Ocean Sciences MOSci (Hons)

Key information


  • Course length: 4 years
  • UCAS code: F710
  • Year of entry: 2020
  • Typical offer: A-level : AAB / IB : 35 / BTEC : Not accepted
Lecture

Module details

Year One Compulsory Modules

  • Climate, Atmosphere and Oceans (ENVS111)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting80:20
    Aims

    Introduce the climate system, the atmosphere and ocean:

    Address how the climate system varies and how climate is controlled by radiative forcing;

    How the structure of the atmosphere is determined and how the atmosphere circulates;

    How the structure of the ocean is determined and how the ocean circulates;

    How the atmosphere and ocean vary together;

    How the past state of the climate system is affected by the ocean circulation.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) 1. Knowledge and Understanding   a. Understand how physical processes operate within the climate system, the atmosphere and the ocean. b. Appreciate the complexity of the climate system, the effect of radiative forcing, the concept of feedbacks, how rotation affects the circulation; the differences between currents and waves. c. Gain awareness of the similarities and differences between the atmosphere and ocean.

    (LO2) 2. Intellectual Abilities a. To be able to evaluate the relative importance of different physical processes in the climate systemb. To develop critical skills in transferring insight gained from one problem to another problem, such as how the atmosphere circulates from one planet to another planet.

    (LO3) 3. Subject Based Practical Skills   a. Perform simple order of magnitude calculations and make inferences from the results. b. Understand the use of dimensions.

    (LO4) 4. General Transferable Skills   a. Application of numbers, involving order of magnitudes and dimensions. b. Time management. c. Problem solving.

    (S1) Problem solving skills

    (S2) Numeracy

  • Marine Ecosystems: Diversity, Processes and Threats (ENVS122)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting100:0
    Aims

    This module aims to introduce students to the diversity of ecosystem types in the marine environment and the various threats that they face.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Acquire knowledge and understanding of representative key ecosystems found in the marine environment.

    (LO2) Be familiar with the marine organisms that live in representative key marine ecosystems.

    (LO3) Acquire a basic knowledge of fundamental ecological principles, transferable to later marine and non-marine modules.

    (LO4) Be aware of the threats that humans may pose to marine ecosystems.

    (LO5) Appreciate how humans assess and may mitigate detrimental impacts to the environment.

    (LO6) Be introduced to the importance to their future studies of critical reading of scientific literature.

  • Essential Mathematical Skills (ENVS117)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting100:0
    Aims

    To create a firm foundation of mathematics relating to pure maths, physics (mechanics) and statistics.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) At the end of the module a student should be able to demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of pure mathematics, mathematics mechanics, and statistical mathematics.

    (LO2) At the end of the module the student should be able to;

    - Demonstrate skills in the application of mathematical methods to the solution of problems.

    - Use dimensional analysis and apply it to real world problems.

    (LO3) At the end of the module a student should be able to;

    - Do simple estimations by hand

    - Rearrange algebraic formulae to make the required quantity the subject

    - Insert values in a formula and calculate the correct answer

    - Basic calculus.

    (S1) Problem solving skills

    (S2) Numeracy

  • Study Skills (ocean Sciences) (ENVS103)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterWhole Session
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    To train students to make observations, collect and record data using basic oceanographic equipment.
    To train students to carry out analytical work in laboratory conditions.
    To improve students' oral and written communication skills, including their ability to reference correctly.
    To improve students' numerical skills, specifically in statistics.
    To enthuse students about ocean sciences through reading and discussing topics selected for oral presentation.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Write an essay and reference correctly

    (LO2) Quantitatively summarise, synthesise and interpret data collected during fieldwork

    (LO3) Communicate effectively to their peers

    (LO4) Perform analytical tasks (e.g. measurement of oxygen, chlorophyll, iron) in laboratory conditions.

