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The University of Southampton

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

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


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 team working 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.

Independent Study114
Total study time150



MethodPercentage contribution
Boatwork paper 30%
Literature review 70%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal


Costs associated with this module

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:


There are no additional costs associated with this module.

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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