- A level requirements: ABB
- UCAS code: G1F7
- Study mode: Full-time
- Length: 3 years
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Climate change is a major challenge we all currently face. Combing Ocean Sciences with Maths, this programme will equip you with the skills and knowledge to be able to understand some of the most important issues facing the scientific community, providing an excellent foundation for a career in the Ocean Sciences.
Predicting climate and climate change is a major challenge facing the scientific community.
The oceans regulate the climate of the planet through storing and transporting heat and carbon as well as modifying properties of the overlying atmosphere. Complex issues such as climate change and sea level rise can only be understood if the role of the ocean and atmosphere is fully appreciated.
This degree provides an understanding of how the ocean and atmosphere operate in the climate system, as well as offering a strong grounding in mathematics. It is offered in collaboration between the Department of Mathematics in the School of Physical Sciences and the internationally renowned National Oceanography Centre in Liverpool, providing excellent preparation for careers in computer modelling in oceanography, meteorology or environmental monitoring.
You will acquire a broad knowledge of mathematics and the analytical and numerical techniques for solving problems, and the ability to apply those techniques with confidence. You will gain an understanding of how the climate system behaves, how the atmosphere and ocean transport heat, why jets and eddies emerge on a rotating planet, how tracers are transported and mixed, and how these processes affect the growth of phytoplankton.
The degree in Mathematics with Ocean and Climate 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.
This programme is accredited by the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology.
Discover what you'll learn, what you'll study, and how you'll be taught and assessed.
Students acquire mathematical skills including calculus and dynamic modelling, as well as obtaining a grounding in ocean and climate sciences.
At its heart, calculus is the study of limits. Many quantities can be expressed as the limiting value of a sequence of approximations, for example the slope of a tangent to a curve, the rate of change of a function, the area under a curve, and so on. Calculus provides us with tools for studying all of these, and more. Many of the ideas can be traced back to the ancient Greeks, but calculus as we now understand it was first developed in the 17th Century, independently by Newton and Leibniz. The modern form presented in this module was fully worked out in the late 19th Century. MATH101 lays the foundation for the use of calculus in more advanced modules on differential equations, differential geometry, theoretical physics, stochastic analysis, and many other topics. It begins from the very basics – the notions of real number, sequence, limit, real function, and continuity – and uses these to give a rigorous treatment of derivatives and integrals for real functions of one real variable.
This module, the last one of the core modules in Year 1, is built upon the knowledge you gain from MATH101 (Calculus I) in the first semester. The syllabus is conceptually divided into three parts: Part I, relying on your knowledge of infinite series, presents a thorough study of power series (Taylor expansions, binomial theorem); part II begins with a discussion of functions of several variables and then establishes the idea of partial differentiation together with its various applications, including chain rule, total differential, directional derivative, tangent planes, extrema of functions and Taylor expansions; finally, part III is on double integrals and their applications, such as finding centres of mass of thin bodies. Undoubtedly, this module, together with the other two core modules from Semester 1 (MATH101 Calculus I and MATH103 Introduction to linear algebra), forms an integral part of your ability to better understand modules you will be taking in further years of your studies.
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.
Linear algebra is the branch of mathematics concerning vector spaces and linear mappings between such spaces. It is the study of lines, planes, and subspaces and their intersections using algebra.
Linear algebra first emerged from the study of determinants, which were used to solve systems of linear equations. Determinants were used by Leibniz in 1693, and subsequently, Cramer’s Rule for solving linear systems was devised in 1750. Later, Gauss further developed the theory of solving linear systems by using Gaussian elimination. All these classical themes, in their modern interpretation, are included in the module, which culminates in a detailed study of eigenproblems. A part of the module is devoted to complex numbers which are basically just planar vectors. Linear algebra is central to both pure and applied mathematics. This module is an essential pre-requisite for nearly all modules taught in the Department of Mathematical Sciences.
This module is designed to deliver an introduction to the diversity of marine ecosystems across the globe. Each week during in person lectures you will be introduced to a new ecosystem and will learn about this habitat, specifically the main organisms, key processes, and human threats to each ecosystem described and explored. Central to this module are interactive discussion sessions (workshops) that will build an understanding of how marine ecosystems are expected to respond to the human-induced changes of the anthropocene. During these workshops you will learn to critique a piece of scientific research in small group discussions guided by academics. Your knowledge and understanding will be assessed via open-book online tests, and a group project in which you will create an infographic outlining the threats a particular ecosystem faces.
