The University of Southampton
Courses

SOES6001 Contemporary Topics

Module Overview

This module now exists with a number of pathways that caters for a range of topics: Marine Geology and Geophysics (MSci Geology, MSci Geophysics & MRes Marine Geology & Geophysics students); Marine Biology (MSci Marine Biology students); topics relevant to MScstudents studying Marine Science Policy and Law, Marine Environmental Resources & Marine Resource Management; and Oceanography (MSci Oceanography, MRes Ocean Sciences students).

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

To provide an opportunity for you to be guided into the key literature on a variety of important contemporary topics at the forefront of Earth Science, Oceanography, Marine Biology, Marine Science Policy and Law and Marine Environmental and Resource Management.

Learning Outcomes

Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Written skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Scientific research
Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • synthesise a body of knowledge on a given subject
  • critically assess the scientific literature on a wide range of topics
  • make public oral presentations on the findings of current research
  • write critical syntheses of knowledge for a given subject in a scientifically cogent style

Syllabus

You will choose three key topics from a list of options in your specialist area (a reading list of seminal papers for these is provided, except for the MSc (MSPL/MER/MRM version). You will be required to write a critical review and make a short oral presentation on each of your selected topics at weekly or fortnightly seminars. Much of the learning will be through independent reading. The breadth of subject coverage is intended to broaden and deepen your knowledge of topical issues in your specialist area, as well as to develop scientific writing and presentation skills.

Special Features

Co-ordinators by discipline: Dr Juerg Matter Prof Paul Wilson Drs Laura Grange and Chris Hauton [MMarBiol]

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Note: Contact hours vary from 24 to 40 hours, depending on the size of the module group. Seminars will be led by a variety of staff members with expertise in a range of important contemporary topics. Reading will be guided by staff members, but much of the learning will be through independent reading and study by students who will also give oral presentations at seminar-style classes. The programme will consist of 12 two-hour seminars. Supplementary material: Geophysics Seminar, NOCS Seminar programmes and WUN Seminars. A wide range of support can be provided for those students who have further or specific learning and teaching needs.

TypeHours
Independent Study126
Teaching40
Total study time166

Assessment

Assessment Strategy

Written reports (70%): Two reports on a topic which you will be expected to review, identify key scientific issues at stake and summarise arguments on both sides. You will be expected to form your own opinion on the matter. Each report should not be more than 5000 words. Tests Learning Outcomes 1,2,4 Oral presentations (30%): Two x 15 minute presentations at seminar style gatherings, on a key-note topic. Tests Learning Outcomes 1,2,3

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Oral presentation  (15 minutes) 30%
Written report  (5000 words) 70%
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