Modules for course F841 | BSC/COASTG
BSC Coastal Geography

These are the modules currently offered on this course in the 2019–20 academic year.

You can also view the modules offered in the years: 2018–19; 2020–21.

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Year 3 Modules

Compulsory Modules

Semester 1

  • OSX-3005: Coastal Water Processes (20)
    The course of 16 lectures is designed to give a systematic understanding of key aspects of chemical and physical oceanography of coastal waters. The physical component of the course develops ideas you will have come across in the second year about stratification and vertical mixing in shelf seas and oceans. You will be introduced to the idea of making forecasts about the ocean using computer software and models. You will learn how to make predictions about the coastal ocean changes with the seasons. You will learn how to extend yor predictions to suspended sediments, nutrients and primary productivity in the oceans. The chemical component of the module examines in detail the biogeochemical processes controlling the concentration and distribution of biologically important elements in the water column and underlying sediments. The module material will contribute to your understanding of the temporal and spatial variation in element concentrations related to organic matter production and destruction and how both the physics of the water column and mans' activities can impact on their distribution.
  • OSX-3007: Coastal Processes Field Study (20)
    THIS MODULE INVOLVES A 10-DAY RESIDENTIAL FIELD TRIP TO SOUTH WALES IN JUNE AT THE END OF YOUR SECOND YEAR. The principal component of this double module is a residential field course in the Carmarthen Bay area which takes place in June (after completion of Year 2). The field course is centred on a macrotidal estuary and adjacent coastal barrier and it is designed to teach students the essentials of field techniques in shallow water oceanography and intertidal geophysics and micropalaeontology. Students gain practical experience of measurements of estuarine and foreshore dynamics, sediment transport, surficial sediment thickness and structure, foraminifera ecology, and Quaternary stratigraphy. They gain experience of data collection from small boats. Most of the work is done in teams of 2-3, some in teams of up to 8, students. All of the data collection requires team effort. The acquired dataset enables students to test hypotheses and synthesise processes on time scales of 10(-2) to 10(3) years, and to produce an integrated model of Holocene coastal evolution. There is an associated practical in Menai Bridge. There is a fee of £150 for the 10-day field course.

Semester 2

  • OSX-3000: Dissertation (20)
    The students' initial choice of dissertation topic will be organised prior to the start of the module and the topics covered will be very wide ranging across the whole spectrum of Ocean Sciences. An introductory lecture will outline the academic purpose and the organisational structure of the Module and will remind students of literature searching methods, and strategies for collation, review and analysis of data. Following this, students will work independently but with the support of a supervisor who will generally be cognisant of, and may often be an expert in, the area of the students' dissertation topic. There will be three formal tutorials during the semester and a second general lecture that will offer advice on oral presentations. Each student will give a short oral presentation to a large audience in a Conference-style format and will be required to be part of that audience for other students. A final substantial (approximately 10,000 words, 25 pages) dissertation will be submitted electronically through TURNITIN (plagiarism software) and as two soft-bound copies for assessment.
  • DXX-3018: Rivers, Coast and Oceans (20)

Optional Modules

20 credits from:

