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

MRes Ocean Science (1 year)

This programme will give you the opportunity to focus on a particular area such as physical, chemical or biological oceanography, which may be inspired by your first degree.

Introducing your course

This is the course page for MRes Ocean Science at the University of Southampton. Find out everything about Ocean Science and what studying here involves.

In this course page we explain a range of key information about the course. This includes typical entry requirements, modules you can take and how assessment works. We also suggest career opportunities open to you as a University of Southampton graduate of MRes Ocean Science.

If you still have questions, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to answer any enquiries. See our contact us page for our telephone, email and address information.


As a MRes student, you will spend around two thirds of your year on your research project and the rest of your time taking taught modules. Depending on your background knowledge, these will be a mix of core and optional subjects. You will be able to develop specific knowledge and skills through your selection of modules and choice of subject for your substantial research project.

The programme is taught by staff from across NOCS who draw on their topical cutting edge research to create a challenging and stimulating degree programme. You will also be encouraged to attend our research seminars, some delivered by leading visiting scientists.

View the programme specification document for this course

To Apply

You can apply through the University of Southampton's online postgraduate application system. For more background information, see How to Apply.


For all enquiries, email or telephone +44 (0)23 8059 8310.

Programme tutor: Dr Bob Marsh

Programme Structure

Semester one modules generally run from October to January. Second semester modules are taught in a two to three week intensive format between February and May. The full-time programme lasts one year. The research component is undertaken throughout the whole year and normally finishes with the submission of your dissertation by the end of September.

The part-time programme lasts between two and five years. Students normally undertake the taught component over two years. The research component is undertaken throughout your period of study. You will have until the September of your fifth year in which to complete your research and submit your dissertation.

Key Facts

  • A one year (full-time) multidisciplinary course of instruction and research
  • Draws on world class expertise from our Oceanography and related research groups
  • Opportunity to attend research seminars delivered by leading marine scientists
Thumbnail photo of Jason Argent

“As well as studying for my MRes, I was able to volunteer to help out the Hampshire Wildlife Trust and New Forest National Park in beach safaris and shoresearch surveys along the coast. ”

Jason Argent - MRes Ocean Science, 2010

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

Entry qualifications

You must have a good (2:1) second class Honours degree or an equivalent standard in other qualifications in any scientific discipline plus a minimum of AS level Mathematics (or equivalent).

English Language

If your first language is not English, we need to ensure that your listening, written and spoken English skill would enable you to enjoy the full benefit of your studies. For entry onto our courses, you will need an acceptable English Language qualification such as IELTS 7.0 overall, with minimum of 6.0 in writing, reading, listening and speaking, or equivalent in other approved English language tests.

Selection process

Intake: 10

Average applications per place: 3

Applications are considered throughout the year; most candidates will be invited to interview to discuss the programme in more detail.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.


Typical course content

The structure shown below is for full-time students. Delivery for part-time students is agreed on an individual basis.

Year 1

Pathway A is for students with limited oceanographic background. You must take two introductory modules, one optional module in Semester 1 and one optional module in Semester 2.

Pathway B is for students with a strong oceanographic background. You must choose three optional modules. At least one of these modules must be from each Semester. For example, you might wish to choose two from Semester 1 and one from Semester 2.

Semester One

All students take SOES6001 Contemporary Topics. Pathway A students must take two further introductory modules.

SOES6001Credit: 15
SOES6011Credit: 15
SOES6016Credit: 7.5
SOES6005Credit: 15
SOES6008Credit: 15
Semester Two
SOES6027Credit: 15
SOES6047Credit: 15
SOES6021Credit: 15
SOES6006Credit: 15

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Fees for postgraduate taught courses vary across the University. All fees are listed for UK, EU and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course name.

View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

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 some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. 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

Study locations

Waterfront Campus

NOCS (National Oceanography Centre Southampton)

Ocean and Earth Science is based at the world-renowed National Oceanog...Find out more

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