Modules for course F7AH | MSC/PO
MSc Physical Oceanography

This is a provisional list of modules to be offered on this course in the 2019–20 academic year.

The list may not be complete, and the final course content may be different.

You can also view the modules offered in the years: 2017–18; 2018–19.

Find out more about studying and applying for this degree.

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Year 1 Modules

Compulsory Modules

Semester 1

  • OSX-4010: Key Concepts and Techniques (20)
    This course introduces some of the underpinning techniques and concepts of marine science Topics covered include: Mathematical methods MATLAB computer programming Oceanographic data analysis Sediment transport processes The course is taught through lectures, computer practicals and exercises
  • OSX-4012: Practical Oceanography-PO (20)
    Practical experience gained of • Singlebeam (AMG) and multibeam (PO and AMG) bathymetry surveying, with tidal corrections and positioning • Geographical Information System (GIS) software (PO and AMG) • numerical modelling (PO) • oceanographic surveying (PO): deployment and use of ADCP, CTD, transmissometer etc. and filtering water samples for suspended particulate matter and chlorophyll. • offshore data processing, data integration and report writing (PO and AMG) Classroom activities: • Short course on GIS, geodesy and positioning (PO and AMG) • Short course on ocean acoustics (PO and AMG) • Short course on numerical modelling (PO) The module organiser is Dr. Katrien Van Landeghem. Do not hesitate to approach her with any general questions about this module. Dr. Katrien Van Landeghem; Menai Bridge, room WM 412; Dr. Dei Huws; Menai Bridge, room CM 303 Dr. Tom Rippeth; Menai Bridge, room CM 202; Dr. Reza Hashemi, Menai Bridge, CAMS (Ynys Faelog);
  • OSX-4014: Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (20)
    This course introduces the main principles of classical hydrodynamics and dynamics in a rotating frame, and applies these principles to surface water waves and tides. The topics covered include: Classical Hydrodynamics and Waves: equations of motion and continuity, streamfunction, vorticity, rotational and irrotational flow. Linear surface gravity waves in `deep¿ and `shallow¿ water. Kinematic and dynamic boundary conditions, properties of progressive waves including phase speed, dispersion equation, potential and kinetic energy, group velocity, wave transformation in shoaling water, refraction and diffraction. Standing waves. Forces due to waves ¿ radiation stress, wave set up. Waves of `finite¿ amplitude, Stokes waves and Stokes drift. Breaking waves and bores. Wave modelling using TELEMAC. Dynamics and Tides: Governing principles and equations of motion with rotation. Turbulent mixing, eddy viscosity, diffusivity, Reynolds stress. Ekman theory of wind-driven flow. Inertial oscillations. Basic theory of tidal forces and the equilibrium tidal model. Effects of rotation and friction on tidal flow. The advection-diffusion equation. Onset and maintenance of turbulence in terms of Richardson number. The course is taught through lectures, computer practicals, a laboratory practical and exercises

Semester 2

  • OSX-4015: Climate and Climate Change (20)
    The module comprises three parts: A. Climate Processes and Interactions including radiation and global energy balance, greenhouse effect and climate feedbacks, redistribution of solar energy across the globe, ocean circulation including vertical mixing and deep water formation, ice and ocean interaction; B. Natural Climate Variability on Geological Timescales including internal forcing (tectonic timescales), external orbital forcing (glacial/interglacial cycles), external solar forcing (e/g/ Little Ice Age) and Earth system feedbacks (e.g. ice-ocean-climate feedbacks); C. Decadal and Annual Climate Variability and the Impacts of Climate Change including impacts of climate change on local and global scales - El Niño, NAO, CO2 drawdown, in situ monitoring of marine climate change, and Earth observation (remote monitoring) of climate variability.
  • OSX-4016: Literature Review-Project Plan (20)
    The purpose of the literature review is to ensure that the student is aware of background literature in the general area of their research project topic. Undertaking a literature review will ensure that they are well briefed before embarking on research, and should focus their attention on very specific areas of knowledge or lack of it and areas of contradiction. The literature review will enable them to place their study in the context of what is known, and thereby stimulate them to develop hypotheses which can be tested by specific questions. It is an essential step in project design. Following introductory lectures each student will spend their time in self-study and literature searching. Project supervisors will meet with their students on a non-formal basis throughout the semester and provide guidance and feedback about progress in the completion of the literature review. At the conclusion of the literature review the student will be able to complete a project proposal form outlining the specific hypotheses to be tested and the overall plan for the project. This will be presented as a 10 minute talk with 5 minutes of questions and will help to confirm sound plans, spot problems and suggest better approaches, such that the student has a much clearer idea of how to proceed. Staff and fellow students will review the proposals, in particular to rein in overambitious plans, to identify problems in experimental design, raise awareness of likely logistical problems, and to draw attention to unconsidered safety issues.
  • OSX-4023: Marine Renewable Energy (20)

credits from:

  • OSX-4009: Research Project /Dissertation (60) (Semester 3)
    The module will provide students with training and practice in the acquisition of information and data from experimental, observational and computational research and the effective communication of their results. The process of acquiring information will lead to the production of a plan and risk assessment. Students will integrate the various stages of their literature, experimental, computational and observational research into a scientific project report. The bulk of the module will be self-study.