MARINE 202 : Principles of Marine Science


2023 Semester One (1233) (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.

Course Overview

This course forms 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. This course is about building foundations in individual marine science disciplines.  A wide range of marine science issues are covered, with an emphasis on multidisciplinary examples. 

MARINE 202 is a core course for the BSc in Marine Science and the BAdvSci(Hons) in Marine Science.

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. Identify the main processes that create the patterns of ocean temperature and salinity (Capability 1)
  3. Identify the main components of the carbon cycle (Capability 1)
  4. Characterise the types of deep ocean sediment (Capability 1)
  5. Describe the origin of features of the seafloor (Capability 1)
  6. Identify and explain issues in the conservation of marine biodiviersity, including fisheries (Capability 3 and 6)
  7. Describe and explain the structure and functioning of estuarine, soft sediment and reef ecosystems (Capability 1)
  8. Undertake field sampling and write up the results in report format (Capability 2, 3, 4 and 5)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Assignments 10% Individual Coursework
Test 20% Individual Test
Field course report 20% Individual Coursework
Final Exam 50% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Field course report
Final Exam


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Special Requirements

To pass the course you need to pass both the theory (test and exam combined) and the practical component (oceanography assignment and field course report). Each student will visit the Whangateau estuary once during the semester to undertake the field course component, which is a survey of the bivalve populations within the estuary.

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 32 hours of lectures, 18 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 100 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is required at scheduled activities including field trips to complete components of the course.
Lectures will be available as recordings. 
The course will not include live online events.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning 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.

There is no required text book, but the large majority of the course material is taken from:
Trujillo, A. P., and Thurman, H. V. (2014) Essentials of Oceanography (11th Edition), Pearson Prentice Hall, New Jersey. 
A list of articles for optional further reading will be provided for each lecture via Canvas.

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.

We particularly welcome constructive feedback.

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.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.


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.

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

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.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

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 students may be asked to submit 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. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 28/10/2022 11:27 a.m.