Other options

If you study Environmental Science BSc at XJTLU you can choose from these options to study at the University of Liverpool on the XJTLU 2+2 programme.

Study   ›  Undergraduate courses  ›   XJTLU 2+2

Environmental Science BSc (Hons): XJTLU 2+2 programme

Course details

Our Environmental Sciences BSc (Hons) degree focusses on real-world issues such as climate change, pollution, and resource exploitation and will prepare you to play your part in tackling those challenges.

Course overview

Understanding the complex interactions between the physical and biological environment and how humans influence them both is essential if we are to find solutions to the increasing global environmental challenges that face us today.

Our degree will give you an in-depth understanding of both natural and human-induced environmental problems. All of our modules centre on real-world issues and application including climate change, pollution, and natural hazards.

The key strength of our programme is the unique breadth of staff expertise in the School of Environmental Sciences. This allows you to choose from an extensive range of modules delivered by experts in their field using state-of-the-art equipment and techniques. Your choices are guided by one of five module pathways themes: digital environments, ecology, oceans, society, sustainability, and the environment, and earth and surface processes.

These pathways ensure that our students graduate with the specialist skills and knowledge needed for their future careers, while also having the benefit of a wide-ranging education in Environmental Science.

From your first week to your final year, field classes are an integral part of your learning, giving you a chance to experience the environments that you are learning about and practice using industry-standard sampling and surveying approaches. In addition to making the most of Liverpool’s coastal location, you will also have the opportunity to undertake fieldwork in locations such as Snowdonia, Pembrokeshire, and the Peak District as well as options in Portugal.

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.


  • Small tutor groups (typically six-eight students) through all years
  • High levels of field and lab-based teaching within the School of Environmental Sciences and in Europe’s most advanced teaching laboratories
  • An emphasis on active, problem-based learning (learning by doing)
  • Hands-on experience with cutting-edge laboratory technologies
  • Supervised independent and group project work, including a final year independent research-based dissertation supervised by a dedicated expert in the field.

Fees and funding

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

Tuition fees

All XJTLU 2+2 students receive a partnership discount of 10% on the standard fees for international students. We also offer 50 XJTLU Excellence Scholarships providing a 25% discount on tuition fees to the students that score most highly in stage 2 at XJTLU across the different subject areas. Allocation is based on the number of applications received per programme.

The net fees (inclusive of the discounts) can be seen below.

XJTLU 2+2 fees
2024 tuition fee (full) £27,200
2024 tuition fee for XJTLU 2+2 students (inclusive of 10% discount) £24,480
2024 tuition fee for XJTLU 2+2 students qualifying for Excellence Scholarship (inclusive of 25% discount) £20,400
Fees stated are for the 2024-25 academic year.

Course content and modules

Discover what you’ll learn in each year, the kinds of modules you’ll study, and how you’ll be taught and assessed.

Year two

Year two is comprised of three core modules (including a week-long field class), two modules from your chosen pathway, and three optional modules that you can choose from any pathway.

On the 2+2 programme, you'll study your third and fourth years at the University of Liverpool. These will be year two and year three of the University of Liverpool's programme of study.

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


Environmental Science Field Class (ENVS285)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

In this module, BSc Environmental Science students work together on a group project based on data collected in the field. Students take part in a residential field class in a UK location that provides a diverse range of opportunities for data collection on topics such as water quality, flood risk and carbon capture. Students develop skills in data collection, analysis and presentation, focussed real-world environmental issues using industry-relevant techniques and equipment. This module provides ideal preparation for final year individual projects. The module is assessed in via group oral presentation in the style of in industry consultant and an individual written project report in the style of a peer-reviewed scientific journal article.

Research Skills (Geography and Environmental Science) (ENVS203)

Credits: 15 / Semester: whole session

The module will develop students’ knowledge of careers and employability with a focus on enhancing employability through tutorial-based exercises. In addition, the module provides a range of research skills required for the planning, implementation, analysis and reporting (written and oral) of independent research projects. Practical training will be provided in a range of qualitative and quantitative techniques across a broad range of geographical and environmental science themes. From this, students should develop a critical awareness as to the advantages and disadvantages of research methodologies in particular contexts.

Statistics for Environmental Scientists (ENVS222)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module provides training in statistics for environmental scientists. We provide training in industry-standard software – R and RStudio – to allow students to explore, present, and analyse data, and we ensure that the practical training is fully supported by explanations of the underlying theory. The practical work is focused on real environmental data, often generated by the students themselves so that they understand where the data have come from and have access to the full context as they learn how to describe and explain the findings of their analyses. Students will leave with the tools to collect, work with, and present data necessary for scientific writing.


Key Skills for Environmental Data Analysis (ENVS202)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

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.

Understanding Marine and Terrestrial Spatial Ecology Using GIS (ENVS255)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module explores the concepts and applications of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to solve contemporary questions in spatial ecology. The module involves applied case studies and practical work designed to develop both an understanding of GIS principles and concepts, such as data acquisition, integration and spatial analyses. The hands-on workshops allow students to learn the basic skills before applying them to a real world authentic assessment.

