Ocean and Geophysics BSc (Hons)
Physical Oceanographers and marine geophysicists are in great demand and are required to tackle issues such as predicting future climate and sea-level change, marine pollution dispersion and exploitation of marine renewable energy. The aim of this programme is to inspire and prepare students to be professional physical and geophysical marine scientists – whether that is to be in research or industry. The course achieves this by providing students with a suitable combination of skills and knowledge. Generic skills e.g. self -learning, time management, numerical skills as well as subject specific ones including numerical problem solving and making observations in the natural environment. In year 3 the students specialise following either an Ocean Physics route, focusing on process understanding and numerical modelling, or a Geophysics route focusing on characterisation and observation of near surface marine sedimentary environments. The course therefore places a particular emphasis on gaining skills and knowledge of direct relevance to industry.
Why choose Bangor University for this course?
- The School of Ocean Sciences is one of the largest university centres teaching marine sciences in Britain and was recently described as one of the best place in Europe to study Physical Oceanography by New Scientist magazine.
- The physicists and geologists on our staff have expertise in dynamics, ocean optics and acoustics, oceanographic instrumentation, geophysical instrumentation, turbulence and mixing, sedimentary environments, sediment transport and computer modelling. We have strong links with the National Oceanography Centre, Met Office, and the offshore, hydrocarbon and marine renewables industries.
- We are situated within a few metres of the sea, ideal for developing your skills in collecting data in estuaries, on the seashore and the sea.
- Final-year projects are often carried out in collaboration with a company – providing you with advantages when seeking employment.
- We have a £3.5m ocean-going research ship as well as several smaller survey boats.
- You will be able to investigate practical aspects of physical oceanography through computer modelling, laboratory experiments and fieldwork, which includes a programme on our research ship.
The course involves up to 25 – 35 hours per week of lectures, practicals (laboratory and fieldwork), private study, tutorials and project work. You will also complete literature reviews, exercises, essays, practical and fieldwork write-ups, present and attend seminars and do much reading. In Year 3 you work on a dissertation which will be individually supervised by an Ocean Science staff member with the expertise relevant to your project. The project may take the form of the development and application of numerical models for making predictions of, for example, ocean currents, or the analysis of data.
Employability lectures and a careers fair is embedded into year 2 whilst in the third year, you will be invited to a series of guest lectures (and often interviews) with prospective employers; and be offered trips to various national industry meetings (e.g. Oceanology, Ocean Business).
Assessment methods vary – most modules combine elements of continuous assessment and formal examination.
What will you study on this course?
Please see below.
Modules for the current academic year
Module listings are for guide purposes only and are subject to change. Find out what our students are currently studying on the Ocean and Geophysics Modules page.
Course content is for guidance purposes only and may be subject to change.
The course is ideal preparation for careers, in both industry and academia, associated with marine renewables, climate change research, offshore survey, coastal zone management and broadcast media, where the ability to collect and analyse and animate large numerical data sets using computers and computer graphics is in high demand.
Ocean Sciences in Bangor has a strong record of employability supported by a large Alumni association, which contains many of the leaders of the UK’s offshore industry. Many graduates return regularly to the School to talk to current undergraduates about career prospects. Alumni also offer direct and personal career advice on request by individual students.
Employability and the School of Ocean Sciences
The School of Ocean Science's 'hands on' approach to teaching is well known in the marine science community and we have close links with offshore industries which employ many of our graduates.
Employers know that Bangor graduates have practical as well as theoretical skills.
An Ocean Science degree not only provides sound scientific knowledge of the marine environment, but places strong emphasis on the key skills which are highly regarded by employers.
Depending on their degree and specialist module choices, graduates from the School of Ocean Sciences can apply for jobs in:
- Coastal and water resource management
- Environmental impact assessment
- Environmental toxicology
- Pollution monitoring/treatment and waste disposal management
- Coastal and offshore engineering, hydrography
- Remote sensing
- Sea bed exploration and surveying
- Research institutes
- Water companies
- Government laboratories (including Environmental Agency and CEFAS)
- Pharmaceutical companies
- Oil and gas industries
- Aquaculture industries
- Marine conservation
- Fish and shellfish culture
- Oceangraphic institutes
- Marine environmental impact studies
- Hydrocarbon companies
- Marine environmental consultancy
- The Environment Agency
- Policy Making (e.g the European Union)
- Regulatory Authorities
Opportunities at Bangor
The University’s Skills and Employability Service provides a wide range of resources to help you achieve your graduate ambitions. Developing your personal skills and enhancing your employability while at university is becoming increasingly important in today’s job market.
The Bangor Employability Award (BEA) and Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR)
The Bangor Employability Award enables students to build on their transferable skills through the recognition of activities they become involved in during their university life. Students can gain points towards the award through extra-curricular activities such as volunteering, attending workshops or actively participating in the Students’ Union’s clubs and societies.