This module is designed to introduce students to key concepts and skills in ocean and climate sciences, for instance key software tools for data analysis and illustration, laboratory skills, and fieldwork experience. Students will also develop more generic skills, particularly in communication through essay writing, technical reports, and oral and poster presentations. This will involve both individual and teamwork and will help students develop time management skills. The module also introduces students to academic integrity and shows students how to access scientific literature and how to use bibliographic software. All students are assigned to a tutorial group with one of the academic staff as their tutor. Teaching is carried out both to the whole year group and also during tutorial group meetings. The module is assessed via a series of coursework assignments.
This module is an introduction to classical (Newtonian) mechanics. It introduces the basic principles like conservation of momentum and energy, and leads to the quantitative description of motions of bodies under simple force systems. It includes angular momentum, rigid body dynamics and moments of inertia. MATH122 provides the foundations for more advanced modules like MATH228, 322, 325, 326, 423, 425 and 431.
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 .
Students develop their mathematical skills including methods of applied mathematics. Students gain skills in processing and manipulating ocean and climate data using an industry standard software (Matlab) and, collect and interpret observations from the open and coastal ocean.
The module provides a generic training in manipulating environmental data sets using the industry-standard Matlab software. Skills are provided in reading in data, manipulating and plotting the data, and interpreting the data signals. The assumption is that students have little or no experience in programming. The module begins with an introduction to Matlab – what it is, what it can do, how to operate it – and then develops a series of programming skills, each week using data collected in the staffs’ own research to provide real-world examples of the use of Matlab. The aim is to provide students with sufficient grasp of programming in Matlab to enable its use in subsequent project work, as well as providing the foundations in one of the key tools used in science and industry.
This module provides some of the fundamental skills required for surveying and sampling the ocean, either for research or for commercial environmental surveying work. The module covers the methods and skills used in oceanography for navigation and survey design, the measurement of physical parameters such as temperature, salinity and currents, and the measurement of biogeochemical parameters such as nutrients, phytoplankton and dissolved oxygen. Students are taught the importance of assessing data quality and instrument calibration, metadata and data banking. Laboratory work develops skills in the analyses for key oceanographic parameters (e.g. salinity, chlorophyll, dissolved oxygen and nutrients), and computer laboratories develop skills in sensor calibration, data quality control and data analysis. The module components are all relevant to the subsequent planning and sampling as part of the ENVS349 Sea Practical. Assessment is by two pieces of coursework.
This module aims to develop research and careers skills required by marine biologists, ocean scientists and environmental scientists as they prepare for their final year of study. These aims are achieved through blended learning approach including: interactive tutorials, workshops, and the School of Environmental Sciences careers week. Students will focus on developing skills in critiquing and reading the scientific literature, assessed through a literature review essay. Students will also be introduced to the process of scientific research, learning how to analyse and synthesise real scientific data, create professional display items and write a research report, which is assessed, in standard scientific format. Students will develop knowledge of careers in their field and enhance their employability taking part in an assessment centre exercise and job video interview, which is assessed.
The tiny plankton are the base of marine food chains and also affect the Earth’s climate. If you want to understand how and where these organisms live in the ocean, you need to step out of your own experience as a terrestrial animal and learn how the physics, biology and chemistry of the ocean come together to control the lives of plankton. In this module we will get you to think about how turbulence and stratification in the ocean control the growth of different sizes of plants and animals by determining how they can acquire light, nutrients and food. You will learn how plankton play a key role in shaping Earth’s climate, but that this depends on the plankton species and plankton size. We will also consider how plankton respond to changes in Earth’s climate, with important shifts in species distributions currently being caused by our warming climate. In this module we take you from the micron scales of the tiniest plankton up to the scale of the global ocean to illustrate the fundamental links between the ocean’s physical and biogeochemical processes, plankton communities and Earth’s climate. Teaching is structured around a series of short videos on key topics and concepts, with class work then looking at relevant case studies, discussing some of the important implications of our changing climate on plankton, and gaining practice in quantifying plankton responses to changes in their ocean environment. Assessment is by one coursework assignment halfway through the semester, and an online open-book exam.
This module provides an introduction to the subjects of fluid mechanics and electromagnetism, to the various vector integrals, the operators div, grad and curl and the relations between them and to the many applications of vector calculus to physical situations.
