Physical Processes of Coastal and Marine Environment

CMM02A Core Course 4 ECTS
Period -
Instructor Dr. Mike Phillips


The course focuses on oceanic and coastal environments with an emphasis onprocesses together with management strategies. The physical environment, e,g. waves, currents, sedimentmovement, beaches (various types), erosion/deposition mechanisms (e.g. cliffs, dunes, etc), andpotential consequences of sea-level rise and global warming, is integrated with anthropogenicdimensions, i.e. usage, coastal defence, pollution (e.g. persistent marine debris) and resourceexploitation. Furthermore, the course will give students an understanding of human interactionconsequences in both ocean and coastal environments and an introduction to quantitativetechniques for data processing, measuring and data presentation in the field of coastal and marinesciences.

Learning outcomes

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



Mike Philips 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 Severn Estuary Research Advisory Group for future management in response to climate change and sea-level rise and is currently vice-chairman of the Coastal and Marine Working Group of the Royal Geographical Society. He recently participated in the Fourth Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands in Hanoi and in an expert panel at Coastal Zone Canada 2008. Mike has published over 50 research papers and book chapters and has recently been appointed to the Editorial Board of the Journal of Coastal Research. He is currently Head of the School of Built and Natural Environment at Swansea Metropolitan University and has taught coastal processes for many years at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.