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 Sea Practical
Code ENVS349
Coordinator Dr P Salaun
Earth, Ocean and Ecological Sciences
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2023-24 Level 6 FHEQ First Semester 30


The aim of this module is to teach basic field skills in laboratory work and boat work including: a) safety at sea and navigation, b) collection of data and samples to study the physical, chemical and biological properties of coastal marine seas, c) research integrity through recording data and observations, d) data analysis, interpretation and synthesis, e) oral and written communication.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Collect data and samples from the marine coastal environment and perform laboratory and data analysis to provide insight into the physical, chemical, and biological properties of marine waters, including meteorological conditions

(LO2) Use professional scientific record keeping to during fieldwork, laboratory, and data processing to maintain research integrity

(LO3) Evaluate, synthesise and critique relevant peer-reviewed literature or secondary data sets to place results in context of knowledge of the discipline or region

(LO4) Communicate fieldwork design, methods of data and sample collection, results, and interpretation in using means appropriate to a scientific audience.

(S1) time management (setting and achieving objectives through a day at sea or during a shore based activity and producing a report by a deadline),

(S2) teamwork (organising themselves to achieve the objectives, prepare and deliver a presentation and share data),

(S3) laboratory work (through practical analysis of samples),

(S4) data handling (setting up scripts and spreadsheets and processing data with them)

(S5) communication (written and oral)

(S6) research integrity



A ship-based course in September to take place at Millport in Scotland. There will be 4 days of both shore based and boat based activities. Laboratory work will be carried out in laboratories in Millport as well as CTL at the University of Liverpool. The work includes the following topics: a) navigation, b) meteorological observations, c) measurements of currents, d) measurements of temperature and salinity, e) sampling and analysis for dissolved oxygen, nutrient and chlorophyll concentration and f) sampling of plankton. All sea-going activities are weather dependent and will not be finally determined until sea conditions have been adequately assessed.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

The Sea Practical combines boat-based field work, laboratory work and tutorials to give students a hands-on experience in studying the marine environment. Students will spend 4 days at a field station in Millport and sample the local marine environment using a research vessel and industry-standard sampling equipment (Teaching Method 1). Students collect seawater sample and data and spend time in the laboratory analysing the samples using chemical techniques or analysing data using statistical or coding software (Teaching Method 2). The data is shared and discussed during bi-weekly tutorials (Teaching Method 3) and students formally present the final data sets to each other during seminars (Teaching Method 4).

Teaching Method 1 - Fieldwork
Description: September: Boat and shore based fieldwork work in Millport, Scotland.

Teaching Method 2 - Laboratory classes
Description: Semester 1, week 0 and 1: Analysis of data and samples in laboratories in Millport and Live rpool.

Teaching Method 3 - Tutorial
Description: Semester 1: 2-hour tutorials weeks 1 - 11 to provide support during data analysis and report write-up.
Attendance Recorded: Yes

Teaching Method 4 - Seminar
Description: The students will present to each other the topic and preliminary results of their analyses.
Attendance Recorded: Yes
Notes: This activity occurs in the early part of the semester (week 2-4)

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours     22



Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 194


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Individual report There is a resit opportunity. This is an anonymous assessment. Assessment Schedule (When): Semester 1, week 12    60       
Group work: oral presentation There is a resit opportunity. Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. This is not an anonymous assessment. Assessment Schedule (When) : Beginning of seme    20       
Research integrity: record of field, laboratory and individual work in notebook    20       

Recommended Texts

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