The M.Sc. Programme in Oceanography seeks to provide a sound theoretical and practical knowledge and comprehensive training in the application of scientific knowledge to understand the phenomena of the oceanic and coastal environments.
Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by sea with a 200 nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and legal continental margin extending to several hundreds of miles beyond the limits of this zone. Sri Lankan coastline is characterized by sandy beaches, extensive lagoons, estuaries, mangroves, coastal marshes and dunes. Seaward of the coastline, reefs of coral or sandstone and shallow beds of coastal and estuarine seagrass are found on the continental shelf. As far as the minerals are concerned the depletion of recoverable land resources has made mankind turn to oceans, estuaries, lagoons to satisfy the needs of the expanding world. For example, in the ocean lie large deposits of petroleum and other minerals adequate to cater to the needs of mankind for years to come. Also an understanding of sea water currents, tides, waves, salinity, temperature, dissolved gases as well as mathematical modeling of the sea and adjacent water bodies will be helpful to (a) locate suitable fishing grounds (b) predict the climate and take decisions on protecting the coastline of the country. However, the lack of expertise of the subject in the country is a great barrier to overcome in finding solutions to the above problems. In this programme, it is intended to give an opportunity for the students to get a better insight into the marine environment and eventually with perhaps aurther training to provide the required expertise to the country.