The scientific study of the ocean draws upon the knowledge of many disciplines, particularly physics, chemistry, geology and biology.Often it is only when two or more of these disciplines are applied together that marine processes can be fully understood. For instance, marine geologists, biologists and chemists combine their expertise to investigate sediments from the floor of the ocean which provide the key to understanding past changes in climate. The productivity of microscopic plants and bacteria living in surface waters, which are of immense importance in the marine food chain and in taking up carbon dioxide from the water, can only be fully explained by collaboration between biologists, chemists and physicists.
The multidisciplinary approach
Modern ocean science therefore places great emphasis on multidisciplinary study and research. Multidisciplinary teaching constitutes one of the most distinctive features of the courses offered by the School of Ocean Sciences at Bangor. It is our aim to provide all our students, whatever their specialism, with a comprehensive understanding of the operation of the ocean as an integrated natural system, so enabling them to appreciate fully the context of their specialist studies.
A wide range of degree subjects
A wide range of degree subjects and combinations are offered by the School of Ocean Sciences. Within the course structure, students may follow their specialist interests by pursuing one or two of four main themes - dynamical (physical) oceanography, marine chemistry, marine biology and geological oceanography, or opt to follow the general degree in Ocean Sciences which includes elements of all four subject areas. In addition to being multidisciplinary in character, all courses are continuously assessed, and field and practical work form a part of this assessed component.
The teaching quality of the School was assessed in 1995 by the Governments Higher Education Funding Council and was given the highest rating as "Excellent". The School is situated within a few metres of the sea shore and as a marine scientist you will be trained in collecting data at sea, in estuaries and on the sea shore. The School operates its own ocean-going research ship, the Prince Madog.