The University of Southampton
Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre SouthamptonPostgraduate study

H222 MSc Engineering in the Coastal Environment (1 year)

The coastal zone is now widely recognised as important at national, European and global levels. Skilled engineers who can understand environmental issues in such sensitive areas are in high demand. The accredited MSc Engineering in the Coastal Environment course provides training in coastal engineering with joint emphasis on environmental and oceanographic matters and provides appropriate vocational training for interested engineers and physical scientists.

Introducing your course

Take a masters in Engineering in the Coastal Environment and take the future of our coastal erosion and defence strategies into your own hands. The importance of the coastal zone is globally recognised and there is a growing demand for skilled coastal engineers. The course provides world-class training in coastal engineering and is uniquely offered between Engineering and Ocean and Earth Sciences.


This course is provided jointly by academics from Civil Engineering and Ocean and Earth Science.

The career-led course will develop your critical awareness and environmental management of coastal issues. You will develop your core knowledge of Coastal Flood Defences, Coastal Morphodynamics and Coastal Sediment Dynamics. You will also apply impact assessments and learn to use advanced information systems.

The MSc is closely linked with the Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute (SMMI) which develops applied coastal research across the University, nationally and internationally. You will also benefit from our partnerships with industry and local councils. Each semester, you will take an additional module relating to Civil Engineering or Marine Science, depending on your first degree.

Your acquired knowledge will be put into practice in a final research project conducted with an industry partner. The best dissertation each year is awarded the prestigious HR Wallingford prize.


View the programme specification document for this course

To Apply

You apply through the University of Southampton's online postgraduate application system. You can find out more here.


For all enquiries, email or telephone +44 (0)23 8059 8310

Programme leader (Civil Engineering): Professor R J Nicholls

Programme leader (Ocean and Earth Science): Dr I D Haigh


EUR-ACEEngineering Council

Accredited by the Institution of Civil Engineers as contribution to full membership (MICE). Accreditation may also be awarded by Institution of Structural Engineers, Institution of Highways and Transportation or Institute of Highway Incorporated Engineers.

Key Facts

  • A unique and effective teaching collaboration between the disciplines of Engineering and the Environment, and Ocean and Earth Science drawing on world-class expertise
  • Close links to practising coastal engineers, such as HR Wallingford
  • Research project is undertaken in collaboration with (and often based at) leading international coastal consultancies or appropriate government agencies
'Numerical model of the solent which we construct in SOES6011'  Credit: Ozgun Ozsoy
Numerical model
Part of SOES6060  Credit: Hachem Kassem
Students setting up a CTD
Part of SOES6060  Credit: Hachem Kassem
Students deploying a CTD

Useful Downloads

Need the software?Powerpoint

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

Entry requirements

You need a good (2:1) Honours degree in civil or environmental engineering or oceanography, geography, geology or the environmental and physical sciences. We assess applications on an individual basis and we encourage candidates with an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University and relevant experience in an appropriate field to apply.  We will asess your general ability to undertake the degree programme and, if appropriate, candidates will be invited for interview. In all cases, you must provide evidence of a high degree of numeracy.

English Language requirements

If your first language is not English, we need to ensure that your listening, written and spoken English skills would enable you to enjoy the full benefit of your studies. For entry onto our programmes, you will need an acceptable English Language qualification such as IELTS 7.0 overall, with minimum of 6.0 in writing, 6.0 in reading, 6.0 in listening and 6.0 in speaking, or equivalent in other approved English language tests.

Selection process

Intake: 20

Average applications per place: 5

Applications are considered throughout the year. If you wish to be considered for a scholarship, we must have received your application by 31st May at very latest. Otherwise, your applications for October entrance should be submitted before July 31st of the same year, although we may still accept late applications. We may invite you for interview before making an offer.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.


Typical course content

The structure shown below is for full-time students. Delivery for part-time students is agreed on an individual basis.

Year 1

The majority of modules are common to all students on this programme. Depending on your first degree subject, in Semester 1 you will take either CENV6128 (Marine Science graduates) or SOES6016 (Civil Engineering graduates). You will take a total of 4 modules in each semester, plus (for the MSc award) a research project.

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Fees for postgraduate taught courses vary across the University. All fees are listed for UK, EU and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course name.

View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

EquipmentApproved calculators: Candidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved models are Casio FX-570 and Casio FX-85GT Plus. These may be purchased from any source and no longer need to carry the University logo.
StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
EquipmentDesign equipment and materials: Standard construction/modelling materials will be provided where appropriate, unless otherwise specified in a module profile. For customisation of designs/models calling for material other than standard construction/ modelling materials, students will bear the costs of such alternatives.
ClothingField course clothing: You will need to wear suitable clothing when attending field courses, e.g. waterproofs, walking boots. You can purchase these from any source.
Printing and copyingIn some cases, coursework and/or projects may be submitted electronically. Where it is not possible to submit electronically students will be liable for printing costs, which are detailed in the individual module profile.
OtherOptional visits: Some modules may include additional optional visits. You will normally be expected to cover the cost of travel and admission, unless otherwise specified in the module profile.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Learning & Assessment

Study locations

Waterfront Campus

NOCS (National Oceanography Centre Southampton)

Ocean and Earth Science is based at the world-renowed National Oceanog...Find out more

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