    (S1) Numeracy/computational skills - Confidence/competence in measuring and using numbers

    (S2) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills - written

    (S3) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills - visual

    (S4) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Academic writing (inc. referencing skills)

    (S5) Critical thinking and problem solving - Synthesis

    (S6) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills – oral

  • Theory and Laboratory Experiments in Earth Surface Processes (ENVS165)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
    Aims

    The module uses a lecture and laboratory-based problem-solving approach to explore some of the fundamental physical and chemical processes underlying physical geography. It is designed to provide a foundation for environmental and physical geography modules in the second and third years.

    It also aims to provide training in careful observation, appropriate handing of liquid and solid samples, and correct use of analytical instruments. Throughout there is emphasis on quality control via replication and reference materials, and appropriate use of descriptive and inferential statistics.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) The core processes and landforms underlying major geomorphic systems

    (LO2) Long term environmental change – Pleistocene and Holocene

    (LO3) A deeper understanding of processes that underlie the interaction between people and the physical environment

    (LO4) Specific knowledge in the use of selected important analytical instruments; and general knowledge about the principles and practice of accurate and precise measurement

    (LO5) Appropriate treatment of data, including quality control, graphical representation, and statistical analysis

    (S1) IT skills

    (S2) Numeracy

    (S3) Problem solving skills

    (S4) Teamwork

Year One Optional Modules

  • Ecology and Conservation (ENVS157)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting80:20
    Aims

    The module aims to introduce students to the key principles that govern the interactions between organisms and their environment, and how these can be used as the basis for conservation.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Understandand explain fundamental principles of how ecological systems are structured andhow they function at the scale of individuals, populations and communities

    (LO2) Tounderstand the effects of human activities on communities and ecosystems at arange of timescales

    (LO3) Developan ability to critically evaluate how ecological understanding and data can beused to inform conservation policy

    (S1) Global perspectives demonstrate international perspectives as professionals/citizens; locate, discuss, analyse, evaluate information from international sources; consider issues from a variety of cultural perspectives, consider ethical and social responsibility issues in international settings; value diversity of language and culture

    (S2) Positive attitude/ self-confidence A 'can-do' approach, a readiness to take part and contribute; openness to new ideas and the drive to make these happen

    (S3) Learning skills online studying and learning effectively in technology-rich environments, formal and informal

    (S4) Information literacy online, finding, interpreting, evaluating, managing and sharing information

  • Environmental Chemistry (ENVS153)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting55:45
    Aims

    To provide a basic understanding of chemistry relevant for environmental sciences.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) a. describe the structure of an atom, its electronic configuration and predict some of its chemical behaviour based on its position in the periodic table;

    (LO2) b. understand the inter andintramolecular forces that bond molecules and atoms together to form "matter", and thusexplain why for instance water is a liquid atroom temperature while oxygen is a gas;

    (LO3) c. name chemical compounds, write balanced chemical reactions and understand howthe amount of products and reactants can be predicted;

    (LO4) d. understand what redox reactions are and be able to work them out;

    (LO5) e. understand basics of aquatic chemistry such aspH, concentration, dilution; understand energy changes in chemical reactions;

    (LO6) f. know the basics of organic biogeochemistry.

    (S1) Problem solving/ critical thinking/ creativity analysing facts and situations and applying creative thinking to develop appropriate solutions.

    (S2) Numeracy (application of) manipulation of numbers, general mathematical awareness and its application in practical contexts (e.g. measuring, weighing, estimating and applying formulae)

  • Introduction to Sedimentary Rocks and Fossils (ENVS118)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting75:25
    Aims

    The aim of this module is to provide an introduction to the study of sediments and sedimentary rocks and to introduce the main groups of common fossil.

    The module aims to cover the basic language used to describe sediments and fossils and gives an introduction to a range of physical, chemical and biological concepts.

    The students are introduced to the economic significance of sediments and sedimentary rocks and how fossils provide information on geological time, evolutionary history and ancient environments.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) 1. On successful completion of this module, a student will be able to describe sediments and sedimentary rocks at outcrop, hand specimen and thin section scales, identifying and naming key structures and fabrics.

