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The University of Southampton

SOES6060 Key Skills and Applied Coastal Oceanography

Module Overview

Key Skills module for MSc Engineering in the Coastal Environment students only.

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 applied coastal oceanography.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Write a well-structured scientific report.
  • Technical writing
  • Communicating with non-specialist audiences
  • Development of testable hypotheses
  • Development of suitable scientific method
  • Use of a standard software package for data analysis
  • Teamworking.
  • Use software packages for basic data analysis.
  • Critically evaluate and synthesise the findings of peer-reviewed publications.
  • Better manage your research project using time management and interpersonal techniques.
  • Plan and execute coastal fieldwork.
  • Prepare for job or PhD applications.
  • Write articles that communicate research effectively to non-specialist audiences.
  • Researching literature
  • Critical evaluation


Lectures, workshops and fieldwork covering the material in this course take place throughout Semesters 1. Sessions cover the following areas: Communication and research skills: • Writing research papers • Writing a research proposal • Writing an academic literature review • Communicating research to wider audiences IT and data analysis: • Introduction to MATLAB Professional skills: • Career development (CVs, job application, interview technique) Fieldwork: • Boatwork covering applied coastal oceanography • Chartwork

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Study time allocation Contact hours: 23 Private study hours: 52 Total study time: 75 hours 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, use of statistics 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: Boatwork activities are intended to familiarise students with a range of techniques used in applied coastal oceanography, while also exercising teamworking skills. A wide range of support can be provided for those students who have further or specific learning and teaching needs.

Independent Study52
Practical classes and workshops14
Total study time75


Assessment Strategy

Fieldwork Data Report: Analysis and interpretation of fieldwork data, including data collected during SOES6060 boat work, presented as a technical report. Popular Science Review Article: Students are required to write a review-style news article about a contemporary topic in marine science or engineering, following training in how to communicate with non-specialist audiences. MATLAB Tutorials: Students will undertake a series of 3 tutorials involving analysis of coastal data including: time series and 2-D bathymetry datasets.


MethodPercentage contribution
Fieldwork report 50%
Newspaper article 20%
Tutorial 30%
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