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Ocean Sciences

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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: Ocean Sciences F710
  • Location: Main site
  • Start date: 25 September 2023

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Master of Ocean Science

Master of Ocean Science (MOSci) is a master’s degree awarded for a postgraduate taught programme in ocean science.

Course overview

Our Ocean Sciences programme takes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the ocean environment. With fieldwork opportunities embedded in each year of the course and our strong links to the National Oceanography Centre, Liverpool is an excellent place to study Ocean Sciences. Studying the Master's programme will provide you with higher level skills and knowledge.

Introduction

The ocean plays a central role in the Earth’s climate system by regulating the transfer of heat and carbon over the globe. The effect of the ocean on Earth’s climate and on life can only be fully understood by addressing the fundamental biological, physical and chemical processes operating in the environment. This degree route takes a multidisciplinary approach to developing an understanding of the ocean and climate system.

We have strong links with scientists from the National Oceanography Centre in Liverpool, who provide guest lectures and supervision of projects.

The four-year master’s programme, (F710), is based on the same multidisciplinary approach as the three-year (F700) programme. In year four we go on to provide you with higher-level skills and knowledge required to work in a research or commercial environment and address the biggest challenges in ocean science. There is a strong emphasis on numerical skills, hands-on laboratory and fieldwork, and independent study.

The first three years follow BSc (Hons) degree programmes offered in ocean sciences, developing a strong, multidisciplinary foundation of knowledge and skills. Semester one of year four is focused on broadening your knowledge of ocean research, strengthening data analysis skills, writing and reviewing research ideas, and discussing current research issues in ocean science.

The training in semester one will provide you with the skills to conduct a major independent research project in semester two, which will be supervised by ocean scientists from the University and/or the National Oceanography Centre in Liverpool. This high-level training will prepare you with the critical thinking, communication and writing skills you will need to work in a research environment, as well as an awareness of the future challenges in ocean sciences. The degree in Ocean Sciences at Liverpool is accredited by the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology.

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

  • How the climate is changing
  • How life operates in the dynamic ocean environment
  • Numerical skills
  • Data analysis
  • How to write and review research ideas
  • Critical thinking.

Accreditation

The degree in Ocean Sciences at Liverpool is accredited by the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology.

Accreditations in detail

Accreditations

The degree in Ocean Sciences at Liverpool 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, as well as developing essential and transferable skills that are required throughout your degree programme. Optional modules allow you to focus on areas of ocean and 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. Students address the Net Zero carbon goal via group work involving digital storytelling.

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 anthropocene.​​

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 and how to use a bibliographic software. Tutorials with an assigned individual tutor take place in groups of typically 6-7 students, typically once every 2 weeks.

Theory and Laboratory Experiments in Earth Surfaces 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.

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. Teaching will be delivered through lectures, tutorial sessions and on-line formative quiz with automated feedback. The tutorial session consists in a set of formative exercises with the presence of demonstrator for facilitate individual learning. The module also include revision sessions (run by demonstrators and staff) as well as revision sessions run by Year 2 and/or Year 3 students who have done this module previously. Assessment is done through 3 on-line tests and a final in-person open book exam.

Sedimentary Rocks and Fossils (ENVS118)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

​This module provides a basic introduction to sedimentology and palaeontology. Students learn about the origin of sediment, sedimentary processes and structures and the ways in which sediments are converted into solid rock. The course outlines the importance of sedimentary rocks for hydrocarbons, water and as construction materials. Students learn how to describe and interpret sedimentary deposits.

The palaeontology component introduces students to the major fossil groups and to the ways in which  organisms can be preserved as fossils. It covers the importance of fossils for the study of evolution, environmental change and earth history. Students learn how to describe fossils and how observations contribute to a broader understanding.

Students will be assessed by means of two practical tests and a theory examination.

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.

Life in the Seas and Oceans (ENVS121)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

The seas and oceans cover 71% of the Earth’s surface, with an average depth of 3.6 km and a volume of >1 billion cubic kilometres, the seas and oceans represent around 99% of planet Earth’s living space. Around 50-80% of all life on Earth is found in the oceans, with an estimated 240,000 species. As we have only explored around 10% of the oceans, more species and ways of life are still being discovered.

This module is designed to deliver an introduction to the diversity of life in the marine environment. You will be introduced to the range of living organisms in the oceans from microscopic plants and bacteria to whales through a series of E-lectures. During a series of workshops and practicals you will have the opportunity to examine marine organisms in our award winning teaching facilities and explore some of the diverse adaptations marine organisms have adopted in order to meet the challenge of survival in the marine environment.​ Your knowledge and understanding will be assessed via open-book online tests, a group project and an individual project.

Essential Mathematical Skills (ENVS117)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module is designed to provide students without a A-Level GCE level (or equivalent) background in mathematics a foundation to their degree programme. The module covers pure maths, maths mechanics and statistics developing the required knowledge and skills to be able complete degree programmes in Ocean Sciences, Earth Sciences, Geography, Environmental Science and Marine Biology. The module is taught as weekly lectures following a ten-chapter book developed for the module by world leading experts in the fields. Lectures are supplemented with workshops where concepts can be discussed and skills improved. The module is assessed though online pop-quizzes and a formal written exam.

Mathematics for Physicists I (PHYS107)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

​This module aims to provide all students with a common foundation in mathematics, necessary for studying the physical sciences and maths courses in later semesters. All topics will begin "from the ground up" by revising ideas which may be familiar from A-level before building on these concepts. In particular, the basic principles of differentiation and integration will be practised, before extending to functions of more than one variable.

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

Study as a Bachelor's degree

This course is also available as a three year BSc (Hons) programme.

View Ocean Sciences BSc (Hons)

Your experience

Teaching takes place in well-equipped lecture theatres and seminar rooms across the University campus, including in our award-winning Central Teaching Laboratory.

Your course will be delivered by staff from the Department of Earth, Ocean and Ecological Sciences, all of whom are actively involved in ocean research and who bring the results of their research into your lectures and laboratories. Our staff collaborate with scientists from the National Oceanography Centre, which has a research centre on the Liverpool campus.

Virtual tour

Careers and employability

With the environmental challenges facing the planet, there has never been a better time to study programmes in the ocean sciences: to understand the drivers of climate change,  how the oceans 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. Our degree programmes are designed to provide you with the skills to tackle these global environmental challenges.

89.5% of environmental sciences students are in work and/or further study 15 months after graduation.

Discover Uni, 2018-19.

After completing this course, the employability options are extensive and include:

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

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.

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

AAB

Applicants with the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) are eligible for a reduction in grade requirements. For this course, the offer is ABB 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, Marine Science, Environmental Science, Psychology.

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

Not accepted. Applicants should apply for F700

International Baccalaureate

35 points including grade 5 at Higher Level in two science subjects (see subject specific requirements), no score below 4.

Irish Leaving Certificate H1, H1, H2, H2, H2, 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 AA at A levels in two science subjects
Access Not accepted. Applicants should apply for F700
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.

Alternative entry requirements

Changes to Ocean Sciences MOSci

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.