University of Southampton

University of Southampton


The MSc Oceanography degree is designed primarily for students with no previous specialisation in marine science. For example, if you are a graduate with a degree in biological sciences, chemistry or materials science, physics, maths, 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 with marine scientists at the National Oceanography Centre Southampton (NOCS).

Entry requirements

2nd Class Honours degree or equivalent in any scientific discipline; minimum AS level mathematics or equivalent.

Course modules

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
•Marine Resources and Law

Students can either follow one of these "pathways", or mix options from different pathways, where the timetable allows, to pursue broader interests.

Employment in the marine environmental sector is a common destination for MSc Oceanography graduates, and as the degree is a "conversion" to marine science from "pure" science backgrounds, around one-third of graduates also go on to PhD research in marine sciences.

Biological oceanography; chemical oceanography; marine geology; physical oceanography; plus key skills and literature review; plus 2 optional modules 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; introducing remote sensing of the oceans; large-scale ocean processes; microfossils, environment and time; zooplankton ecology and processes; plus 3 optional modules from: applied biogeochemistry and pollution; applied coastal sediment dynamics; climate dynamics; ecological modelling; environmental radioactivity and radiochemistry; global climate cycles; global ocean monitoring; radar remote sensing of the oceans; reproduction in marine invertebrates; sea floor exploration and surveying 2; structure and dynamics of marine communities; UN convention on the law of the sea.

Sponsorship information

The School has a limited number of funded studentships each year. Eligible students are automatically considered for these Studentships and the Fishmongers Guild Bursary, with decisions and notification on the allocation of Studentships being made towards the end of June. All awards are highly competitive. The School of Ocean and Earth Science also offers a number of studentships to the value of £1,500 as a contribution towards University fees. For UK students, bursaries to cover some of the costs of the course and living expenses can be applied from the Society for Underwater Technology. For details of application procedures please contact the Administrative Officer (Postgraduate Taught Programmes). For students in Commonwealth countries there is the possibility of Association of Commonwealth Universities scholarships. See: A useful source of information in most countries is your nearest British Council office. See:


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
MSc Full-time October 2016 - 1 years

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Highfield Campus Southampton SO17 1BJ South East

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Key information

Telephone number: 
023 8059 5500