Changing Environments (ENVS214)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

The Earth is subject to a myriad of threats and stresses, ranging from a changing global climate to  unprecedented scales of human impacts on ecosystems, so that a new geological time period, the Anthropocene was created. Placing future change in freshwater and coastal wetlands and lakes into a long-term context is a critical science, and without it, society cannot constrain the ‘natural’ baseline against which future changes could be judged. ​ This module will provide a critical insight into the global changes currently impacting the Earth over decades to millennial timescales. We will introduce a series of contemporary environmental concerns, and teach how we can reconstruct climatic and environmental conditions, the landscapes and vegetation of the past. We will explore a wide variety of archives (lakes, freshwater and coastal wetlands, oceans) and develop an understanding of the key techniques used to trace environmental conditions (physical properties, biogeochemistry, biological indicators). We will assess how the drivers behind these changes will affect future landscapes and ecosystems.

Environmental Sustainability (ENVS218)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

Environmental concerns have become increasingly pressing over the last few decades, especially the global challenge of climate change. Environmental sustainability directs our attention to finding new approaches and methods for many of our activities and is an increasingly accepted principle that many professions are seeking to work out in practice.

This module explores the notion of environmental sustainability particularly within the context of urban planning. In this context, it can help us to develop the places where we live in a way that makes them cleaner, more energy efficient and better adapted to climate change, and that provides more biodiversity and a better quality of life. Planners, geographers and environmental scientists can all contribute to achieving a more sustainable world around us.

GIS for Human Geography (ENVS257)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

The module introduces the principles of geographical information systems and science with a focus on human geography. Examples will be drawn from population geography with components linked to data sources, analysis and visualisation. Students will learn how to use GIS to map population data, to explore social deprivation, geographic inequalities, and commuting patterns, amongst other themes.

Catchment Hydrology (ENVS217)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

The study of catchment hydrology is concerned with water above and below the land surface, its various forms, and its circulation and distribution in time and space within drainage catchments; it is based on fundamental knowledge of the hydrological cycle and its governing factors. Understanding the hydrological cycle is fundamental to physical geography. All life is supported by water and all earth systems incorporate fluxes of water to some extent. The module covers the main hydrological processes operating in drainage catchments in terms of their measurement, operation and controlling factors. The module provide ‘hands-on’ experience of both observing hydrology and modelling hydrological systems, with an emphasis on applied learning, which might be useful in a vocational sense in the future. The module will aim to deliver excellent training in the knowledge required to work in a wide variety of environmentally-facing careers, including those with the EA, Natural England or DEFRA, as well as Environmental Consultancies.

Geomorphology: Ice, Sea and Air (ENVS252)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

The module develops an understanding of these major geomorphic systems and how they create terrestrial landforms. It explores the basic processes that have helped shaping the geomorphology of Britain and investigates magnitude and frequency of events, as well as time and space scales over which the processes operate.

The module is divided into four components, each composed of 4 sessions: glacial systems, glacial geomorphology and environmental change, aeolian processes, and coastal geomorphology . Weekly face-to-face sessions are supported by access to online videos, power point presentations, lecture notes, reading lists and some selected web sites. Weekly timetabled sessions will be a combination of lectures, discussions around reading and Q&A. Two days of fieldwork form the basis of the summative assessment addressing set problems and questions. A formative GIS exercise is also delivered via timetabled support sessions.

Climatology (ENVS231)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

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.​

Population and Community Ecology (LIFE214)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module aims to introduce students to the concepts and principles underlying the dynamic interactions within populations and between species within communities. It will draw upon examples taken from across the globe: pressures on fish stocks; use of natural predators for biological control processes; how mutualistic interactions benefit communities, such as coral reefs and leguminous plants. It will also explore how knowledge and understanding of these species and community interactions can help plan for ecological mitigation and restoration. The lectures will be supplemented with on-line resources. Students will begiven guided reading, and regular formative assessment exercises will enable students to evaluate their understanding of the module. The module will be assessed by coursework.

Marine Ecophysiology, Ecology and Exploitation (ENVS251)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

The marine environment presents a particular set of challenges for the organisms which inhabit it and these conditions are constantly changing as a result of human interventions. This module will provide a solid grounding in a number of topics, concepts and issues in the marine environment relating to the physiology and ecology of marine organisms and how they are affected by the activities of humans. Module content will be delivered primarily through interactive lectures supported by computer-based practical exercises and assessed by examination and coursework. Students will be guided to specific sections of textbooks, online resources and scientific papers to shape their learning.

Marine Pollution (ENVS232)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

Students are taught how marine systems are changing due to globally increasing water temperatures and increasing carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere, which are affecting the chemistry, physics and ultimately biology of the marine systems at unprecedented rates. These changes are expected to accelerate in the coming decades. Localised anthropogenic stressors such as excess nutrients, plastic debris, trace metals (e.g. mercury, copper), marine heatwaves and/or other emerging contaminants affecting coastal and open ocean waters are covered. Students will gain an understanding of the causes and processes that drive marine pollution issues as well as techniques used to monitor, remediate and/or regulate those issues. Assessment is done through group work, coursework and a final in-person exam.

