About this course
Expand your subject knowledge while carrying out a major research project on this MRes Marine Geology and Geophysics: Palaeoceanography degree. You’ll be based at National Oceanography Centre Southampton (NOCS), where you’ll access the latest facilities and the research-led teaching of our academic experts. You’ll graduate in the perfect position to continue your studies at PhD level or start a career in a wide range of sectors.
A master of research (MRes) degree differs from a standard MSc in the balance between teaching and research. As an MRes student you’ll spend more time on your research project and less on the taught part of your course.
On this flexible UK master's course, you’ll gain a broad overview of marine geology and geophysics, while gaining the specialist skills and knowledge to carry out a research project relating to the oceans' geologic past.
You'll study a combination of modules that are common to all our marine geology and geophysics pathways and modules specific to the palaeoceanography pathway.
Your specialist modules will look at topics such as:
- global climate cycles
- the processes that control the chemical composition of seawater
- microfossils, and how to gather, analyse and interpret microfossil data
Teaching takes up one-third of the year. The modules you’ll take depend on your choice of research topic.
You’ll spend the rest of the year working on your research project, and writing up your findings in a dissertation.
If you prefer, you can apply to study this course as:
- a part-time master's - study the same course content over 2 or more years
Your modules and fees may vary if you choose a different study option.
Your course leader is Dr Nicholas Harmon, Associate Professor in Geophysics within Ocean and Earth Science. He’s a marine geophysicist and seismologist with a special interest in plate tectonics and mantle dynamics. Read Dr Harmon’s staff profile to find out more about his work.
We offer 3 other pathways on our MRes Marine Geology and Geophysics course:
This course is based at Waterfront (National Oceanography Centre Southampton).
This qualification is awarded by the University of Southampton.
Download the programme specification
The programme specification sets out the learning outcomes of this course and details how the course is taught and assessed.
You’ll need a 2:1 degree in:
- physical sciences
- environmental sciences
Find the equivalent international qualifications for your country.
Got a question?
If you're not sure that you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course please contact our enquiries team; we're very happy to help.Email: email@example.com
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
The full-time course runs for 12 months.
The taught part lasts from September to June (semesters 1 and 2). The research part of the course runs for the whole year.
Exams take place at the end of semesters 1 and 2.
If you’re studying part-time, you can take the course over 2 to 5 years. You’ll study the taught component over 2 years, then have until the September of your 5th year to submit your dissertation.
Want more detail? See all the modules in the course.
On the MRes Marine Geology and Geophysics: Coastal pathway, you'll study 6 compulsory modules.
For entry in Academic Year 2020-21
You must study the following modules in year 1:
You must also choose from the following modules in year 1:
Learning and assessment
The learning activities for this course include the following:
- laboratory work
- case studies
- boat work
- independent learning (studying on your own)
We’ll assess you through:
- written exams
- laboratory reports
- fieldwork reports
- research proposal
- short tests
You’ll spend 1,200 hours of study time carrying out your research project and writing a dissertation to present your findings.
The project is a chance for you to develop your research skills and show in-depth knowledge of your subject.
You’ll work closely with a supervisor to choose your research topic, and have regular support meetings throughout the process.
We'll assign you a personal academic tutor, and you'll have access to a senior tutor.
With this degree you’ll be in a great position to continue your research at PhD level or start a career in a wide range of sectors.
Areas where your knowledge and skills will be in demand include:
- gas and oil extraction
- engineering services
- environmental consultancy
Careers services at Southampton
We're a top 20 UK university for employability (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2019). Our Careers and Employability Service will support you throughout your time as a student and for up to 5 years after graduation. This support includes:
- work experience schemes
- CV/resume and interview skills workshops
- networking events
- careers fairs attended by top employers
- a wealth of volunteering opportunities
- study abroad and summer school opportunities
We have a vibrant entrepreneurship culture. You'll be able to take advantage of:
Fees, costs and funding
Fees for a year's study:
- UK/EU students pay £9,250.
- International students pay £23,136.
What your fees pay for
Your tuition fee covers the full cost of tuition and all examinations.
10% alumni discount
If you’re a graduate of the University of Southampton you get a 10% discount on your postgraduate tuition fees.
Postgraduate Master’s Loans (UK and EU nationals only)
This can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate master's course. Find out if you're eligible.
Funding your postgraduate studies
A variety of additional scholarships, grants and bursaries may be available to help you fund your master’s study, both from the University and from other organisations.
How to apply
You can apply directly through our online form by using the apply button on this page.
Applications must be received no later than 4 weeks before the start of the course. You must supply all supporting documentation at least two weeks before starting your course.
We recommend you apply at least 6 weeks before the start of the course to ensure you're able to meet our requirements and apply for a visa in time.
We cannot guarantee students who do not meet these deadlines will be able to begin their course.
When you apply you’ll need to submit a personal statement explaining why you want to take the course.
You’ll need to include information about:
- your knowledge of the subject area
- why you want to study a postgraduate qualification in this course
- how you intend to use your qualification
You'll also need to send 2 academic references.
Please include the required paperwork showing your first degree and your IELTS English language test score (if you are a non-native English speaker) with your application. Without these, your application may be delayed.
Learn more about how to apply with our postgraduate application guide.
What happens after you apply
You'll be able to track your application through our online Applicant Record System.
We will assess your application on the strength of your:
- academic achievements
- relevant professional experience
- personal statement
- academic references
We'll get back to you within 6 weeks with a decision about your application.
Equality and diversity
We treat and select everyone in line with our Equality and Diversity Statement.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000