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 2021-22 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) 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.
- A lack of Fe is limiting primary productivity in 40% of the ocean while high levels of some metals (e.g. copper, lead) strongly affect plankton communities and the all food chain. How is this bioavailability likely to impact limitation and/or toxicity within a climate change context?
- 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 this carcinogenic element?

Sessions will be given by academic staff from the Ocean Sciences group as well as possible from staff working in the National Oceanographic Centre (NOC) in Liverpool. In addition, weekly seminars (both within the Ocean Sciences and NOC seminar series) given by external speakers are taking place all year long.

The continuous assessment will consist in 2 presentations : the first one (counting for 20%) is an individual presentation on a recent research paper of interest to the student and the second presentation is a group task (counting for 30%) on a climate change related topic. The final written exam (remaining 50%) consists mostly of discussing a recent research paper through a set of given questions.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Hybrid delivery, with social distancing on campus. All materials will be available on-line.

Various teaching methods will be used:

- e-Lecture: 8 scheduled e-lectures on current topical research programs/areas delivered by academic staff and possibly staff from the National Oceanographic Centre. These sessions might be run face to face.

- Seminars: weekly seminars as part of the Ocean Sciences group and the National Oceanographic Centre. These on-line seminars are given by external speakers as well from research staff from Liverpool.

- Peer learning: as part of the assessment, individual and group presentations will either be given in front of the other students or be made accessible on-line for peer learning.

- Tutorials will consist in discussing recent research papers of interest.

- Self-directed learning: Reading of research papers recently published in international, peer-reviewed, high impact journal and literature related to the topic of the group presentation.

Teaching Schedule

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




Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 112


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Final exam There is a resit opportunity. This is an anonymous assessment.  180 minutes    50       
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
15 min oral presentation in group of 4 to students and staff followed by 10-15 min questions. Presentation to be given towards the end of the semester either on-line or in persons.  15 minutes    30       
Individual 10-12 min video about a particular recent research paper of interest to each student  12 minutes    20       

Recommended Texts

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