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Geography and Oceanography

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Ready to apply? You can apply for this course online now using the UCAS website. The deadline for UK students to apply for this course is 25 January 2023.

The deadline for international students is 30 June 2023.

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Use these details to apply for this course through UCAS:

  • University name: University of Liverpool
  • Course: Geography and Oceanography FF78
  • Location: Main site
  • Start date: 25 September 2023

Related courses

There are thirteen courses related to Geography and Oceanography that you might be interested in.

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Bachelor of Science

Bachelor of Science (BSc) is a bachelor’s degree awarded for an undergraduate programme in the sciences.

Course overview

Our Geography and Oceanography BSc (Hons) programme explores how the Earth behaves as a result of interactions between the land, the oceans, and the atmosphere. If you're interested in understanding complex issues such as climate change, rising sea levels, and environmental pollution, this is the course for you.

Introduction

Complex issues such as climate change, sea-level rise, and environmental pollution can only be fully understood if all the different facets of the Earth’s behaviour are considered. While the ocean sciences aspect deals with present-day and future climate change scenarios, the link to physical geography provides an understanding of changes in climate over the last several thousand years to provide context for recent climate change.

Your training will cover core topics in oceanography, physical geography, geology, and ecology as well as modules in IT and communication skills. There will be the opportunity to participate in fieldwork throughout your studies, as well as a full sea practical during your final year.

Fieldwork is carried out in a range of locations, ranging from inner city to coastal and mountainous environments. This includes local coastal waters and other locations across the UK.

Liverpool was the first UK university programme to combine land, ocean, and climate studies in one integrated programme of study. Our links with the campus-based National Oceanography Centre provide guest lectures and supervision of projects from their scientists.

A number of the School’s degree programmes involve laboratory and field work. Fieldwork is carried out in various locations, ranging from inner city to coastal and mountainous environments. We consider applications from prospective disabled students on the same basis as all other students, and reasonable adjustments will be considered to address barriers to access.

What you'll learn

  • Accredited by the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology
  • Guest lectures and project supervision from scientists at National Oceanography Centre (NOC)
  • Lectures and assignments are regularly updated with the latest research
  • Fieldwork opportunities in local and UK waters
  • Paid summer internships are offered working alongside academics at the University, NOC, or elsewhere
  • Students without mathematics, physics or chemistry at A level are provided with remedial courses

Accreditation

This course is accredited by the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology.

Accreditations in detail

Accreditations

This course is accredited by the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology.

Course content

Discover what you'll learn, what you'll study, and how you'll be taught and assessed.

Year one

The required modules in year one provide grounding in ocean science and physical geography, as well as developing essential and transferable skills that are required throughout your degree programme. Optional modules allow you to focus on areas of environmental sciences that interest you.

Compulsory modules

CLIMATE, ATMOSPHERE AND OCEANS (ENVS111)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

​Climate, Atmosphere and Oceans provides an understanding of how the climate system operates. The module draws on basic scientific principles to understand how climate has evolved over the history of the planet and how the climate system is operating now. Attention is particularly paid to the structure and circulation of the atmosphere and ocean, and how they both interact. The course emphases acquiring mechanistic insight and drawing upon order of magnitude calculations. Students gain quantitative skills by completing a series of coursework exercises.

Experiments in Physical Geography (ENVS120)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

The module uses laboratory experiments to allow students to gain firsthand experience of some fundamental physical, biological and chemical processes underlying physical geography, aimed primarily at interactions between people and their physical environment. It is designed to provide a foundation for environmental modules in the second and third years.

This module comprises multiple whole-day practical sessions, each designed to give students first-hand experience of a topic important in understanding our changing environment. Dedicated computer practicals are also run to provide training in use of EXCEL, MINITAB, and basic inferential statistics. Students get formal feedback in each assessed week (1 poster per group ). However, perhaps most valuable is the feedback obtained informally via discussions during the sessions.

