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

SOES1003 IT communication, field and laboratory skills

Module Overview

The aim of the module is to provide you with generic skills to support your study.

Aims and Objectives


  1. To develop an appreciation of both the concept of, and the university regulations pertaining to, academic integrity (AI), and how these can be observed when producing work that contributes to your degree programme 
  2. To understand how, why and when to employ the SOES protocols associated with referring to the work of other authors in your own pieces of work. This will be partly achieved through the completion of a compulsory online assessment and by the production of a reference list in a tutorial exercise.

Learning Outcomes

  1. To understand the full requirements and implications of the university's academic integrity regulations
  2. By completion of a compulsory online academic integrity assessment, you will have learnt and know how to employ the SOES protocols associated with referring to the work of other authors in your own pieces of work, i.e. producing reference lists, citing/acknowledging other authors' publications in your written work.

Key Skills Acquired

You will gain:

  • Library techniques including literature searches, and use of electronic catalogues;
  • Field techniques including keeping an effective notebook, making field observations and interpreting field data.
  • IT skills including electronic communication, use of the Internet, operating in the Windows environment, word processing, and spreadsheet manipulation.
  • Communication skills in written and oral formats; teamworking, time management, study skills, and self management.


You will develop generic key skills to support your degree studies (information retrieval/processing, communication skills, study skills, employability skills). Specific geology, geophysical or oceanographic field skills will also be developed through lectures and fieldwork.

Geology, Geophysics and Ocean, Earth and Climate Science students attend a residential field course during the Easter vacation. Oceanography, Marine Biology and Ocean, Earth and Climate Science students undertake boatwork and practical marine science training during a field course in the Easter vacation.

Eight tutorials are also held over both semesters to introduce students to their degree subjects in greater depth.

Learning and Teaching

Study time allocation

Contact hours:75
Private study hours:75
Total study time: 150 hours

Teaching and learning methods

Induction week: During the first teaching week you will meet staff and fellow students, receive an introduction to your academic programme and undertake introductory fieldwork.

Tutorial programme: will further develop generic skills such as scientific writing and information research.

Fieldwork: will provide you with a basic training in geological fieldwork skills (mapping, field observations, logging sedimentary sequences, taking structural measurements)or geophysical field skills (marine surveying, training in geophysical instrumentation) or oceanographic procedures (sea survival, boatwork, data logging, biological/sedimentological sampling, chart reading etc.)

A wide range of support can be provided for those students who have further or specific learning and teaching needs.

Resources and reading list

Much of the lecture material is summarised at Instructions for accessing this material will be given during the course.

Stow, D.A.V., 2005. Sedimentary Rocks in the Field. Manson Publishing

Barnes, J.W with Lisle, R.J. 2004. Basic Geological Mapping (4th edition). Wiley.

Kunzig, R. 2000. Mapping The Deep. Sort of Books.


Assessment methods

Assessment will be wholly by coursework comprising a combination of web-based exercises, tutorial exercises, fieldcourse exercises and laboratory exercises.

Tutorial Programme (all students; 40%): Assessed tutorial essays (one per Semester) focus on developing your scientific writing skills, information research and critical thinking - Tests learning outcomes 3 and 4


Oceanography, Marine Biology and Ocean, Earth and Climate Science (TBC) students

Southampton residential fieldcourse (60%): assessment on a number of the field course minimodules - Tests learning outcomes 6 and 7

Geology students

Tenby residential fieldcourse (60%): A series of exercises involving mapping, logging and construction of geological cross-sections from field data. Tests learning outcomes 5,6,7

Geophysics  students

Tenby residential fieldcourse (45%): Tests learning outcomes 5,6,7
Two-day fieldcourse (15%): Tests learning outcomes 5,6,7

Linked modules

Pre-requisites and / or co-requisites

None. Only available to students registered in the School of Ocean and Earth Science.


Programmes in which this module is compulsory

Compulsory and restricted to SOES students.

ProgrammeUCAS CodeProgramme length
BSc GeologyF6003 years
BSc Geology with Marine BiologyF6C13 years
BSc Geology with Physical GeographyF6F83 years
MSci GeologyF6014 years
MSci Geology with study abroadF6034 years
BSc Geophysical SciencesF6403 years
MSci GeophysicsF6604 years
MSci Geophysics with study abroad 4 years
BSc Marine Biology with OceanographyF7C13 years
MSci Marine BiologyF7034 years
MSci Marine Biology with study abroad4 years
BSc Oceanography (single honours)F7103 years
BSc Oceanography with Physical GeographyF7F83 years
MSci OceanographyF7004 years
MSci Oceanography with study abroadF7024 years
MSci Oceanography with FrenchF7R14 years


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.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Printing and copyingWhere possible, coursework such as essays; projects; dissertations is likely to be submitted online. However, there are some items where it is not possible to submit on line and students will be asked to provide a printed copy. The University printing costs are currently: A4 - 5p per side (black and white) or 25p per side (colour) A3 - 10p per side (black and white) or 50p per side (colour) Please Note: Paper sizes not recognised by the printing devices will prompt you to select the size and then charge a minimum of 50p per black and white copy and a maximum of £1 per colour copy. You can pay for your printing by using the money loaders or by using print copy payment service by going to Please remember that we are unable to refund any credit that has not been used by the end of your course, so please consider this when topping up your printing/copy account. You will be given a printing allowance towards the costs of printing lecture hand-outs and/or practical scripts. The University Print Centre also offer a printing and copying service as well as a dissertation/binding service. Current printing and copying costs can be found here. They also provide a large format printing service, e.g. Academic posters. £0.05-1.00

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

FieldworkAccommodation: Students on Marine Biology and Oceanography programmes have a 7 day fieldtrip based in Southampton during the Easter vacation for which accommodation will be required. This is usually within the accommodation contract time.
FieldworkInsurances: Although travel insurance is covered by the University high risk items, for example laptops and mobile phones, will require separate personal insurance.
FieldworkTravel: For compulsory residential field courses accommodation and travel are normally provided. You are usually expected to cover the costs of food and drink, although some courses may include meals. For optional field courses, you may be asked to make a contribution to the travel and/or accommodation costs.
EquipmentA ruler, a pair of compasses, set squares, protractor, pencils (including coloured), eraser, calculator and penknife.
EquipmentIT - Data Storage: Students are expected to provide their own data storage device.
EquipmentIT - Hardware: It is advisable that students provide their own laptop or personal computer, although shared facilities are available across the University campus.

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

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