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.
Title Contemporary Issues in Ocean and Climate Sciences
Code ENVS366
Coordinator Dr CL Follett
Earth, Ocean and Ecological Sciences
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2023-24 Level 6 FHEQ Second Semester 15


This modules aims 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 to students and/or academic staff.

(S1) research skills

(S2) communication skills



This module is focusing on areas of research within the marine and climate remit that are of current interests. In particular, the 2019 Special Report on Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC) will be predominant as a reading tool and source of information for all students.

The module incorporates bi-weekly research seminars given by national and international experts. These are given in-person within the Ocean Sciences seminar series and they cover a broad range of contemporary research areas within the marine scientific community.

Communication of science is at the forefront of the module, with group and individual presentations being given by all students to the cohort and staff, to promote peer learning and communication skills.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Seminars: Bi-weekly seminars organized by the Ocean Sciences group. National and international speakers within the marine and climate context give a 30-40 min presentation about their current research, followed by a Q&A session. Research disciplines range from chemical, physical and biological oceanography applied to past, present and/or future marine systems. Seminars are in-persons.

Group work: In group of 3 or 4 students, the task is to design a short video aimed at a general scientific audience on a specific research topic, such as those highlighted in the latest IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate. On-line materials designed by one of the lead author of that report (Prof A. Tagliabue) explaining the mechanistic behind such a report are available. Bi-weekly drop-in sessions will be run to provide guidance on developing the group video.

Individual presentations: Each student will give a 7-8 min oral presentation to fellow stude nts and staff about a recently published research paper or research topic of its own choice, within the remit of the module. Drop-in sessions will be available to help student preparing this presentation.

Peer learning: Each student will have access to all group and individual presentations and will be encouraged to provide informal feedback and ask questions.

Self-directed learning: Reading of research papers recently published in international, peer-reviewed, high impact journal.

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours 1





Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 126


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Written Exam (on Campus) Students will answer questions on an unseen research paper, which is why the exam needs to be 3 hours. There is a resit opportunity. This is an anonymous assessment.  180    50       
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Group Presentation. Each group gives an oral presentation of approximately 15 mins long on a particular change(s) observed in the marine system under a climate change context. Each group will answ    30       
Individual oral presentation of 7 min about a particular recent research paper of interest. This is followed by a short (3-4 min) Q&A session. This is a peer learning exercise.    20       

Recommended Texts

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