Living with Environmental Change (ENVS119)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module examines a number of global scale challenges facing humans on the planet earth related to climate and environmental change.

MARINE ECOSYSTEMS: DIVERSITY, PROCESSES AND THREATS (ENVS122)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module introduces the range of diversity of marine ecosystems using example environments from around the world. Each week a new ecosystem will be covered, with the main organisms, key processes and human threats to the ecosystem described and explored. Central to this module are interactive discussion sessions that will build an understanding of how marine ecosystems are expected to respond to the human-induced changes of the 21st Century.​​

STUDY SKILLS (OCEAN SCIENCES) (ENVS103)

Credits: 15 / Semester: whole session

This module is designed to introduce students to key concepts and skills in Ocean Sciences (e.g. use of specific software, development of laboratory and analytical skills, fieldwork experience) as well as the development of generic skills, specifically communication skills, (through writing essay, technical reports, oral and poster presentations), teamwork and time management. The module also comprises introduction to academic integrity, how to access scientific literature or how to use a reference software. Biweekly (every 2 weeks) tutorials with an assigned individual tutor take place in groups of typically 6-7. These sessions can take place in-persons or on-line.

THEORY AND LABORATORY EXPERIMENTS IN EARTH SURFACE PROCESSES (ENVS165)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

​The module uses a lecture and laboratory-based problem-solving approach to explore some of the fundamental physical and chemical processes underlying physical geography. It is designed to provide a foundation for environmental and physical geography modules in the second and third years.​

Optional modules

ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION (ENVS157)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

The zone of life on earth, or the‘biosphere’, is a highly dynamic system responding to external pressures including changing human activities. The biosphere obeys a numbers of simple natural principles, but these often interact to create complex and sometimes unexpected responses. Using a wide range of examples we will explore these interactions between organisms and the environment. We will examine how species organise into communities, and how energy and other resources flow through ecosystems. We will explore how ecosystems respond to change, including gradual environmental shifts, sudden disturbance events and the effects of human activities. We will also learn how the key principles of ecology can be applied to conservation. We will assess the current state of the biosphere, and evaluate the major current threats. We will also look towards the future of ecosystems, including whether we can restore degraded habitats, and recreate“natural” landscapes.

Teaching will be via synchronous and asynchronous lecture content. Assessment will be by open book class tests and a multiple choice exam.​​ 

ENVIRONMENTAL CHEMISTRY (ENVS153)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module will give students an understanding of the basics that control fundamental properties of elements and matter, either solid, liquid or gas. It will introduce the fundamentals of atomic structure, elements and molecules from simple inorganic to large organic ones and the bonding forces that held them together. It will look at the basics of chemical reactions with processes of oxidation and reduction, solubility of solids and gases, acid-base properties and thermo-chemistry. Students will learn how to make quantitative predictions on e.g. the amount of products that will be produced based on balanced chemical reactions and will see how basic chemistry can be used to explain many environmental properties.

ESSENTIAL MATHEMATICAL SKILLS (ENVS117)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module is designed to provide students without a background in mathematics and physics at A-level (or equivalent) with sufficient knowledge and skills in these subjects to pursue degree programmes in ocean sciences, geology, geography, environmental sciences and marine biology. It is taught by means of lectures and weekly practical workshops and assessed by means of a written examination. Additional material is provided via Canvas. Whilst many of the topics covered in the module may be covered in A-level maths and or physics, there will be a number of topics included which are unique.

Programme details and modules listed are illustrative only and subject to change.

Our curriculum

The Liverpool Curriculum framework sets out our distinctive approach to education. Our teaching staff support our students to develop academic knowledge, skills, and understanding alongside our graduate attributes:

  • Digital fluency
  • Confidence
  • Global citizenship

Our curriculum is characterised by the three Liverpool Hallmarks:

  • Research-connected teaching
  • Active learning
  • Authentic assessment

All this is underpinned by our core value of inclusivity and commitment to providing a curriculum that is accessible to all students.

