The University of Southampton
Courses

SOES6018 MSc Key Skills and Literature Review

Module Overview

This module provides essential key skills training to MSc students within Ocean and Earth Science.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• To ensure a basic level of skills required to function as a professional marine scientist. • To provide experience with up-to-date methods in coastal and estuarine oceanography. • To provide an introduction to basic estuarine processes and features.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Critically research, evaluate and synthesise the findings of peer-reviewed publications
  • Prepare for job or PhD applications
  • Write articles that communicate research effectively to non-specialist audiences
  • Researching literature
  • Critical evaluation
  • Technical writing
  • Communicating with non-specialist audiences
  • Oral presentation
  • Poster Presentation
  • Development of testable hypotheses
  • Development of suitable scientific method
  • Structure an academic literature review
  • Teamworking
  • Write a well-structured scientific report
  • Write a clearly-justified research proposal
  • Deliver a research seminar suitable for a scientific audience
  • Design poster presentations suitable for a scientific audience
  • Formulate research project objectives in the context of existing work
  • Better manage your research project using time management and interpersonal techniques
  • Plan and execute coastal fieldwork

Syllabus

Lectures, workshops and fieldwork sessions covering the material in this course take place throughout Semesters 1 and 2. Self-study materials are also available in some cases. Sessions cover the following areas: Communication and research skills: • Writing research papers • Presenting research seminars • Preparing poster presentations • Writing a research proposal • Writing an academic literature review • Communicating research to wider audiences IT and data analysis: • Introduction to MATLAB • Introduction to Surfer • Data presentation Professional skills: • Career development (CVs, job application, interview technique) • Professional skills (negotiation, time management etc.) Fieldwork: • Boatwork covering physical, chemical, biological oceanographic and marine geological techniques • Chartwork.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Communication and Research Skills: These sessions provide students with training and experience in writing research papers, preparing academic literature reviews, producing research proposals and presenting results in seminars, posters and communication with the wider public. IT & Data Analysis: These sessions cover the fundamentals of data presentation and general introductions to Matlab and Surfer. Professional Development: These sessions provide advice on applying for job and PhD opportunities and training in 'personal effectiveness' techniques useful for the MSc project. Boatwork: MSc boatwork activities are intended to familiarise students with a range of techniques and equipment used in physical, chemical and biological oceanography and marine geology, while also exercising teamworking skills and exploring features of estuarine oceanography. A wide range of support can be provided for those students who have further or specific learning and teaching needs.

TypeHours
Teaching30
Independent Study120
Total study time150

Assessment

Assessment Strategy

Boatwork Paper (20%): As an exercise in writing a research paper, students are required to submit a paper suitable for a scientific journal, based on the data they collect during the MSc boatwork week. Tests Learning Outcomes 3,8, 9 Literature Review (70%): Students are required to prepare a 6000 word academic literature review on a title related to the area of their project, set by the project supervisor. Tests Learning Outcomes 1 and 2, Popular science article (10%): Students are required to write a New Scientist-style news article about a recent paper in marine science, following training in how to communicate with non-specialist audiences. Tests Learning Outcome 11.

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Boatwork paper 20%
Literature review  (6000 words) 70%
Newspaper article 10%
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