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Biology/Oceanography 2021 - Southampton uni?
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jazzwink · 25/01/2021 14:13

My DD's hesitating between biology, marine biology and oceanography. She's been looking into various courses and came to the conclusion that Southampton is the one that would be best if she went with marine studies.

Does anyone have any pointers, suggestions for someone who's not 100% sure which course to choose? Any practical points to consider?
We've had some discussions and I'm thinking Oceanography is such a narrow field and Biology opens so many more avenues...

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tangoboxing · 26/01/2021 21:40

dd's there atm doing oceanography. Southampton usually do a Headstart course which I'd recommend if she wants to get a feel for the various marine science courses they offer (I have no idea if they are offering it this year - sorry). I think it's brilliant for ocean sciences, NOCS is fabulous & dd is very happy with the course despite how much they've missed out on.

There's a lot of physics in the straight oceanography course - they don't require physics A level & dd has said that there's been a bit of panicking from the students who haven't done it & a couple have swapped to joint honours or to marine bio. DD has just finished the first semester & has had a modules in maths, physics (ocean systems), chemistry (biogeochemistry) module & the practical skills (which sadly has been very limited thanks to covid - she only got one session on the water). Next semester she has another maths, another physics, a biology module & continuing with the practical skills. After that there's lots of options & scope for picking what interests you from biology/physics/chemistry/maths/physical geography/geology.

Hardly anyone seems to know what it is ... dd always describes it as natural sciences of the ocean. The appeal for her was that she could carry on with biology physics & chemistry courses. She also applied to Bangor & Liverpool (the only other places that do oceanography) & Cardiff for marine geography. There are a lot more courses that do marine biology - hence many more graduates & I think earnings are generally lower than oceanography. I think if dd had been looking at marine biology I would have asked her to consider a more general biology degree & specialise later. a lot of oceanography graduates seem to end up consulting for one of the big firms e.g. Fugro (or did pre covid).

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tangoboxing · 26/01/2021 22:04

just sent dd this thread - she reckoned I should add

"Southampton definitely the best for facilities and teachers very supportive so good choice there, be very careful about maths if you end up doing oceanography and be prepared for the first semester modules to be really really broad. Oceanography is WAY broader than marine bio. Marine bio is not dolphins, all phytoplankton and primary production until halfway through second year - no vertebrates at all until then!"

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jazzwink · 28/01/2021 23:20

Thank you very much. I'll forward this to my DD for consideration.
It's so much better to have a real person insight rather than a dry course schedule.

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Delphigirl · 05/02/2021 16:15

Hi - can I butt into this thread? My DS is doing Geog, Chem and Bio A levels. Interested in geography but also looking at the Marine geography degree in Cardiff. Tango boxing I would be really interested to know how your DD thinks it differs from her oceanography course, which he is also looking at. If anyone else has any views on marine geog - whether it is a good degree, or too specialised etc, please let me know ... Many thanks!

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