Miranda Soskin, BSc (Hons Oceanography and Coastal Processes graduate

I have always been fascinated by the ocean and the power it holds

As a child and still now, I enjoy being out in or on the water, from swimming to surfing to scuba diving. I wanted to learn more about the ocean, the waves, tides and the processes within that cannot be seen by the human eye. I was interested in the way the sea interacts with land and causes our beaches and cliffs to erode. 
I chose to study Oceanography with Coastal Processes at Plymouth because it offered me the opportunity to pursue my passion. I was excited to start a new chapter of my life on a course which really interested me and gave me a pathway to turn my passion into a career.

I am now a Coastal Processes Scientist with Plymouth Coastal Observatory

PCO aim to provide a standard, repeatable and cost-effective method of monitoring the coastal environment around the South West of England.
My role includes quality checking a range of coastal and survey data (from topographic data to LiDAR to ecological data), analysing data and producing technical reports, with the aim of helping stakeholders and local authorities make informed decisions. 
I also undertake topographic beach surveys. A topographic beach survey is where a surveyor will collect data including height measurements at fixed intervals along pre-defined profiles across a beach. This then allows us to calculate the cross-sectional area of the beach and to identify areas of change.
What I love about my career is that there isn’t a typical weekday. One week I can be out surveying beaches, the next quality checking data, followed by researching new innovative ideas. 

I can describe my time at Plymouth in three words – social, memorable and opportunities

I met so many people and made life-long friends and had amazing experiences. I developed and learned new skills, networked and had my eyes opened to a variety of topics within the umbrella term of oceanography. 
The exciting aspect of my course was that a typical week was often varied. Sometimes I would be in lectures from 9-6 and others I would be out on the boat completing surveys, or down at the Marine Station carrying out lab experiments.
My most memorable module would have to be scientific diving due to its uniqueness and having the ability to dive whilst learning new skills. 
During this module we developed underwater survey and data collection skills including photography, lift bag use, sediment core sampling and quadrat surveys.
As a Coastal Processes Scientist, my degree helped get me where I am now by developing transferable skills I had gained previously through internships and work and growing my confidence to seek out new opportunities. Communication and networking, independent research and data analysis are the top three skills I have gained from my time at Plymouth.
Miranda Soskin, BSc (Hons) Oceanography and Coastal Processes, out in the field completing research work on Seaton beach, Cornwall.
In the field: Seaton Beach, Cornwall
Miranda Soskin, BSc (Hons) Oceanography and Coastal Processes, out in the field completing research work on Seaton beach, Cornwall.
Miranda Soskin, BSc (Hons) Oceanography and Coastal Processes, out in the field completing research work on Seaton beach, Cornwall.

The top three challenges I faced studying were: effective exam preparation, writing to high scientific standards and balancing work and social life

It took a while for my brain to click. I tried many different methods of studying before figuring out that labelled pictures and short bullet points worked the best for me. 
To achieve high scientific standards I read lots of papers which gave me an understanding of language used and conciseness. To reach a good balance I set myself time slots for when I worked and made sure I had a clear priority to-do list.
I received excellent support from my lecturers, they were always willing to help and to take time out of their day to make sure I understood the topic whenever I was confused or had a question. 

Away from study I loved going on adventures with my friends

One fine summer’s day, when a group of us had no lectures scheduled, we walked to Whitsand Bay, following a kind farmer’s directions and a trail map. The memories from this will never be forgotten.
I joined several clubs during my first year, however, hockey was my favourite because it got me outside doing physical activity with like-minded people, competing as a team against other clubs. This was often followed by a movie night with friends.
I still spend my weekends playing hockey or diving as a volunteer at the aquarium. I am still either doing something on or in the water, walking on the moors, or the South West Coast Path – the draw of the sea continues to grow from strength to strength for me.
Are you motivated by a desire to understand processes in the world’s oceans that drive phenomena such as ocean circulation, ocean acidification, sea-level rise or coastal erosion? 
If so, this course prepares you for a career in applied oceanography, coastal zone management or scientific research. You’ll develop the practical skills needed to collect and analyse data from the marine environment alongside an advanced understanding of ocean dynamics and processes contributing to shoreline change.
Getty bubbles ocean sea underwater