Course options

Studying with us means you can tailor your degree to suit you. Here's what is available on this course.

Global Opportunities

University of Liverpool students can choose from an exciting range of study placements at partner universities worldwide. Choose to spend a year at XJTLU in China or a year or semester at an institution of your choice.

What's available on this course?

Year in China

Immerse yourself in Chinese culture on an optional additional year at Xi'an Jiaotong Liverpool University in stunning Suzhou.

  • Learn Chinese
  • Study in a bustling world heritage city
  • Improve employment prospects
  • Study Chinese culture
  • 30 minutes from Shanghai
  • Learn new skills

Read more about Year at XJTLU, China

Language study

Every student at The University of Liverpool can study a language as part of, or alongside their degree. You can choose:

  • A dedicated languages degree
  • A language as a joint or major/ minor degree
  • Language modules (selected degrees)
  • Language classes alongside your studies

Read more about studying a language

Your experience

Day-to-day teaching takes place in fully-equipped lecture theatres and seminar rooms across the University campus, including in our Central Teaching Laboratory. Fieldwork takes place locally and across the UK. The Department of Earth, Ocean and Ecological Sciences also benefits from close links with the National Oceanography Centre, based on campus.

Virtual tour

Careers and employability

Geography and Ocean Sciences students will graduate with a range of transferable skills, making your degree a great foundation for an exciting career. Our training is designed to provide you with the skills needed to work in the environment sector, as identified by employer surveys run by the Natural Environment Research Council. Thanks to our strong employability focus, you can find our graduates working across many sectors in the UK and abroad.

With the environmental challenges facing our planet, there has never been a better time to study Geography and Oceanography. Our course will help you to understand the drivers of climate change,  how the oceans and land are responding to our warming climate, why and where sea level is rising, and how these changes are affecting ecosystems on land and in the ocean. Your degree will provide you with the skills to tackle these global environmental challenges.

Work experience opportunities

We have competitive bursaries to support 4-6 week summer placements for students in years two and three. Placements can be based with staff within our Oceans group, with researchers from the National Oceanography Centre, or elsewhere. These placements are great opportunities to gain practical experience and work on a specific research project.

Many graduates move on to have careers in areas such as:

  • Government agencies (Environment Agency, Met Office)
  • Environmental consultancy and management
  • Renewable energy industries
  • Climate research
  • Accountancy and insurance brokers
  • Education

Postgraduate opportunities

More than 40% of our students go on to further study on master’s or PhD programmes in the UK and abroad. We offer postgraduate opportunities in Ocean Sciences via our four-year integrated master’s programme (F710), and PhD research opportunities are available through our joint training programme with the National Oceanography Centre and the University of Manchester.

Preparing you for future success

At Liverpool, our goal is to support you to build your intellectual, social, and cultural capital so that you graduate as a socially-conscious global citizen who is prepared for future success. We achieve this by:

  • Embedding employability within your , through the modules you take and the opportunities to gain real-world experience offered by many of our courses.
  • Providing you with opportunities to gain experience and develop connections with people and organisations, including student and graduate employers as well as our global alumni.
  • Providing you with the latest tools and skills to thrive in a competitive world, including access to Handshake, a platform which allows you to create your personalised job shortlist and apply with ease.
  • Supporting you through our peer-to-peer led Careers Studio, where our career coaches provide you with tailored advice and support.

Fees and funding

Your tuition fees, funding your studies, and other costs to consider.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching and assessment, operating facilities such as libraries, IT equipment, and access to academic and personal support. Learn more about tuition fees, funding and student finance.

UK fees
Full-time place, per year £9,250
Year in industry fee £1,850
Year abroad fee £1,385
International fees
Full-time place, per year £24,100
Fees stated are for the 2022-23 academic year and may rise for 2023-24.

Additional costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This includes the cost of a lab coat, food and drink during compulsory field courses, and dissertation expenses.