    (LO2) 2. On successful completion of this module, a student will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the relationships between process and product for both depositional and diagenetic features and be able to discuss the utility of sedimentary rocks to determine processs and, to a lesser extent, environment.

    (LO3) 3. On successful completion of this module, a student will be able to describe, name and identify and interpret the main features of common fossils.

    (LO4) 4. On successful completion of this module, a student will be able to demonstrate an understanding of how organisms are preserved as fossils, and of the utility of fossils to identify ancient modes of life, environments and relative ages of rocks.

    (S1) Problem solving skills

    (S2) Organisational skills

    (S3) Commercial awareness

    (S4) Communication skills

    (S5) Teamwork

    (S6) Lifelong learning skills

  • Living With Environmental Change (ENVS119)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting100:0
    Aims

    The over-arching aim of this module is to introduce students to the so-called ‘Grand Challenges’ facing society and what is being done to address them. Living with Environmental Change is a key interdisciplinary research theme currently being addressed worldwide; from tackling climate change and carbon emissions to promoting sustainable resource use and energy efficiency. This module illustrates that an interdisciplinary approach is crucial to identifying the underlying problems faced by humanity and to finding holistic and sustainable solutions.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Obtain an understanding of the Grand Challenges facing society;

    (LO2) Develop an appreciation of the significance of interdisciplinary working in addressing the Grand Challenges;

    (LO3) Understand that Geography plays a key role in the Living With Environmental Change (LWEC) research agenda;

    (LO4) Become familiar with the linkages between research, policy and sustainability.

    (S1) Abstraction and synthesis of information

    (S2) Assessing the merits of contrasting theories and explanations

    (S3) Taking responsibility for learning and reflection upon that learning

    (S4) Synthesising, contextualising and critically evaluating information of different styles and from different sources

  • Marine Biology: Life in the Seas and Oceans (ENVS121)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims

    This module will introduce students to the main groups of organisms found in the marine environment. Students will encounter these groups in subsequent modules and field studies and gaining a familiarity with them in this module will enable them to recognise them and understand their role in marine ecosystems.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Acquire knowledge and understanding on the taxonomic and functional diversity of marine life.

    (LO2) Develop the ability to recognise the major groups of marine organisms using their key features

    (LO3) Experience how to examine marine organisms and understand their functional biology using different kinds of specimens and approaches.

    (LO4) Recognise the adaptational solutions to functional problems adopted by marine organisms

    (S1) Teamwork

    (S2) Information literacy online, finding, interpreting, evaluating, managing and sharing information

    (S3) Problem solving skills

Year Two Compulsory Modules

  • Key Skills for Environmental Data Analysis (ENVS202)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    To develop skills in environmental data analysis by applying the Matlab  computing package to process, analyse and plot data. To develop a critical approach to the results of data analysis .

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) 1. Knowledge and Understanding  At the end of the module the student should a) know how to write a program script in Matlabb) know how to process and plot ocean and climate data using Matlab

    (LO2) 2. Intellectual Abilities  At the end of the module the student should be able to: a) know how to construct problems and use problem solving skills.b) analyse and interpret signals in environmental data.c) implement programming methods used for simple models and time-series analysis

    (LO3) 3. Subject Based Practical Skills  At the end of the module the student should be able to: a) write a computer program to analyse and plot environmental datab) interpret a range of forms of plotted data

    (LO4) 4. General Transferable Skills  At the end of the module, the student should have: a) Gained ability in formulating problems and acquiring order of magnitude solutionsb) Gained computing skills and familiarity with computing methods and programmingc) Gained confidence and ability in interpreting data presented in a variety of forms

    (S1) Problem solving skills

    (S2) Numeracy

  • Life in A Dynamic Ocean (ENVS265)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting80:20
    Aims

    To gain an appreciation of how ecosystems in the ocean are intricately linked to their physical fluid environment;
    To understand how microbial life is affected by molecular diffusion and turbulence;
    To understand the challenges faced by microscopic life in the viscous fluid of the ocean;
    To address how mean flows in the ocean can be vital in the life stages of larger marine organisms;
    To appreciate the global differences in plankton communities, and the underlying reasons for those differences;
    To understand the problem of how community diversity is maintained in the ocean, and the current theories attempting to explain this diversity.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Students will gain a broad understanding of how different plankton communities arise in different oceanic regimes, and how that ultimately structures food chains to larger marine animals.

