Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton

F710 BSc Oceanography (single honours) (3 yrs)

This degree in oceanography will give you the knowledge and skills needed to embark on a scientific career applied to the sea. You will be able to choose from an exciting range of modules to create a study programme that matches your particular scientific aptitude and interest.

Programme Overview

Beyond a common core of basic marine science, you may decide to specialise either in chemical, physical or geological aspects of oceanography or to follow a broader general pathway that gives you a fully interdisciplinary approach to ocean science. You will develop the scientific knowledge and challenging skills required to fully understand marine processes from waves, tides and ocean currents, through to sediment transport, the chemical composition of seawater, phytoplankton blooms, fisheries and marine mammals.

View the programme specification document for this course

To Apply

All undergraduate applications should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Click on the 'How to Apply' tab on the navigation menu for detailed information on how to apply including deadline dates or click here to go directly through to the UCAS website.


The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST).

Key facts

    • Our international standing and the location at the National Oceanography Centre Southampton provides an excellent learning environment
    • Includes research training and practical fieldwork
    • Individual research project in your final year
  • The National Student Survey 2015

    • In the NSS 2015 oceanography scored an overall satisfaction of 91%
    • 91 % oceanography students agreed or strongly agreed that staff are good at explaining things
    • 94 % oceanography students agreed or strongly agreed that the course is intellectually stimulating
    • 96 % oceanography students agreed or strongly agreed that the library resources and services are good enough for my needs.
Meet our students

Nigel Fisher

Thumbnail photo of Nigel Fisher

“My time at the National Oceanography Centre Southampton allowed me to express my interests in the environment by providing opportunities to study, learn and experience different scientific disciples and techniques.”

View profile

Entry requirements

Typical entry requirements

A Levels:

ABB grade A levels or equivalent, to include two sciences from Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Maths, Environmental Studies, Geography or Physics.

Other qualifications:

Please click here to find out about other qualifications

English Language

For details of our English Language entry requirements please see here

Selection process:

Intake: 50 (overall intake across all Oceanography courses)
Average applicants per place: 4

We will consider your BSc Oceanography degree application as soon as possible after it arrives at the University. In selecting applicants, we use the information provided on the UCAS form to determine whether you have the potential to flourish within Ocean and Earth Science.

Candidates who are predicted to attain our standard degree offers will be invited to visit the University and the waterside campus. During this visit, you will meet with one of our academic staff to discuss the offer and explore how your interests and aspirations fit with the course. This formal interview also gives us the opportunity to get to know you.

Visit our International Office website or the NARIC website for further information on qualifications.


Typical course content

Over the BSc Oceanography course, you will gain an extensive knowledge of contemporary oceanographic science and develop a broad range of sophisticated laboratory and field skills and techniques.

Innovation modules outside your subject area

Our Curriculum Innovation Programme offers you the chance to take optional modules outside your chosen subject area. This allows you to personalise your education, to develop new skills and knowledge for your future. Modules range from "Living and working on the web" to "Business skills for employability".

View the Curriculum Innovation modules for this course

Learn a language

Some of our courses also give you the option of taking a language module, which can count towards your degree. These modules cover ten languages and range from absolute beginner to near-native speaker level.

View the language modules on offer for this course

Year 1

You will take 6 compulsory modules which will enable you to place oceanography in a global context. Two modules can be selected from the option lists, along with modules from Archaeology and Physics.

Semester One

Depending on your background, you will take one mathematics module from SOES1010, MATH1004 or MATH1008.

If you have the International Baccalaureate, Standard Level Maths at grade 6 or higher you may consider selecting MATH 1004. If you have Standard Level Maths below grade 6 you should select SOES 1010. If you have A-Level qualifications then please click the individual module below for further advice. If you are uncertain then please contact the Programme Leader

A further option module is ARCH1029, Introduction to Archaeology.


Semester Two

Option modules also include ARCH1005 Archaeological methods for fieldwork and analysis, ARCH1028 Landscapes and Seascapes or PHYS1013 Energy and Matter combined with PHYS1020 Physics Skills.


Year 2

You will continue to acquire knowledge of a broad range of oceanographic topics from multi-disciplinary modules and those focussed on single-subject sciences as well as from the tutorial programme. If you had studied SOES1010 or MATH1004 in year 1, you must take SOES2028 plus one other option. If you had studied one or both of MATH1008 & MATH1009 in year 1, then you can choose two other options across the two semesters, which may include MATH2015 if both MATH1008 & MATH1009 were taken. One of these may be a designated module from Archaeology, Biological Sciences or Physics subject to timetabling and meeting any pre-requisites.

Learning and assessment

Ocean and Earth Science is strongly committed to providing the very best learning experience to all our students in a friendly and stimulating environment. We are known nationally and internationally for our excellence in teaching, and are continually improving the scope and delivery of our activities

On arrival at the University all students are assigned a personal tutor from the academic staff, who provides help and encouragement throughout the degree course and beyond, into industrial or academic careers and research opportunities. Each degree programme is a stimulating mix of lectures, practical classes, field work and tutorials, supported by computer-aided learning, and independent study. You will acquire an in-depth understanding of the fundamental principles and modern concepts within your chosen subject, as well as a good personal and transferable skills profile. The fully modular course structure allows you maximum flexibility for specialisation according to your own interests.

As part of the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (NOCS), Ocean and Earth Science has a strong research-led world reputation. Cutting-edge research carried out by academic staff provides direct and enthusiastic input into a challenging and stimulating teaching programme. There is unique opportunity for students to undertake research projects with other NOCS-division scientists.

Career Opportunities