National Oceanography Centre Southampton / Ocean and Earth Science - Foyer

Highfield Campus – a great place to hang out

There is so much to see and do around Highfield Campus.

Highfield is a very pleasant place to relax, as well as to study. Southampton Common is just a few minutes’ walk away, with The Hawthorns Wildlife Centre situated on its south-east corner.

We are home to three internationally renowned arts venues: 

  • The John Hansard Gallery has a worldwide reputation for exciting and innovative shows, as well as regular seminars, talks and workshops
  • Recognised as a major force in British theatre, the Nuffield runs a full programme of classics, new plays and hosts some of the finest touring companies, stand-up comedians and children’s theatre 
  • Turner Sims is acknowledged as one of the finest music venues in the country


Geophysics is a wide ranging degree working at the intersection of many sciences.

With our BSc and MSci degree programmes you will study a wide spectrum of scientific disciplines and acquire subject-specific and transferable skills that are much sought after by employers.

Based at our unique Waterfront Campus, you will study modules which are unique to Southampton, and that involve hands-on experience with the acquisition and interpretation of marine geophysical data. You will put your learning into practice on a number of geological and geophysical field trips, where you will develop in areas such as mapping, geophysical surveys, exploration techniques, meteorology, marine surveying.

These skills, along with our strong industry links will provide you with opportunities to secure summer placements and future employment in a diverse range of global companies from those involved in traditional energy exploration to geotechnical companies undertaking offshore surveys.

Ocean and Earth Science ranked 3rd in Russell Group for course satisfaction*. 

*Guardian University Guide 2019


Our BSc and MSci Oceanography degree programmes are based at our unique Waterfront Campus, at the National Oceanography Centre Southampton, Europe’s leading centre for the study of marine and Earth science.

Our range of degrees allows you to combine your passion of Oceanography with different elements such as: Study Abroad; French; Marine Biology and Physical Geography.

Whichever course you choose, you will explore the physical, chemical and biological processes of our planet’s marine environment and gain an understanding of a broad range of scientific disciplines, and how different aspects can be integrated to study a complex system.

Fieldwork will form an integral part of your degree, allowing you to gain experience of a wide range of modern surveying and sampling techniques.

Marine Biology

Marine biology seeks to understand patterns of biological diversity and quantify change in the marine ecosystem by studying how organisms interact with their environment and respond to change

Based at our Waterfront Campus, our three Marine Biology degree programmes, Marine Biology, Marine Biology with Oceanography and Biology and Marine Biology, offer BSc and MSci degree options. You will study at the National Oceanography Centre Southampton, Europe’s leading centre for the study of marine and Earth science. We teach marine biology within a multidisciplinary framework, ensuring that our graduates are equipped with a unique and diverse knowledge, and practical skills that are relevant to current global and environmental challenges. Fieldwork will play an essential part of your degree and you will go on a number of residential field trips to locations such as Pembrokeshire, Falmouth, Galapagos and Philippines. All of our marine biology programmes** are accredited by the Institute for Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST).

Ranked Best Marine Biology Department in the UK***.

*Galapogos and Bermuda exclusive to MSci degree programmes.

** Exception MSci Biology and Marine Biology

***Latest REF 2018

National Oceanography Centre Southampton (NOCS)

The National Oceanography Centre Southampton, Waterfront Campus, is the integrated collaboration between the Southampton-based part of NERC's National Oceanography Centre, and Ocean and Earth Science at the University of Southampton.

As a world centre for degrees in ocean and Earth science, we seek to understand how the ocean fits within the dynamic Earth system. Our unique Waterfront Campus (NOCS) attracts prominent researchers and educators from around the world, who join us to work within the areas of geochemistry, geology and geophysics, marine biogeochemistry, marine biology and ecology, palaeoceanography and palaeoclimate and physical oceanography.

Our ocean and Earth Science degree programmes include Oceanography, Marine Biology, Geology and Geophysics. Students studying here enjoy access to research vessels, ocean technology and opportunities for fieldwork and scientific cruises not traditionally found in standard university environments.


Geology is one of the most exciting, dynamic and relevant sciences in the world today, it’s investigations holding the key to many current global challenges.

With our BSc and MSci Geology degree programmes you will unravel the mysteries of our planet and develop your understanding of the Earth as a complex system.

Based at our unique Waterfront Campus, you will develop a broad and in-depth geological knowledge and a complete understanding of current research areas. You will have the opportunity to enjoy more fieldwork opportunities than many other universities, as well as the chance to study aboard as part of our MSci Geology with Study Abroad programme.

Throughout your time at Southampton you will be supported by the availability of a world class library at the National Oceanogtaphy Centre Southampton, state- of-the-art equipment, facilities, and laboratories.

Ocean and Earth Science - taught courses

As a centre for excellence in Ocean and Earth science teaching and research, we seek to understand how the ocean fits within the dynamic Earth system.

Based at the National Oceanography Centre Southampton (NOCS), our postgraduate training has been developed over the past 50 years with employers, international collaborators, governments, and graduates. We offer a range of Masters level postgraduate training and research opportunities for students looking to push the boundaries of their knowledge and learning.

Taught degrees include; MSc Oceanography; MRes Ocean Science; MRes Marine Geology and Geophysics; MSc Engineering in the Coastal Environment and MSc Marine Environment and Resources

Ocean and Earth Science - research

With an interdisciplinary emphasis, our research focuses on scientific excellence with a global impact. We host cutting-edge facilities and attract leading researchers from around the world.

Our PhD students are in the unique position of being based at the National Oceanography Centre Southampton (NOCS), which is home to prominent research scientists and educators from around the world. This location offers direct access to ships and ocean technology, and provides many opportunities for fieldwork and scientific cruises not traditionally found in university environments.

With an interdisciplinary emphasis, our research focuses on scientific excellence with a global impact. The Graduate School of National Oceanography Centre Southampton (GSNOCS) is able to offer our students a scientifically diverse and innovative environment in one of the largest Earth and marine science communities in Europe.