    (LO2) Students will be able to compare quantitatively the scales of different processes, and critically assess their relative importance for life in the ocean.

    (LO3) Students will strengthen, and acquire new, skills in quantifying physical-biological drivers of ecosystems.

    (LO4) Students will learn the important of a multi-disciplinary approach on marine biology and gain experience in solving novel problems.

    (S1) Problem solving skills

    (S2) Numeracy

    (S3) Numeracy (application of) manipulation of numbers, general mathematical awareness and its application in practical contexts (e.g. measuring, weighing, estimating and applying formulae)

    (S4) Problem solving/ critical thinking/ creativity analysing facts and situations and applying creative thinking to develop appropriate solutions.

  • Marine Ecophysiology, Ecology and Exploitation (ENVS251)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting55:45
    Aims

    This module aims to provide students with essential background in marine ecology, ecophysiology and resource exploitation required for study at higher levels. Students will also develop the ability to evaluate and critique the scientific literature, as well as the ability to draw in relevant information from multiple topics areas to address this module aims to provide students with essential background in marine ecology, ecophysiology and resource exploitation required for study at higher levels. Students will also develop the ability to evaluate and critique the scientific literature, as well as the ability to draw in relevant information from multiple topics areas to address multi-disciplinary topics.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Be familiar with some key physiological adaptations necessary to survive in the marine environment

    (LO2) Understand the imporance of some key ecological concepts that underpin the stucturing of marine communities

    (LO3) Develop a basic understanding of key human activities that can affect individuals, populations and communities of marine animals

    (LO4) Develop the ability to read and critically evaluate scientific papers

    (LO5) Develop the ability to research, plan and write essay questions that tackle multi-disciplinary issues (using material from across the module as necessary)

    (S1) Communication, listening and questioning respecting others, contributing to discussions, communicating in a foreign language, influencing, presentations

    (S2) Literacy application of literacy, ability to produce clear, structured written work and oral literacy - including listening and questioning

    (S3) Research management developing a research strategy, project planning and delivery, risk management, formulating questions, selecting literature, using primary/secondary/diverse sources, collecting & using data, applying research methods, applying ethics

    (S4) Problem solving/ critical thinking/ creativity analysing facts and situations and applying creative thinking to develop appropriate solutions.

    (S5) Numeracy (application of) manipulation of numbers, general mathematical awareness and its application in practical contexts (e.g. measuring, weighing, estimating and applying formulae)

    (S6) Learning skills online studying and learning effectively in technology-rich environments, formal and informal

    (S7) Global perspectives demonstrate international perspectives as professionals/citizens; locate, discuss, analyse, evaluate information from international sources; consider issues from a variety of cultural perspectives, consider ethical and social responsibility issues in international settings; value diversity of language and culture

  • Marine Pollution (ENVS232)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims

    To introduce students to the main anthropogenic stressors, their effects and importance on the marine system

    To develop an awareness of the current problems

    To train students in literature search and reading of scientific papers

    To enhance writing and communication skills

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) An understanding of the main anthropogenic stressors of the marine system, their causes, functioning, effects and their remediation/regulation;

    (LO2) An awareness of current problems (news + scientific papers)

    (LO3) To enhance communication skills

    (LO4) To learn how to use Web of Science

    (S1) Communication skills

    (S2) International awareness

  • Ocean Environments (ENVS266)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting70:30
    Aims

    Provide students with a quantitative understanding of some key oceanographic concepts, applied to coastal seas. Provide students with knowledge of how the oceanography of a coastal sea supports biological production. Allow students to gain experience in the use of a simple computer model to design and carry out experiments on coastal oceanography. Provide students with practical experience of making basic, useful calculations applied to coastal oceanography.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Students will acquire knowledge of key concepts in oceanography

    (LO2) Students will learn to appreciate the need to consider a theory's underlying assumptions when testing its appropriateness as an explanation for a phenomenon

    (LO3) Students will develop skills in framing testable hypotheses.