An Introduction to Environmental History (ENVS223)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module explores the course of human history, examining the interaction of people with the environment, moving through the different stages of human development, from early agrarian based developments in the Neolithic 9000 years ago, through to modern agricultural practices and landscape management. The following topics and concepts are introduced and examined:

Landscape geography, cultural ecology and environmental history.

Philosophical insights into environmental history, how have societies viewed and understood the environment.

Agriculture and the environment, long term perspectives and present day issues i.e. the environmental impact of hunting and gathering societies.

The agricultural revolution of the Neolithic and its impact, the impact of pre-industrial agriculture and some environmental issues raised by contemporary agriculture.

An ecological history of industrialisation and population growth, i.e. population resources and environment in an industrialised world.

Perils of a restless planet: an introduction to hazard research.

The module uses wide ranging literature and case studies to explore a range of human-environment interactions (fuel, food, water, culture and space), exploring how human activities have modified, and been modified, by their environments, and how sudden changes whether natural or human induced have changed this relationship.  

This module has proven popular over the years and is of relevance and interest to both social scienceand physical science based students.

Biodiversity Practical Skills (LIFE233)

Credits: 7.5 / Semester: semester 1

This practical module aims to provide practical experience in many of the techniques and methods currently used to identify and classify plants and animals. This will include microscopic and macroscopic examination of specimens, recognition of the role of museum collections in research, and electronic methods of data analysis and storage. Teaching activities include a combination of field work at Ness Gardens and the World Museum, laboratory sessions, and introductory lectures. The module is continuously assessed with workbooks completed in the practical classes, and a final report which draws on several of the practical classes. 

Bird Ecology, Identification and Conservation (LIFE243)

Credits: 7.5 / Semester: semester 1

This module considers the ecology, identification and conservation of birds. It seeks to provide an evidence based understanding of bird conservation through studying bird ecology. Key to this is the ability to identify species and assess how key ecological concepts apply to this group. This course will teach students to integrate avian ecology with population and habitat management practices. It will illustrate the links between management and avian biology, habitat fragmentation, migration, and other ecological concepts. Throughout the module, emphasis is placed on the role of research methods in ornithology and how data gained are used to achieve maximally effective conservation and management. The module is aimed at students studying C100 Biological Science and C300 Zoology. The module will be of interest to students wishing to learn more about birds, including those who wish to pursue a career in ornithology or applied ecology.

Sedimentary Processes and Depositional Environments (ENVS219)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

Sedimentary successions are the only archive from which we can accurately decode the Earth’s past. Using physical, chemical and biological information we can reconstruct past climates, tectonics and depositional environments. This module teaches the fundamental principles of interpreting sedimentary stratigraphy and develops students’ abilities to recognise sedimentary textures and use them to interpret ancient depositional environments.

Earth and Environmental Data Science (ENVS229)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module introduces students to fundamentals of Earth and environmental data science. Students will become familiar with methods used to collate and computationally analyse a variety of Earth Science data. After introducing programming basics, students will then start to write code to analyse and simulate Earth processes that model their datasets. By the end of the module, students are expected to have a broad overview of the ways in which data science is applied in the study of the Earth and environment.

Soils, Slopes and the Environment (ENVS238)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

The module is concerned with the fundamental properties and characteristics of slopes and soils, and their relationship with the environment. Through a combination of theory and practical-led teaching, students will learn about slope and soil forming processes and evolution, and apply this knowledge to a number of pure and applied problems relating to slope and soil stability. The module is assessed through a combination of coursework (group report) and examination.

Oceanography, Plankton and Climate (ENVS245)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

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.

Volcanology and Geohazards (ENVS284)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module comprises a series of lectures, seminars and practical classes to facilitate students constructing their own learning in the fields of volcanology and geohazards. Lectures and guided reading present the scientific, societal, economic and political aspects of volcanic hazards within the wider geohazard context. These themes are then explored further through illustrative case studies, guest seminars and practical exercises.

Your experience

At Liverpool, we place a great deal of emphasis on learning through experience. You will be taught in Europe’s most advanced teaching laboratories and will participate in a strong fieldwork programme that will help to prepare you for solving real work problems. You will have access to excellent resources, including research-level analytical equipment and computing facilities, and will be trained in industry-standard methods using materials donated by companies. Our Department of Earth, Ocean and Ecological Sciences programmes will provide you with specific scientific training and equip you with a wide range of transferable skills valued by employers. You will graduate as a practical, confident and employable earth scientist.

We have a very active Earth Sciences student society – The Herdman society. The society runs academic and social events from guest lectures and field trips to gala dinners, symposiums and sports events.

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What students say...

Environmental Sciences is a multidisciplinary program including topics of Ecology, Earth Surface Processes, Ocean Sciences, Society and Sustainability, and Digital Environments. Therefore, we can get a wide range of knowledge and develop various skills. The staffs here are very kind and responsible as well. You can discuss your future planning with your tutor.

, BSc (Hons) Environmental Science