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Last modified: 21 Jun 2022 11:15

Course Overview

Working in interdisciplinary teams, you will investigate an array of real-world problems ranging from ocean ecology and governance to the consequences of seafaring and colonisation. Field trips and lectures introduce you to the complex interactions between society and the oceans, 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 Ursula Witte

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.

Details, including assessment, may be subject to change until 31 July 2022 for 1st half-session courses and 23 December 2022 for 2nd half-session courses.

Contact Teaching Time

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

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Field Course during University weeks 9, 13
  • 1 Lecture during University weeks 8, 10 - 11, 14 - 17, 19
  • 1 Tutorial during University weeks 8, 10 - 11, 14, 16 - 17

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessment, may be subject to change until 31 July 2022 for 1st half-session courses and 23 December 2022 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

Group projects (75%)

Individual abstracts (25%)



Students will repeat whichever elements of the assessment were failed or not completed at first sitting; the marks for elements already passed will be carried forwards.

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
FactualRememberILO’s for this course are available in the course guide.

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