    (LO4) Students will acquire experience in the use of a simple computer model in testing a hypothesis.

    (LO5) Students will gain experience in reaching quantified answers to problems in the coastal and open ocean.

    (LO6) Students will develop an understanding of how the physics and biology of the ocean are linked

    (LO7) Students will acquire skills in writing a structured scientific report.

    (S1) Problem solving skills

    (S2) Numeracy

    (S3) Communication skills

  • Practical Skills for Ocean Scientists (ENVS220)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterWhole Session
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    To provide students with

    Knowledge of the scope of graduate jobs available to a graduate in ocean science, along with an understanding of how to present a portfolio of skills and respond to the different methods used in assessment of job applicants.

    Understanding of the practical methods used to measure and analyse physical and biogeochemical quantities in the ocean, in both the context of ocean research and in the commercial world.

    The skills to be able to the process and analyse oceanographic data in order to understand processes in the ocean.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Knowledge and Understanding:

    Careers-related:

    The scope of graduate-level jobs available to someone with the skills learnt on an oceans-related degree;
    The routes into further study at post-graduate level;
    The importance of developing an on-line profile for today's job market;
    The different techniques (e.g. on-line, video) used in assessment of job applicants.

    Subject-specific:

    Navigation;
    Measurements of temperature, salinity;
    Measurements of currents – both direct and indirect methods;
    Remote sensing;
    Chlorophyll analysis;
    Nutrient Analysis;

    Oxygen Analysis) Analysis of Particles) Data quality/analysis techniques including:          
    Manipulation of CTD and current data;      
    Calculation of water column properties from discrete sampling;         
    Calibration of instrumentation using discrete samples.

    (LO2) IntellectualAbilities:

    At the end of themodule a student should be able toevaluate the quality and significance of oceanographic data, and understand how data is used in both commercial and research environments.

    (LO3) Subject Based ractical Skills:

    At the end of themodule a student should be able to apply skills in:
    Processing and analysing hydrographic data;
    Processingand analysing current meter data;
    Calculatingcurrents from indirect measurements and hydrographic data;
    Analysis of nutrient, oxygen and particulate samples;
    Interpreting nutrient, oxygen and particulate data;
    Planning cruise tracks.

    (S1) Problem solving skills

    (S2) Numeracy

    (S3) Communication skills

    (S4) IT skills

Year Two Optional Modules

  • Catchment Hydrology (ENVS217)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    The module aims to enable students to investigate and understand the main hydrological processes operating in drainage catchments in terms of their measurement, operation and controlling factors. The module will provide students with a 'hands-on' experience of both observing hydrology and modelling hydrological systems, with an emphasis on applied learning, which might be useful in a vocational sense in the future. The module will aim to deliver excellent training for students in the knowledge required to work in a wide variety of environmentally-facing careers, including those with the EA, Natural England or DEFRA, as well as Environmental Consultancies.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Describe the key hydrological components of the catchment system

    (LO2) Explain the main controlling factors on hydrological processes occurring within drainage catchments

    (LO3) Analyse and predict the response of catchments to rainfall events

    (LO4) Evaluate methods used to predict river flows

    (LO5) Review the environmental variables that control lake functioning and eutrophication

  • Climatology (ENVS231)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
    Aims

    The module aims to provide knowledge and understanding across a number of areas of meteorology and weather, covering physical processes. These processes are covered at a detailed level and supported by an overview of the subject area. This module gives the scientific foundation for more discursive as well as process orientated final year modules. The practicals provide an introduction to aspects of meteorological analysis. These are supported through the general lecture programme.  The practical series add to the learning experience and skills to enable students to apply what is learnt in the lecture programme.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Evaluate appropriate theories, methods and techniques

    (LO2) Recognise how selected environments interact with appropriate atmospheric and weather processes

    (LO3) Understand different weather from high, mid and tropical latitudes

    (LO4) Apply practical data analysis.