  • DXX-3001: Environmental Geochemistry (10) (Semester 1)
    1. Context and major concepts: key terminology, introduction to the primary environment and natural elemental abundance, importance of mineralization. 2. Introduction to the secondary environment. Geochemical behaviour in the secondary environment, cations and valency, processes of sorption, importance of pH and Eh. 3. Human activities as sources of metals to the environment: mining, smelting, petrol combustion, waste incineration, use of sewage sludge. 4. Natural release of metals to the environment: processes of physical, biological and chemical weathering, volcanic activity, determining `background' metal concentrations. 5. Processes of contaminant metal dispersal within the secondary environment. 6. Mapping of environmental geochemistry and the use of geochemical maps. 7. Geochemistry and human health: toxicity and deficiency. 8. The development, application and relevance of environmental legislation: e.g. EU WFD.
  • FXX-3101: Pollution and Environment (10) (Semester 1)
    The course covers a range of topics on inorganic and organic pollutants with emphasis on sensing, measurements and amelioration strategies. The course is taught as a combination of course work and traditional lectures. The focus will be: identification of pollutants; measurement of their concentrations; techniques to deal with pollutants. Course Team: Dr L Murphy (16 workshops - inorganic pollutants), Dr C Gwenin (8 lectures, sensors), Prof M Baird (8 lectures, organic pollutants). RESOURCE IMPLICATIONS ESSENTIAL READING none RECOMMENDED READING 1. Environmental Chemistry, A global perspective by Gary W vanLoon and Stephen J Duffy (2010) 2. Environmental Chemistry, 9th Ed., S E Manahan, 2009 3. Principles of Chemical Sensors, J Janata 2nd Ed. 2009 4. Chemical Sensors, Robert W. Cattral (OUP Chemistry Primer) SPECIFIC RESOURCE IMPLICATIONS FOR STUDENTS None
  • DXX-3506: C. Issues in Env & related Sci (10) (Semester 1)
    This module allows the student to undertake a desk-based research project looking in depth at a current environmental or related issue. The module runs in Semester 1 and culminates in the production of a written project report and a seminar. The issues are chosen by the student to reflect his/her interests and can range from local issues through to global issues. The range of 'popular' current issues will be investigated by individual students. Sources such as tabloid and broadsheet daily and Sunday newspapers, broadcast media, the internet, 'popular' scientific journals and the more rigorously refereed scientific journals should be consulted. The topic should be different from that chosen in the student's experimental research project. Topics should be selected in consultation with the module organizer. The module involves student-led research into a specific topic. Apart from an introductory lecture there are no formal lectures or practicals associated with this module. At the end of Semester 1, each student will present their topic in the form of a 20 minute interview and will submit a project report on their chosen topic. Both the interview and project report elements will be assessed.
    DXC-3506: Materion Cyfoes yr Amgylchedd (10) (Semester 1)
    Bydd y modiwl hwn yn galluogi myfyrwyr i wneud project ymchwil ar gyfrifiadur gan edrych yn fanwl ar fater amgylcheddol cyfredol, neu fater yn gysylltiedig â'r amgylchedd. Cynhelir y modiwl yn Semester 1 a daw i ben gyda chynhyrchu adroddiad project ysgrifenedig a seminar. Dewisir y testunau gan y myfyriwr i adlewyrchu ei d(d)iddordeb a gallant amrywio o faterion lleol i rai byd-eang. Bydd myfyrwyr yn ymchwilio i amrediad o faterion cyfoes 'poblogaidd'. Dylid ymgynghori â ffynonellau megis papurau newydd o wahanol ansawdd, y cyfryngau darlledu, y rhyngrwyd, cyfnodolion gwyddonol `poblogaidd' a'r cyfnodolion gwyddonol a gaiff eu cloriannu'n fwy trwyadl gan arbenigwyr yn y maes. Dylai'r testun fod yn wahanol i'r un a ddewisir ar gyfer project ymchwil arbrofol y myfyriwr. Dylid dewis testunau mewn ymgynghoriad â threfnydd y modiwl. Mae'r modiwl yn cynnwys ymchwil a wneir gan fyfyrwyr i destun penodol. Ar wahân i ddarlith ragarweiniol nid oes unrhyw ddarlithoedd neu sesiynau ymarferol ffurfiol yn gysylltiedig â'r modiwl hwn. Ar ddiwedd Semester 1 bydd pob myfyriwr yn cyflwyno eu testun ar ffurf seminar 20 munud a byddant yn cyflwyno adroddiad project ar y testun o'u dewis. Bydd myfyrwyr yn mynd i seminarau ei gilydd a disgwylir iddynt gyfrannu at y drafodaeth ar ôl pob sgwrs. Asesir y seminar a'r adroddiad project.
  • Semester 1 options

20 credits from:

  • OSX-3001: Marine Conservation & Exploit. (20) (Semester 2)
    The course will address methods of natural resource assessment, and techniques and tools for protection and management of living marine resource exploitation. Marine biological diversity will be defined, and impacts and threats assessed, identifying the need to protect species, ecological processes and critical habitats. The limits of environmental degradation and rehabilitation will be explored. Conservation methods developed for terrestrial diversity do not extend into the marine environment, and differences in approach will be considered. The effectiveness of tools such as zoning, legislation, environmental impact assessment, and Marine Protected Areas will be assessed. Sustainable development and integrated coastal zone management will be introduced, and case studies from around the world will be used to illustrate successes and failures of biological conservation. The course will deal with the over-exploitation of marine biological resources with a global overview and case studies of fisheries at the single species and ecosystem levels. The historical development of fisheries exploitation will be linked to technological advances made over the last 80 000 years. Approaches to management of fisheries will be evaluated. Aquaculture will be introduced as an alternative means of seafood production, criteria for selection of species will be considered, including biological characteristics, growth, reproduction, larval culture, yields and economics. Principles and culture practices for the major farmed groups will be reviewed and a range of species and characteristics of production systems from extensive to highly intensive will be compared, together with alternative approaches to increasing production such as stock enhancement. Environmental impacts, constraints on development and sustainability of aquaculture will be discussed
  • OSX-3006: Sediment Dynamics (20) (Semester 2)
    This course provides an introduction to the dynamics of entrainment, transport and deposition of cohesive and non-cohesive sediments in coastal waters. The topics covered include: physical mechanisms of sediment transport, and physico-chemical controls of sedimentation; measurement and estimation of sediment transport rates; geotechnical and hydraulic interpretation of sediments textures and structures; origin and nature of bed forms, ripples, dunes, bars; density currents and avalanches: low density turbidity currents versus avalanches; tidal and wave boundary layers; sedmiment transport in steady and oscillatory flows; initiation of motion; shields criterion; bed load motion; sediment entrainment and suspension; bed forms in steady and oscillatory flow; nearshore wave-current processes - wave-induced currents, longshore sediment transport; cross-shore transport and the Bailard method.
  • Semester 2 options