Practical Oceanography GEOG4116

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2 (Alternate Years)
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This option will provide students with the opportunity to carry out oceanographic techniques in the field. It will allow them to undertake a range of marine sampling techniques, biological monitoring and identification, boat work and group-designed research projects. Students will spend five days in the field at the Millport Marine Field Station during which time they will be trained in required oceanographic research techniques (2.5 days) and then conduct independent research projects (2.5 days).


Five day residential field course

Requirements of Entry

Entry to Level 3 Geography or Level 3 Earth Science

Excluded Courses

GEOG4104, GEOG4105


Oceanography (GEOG4115)


Assessment will take place during the field course. In their groups, students will present a 20-minute seminar to the class on their research projects (50%). In addition, they will prepare a two-page report summarising the findings from the boat day and other practical exercises (40%). Lastly students will take part in a species identification quiz (10%).

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

■ To introduce students to methods in measuring aquatic physio-chemical properties.

■ To allow students to undertake field techniques in benthic substrate sampling, biological sampling and water sampling coupled to subsequent analytical procedures.

■ To provide a practical contextualisation to oceanographic theory, enabling the generation and undertaking of a practical, field-based research project.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Critically discuss the operation of various marine sampling strategies.

■ Critically evaluate the practical issues associated with a variety of marine sampling techniques.

■ Measure and interpret the relationship between water column physical properties and marine community composition.

■ Analyse marine planktonic structure and contextualise in a biogeochemical framework.

■ Identify and characterise marine organisms, discussing key features and ecosystem function.

■ Plan, conduct, analyse and disseminate an oceanographic research project.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.