Physical Processes of Coastal and Marine Environment 4 ECTS

CMM02 Core course 4 ECTS
Period W49 - W50 03.12.12-14.12.12
Instructor Mike Phillips 


The course focuses on oceanic and coastal environments with an emphasis on processes together with management strategies. The physical environment, e,g. waves, currents, sediment movement, beaches (various types), erosion/deposition mechanisms (e.g. cliffs, dunes, etc), and potential consequences of sea-level rise and global warming, is integrated with anthropogenic dimensions, i.e. usage, coastal defence, pollution (e.g. persistent marine debris) and resource exploitation. Furthermore, the course will give students an understanding of human interaction consequences in both ocean and coastal environments and an introduction to quantitative techniques for data processing, measuring and data presentation in the field of coastal and marine sciences.

Learning outcomes

  • Students will gain an understanding of the complex interrelationships regarding physical and anthropogenic interactions with coastal and marine systems;
  • Students will be able to define coastal environments according to physical processes and critically evaluate human influences operating in this complex zone;
  • Students will be aware of complementary and competing interests associated with the coastal zone and their consequences;
  • Students will be able to develop a research project proposing a solution or an improvement to an existing coastal scenario.




[mynd 1 h]Professor Mike Phillips has a BSc in Civil Engineering, an MSc in Environmental Conservation Management and a PhD in Coastal Processes and Geomorphology. He is a member of the Institution of Environmental Sciences and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, where he is vice-chairman of the Coastal and Marine Working Group. Mike is Head of the School of Built and Natural Environment at Swansea Metropolitan University and his research interests include coastal processes, morphological change and adaptation to climate change and sea level rise. He has been an invited speaker and presenter at many major international conferences and evaluator for various international coastal research projects. Consultancy includes beach replenishment issues and developing techniques to monitor underwater sediment movement to inform beach management. He is widely published and organised a session on Coastal Tourism and Climate Change at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris as part of his role as a member of the Climate Change Working Group of the UNEP Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands. Research input includes being; an Expert Advisor to the UNESCO Cymru Wales Committee; an international scientific advisory board member of MARUM (the German Centre of Excellence for Marine Environmental Sciences); and an expert international advisor to the Portuguese FCT for the Adaptaria (coastal adaptation to climate change) and Smartparks (planning marine conservation areas) projects.

Guest lecturer

Further reading