The HEAR is a final graduation report that all undergraduates receive. The report itemises all academic achievements and additional extra and co-curricular achievements. Academic achievements appear on the report automatically and students are able to note their eligible activities by using the online platform ‘My Employability Hub’. This ensures that future employers are made aware of the additional skills the student has gained outside of the curriculum.
The Award is open to everyone and taking part in the scheme can make a major difference to your performance in the graduate job market.
Bangor University runs undergraduate and postgraduate internship schemes twice a year, which allow students to work in a professional environment while learning relevant skills and earning money.
Internships offer valuable experience in a professional workplace and there are a range of internships you can get involved in.
Not only is volunteering worthwhile – it also improves your employability and widens your experience.
The Students’ Union has a dedicated Student Volunteering Office (SVB) which currently contributes a total of 600 hours each week, promoting a close relationship between the university and the local community. Find out more on the Student Volunteering pages of the Bangor Student’s Union website.
TARGETconnect - Working while you StudyThe Skills and Employability Service offers support to students searching for employment during and after their studies.
- Graduate jobs – Local, National and International
- Full-time, part time, permanent and temporary jobs
- Work experience / internships
- Voluntary opportunities
TARGETconnect advertises the following opportunities:
For 2020 entry:
GCSE: grade C/4 in English, Maths and Double Award Science. Typical offer is based on a minimum 112 tariff points from a Level 3 qualification* e.g.:
A Levels (including BB grades in Maths or Physics and usually in 1 other science
subject - Physics, Maths, Chemistry, Geology, Environmental Science, Geography, Economics, Psychology; excluding General Studies.)
- International Baccalaureate Diploma (including H6 in Maths or Physics and another science subject)
- BTEC National/Extended Diploma in Applied Science**: DMM
- City & Guilds Advanced Technical / Extended Diploma in Environmental Conservation or Countryside & Environmental**: Merit
- Access to HE Science**: Pass
- Welsh Baccalaureate is accepted.
- Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma is not accepted.
International Candidates: school leaving qualifications and college diplomas are accepted from countries worldwide (subject to minimum English Language requirements). More information here.
We also welcome applications from mature applicants.
*For full details go to our website and for a full list of accepted Level 3 qualifications, go to www.ucas.com.
**Similar subject areas may be considered on a case by case basis.
For 2019 entry:
- 102-128 tariff points including a level 3 qualification* in Physics or Maths and one other science subject (Physics, Maths, Chemistry, Geography, Geology, Environmental Science), plus Grade C in GCSE Maths, Double Award Science and English. *Level 3 qualifications include A levels, Irish Highers, International Baccalaureate, Welsh Baccalaureate, Scottish Advanced Highers and others – for a full list, please refer to the new UCAS tariff at www.ucas.com.
- Due to the academic requirements for this programme, BTECs, City & Guilds and Access courses are considered on a case by case basis.
- We also welcome applications from mature applicants, individuals with European qualifications and international applicants (subject to minimum English language requirements).
General University entry requirements
We accept students with a wide range of qualifications and backgrounds and consider each application individually.
All students need to have good basic skills and the University also values IT and communication skills.
As part of the University’s policy we consider applications from prospective disabled students on the same grounds as all other students.
To study a degree, diploma or certificate course you’ll be asked for a minimum of UCAS Tariff points. For a fuller explanation of the UCAS Tariff Points, please see www.ucas.com
We also consider applications from mature students who can demonstrate the motivation and commitment to study a university programme. Each year we enrol a significant number of mature students. For more help and advice about being a mature student at Bangor, please visit the Study at Bangor site.
Specific entry requirements can be seen on the individual course pages.
EU and International students' entry requirements
For information and further detailed guidance on entry requirements for EU and International Students, including the minimum English Language entry requirement, please visit the Entry Requirements by Country pages. International applicants can also visit the International Education Centre section of our website for further details.
Home/EU students and International UCAS applicants
E-mail for General Admissions: firstname.lastname@example.org or write to:
Telephone: +44 (0)1248 383717
International students (non-UCAS applicants)
Email to International Admissions: email@example.com or write to
Telephone: +44 (0) 1248 382028
- Full time: £9,000 per year
- Part time: £750 per 10 credits
When coming to University, you will have two main costs, Tuition Fees and Living Costs.
There are also some common additional costs that are likely to arise for students on all courses, for example:
- If you choose to study abroad or take the International Experience Year as part of your course.
- If you attend your Graduation Ceremony, there will be a cost for gown hire (£25-£75) and cost for guest tickets (£12 each).
Course-specific additional costs
Depending on the course you are studying, there may be additional course-specific costs that you will be required to meet. These fall into three categories:
- Mandatory Costs: these are related to a particular core or compulsory module that you’ll be required to complete to achieve your qualification e.g. compulsory field trips, uniforms for students on placement, DBS Check.