Find out more about the additional study costs that may apply to this course.

Additional study costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This includes the cost of a lab coat, food and drink during compulsory field courses, and dissertation expenses.

Students should expect to cover the following costs.

Lab coat:

Approximately £10-20. Students are advised to purchase a lab coat before the start of their studies. The first lab practical will take place in teaching week one and all students are required to wear a lab coat.

Compulsory field courses:

The School will usually cover the cost of accommodation and travel for year one and three field courses. Students will cover the cost of sustenance.

Project/dissertation costs:

The School may provide a budget of up to £200 for certain field or lab-based projects. Desk-based projects receive no budget from the School.

Find out more about additional study costs.

Scholarships and bursaries

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to help cover tuition fees and help with living expenses while at university.

Scholarships and bursaries you can apply for from the United Kingdom

Entry requirements

The qualifications and exam results you'll need to apply for this course.

My qualifications are from: United Kingdom.

Your qualification Requirements

About our typical entry requirements

A levels

ABB Applicants with the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) are eligible for a reduction in grade requirements. For this course, the offer is BBB with an A in the EPQ.

Applicants with the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) are eligible for a reduction in grade requirements. For this course, the offer is BBC with A in the EPQ.

You may automatically qualify for reduced entry requirements through our contextual offers scheme.

If you don't meet the entry requirements, you may be able to complete a foundation year which would allow you to progress to this course.

Available foundation years:

GCSE 4/C in English and 4/C in Mathematics
Subject requirements

Including two sciences. Acceptable sciences: Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geology, Geography, Applied Science, Environmental Science, Psychology, Marine Science.

For applicants from England: For science A levels that include the separately graded practical endorsement, a "Pass" is required.

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma

D*DD in relevant diploma

International Baccalaureate

33 points including 5 at Higher Level in two science subjects, no score below 4.

Irish Leaving Certificate H1, H2, H2, H2, H3, H3 including H2 or above in two sciences
Scottish Higher/Advanced Higher

Not accepted without Advanced Highers at ABB including two sciences

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Accepted at Grade B with AB at two science A levels
Access Applications considered. 45 Level 3 credits in graded units, including 30 at Distinction and a further 15 with at least Merit. 15 Distinctions are required in each of two sciences. GCSE Mathematics and English grade C / 4 also required
International qualifications

Many countries have a different education system to that of the UK, meaning your qualifications may not meet our entry requirements. Completing your Foundation Certificate, such as that offered by the University of Liverpool International College, means you're guaranteed a place on your chosen course.

Contextual offers: reduced grade requirements

Based on your personal circumstances, you may automatically qualify for up to a two-grade reduction in the entry requirements needed for this course. When you apply, we consider a range of factors – such as where you live – to assess if you’re eligible for a grade reduction. You don’t have to make an application for a grade reduction – we’ll do all the work.

Find out more about how we make reduced grade offers.

About our entry requirements

Our entry requirements may change from time to time both according to national application trends and the availability of places at Liverpool for particular courses. We review our requirements before the start of the new UCAS cycle each year and publish any changes on our website so that applicants are aware of our typical entry requirements before they submit their application.

Recent changes to government policy which determine the number of students individual institutions may admit under the student number control also have a bearing on our entry requirements and acceptance levels, as this policy may result in us having fewer places than in previous years.

We believe in treating applicants as individuals, and in making offers that are appropriate to their personal circumstances and background. For this reason, we consider a range of factors in addition to predicted grades, widening participation factors amongst other evidence provided. Therefore the offer any individual applicant receives may differ slightly from the typical offer quoted in the prospectus and on the website.

Contextual offers: reduced grade requirements

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Alternative entry requirements

Changes to Geography and Oceanography BSc (Hons)

See what updates we've made to this course since it was published. We document changes to information such as course content, entry requirements and how you'll be taught.

7 June 2022: New course pages

New course pages launched.