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The University of Southampton

SOES3040 Fieldwork for Exchange Students

Module Overview

The module consists of the Falmouth field course which takes place at the end of Semester 2 (late June to early July) following the examination period.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Plan an oceanographic survey of an estuary or area of coastal sea.
  • Collect and analyse data in such a fashion as to understand the environmental processes operating within the system and understand some of the interactions between them
  • Work effectively within a group either as leader or member of that group.
  • Produce an effective webpage design to communicate scientific method, analysis and discussion
  • Write a concise scientific report, describing data analysis and results and comparing them with published material


During the 10-day field course, you will get at least four days sea-time working from a variety of boats collecting samples and data that describe the marine chemistry, physics and biology of the estuarine and coastal environment around Falmouth. Each group will work from the top of the estuary to about 15 miles offshore during the fieldcourse. By the end of the course a dataset will exist describing the water-column characteristics for 7-10 days. Each of the undergraduate groups will work with their tutor and other staff to plan and execute each fieldwork day and subsequent sample and data analysis days. Learning to work within a group, taking a variety of roles and planning your activities within time and facility restrictions are all important skills that you will gain during the course. Lectures given during the course which will assist you and your group in producing a clear and informative group logbook and data CD ROM (assessed), a web based report of your group data and their analysis. An individual holistic report (six pages), describing the estuarine and coastal marine 'system' around Falmouth will be handed in by the end of August (assessed).

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Field course: A 10-day field course based at Falmouth, working in the estuary and up to 12 miles offshore. You will work from a variety of vessels from the top of the estuary to 30 km offshore. Laboratory Sessions: To complement the field sampling, lab sessions will work up the samples taken and analyse these data. Formal Lectures: Seven lectures will provide support for group working and time management skills, web page design and presentation skills (PowerPoint), and data analysis.

Independent Study150
Total study time150





MethodPercentage contribution
Individual report 80%
Webpage 20%
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