Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Code ENVS366
Coordinator Dr P Salaun
Earth, Ocean and Ecological Sciences
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2020-21 Level 6 FHEQ Second Semester 15


To promote awareness, understanding and discussions about contemporary issues in Ocean and Climate Sciences.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Gain a broad and detailed knowledge of some of the main contemporary research topics in marine and climate sciences.

(LO2) Improve critical reading of scientific literature.

(LO3) Gain/Practice Transferable Communication Skills: Communicating research topics and/or specific research papers (through oral presentations and essay) to students and/or academic staff.

(S1) research skills

(S2) communication skills



This module is designed to introduce students to areas of research within the marine and climate remit that are of contemporary issues. As such the syllabus will be evolving, along on-going research interests. For instance, currently, these areas include:
- Impact of climate change on the Arctic Ocean; one of the only four funded projects is currently led by researchers at the University.
- International GEOTRACES program that provides an international platform for the study of marine biogeochemical cycle of trace elements. Liverpool researchers are strongly involved in this international effort.
- Nutrient and Carbon Pump over Mid-Ocean Ridges. This project looks at the influence of ridges found at several thousand meters depth in promoting the transport of nutrient rich deeper waters to the surface. This work is also led by Liverpool
- Is the rate of sea-level rise accelerating? Liverpool is a world-leading place for research on sea-level.
- Can we predict the bioavailability of trace metals? A lack of Fe is limiting primary productivity in 40% of the ocean while high levels of some metals strongly affect plankton communities and the all food chain.
- Mercury levels in the marine system are constantly increasing due to anthropogenic input; what are the drivers that affect the bioavailability and potential toxicity of these carcinogenic element? This is a worldwide issue that is affecting top predators and ultimately humans and is an example of the impact of anthropogenic activities in polluting and affecting marine ecosystems.

These sessions will be followed by individual presentations where each student presents to their peers a specific research paper that is of interest to them; this is a formative assessment. Group presentations (Group of 3 to 5 students) are the opportunity to present to staff and students specific research papers; these presentations, as well as the associated group essay, are marked (summative assessment) and count 15 and 20% respectively of the total mark. The final written exam consists of discussing a recent research paper (65% of the module).

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Teaching Method 1 - Lecture
Description: 6 to 8 lectures on current topical research programs/areas.
Attendance Recorded: Yes

Teaching Method 2 - Presentations
Description: Individual and Group Presentations
Attendance Recorded: Yes
Notes: Students will be asked to present on recent research areas/papers to their peers to promote a large overview of current research

Teaching Method 3 - Seminar
Description: Ocean Sciences Seminar
Attendance Recorded: No
Notes: Attendance at research seminars

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours 8




Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 113


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Final exam There is a resit opportunity. This is an anonymous assessment. Assessment Schedule (When) :Summer Exam period  180 minutes    65       
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
15-20 min oral presentation in group to students and academics followed by 10-15 min questions. Presentations to be made after the Easter break.  30 minutes    15       
Report of 4,000 words maximum on the chosen research area. This group report accompanies the oral presentation and should present in a concise manner the research area/paper of interest. Deadline fo  -4000 words    20       

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.