The ocean plays a central role in the earth’s climate system by regulating the transfer of heat and carbon over the globe.
The effect of the ocean can only be fully understood by addressing the fundamental physical and chemical processes operating in our environment. This degree route offers three distinct pathways in oceanography, physics or chemistry, combined with an understanding of the ocean and climate system.
Each pathway has its own mix of modules from the School of Environmental Sciences and School of Physical Sciences. Scientists from the National Oceanography Centre in Liverpool provide guest lectures and supervision of projects.
The four-year master’s programme, F710, will provide you with the high-level skills and knowledge required to work in a research environment and address the challenges in ocean science. There is a strong emphasis on numerical skills hands-on laboratory and fieldwork at sea and independent study.
You will have the opportunity to work with scientists from the National Oceanography Centre (Liverpool), who are international leaders in sea level science and shelf sea physics.
Programme in detail
On the oceanography pathway you will acquire a broad interdisciplinary understanding of the ocean environment from a physical, chemical and biological perspective. The oceanography route is suitable if you don’t have a strong background in mathematics, physics or chemistry as remedial courses are provided.
On the physics pathway you will acquire a strong grounding in physics together with applications to the atmosphere, ocean and climate system.
On the chemistry pathway you will acquire a strong grounding in chemistry and laboratory work, together with applications to the ocean.
Across this degree programme, you will gain an understanding of how the climate is changing, how the atmosphere and ocean transport heat and tracers over the globe, how nutrients and carbon are cycled over the globe, how plankton growth and fisheries are sustained, the effects of ocean acidification, and how life operates in a dynamic ocean.
This degree programme will focus on practical aspects of marine science and will provide grounding in ‘hands on’ quantitative studies of chemical and physical marine science. There will be the opportunity to participate in field/project work throughout the course of your studies, as well as a full sea practical using UK marine facilities during Year Three. You will undertake a major research project in your final year.
The degree in Ocean Sciences at Liverpool is accredited by the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology.
A number of the School’s degree programmes involve laboratory and field work. The field work 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.
Department Key Facts
National Student Survey
• 100% of our students said staff are good at explaining things (National Student Survey 2016)
• 93% of our students are satisfied overall with their programme (National Student Survey 2016)
Facts and figures
1st UK university to open a Department of Oceanography
Why this subject?
Be part of a group whose world-leading research is helping to tackle today’s greatest environmental challenges
Our research into the vulnerability of marine species and habitats to fishing, global climate change and coastal development is helping organisations such as the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea to develop sustainable management plans.
Bring your studies to life with field teaching
Field teaching is at the centre of learning in all years, because it gives students a practical hands-on experience to gain an understanding of the natural environment that cannot be achieved in the classroom alone. Our residential field course locations currently include Pembrokeshire, Devon and the west coast and highlands of Scotland but we also regularly get out into the local area around North West England and North Wales.
Broaden your perspective by experiencing study overseas
All of our students organise and undertake an independent study visit overseas to a country of their choice. This gives you vital scientific work experience on a subject that interests you. You will also learn about the culture and biodiversity of another country and expand your network of contacts. An increasing number of our students take the chance to study abroad during their second year with one of our exchange partners in countries such as Australia, Canada, Malaysia and Sweden.
Benefit from our excellent facilities and partnerships
Our outstanding facilities include our custom-built remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROVs), long-term field study sites, and the Central Teaching Laboratories (CTL). Students use the CTL’s state-of-the-art facilities and equipment for practical work, field work and analytical skills such as Geographical Information Systems (GIS). Liverpool hosts the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) who contribute to research-led teaching. Local, national and international partners including World Museum Liverpool, RSPB and the Marine Biological Association help with field teaching and research projects.