-designed poster suitable for a scientific conference.

  • ​Carry out independent research, with a clear focus on the research questions and using appropriate methods.
  • Learning Outcomes

    ​Be able to provide a critical and focused assessment of an area of scientific literature, including keeping records of key points made in the literature.

    ​Be able to articulate the importance of a research question within the broader scientific context.​Be able to write scientific prose in typical formats used in science.​Be able to formulate testable hypotheses, and along with the methods and approach required to test them.

    ​Be able to produce a poster for a scientific conference, and to recognise what makes a good (and a bad) poster.

  • From Sampling to Models in Ocean Biogeochemistry (ENVS413)
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    1. ​Develop an appreciation of how models are constrained by observation and the uncertainties in observations. 
    2. ​Provide an integrated view from laboratory analyses, field experiments and models for the cycling of carbon, nutrients and trace metals in the ocean
    3. ​Develop analogue models based on laboratory experiments
    4. ​Acquire skills in error analysis, calibration and experimental design
    5. ​Receive training in research and industry standard analytical instruments including nutrient analysers, spectrofluorometric, voltammetric and chromatographic systems.  
    Learning Outcomes

    Students should be able to design and carry out an experiment to measure key biogeochemical processes and write a concise and informative report

    ​​Students should be able to critically analyse and interpret a biogeochemical data set and calculate key parameters to be used in models (.e.g growth rates, nutrient assimilation rates)
    Students should develop an appreciated of how models are constrained by observations and the uncertainties in observations

    Students should develop skills in error analysis, calibration and experimental design​

  • Modelling Processes in Oceans and Climate (ENVS414)
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
  • ​To allow the students to undertake independant work using the tools developed during each of the four phases of the course towards testing hypotheses quantitatively.

  • To develop written communication skills​

  • To develop the ability to dissect numerical experiments towards providing process insight​
  • Learning Outcomes

    ​By the end of this module a student will be able to use a range of different simple models to conduct quantitative assessments of the importance of different processes

    By the end of this module a student will be able to communicate the results of numerical modelling in a short illustrated report that draws general conclusions ​

Year Four Optional Modules

  • Advanced Ecology (ENVS412)
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100

    The aim of this module is to provide students with:

    • A clear and critical appreciation of ecological theory.
    • Information on statistical methods appropriate to community ecology.
    • The ability to apply scientific rigour when critically assessing the options available for conservation action in any given case.
    • The ability to present balanced, critical written accounts on scientific issues.
    Learning Outcomes

    On successful compeltion of this module students should have a knowledge and critical understanding of community ecology, specifically below:    

    Have understanding of aspects of macro-ecology.

    ​Discuss current scientific approaches and their uses

    ​Access, understand and summarise scientific information

    ​Have a knowledge of communtiy analysis using multivariate tools

  • Analysing Climate Processes and Variablity (ENVS475)
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    • To outline the modes of operation, timescales of variation and drivers of the global climate system
    • To introduce major research themes in the global climate system    
    • To introduce the techniques and approaches for the analysis of ocean, atmopshere and paleoclimate data sets 
    • To learn to discuss and present key findings from data analysis of large data sets

    Learning Outcomes

    ​Knowledge of how the Earth’s atmospheric and oceanic system operates, including the various spatial and temporal scales of the processes​

    The external and internals drivers of climate change​

    Basic techniques and research themes in ocean, atmospheric and paleoclimate research

    Knowledge of the methods of data collection and production in ocean and atmospheric science.

    ​Knowledge of the techniques of reconstruction of past climatic conditions​

  • Human Impacts On Environments (ENVS485)
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100

    The aim of this module is to provide students with:

    • The opportunity to conduct in depth piece of research on a chosen topic within the broad theme of human impacts on the environment.
    • Provide students with training in research methods and critical analysis techniques
    • Teach them to write a short concise abstract (in a conference format)
    • To present the results in the form of a high impact, high quality A0 poster.

    Learning Outcomes1. Demonstrate an understanding of human interactions on the enivronment;

      ​2. Knowledge of a series of key case studies illustrating interactions between human activities and terrestrial and marine ecosystems;

      ​3. Critically analyse and assess previously published materials and synthesize into an appropriate case study;

      ​4. Write a concise abstract;

      ​5. Demonstrate knowledge of poster development and construction;

      ​6. Present a poster in a professional manner.

    • Politics of the Environment (ENVS525)
      Credit level15
      SemesterFirst Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting50:50

      This unit is designed to critically evaluate the political responses to the growing impact that environmental issues and the concept of sustainability are having on decision making at all levels of governance, (international, national and local). More specifically the unit aims to: 

      1)         develop a critical understanding of the growing importance of environmental and sustainable development thinking in political decision-making processes; 

      2)         explore different environmental attitudes, values and perspectives and examine the impact on various political perspectives;  

      3)         develop a critical understanding of the opportunities and limitations of environmental decision making international dimension of environmental politics and its impact on nation states; 

      4)         understand the role that environmental pressure groups have in shaping political decisions at the international, national and local levels of governance; 

      5)         critically evaluate the policy responses at national and local levels to the new emerging environmental agenda

      Learning Outcomes

            a critical appreciation of how environmental issues are being addressed at all levels of governance;       


      ​ a critical understanding of different environmental values and attitudes and the way that these impact upon political philosophy and decision-making;

      ​a critical understanding of the way that various environmental interest groups impact on political and other decision making processes.

    The programme detail and modules listed are illustrative only and subject to change.

    Teaching and Learning

    Teaching takes place through lectures, practicals, workshops, seminars, tutorials and computer based learning, with an emphasis on learning through doing. The award-winning £23 million Central Teaching Laboratories provides a state-of-the-art facility for undergraduate practical work.

    Students value the learning opportunities provided by field classes, including the rapid feedback on performance. You will typically receive at least 15 hours of formal teaching each week. Between 30 and 100 hours of fieldwork and hands-on activities are provided each year depending on the discipline.

    A typical module might involve two or three one-hour lectures each week, and often a three- hour laboratory or computer-based practical as well. Tutorials typically involve groups of 4-7 students meeting with a member of staff at least every two weeks in Year One and Two. In Year Three, you will undertake an Honours project, which is a piece of independent research (field, laboratory or data analysis) on a topic of your choice, supervised by a member of staff. In Years Three and Four students meet with their project supervisor on a weekly or more frequent basis. As you progress through your degree, you will be increasingly challenged to engage with current debates, to think critically and to study independently.

    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 students with disabilities on the same basis as all other students, and reasonable adjustments will be considered to address barriers to access.