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Environmental Geoscience

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Course details

  • UCAS code: F7F6
  • Study mode: Full-time
  • Length: 3 years

Key dates

  • Starts:

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Bachelor of Science

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

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Course overview

Study Environmental Science at Liverpool and become part of the solution in tackling climate change and other environmental challenges. You’ll gain the skills necessary to understand how the most important aspects of planet Earth work, and how to apply that knowledge to make a difference.

Introduction

To save the planet, we need to understand the planet. You will develop key knowledge and skills to help tackle the effects of climate change and ensure a sustainable environment for all.

You’ll graduate with a broad knowledge of environmental science, and a range of skills spanning problem solving, numeracy and coding, field work, data acquisition, and report writing and communication skills, all designed to equip you for a career helping maintain a sustainable environment on our planet.

You will be taught by research-active staff, at the forefront of their chosen fields, within small groups for a collaborative and conversational experience.

By the time you graduate, our extensive field training will have equipped you with the specific practical skills necessary for a career in Earth Sciences.

Please note that this course may be subject to change, and is pending formal validation.

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 to practically apply knowledge to make a real-world difference
  • Problem solving
  • How to present and communicate clearly
  • Teamwork
  • How to confidently use industry-standard research equipment
  • How to undertake research and field work

Teaching Excellence Framework 2023

We’re proud to announce we’ve been awarded a Gold rating for educational excellence.

Course content

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

Year one

Compulsory modules

Experiments in Physical Geography (ENVS120)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

The module uses laboratory experiments to allow students to gain first-hand 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 (one poster per group). However, perhaps most valuable is the feedback obtained informally via discussions during the sessions.

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.

Introduction to Field Geology (ENVS109)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This field module provides a basic training in field techniques and gives students practical experience working with a wide range of rock types and tectonic structures to solve geological problems. Students gain experience in recording field data and use their own data to interpret geological processes and environments. The module is assessed by means of an individual fieldwork portfolio and a group synthesis poster completed after the field class.

Introduction to Structural Geology and Geological Maps (ENVS156)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module introduces key subjects within Earth Sciences: Structural Geology and Geological Mapping. In this module you will be introduced to geological structures from the micro to the mountain scale, and receive training in the geometrical techniques used to document and analyse them. You will also learn the basic principles of stress and strain which underpin a number of advanced Earth Science subjects and skills used in industry and research. Finally, the module will provide training in how to read and understand geological maps, train your 3D visualisation skills by learning how to create geological cross-sections from maps, and how to stereographically plot 3D geological data. A combination of virtual lectures, tutorials, and directed reading will help you navigate this course. You will be assessed on the development of your practical skills through an open book practical exam and an individual research paper on a topic in structural geology.

Study Skills and GIS (Earth Science) (ENVS101)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 3

This module introduces students to the key skills necessary to succeed on a University Earth Science course. It does this via a series of lectures, workshops and tutorials, together with a geology fieldwork day and attendance at departmental seminars and talks. The lectures, towards the start of the first semester, cover academic integrity, exam skills, employability and 2D/3D visualisation. Tailored workshops cover Geographical Information Systems (GIS), Word, Excel and programming skills. Small-group (typically 4 to 8 students) tutorials are run by academic staff and cover essay writing (including assessment), careers and employability. Academic tutors undertake personal development planning (careers and module selection advice) with each tutee.

Earth Materials (ENVS185)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module will introduce and develop understanding of rock-forming minerals and critical raw materials in terms of their environments of formation, occurrence, and abundance. The module will focus on exploring the uses and societal significance of a range of Earth materials, especially those critical to sustainable and renewable energy resources and various societal infrastructure. The key practical skills of mineral description, identification and interpretation will be developed and applied throughout the module to equip students with appropriate skills for many later geoscience modules and for future employment.