Differential equations play a central role in mathematical sciences because they allow us to describe a wide variety of real-world systems and the mathematical techniques encountered in this module are useful to a number of later modules; this is why MATH201 is compulsory for a number of degree programmes. The module will aim to stress the importance of both theory and applications of ordinary differential equations (ODEs) and partial differential equations (PDEs), putting a strong emphasis on problem solving and examples. It has broadly 5 parts and each part contains two types of equations: those that can be solved by specific methods and others that cannot be solved but can only be studied to understand some properties of the underlying equations and their solutions. The main topics are first order ODEs, second order ODEs, systems of ODEs, first-order PDEs and some of the most well-known second-order PDEs, namely the wave, heat and Laplace equations.
This module is concerned with the motion of physical bodies both in everyday situations and in the solar system. To describe motion, acceleration and forces you will need background knowledge of calculus, differentiation, integration and partial derivatives from MATH101 (Calculus I), MATH102 (Calculus II) and MATH103 (Introduction to Linear Algebra). Classical mechanics is important for learning about modern developments such as relativity (MATH326), quantum mechanics (MATH325) and chaos and dynamical systems (MATH322). This module will make you familiar with notions such as energy, force, momentum and angular momentum which lie at the foundations of applied mathematics problems.
The module covers energy balance and transfer processes at the surface, clouds, rain formation, weather forecasting, monsoons, tropical cyclones, weather in the mid latitudes, and the regional climates. The module has a balance between theory, processes, impacts, and hands-on experimentation and data analysis.
Students apply their mathematical and ocean sciences skills during an independent research project supervised by an Ocean Scientist at the University or from the National Oceanography Centre. Students have the opportunity to engage in activities at sea during a three day research cruise.
Increasing amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are having a profound impact on our Earth system. This module will introduce students to the fundamental theory behind the global carbon cycle. Students will see how carbon is partitioned between the atmosphere, land and ocean in the contemporary and past Earth system, understand how the ocean stores 50 times more carbon than the atmosphere, and consider the impact of increasing carbon dioxide on the organisms living on land and in the ocean. Teaching is through lectures, workshops focusing on key components of the carbon cycle, and guided reading. Assessment is by two pieces of coursework.
This research-led module aims to promote interest, awareness and understanding of current important research topics within Ocean and Climate Sciences. It also aims to develop generic skills such as team working and communication skills. The module considers recent reports such as the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) and the associated 2019 SROCC (Special Report on Oceans and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate), with students working with one of the lead IPCC authors based in Liverpool. Students will also attend the bi-weekly Ocean and Climate Sciences research seminars that are given by invited national and international experts on a range of subjects related to the marine and climate system. Assessment is by individual oral presentations by students presenting what they have learnt from recent research papers of particular interest to them, and a group presentation on a research topic of current importance (e.g. as highlighted in the latest SROCC report). A final in-person exam is focused around a recent high-impact scientific paper provided to the students.
Measurements made at sea are a key activity in oceanographic research. This module introduces the collection of data and samples including navigation, meteorological parameters, temperature and salinity, currents, dissolved oxygen, nutrients, chlorophyll and plankton. We will use the Field Studies Council Site at Millport in Scotland, where students will gain experience of sampling at sea and use skills developed in the second year to calibrate and analyse their data. Laboratory work, analysing water samples for nutrients and plankton, will take place in Millport and in the Central Teaching Laboratories in Liverpool. The Sea Practical introduces students to the way in which professional ocean scientists work in both research and commercial surveying. It involves collecting data and samples at sea, analysing samples in the laboratory, processing and analysing data using computer software, assessing, and reporting on the data and its quality, and finally presenting the methods, results and interpretation in an accurate and comprehensive report. By following professional ways of working, it provides students with both subject-specific and generic employability skills. Research integrity is an integral component of this module. The module is assessed by a group presentation on components of the data analysis and quality, a record and laboratory book, and a scientific report/paper addressing a key question arising from the data collected off Millport.
This module consists of a two-semester dissertation research project, carried out individually by a student with supervision by a member of academic staff. Projects can be field-, laboratory- or desk-based studies on a predefined project and the student will learn about project design, data collection, analysis and interpretation of results.
Ocean dynamics addresses how the ocean and atmosphere circulate. Fundamental questions are addressed, such as how heat, salt, and dissolved substances are transported, how jets and weather systems emerge on our planet, why there are western boundary currents in the ocean, and how seafloor topography shapes the ocean circulation. Students will improve their understanding of how the ocean and atmosphere behave, including comparing the importance of different physical processes in the climate system. The module is delivered via lectures and formative workshops to gain skills at problem solving. There is significant mathematical content, requiring familiarity with calculus and algebra. The module is assessed through two online tests and an essay.
