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Last modified: 06 Aug 2020 13:55

Course Overview

Working in interdisciplinary teams, you will investigate an array of real-world problems arising from past, present and future relationships between society and the ocean. Field trips and lectures introduce you to the complex interactions between society and the oceans’ ecology, seafaring and colonisation, resource exploration and ocean governance, while also demonstrating different approaches to knowledge and how different disciplines work. Supervised workshops give the opportunity to interact with others from a wide range of backgrounds and 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 transferable skills.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 1
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Professor u 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?


One or more of these courses have a limited number of places. Priority access will be given to students for whom this course is compulsory. Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions for more details on this process.

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). The project work and writing tasks will allow you to gain important transferable skills such as communicating complex ideas to non-specialist, problem-solving, team work, leadership and presentation skills, as well as writing concisely and clearly for a non-specialist audience. Freedom of choice in the format of your project work will allow you to test novel formats,  or play to your strengths.

Contact Teaching Time

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

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Seminar during University weeks 8 - 14, 16
  • 1 Tutorial during University weeks 8 - 10, 12, 13, 15 - 16

More Information about Week Numbers

In light of Covid-19 and the move to blended learning delivery the assessment information advertised for courses may be subject to change. All updates for first-half session courses will be actioned no later than 1700 (GMT) on 18 September 2020. All updates for second half-session courses will be actioned in advance of second half-session teaching starting. Please check back regularly for updates.

Summative Assessments

Group projects (75%)

Individual abstracts (25%)

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome

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