Optional modules

Earth Structure and Plate Tectonics (ENVS112)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module provides an introduction to the Earth and aims to teach students about the structure and composition of the Earth, the Earth’s gravitational and magnetic fields, and dynamics within the deep Earth; the physics of Earth material and the geological time scale; and plate tectonics. The course is delivered through a combination of lectures and practicals. Students are assessed through a combination of coursework and a final exam.

Environmental Chemistry (ENVS153)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module will give students an understanding of the fundamental properties of elements and matter, either solid, liquid or gas, in the context of the environmental sciences. It will introduce the fundamentals of atomic structure, elements and molecules from simple inorganic to large organic ones and the bonding forces that hold them together. It will look at the basics of chemical reactions such as the processes of oxidation and reduction, the solubility of solids and gases in water and acid-base properties. Students will learn how to make quantitative predictions, for instance on 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. The module is taught through lectures, tutorial sessions and online formative quizzes with automated feedback. Assessment is through online tests and an open book final exam. This module is largely an introduction to chemistry and might therefore not be well suited for students who did A-level chemistry or equivalent.

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 year. 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. Students get formal feedback in each assessed week (one poster per group). However, perhaps most valuable is the feedback obtained informally via discussions during the sessions.

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.

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 emphasises acquiring mechanistic insight and drawing upon order of magnitude calculations. By the end of the module students will understand how the oceans and atmosphere combine to shape Earth’s climate. Students gain quantitative skills by completing a series of coursework exercises and a final exam. Students address the Net Zero carbon goal via group work involving digital storytelling.​

Introduction to Climate Change and Mitigation (ENVS189)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module will introduce you to the concept of Earth System interactions as a framework for understanding the causes and consequences of climate change. The module will cover the key features of the earth, atmosphere and ocean, and their interactions. alongside the drivers and consequences for perturbing part of the Earth System. Past, contemporary and projections of climate change will be discussed, as well as the toolkit tools deployed by environmental scientists to detect climate change and show attribute it to be a consequence of human activities. The module will discuss also measures to mitigate against climate change, drawing on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) efforts .

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.

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 part of XJTLU 2+2

The natural next step for ambitious XJTLU students who want to build a brilliant career.

  • Spend two years at the University of Liverpool campus
  • Improve your prospects of progressing to postgraduate study at a top 100 university
  • Receive two degrees: one from XJTLU, one from the University of Liverpool
  • Get support with visas, accommodation and your career.

Read more about the 2+2 programme.

Your experience

Your course will be delivered by the Department of Earth, Ocean and Ecological Sciences. Our unique partnership with the Marine Biological Association allows our students access to their specialist staff, laboratories and equipment. We also have close links with the National Oceanography Centre, and the award-winning Central Teaching Laboratories provides a state-of-the-art facility for practical work.

Virtual tour

Careers and employability

The skills gained through studying a degree in Environmental Science are applicable in many areas of employment, from environmental protection and consultancy, planning and conservation, through to the geotechnical, mineral and energy resource industries, as well as careers in scientific research or academia.

Many Environmental Geoscience graduates move on to have careers working for employers such as:
  • Geological Surveys in the UK and abroad
  • Hydrocarbon and support industries
  • Engineering and environmental consultancies
  • Mining and related industries.

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

Discover Uni, 2018-19.

Fees and funding

Your tuition fees, how to pay, and other costs to consider.

Tuition fees

UK fees (applies to Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland)
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 £26,400
Year abroad fee £13,200
Fees are correct for the academic year 2024/25. Please note that the Year Abroad fee also applies to the Year in China.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment, operating University facilities such as libraries, IT equipment, and access to academic and personal support.

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 costs for a lab coat, geological field kit, and sustenance during compulsory field trips.

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 costs for a lab coat, geological field kit, and sustenance during compulsory field trips.

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.

