Courses & Units

Oceanographic Methods KSA324


The goal of the unit is to introduce students to research at sea and provide hands-on exposure to standard methods for the collection and analysis of data in physical, chemical, and biological oceanography and marine mapping. Students will have the opportunity to attend two field trips on the Derwent river. Details of field arrangements will vary each year depending on resource availability. Academic staff will provide practical training following a short lecture in a weekly four-hour session. The field trips will be conducted over a number of days due to COVID 19 restrictions but also to ensure student availability due to timetable clashes.
Each student is required to attend two field trips. The first (week beginning 29-March-2021) will cover physical, chemical and biological oceanography. These include the measurement of temperature, salinity, chlorophyll, particulate matter, and their bio-optical equivalents; nutrients; dissolved oxygen; light. The second field trip (week beginning 3-May-2021) will cover seafloor acoustics. Students will learn best practices for data management and access. On completion of this unit, students will have an appreciation of the fundamental oceanographic methods and practises including simple analysis and interpretation.


Unit name Oceanographic Methods
Unit code KSA324
Credit points 12.5
College/School College of Sciences and Engineering
Institute for Marine & Antarctic Studies
Discipline Oceans and Cryosphere
Coordinator Doctor Pier van der Merwe
Available as an elective? Yes
Delivered By University of Tasmania


Location Study period Attendance options Available to
Hobart Semester 1 On-Campus International Domestic


International students
Domestic students

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Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Semester 1 20/2/2023 21/3/2023 10/4/2023 28/5/2023

* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (refer to How do I withdraw from a unit? for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2023 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2023 will be available from the 1st October 2022. Note census date cutoff is 11.59pm AEST (AEDT during October to March).

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  • Explain the concepts and principles used in observational oceanography to a diverse audience.
  • Use standard oceanographic methods and instrumentation to collect high quality data.
  • Understand where to resource oceanographic data from Global and National Data portals and apply standard methods to analyse these data.
  • Apply theoretical and practical knowledge of specific areas of observational oceanography to solve problems.
  • Analyse, interpret, and report observational results from field programs and laboratory work.
Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1,3 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1,3 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2,3 Domestic Full Fee 4
050999 $1,037.00 $1,037.00 not applicable $2,922.00

1 Please refer to more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Please refer to more information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses.
3 Please refer to more information on eligibility for HECS-HELP.
4 Please refer to more information on eligibility for FEE-HELP.

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Please note: international students should refer to What is an indicative Fee? to get an indicative course cost.





Teaching Pattern

Weekly, one-hour lectures will be followed by two-hour lab sessions. Once you have been allocated to a group you must stay in this group for the remainder of the semester.  Field practicals will be held to supplement the laboratories.  All students on-campus will participate in two field trips. The first will focus on physical and chemical oceanography and the second will focus on acoustic mapping. 

AssessmentMyLO Quiz 1 (15%)|MyLO Quiz 2 (15%)|Submission of data to IMAS data portal (20%)|Lab report: benthic habitat mapping (25%)|Results poster: water sampling (25%)
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