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SX1015: OCEANS AND SOCIETY (2018-2019)

Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

Through investigation of an array of real-world problems you explore past, present and future relationships between society and the oceans in the real-world scenario of an interdisciplinary team.

Field trips and lectures introduce you to the complex interactions between ocean ecology, seafaring, resource exploration and ocean governance, while also demonstrating different approaches to knowledge and how different disciplines work.

Supervised workshops provide a diverse set of learning experiences with feedback from teaching staff and your peers.

Choice of the form of presentation of your project work gives you an opportunity to play to your strengths and develop transferrable skills.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 1
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Professor Ursula Witte
  • Dr Philip Smith

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Either Programme Level 1 or Programme Level 2

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

Students will be encouraged to reflect upon the relevance of the Oceans for Society past and present through study of three themes: Ocean ecology and harvesting of marine resources; seafaring, contact and colonisation (including technological and societal requirements for as well as political, economic, cultural and legislative impacts of trade and colonisation) and ocean governance (legal challenges of sustainable management, marine spatial planning etc).

Further Information & Notes

This course is only available to students registered in Programme Years 1 and 2. Attendance at sixth century courses is compulsory. Students who do not attend all classes (including lectures) for a sixth century course, without exceptional cause, will not pass the engagement component of the course and will therefore fail the course.  Please note, if you are going to take part in University sports fixtures involving travel on a Wednesday morning then you should not take this course.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: Continuous assessment (100%) via output from group work pertaining to each of the three themes.  Group marks will be individually adjusted in relation to a peer score.

Resit: Submission/resubmission of work not previously submitted or for which a fail mark has been awarded, respectively.

Formative Assessment

Students will have support and feedback from group tutors throughout the work for each theme, and classroom sessions will include audience response-based formative assessments.


Participation in the formative exercises will be monitored and students with apparent difficulty will be identified and invited to discuss solutions with members of the teaching staff. Written feedback will be given on the summative exercises (presentations on group work and individual written summaries).

Course Learning Outcomes


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