MARINE 202 : Principles of Marine Science


2020 Semester One (1203) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

An introduction to the physical and biological structure of the oceans, sea floor, coastlines and the biological communities that inhabit them. Subject matter includes an overview of the nature and scope of marine science globally and within the New Zealand and Auckland contexts. A wide coverage of marine science issues are presented with an emphasis on multidisciplinary examples. No formal prerequisite, although an understanding of Stage I level science is assumed.

Course Overview

This course will introduce you to a wide range of marine topics in physics, geology, chemistry and biology and many of the people involved in marine science at the University of Auckland. You have the unique opportunity to hear lectures from scientists who do research in the topics they are presenting.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: MARINE 100 or 30 points at Stage I in BSc courses

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Describe the main features of ocean currents (Capability 1)
  2. Develop field skills and the ability to interpret the data (Capability 3, 4 and 5)
  3. Identify the main processes that create the patterns of ocean temperature and salinity (Capability 1)
  4. Identify the main components of the marine carbon cycle (Capability 1)
  5. Characterise the types of deep ocean sediment (Capability 1)
  6. Describe the origin of features on the seafloor (Capability 1)
  7. Knowledge of issues in the conservation of marine biodiversity, including fisheries (Capability 2 and 6)
  8. Understand the basic structure and functioning of estuarine and rocky reef ecosystems (Capability 1)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Assignments 10% Individual Coursework
Test 20% Individual Test
Practical 25% Individual Coursework
Final Exam 45% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Final Exam

Learning Resources

Recommended Reading
Trujillo, A. P., and Thurman, H. V. (2014) Essentials of Oceanography (11th Edition), Pearson Prentice Hall, New Jersey.
Available for purchase and on short term loan.
Further Reading
Kaiser, M.J., Attrill, M.J., Jennings, S., Thomas, D.N., Barnes, D.K.A., Brierley, A.S., Polunin, N.V.C., Raffaelli, D.G., Williams, P.J.le B. (2005). Marine Ecology; Processes, Systems and Impacts. Oxford University Press, New York. [Costello lectures]
Available on short term loan.
Little, C. (2000). The biology of soft shores and estuaries. Oxford. [R Taylor lectures]
Available on short term loan: 577.69 L77
Andrew, N., Francis, M. Eds. (2003). The living reef: the ecology of New Zealand's rocky reefs. Craig Potton Publishing. [R Taylor lectures]
Available on short term loan: 577.789 A56
Colling, A. (2001). Ocean Circulation, 2ed., Butterworth-Heinman, Boston. [Bowen lectures] Available as an e-book on the library website.

Special Requirements

To pass the course you need to pass both the theory (essay, test and exam combined) and practical components. 

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect about 32 hours of lectures, 18 hours of reading and thinking about the content, and 100 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website at

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page:

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter (


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.

Published on 11/01/2020 03:05 p.m.