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Ocean Exploration and Surveying BSc (Hons)

Bachelor (ISCED 2011 level 6)


Cost Full-time: £9,250 (UK/EU members); £13,800 (International members) or Part-time: £770 for UK/EU members

Are you looking for a career in hydrographic surveying and marine exploration industries? On this course you’ll explore offshore and environmental surveying, marine remote sensing, oceanography, underwater acoustics, digital mapping and geographical information systems. A focus on the practical application of survey technology to the marine environment gives you highly sought after skills in hydrographic surveying, mapping, measurement and visualisation of the seafloor and underlying geology.

You will develop your range of practical skills with our own fully-equipped fleet of boats. You’ll experience an overseas field course that is aimed at integrating your surveying and mapping knowledge and understanding across the different sub-disciplines to address real-world issues. You will have the option to take the industry-recognised professional diving qualification (HSE Professional SCUBA) alongside your degree.

Your first year, shared across the Marine Science Undergraduate Scheme, introduces the full range of topics within the degree and develops your underpinning scientific knowledge and practical skills. You’ll develop your understanding of the Earth’s oceans and the key physical, chemical, and biological processes that occur in these systems. You’ll build practical skills and enhance your ability to analyse, present and interpret scientific data through field-based activities.

Your second year introduces specialist technology used offshore, including computerised mapping and analysis software. You'll cover marine positioning topics as well as developing an understanding of the physical coastal environment. The application of acoustics to measurement underwater provides a strong scientific background to the use of sonar and related remote sensing and surveying methods. You’ll also be able to broaden your studies by taking an option module in meteorology, remote sensing or scientific diving (for suitably qualified individuals).

The final year modules focus on hydrographic surveying in coastal and offshore environments, including surveying for ports, construction and exploration for hydrocarbons and minerals. You’ll participate in a residential field course to utilise and further develop your practical skills and be able to broaden your studies to include an option module, for example in marine pollution, marine policy and planning or coastal processes. A significant part of the year is spent completing a research project, carrying out your own in-depth investigation, potentially involving practical work, under the guidance of a member of academic staff.

Structural components
Dive training
Internship/Workplace experience
Laboratory training
Practical/Field work
Research Project

ISCED Categories

Project management
Policy and governance
Marine and maritime law
Conservation and environmental management
Physical and chemical oceanography
Scientific modelling
Marine spatial planning
Navigation and seamanship