- Necessarily Incurred Costs: these may not be experienced by all students, and will vary depending on the course e.g. professional body membership, travel to placements, specialist software, personal safety equipment.
- Optional Costs: these depend on your choice of modules or activity and they are shown to give you an indication of the optional costs that may arise to make sure your choice is as informed as possible. These can include graduation events for your course, optional field trips, Welcome Week trips.
Year 3 residential fieldtrip. Students will be required to cover cost of personal subsistence £10/day for 7 days food. Compulsory if following geophysics route in Year 3; not available (and therefore not incurred) if following ocean physics route in Year 3.
Suitable clothing and equipment for fieldwork will be required e.g. suitable footwear, waterproofs, rucksack. The cost of these will vary. Approximate cost: £50-£100.
Appropriate stationary for any note-taking during classes e.g. notepad, pens and pencils. The cost of these will vary. Approximate cost: £20-£30.
Necessarily Incurred Costs:
Materials for the preparation of academic poster for assessment. The cost and number of these will vary. Approximate cost £10-£15.
The School of Ocean Sciences is based in Menai Bridge, c. 1.5 miles from Bangor and the halls of residence. Most classes are held on the Bangor site, but some laboratory practicals are held in Menai Bridge (typically 6-10 per semester). Travel to these are covered in Year 1, but not in subsequent years. Many walk or cycle between the venues, but some opt for public or private transport. Approximate cost if latter two options taken: £40/year.
How to apply for Undergraduate programmes
You can apply to study at Bangor directly by using the online application form or through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service.)
Option 1 – Applying directly to Bangor
- Read through the Guidance Notes before you begin the online application form
Once you have read the guidance notes...
- Visit the online application system and create a login id and password.
Need help applying?
If you need any assitance in completing your application, contact the International Admissions Team on +44 (0) 1248 382028 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Option 2- Applying to study at Bangor through UCAS
UCAS is an online application system allowing students to apply for up to five courses in the UK through one application. You can apply for more than one programme at a specific university, for example you could apply to study BA Psychology and BSc Psychology with Clinical and Health Psychology at Bangor. Find out more about how to apply to Bangor University through UCAS
If you have applied through UCAS already then you may wish to visit the International Student pages of UCAS website for further information.
Why study at the School of Ocean Sciences?
- The School of Ocean Sciences is one of the largest university centres teaching Marine Sciences in Britain and is among the biggest in Europe
- We are situated within a few metres of the sea, ideal for developing your skills in collecting data in estuaries, on the sea shore and at sea
- We have a £3.5m ocean-going research ship called Prince Madog
- The School was rated ‘excellent’ in the most recent UK-wide assessment of teaching quality and
- We gained 4 out of 5 in the Research Assessment Exercise
- Our excellent facilities include tropical marine, temperature marine and freshwater aquaria, an algal culture unit and specialised nutrition and microbiological laboratories.
- Bangor’s location makes it an ideal place to study terrestrial and aquatic habitats, with easy access to both the mountains and the sea for field trips
- Seabird, seal and dolphin populations are resident and accessible for field study
- The teaching laboratories in the School of Ocean Sciences are a few metres from the sea, enabling you to collect marine animals and study them in the laboratory in the same practical period
- We have an innovative approach to teaching – including plenty of ‘hands on’ practical work.
Studying at Bangor
Rated Gold for teaching
We have been awarded a Gold rating, the highest rating possible, for the standarad of our teaching in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) assessment. The TEF assessment took into account teaching quality, learning environment and student outcomes and learning gain. We were judged to deliver consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for our students and our teaching is of the highest quality found in the UK.
A top 10 university
The National Student Survey (NSS) results place Bangor amongst the UK’s top 10 universities (excluding specialist institutions) for student satisfaction. This reflects the University’s focus on overall student experience.
Enjoy a university experience that’s amongst the best in the UK
Take advantage of the Bangor Student Experience with free membership of student clubs and societies, a new international experience programme and employability award scheme.
Award-winning clubs and societies!
Our clubs and societies have been named the best in the UK at the WhatUni Student Choice Awards 2019.
Choose to study in one of the best places in the UK to be a student. Bangor’s location – close to the mountains and the sea - has been described as ‘the best university setting in the UK’.
Bangor is the most affordable place in the UK to be a student (TotalMoney 2019).
Investment in facilities
Benefit from continued investment in facilities and services – with Pontio Arts and Innovation Centre, Halls of Residence, and improved sports facilities amongst recent developments.
Guaranteed accommodation in award-winning halls of residence
We guarantee accommodation for first year students who apply within the deadline and hold Bangor as their Firm Choice. Our accommodation has been named the best in the UK at the 2018 WhatUni Student Choice Awards.
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