Networks are familiar to us from many real-world systems such as the internet, power grids, transportation and biological networks. The underpinning mathematical concept is called a graph an it is no surprise that the same issues arise in each area, whether this is to identify the most important or influential individuals in the network, or to prevent dynamics on the network (e.g. epidemics) or to make the network robust to the dynamics it supports (e.g. power grids and transportation). In this module, we learn about different classes of networks and how to quantify and describe them including their structures and their nodes. Much of our detailed understanding of networks and their features will come from analysis of idealised random networks which nevertheless are often good representations of those seen in the real world. We will consider real-world biological applications of network theory, in particular focusing on epidemics.
Teaching takes place through lectures, practicals, workshops, seminars, tutorials and computer based learning, with an emphasis on learning through doing.
Students value the learning opportunities provided by field classes, including the rapid feedback on performance. You will typically receive at least 15 hours of formal teaching each week. Between 30 and 100 hours of fieldwork and hands-on activities are provided each year depending on the discipline.
A typical module might involve two or three one-hour lectures each week, and often a three- hour laboratory or computer-based practical as well. Tutorials typically involve groups of 4-7 students meeting with a member of staff at least every two weeks in year one and two.
In year three, you will undertake an Honours project, which is a piece of independent research (field, laboratory or data analysis) on a topic of your choice, supervised by a member of staff. In year three students meet with their project supervisor on a weekly or more frequent basis. As you progress through your degree, you will be increasingly challenged to engage with current debates, to think critically and to study independently.
A number of the School’s degree programmes involve laboratory and field work. The field work is carried out in various locations, ranging from inner city to coastal and mountainous environments. We consider applications from prospective students with disabilities on the same basis as all other students, and reasonable adjustments will be considered to address barriers to access.
Assessment matches the learning objectives for each module and may take the form of written exams, coursework submissions in the form of essays, scientific papers, briefing notes or lab notebooks, oral and poster presentations and contributions to group projects. Coursework is designed around the types of problems encountered, and the skills needed, in commercial, research and public sector jobs. Emphasis is placed on good laboratory practice and maintaining useful lab notebooks in the context of scientific integrity and scientific data management.
We have a distinctive approach to education, the Liverpool Curriculum Framework, which focuses on research-connected teaching, active learning, and authentic assessment to ensure our students graduate as digitally fluent and confident global citizens.
Studying with us means you can tailor your degree to suit you. Here's what is available on this course.
Day to day teaching will take place across campus, with computer based learning taking place in the Central Teaching Laboratories, a state-of-the-art facility for practical work.
Our staff are all actively involved in marine and climate research and 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.
Your course will be delivered by the Department of Mathematical Sciences and the Department of Earth, Ocean and Ecological Sciences.
From arrival to alumni, we’re with you all the way:
A mathematically-based degree opens up a wide range of career opportunities, including some of the most lucrative professions.
Recent employers of our graduates are:
Your tuition fees, funding your studies, and other costs to consider.
|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|
|Full-time place, per year||£24,800|
|Year abroad fee||£12,400|
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 paying for your studies..
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.
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.
The qualifications and exam results you'll need to apply for this course.
My qualifications are from: United Kingdom.
ABB including Mathematics and one other science. Acceptable sciences: Further Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geology, Geography, Applied Science, Environmental Science.
Applicants with the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) are eligible for a reduction in grade requirements. For this course, the offer is BBB 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:
T levels are not currently accepted.
|GCSE||4/C in English and 4/C in Mathematics|
For applicants from England: where a science has been taken at A level (Chemistry, Physics, Biology or Geology), a pass in the science practical of each subject will be required.
|BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma||
D*DD in relevant diploma
33 points including 5 at Higher Level in Mathematics and one other science, no score below 4.
|Irish Leaving Certificate||H1, H2, H2, H2, H3, H3 including H2 or above in Mathematics and a second science|
|Scottish Higher/Advanced Higher||
Not accepted without Advanced Highers at ABB including Mathematics and 1 other science
|Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced||Accepted at Grade B with AB at A levels including Mathematics and 1 other science|
|Access||45 Level 3 credits in graded units in a relevant Diploma, including 30 at Distinction and a further 15 with at least Merit. 15 Distinctions are required in each of Mathematics and a second science. GCSE Mathematics and English at grade C/4 also required.|
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.
Last updated 10 October 2023 / / Programme terms and conditions