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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

1. To ensure a basic level of skills required to function as a professional marine scientist. 2. To provide experience with up-to-date methods in applied coastal oceanography. 3. To provide an introduction to basic estuarine processes and features.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Write a well-structured scientific/technical report.
  • Use standard software packages for data analysis (Matlab, Winriver and Excel).
  • 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.
  • Write articles that communicate research effectively to non-specialist audiences.
  • Critical evaluation, development of testable hypotheses and suitable scientific methods.
  • Teamworking.


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 an academic literature review - Communicating research to wider audiences IT and data analysis: - Introduction to MATLAB (time series analysis and 2 D datasets). Self-study courses in Excel, Sigmaplot, surfer, and GIS are provided) Fieldwork: - Boatwork covering applied coastal oceanography - Chartwork - Self-study guides

Special Features

1 Day boatwork campaign aboard RV Callista collecting coastal oceanography, hydrography and sediment data (using ADCPs, CTD, sediment grabs, water sampling). Special training in matlab (covering low frequency (tidal/water levels) and high frequency (turbulence) data and 2-D datasets (bathymetry).

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Study time allocation Contact hours: 25 Private study hours: 50 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 (including time series analysis and 2D datasets). 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 Study50
Practical classes and workshops16
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: low and high frequency time series and 2-D bathymetry datasets.


MethodPercentage contribution
Fieldwork report 50%
Newspaper article 10%
Tutorial 40%


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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