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The University of Southampton
Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton

Who we are

Our Ocean and Earth Science staff are involved in world-leading research into how the Earth System operates from the ocean depths to volcanic heights.

We not only generate critical information on how environmental change influences life on Earth but also aim to understand the challenges associated with climate change and other societal issues, in order to identify potential solutions.

Students and Staff of the School of Ocean and Earth Science  are based at the prestigious National Oceanography Centre Southampton (NOCS) site. Alongside the University of Southampton’s School of Ocean and Earth Science (SOES), the NOCS site is home to the major component of the independent National Oceanography Centre. Collectively NOCS hosts one of the world’s largest groups of scientists and engineers devoted to education and training, research and technology development in Ocean and Earth science.

National Oceanography Centre Southampton
National Oceanography Centre Southampton

SOES is comprehensively equipped with modern instrumentation and laboratory facilities. The NOCS site is also the operational base for the UK’s fleet of deep sea research vessels and associated equipment such as the Autosub Boaty McBoatface, a suite of autonomous underwater vehicles capable of diving to depths of 6 kilometres. NOCS also houses the UK’s collection of ocean sediment cores (BOSCORF), as well as the National Oceanographic Library and co-hosts the Discovery Collection, with the Natural History Museum.

SOES offers a range of innovative research-led undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes, delivered by leading experts in the field.

Meet our academic team

Key Facts

Our world-leading expertise in marine sciences was recognised with the award in 2016 of a Regius Professorship in Ocean Sciences by HM The Queen.

In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) we ranked 2nd in the UK for proportion of research recognised as world-leading (4*).

The majority of our degree programmes are taught at the National Oceanography Centre Southampton (NOCS), a purpose-built £50m research centre, with an international reputation for cutting-edge research.

All of our subject areas (Earth and Ocean Science, Geology, Geophysics) rank in the Top 100 worldwide of the QS World University Rankings by subject, with Geology in the top 50.

We are home to one of the largest graduate schools in Ocean and Earth Sciences in the world, with ~200 PhD students in the GSNOCS.

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