Geological field kit – £69.50. Students are advised to purchase the recommended field kit from the School’s online shop before the start of their studies. Field kits will also be available on campus at the start of the semester. The field kit contains:

  • Compass Clinometer
  • Helmet
  • Hand Lens
  • Stereonet
  • Michel Levy Chart
  • High Viz Jacket
  • Grain size card
  • Large Clear Plastic Bag
  • Whistle

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.

Compulsory field courses – students will undertake compulsory field courses in years one, two and three. The School will normally cover the cost of accommodation and travel for these courses. Students are required to cover sustenance (food and drinks) costs.

Find out more about additional study costs.

Scholarships and bursaries

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to provide tuition fee discounts and help with living expenses while at university.

Check out our Liverpool Bursary, worth up to £2,000 per year for eligible UK students. Or for international students, our Undergraduate Global Advancement Scholarship offers a tuition fee discount of up to £5,000 for eligible international students starting an undergraduate degree from September 2024.

Discover our full range of undergraduate scholarships and bursaries

Entry requirements

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

We've set the country or region your qualifications are from as United Kingdom. Change it here

Clearing 2024

Please see our Clearing course information for details of the qualifications and exam results you'll need to apply for this course for 2024 entry.

View the Clearing entry requirements for this course.

English language requirements

You'll need to demonstrate competence in the use of English language, unless you’re from a majority English speaking country.

We accept a variety of international language tests and country-specific qualifications.

International applicants who do not meet the minimum required standard of English language can complete one of our Pre-Sessional English courses to achieve the required level.

English language qualification Requirements
IELTS 6.0 overall, with no component below 5.5
TOEFL iBT 78 overall, with minimum scores of listening 17, writing 17, reading 17 and speaking 19
Duolingo English Test 105 overall, with no component below 95
Pearson PTE Academic 59 overall, with no component below 59
LanguageCert Academic 65 overall, with no skill below 60
Cambridge IGCSE First Language English 0500 Grade C overall, with a minimum of grade 2 in speaking and listening. Speaking and listening must be separately endorsed on the certificate.
Cambridge IGCSE First Language English 0990 Grade 4 overall, with Merit in speaking and listening
Cambridge IGCSE Second Language English 0510/0511 0510: Grade C overall, with a minimum of grade 2 in speaking. Speaking must be separately endorsed on the certificate. 0511: Grade C overall.
Cambridge IGCSE Second Language English 0993/0991 0993: Grade 5 overall, with a minimum of grade 2 in speaking. Speaking must be separately endorsed on the certificate. 0991: Grade 5 overall.
International Baccalaureate Standard Level grade 5 or Higher Level grade 4 in English B, English Language and Literature, or English Language
Cambridge ESOL Level 2/3 Advanced 169 overall, with no paper below 162

PRE-SESSIONAL ENGLISH

Do you need to complete a Pre-Sessional English course to meet the English language requirements for this course?

The length of Pre-Sessional English course you’ll need to take depends on your current level of English language ability.

Find out the length of Pre-Sessional English course you may require for this degree.

Pre-sessional English

If you don’t meet our English language requirements, we can use your most recent IELTS score, or the equivalent score in selected other English language tests, to determine the length of Pre-Sessional English course you require.

Use the table below to check the course length you're likely to require for your current English language ability and see whether the course is available on campus or online.

Your most recent IELTS score Pre-Sessional English course length On campus or online
5.5 overall, with no component below 5.5 6 weeks On campus
5.5 overall, with no component below 5.0 10 weeks On campus and online options available
5.0 overall, with no component below 5.0 12 weeks On campus and online options available
5.0 overall, with no component below 4.5 20 weeks On campus
4.5 overall, with no component below 4.5 30 weeks On campus
4.0 overall, with no component below 4.0 40 weeks On campus

If you’ve completed an alternative English language test to IELTS, we may be able to use this to assess your English language ability and determine the Pre-Sessional English course length you require.

Please see our guide to Pre-Sessional English entry requirements for IELTS 6.0, with no component below 5.5, for further details.

Changes to Environmental Geoscience 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.