    (S1) The handling of large datasets

    (S2) Written and graphical communication

    (S3) Analysis and problem-solving through quantitative and qualitative methods

    (S4) Numeracy and statistical literacy

  • Geomorphology: Ice, Sea and Air (ENVS252)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting67:33
    Aims

    The module aims  to 1) develop an understanding of major geomorphic systems  and 2) how they create terrestrial landforms.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) On completion of this module the students will demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding ofthe functioning of major geomorphic processes

    (LO2) On completion of this module the students will demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of the relationship between geomorphic processes and climate

    (LO3) On completion of this module the students will demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of the magnitude, frequency and spatial scales and timescales under which geomorphic processes operate

    (LO4) On completion of this module the students will demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of the importance of linkages between geomorphic process, material and resulting landform (energy/material interaction).

    (S1) Field work: measuring and quantifying an observable process

    (S2) Group work: generating data through team work

    (S3) Study skill

    (S4) Field work: logging and mapping sediments in lateral and vertical succession

Year Three Compulsory Modules

  • Global Carbon Cycle (ENVS335)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting70:30
    Aims

    To provide students with a view of the ocean carbon cycle as a dynamic system;
    To give students an appreciation of the importance of chemical and biological processes in controlling the distribution of carbon in the ocean;
    To provide students with an in depth understanding of the carbon cycle from the surface ocean, to the deep ocean and sediments, and the impact environmental change may have on it.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Students will learn how physical, chemical and biological process control the transfer of carbon between the atmosphere, ocean and land, and the distribution of carbon species between these environments

    (LO2) Students will understand the role and significance that the ocean plays in the global cycling of carbon

    (LO3) Students will understand the pathways involved in cycling of inorganic and organic carbon between land and the ocean and the surface and deep ocean, with emphasis on the solubility, carbonate and biological pumps

    (LO4) Students will understand how stable isotopes can be used to study the carbon cycle and how it has varied in Earth's history

    (LO5) Students will understand how environmental change is perturbing the global carbon cycle in the present day. Topics covered will include ocean acidification and changes in the surface temperature

    (S1) Numeracy (application of) manipulation of numbers, general mathematical awareness and its application in practical contexts (e.g. measuring, weighing, estimating and applying formulae)

    (S2) Problem solving/ critical thinking/ creativity analysing facts and situations and applying creative thinking to develop appropriate solutions.

    (S3) Communication, listening and questioning, respecting others, contributing to discussions, influencing, presentations

  • Marine Sciences - Special Topics (ENVS366)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterWhole Session
    Exam:Coursework weighting70:30
    Aims

    To promote engagement, discussions and raise the overall awareness of the most topical research issues in Marine Sciences.

    Learning Outcomes

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

    (LO2) Improve critical reading of scientific literature.

    (LO3) Gain/Practice Transferable Communication Skills: Reporting the main research findings on topics (through a number of different media including oral presentation, poster presentation, essay) to an audience of their peers and academic staff.

    (S1) research skills

    (S2) communication skills

  • Ocean Dynamics (ENVS332)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting70:30
    Aims

    To gain a high level understanding of ocean and atmospheric dynamics:

    To understand the background state of the atmosphere and ocean;

    To address how tracers spread;

    To understand the effects of rotation and how jets and eddies form on a rotating planet;

    To understand how waves influence and interact with the ocean circulation;

    To understand why there are western boundary currents and gyres in ocean basins;

    To understand how topography shapes the deep ocean circulation over the globe.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Students will acquire knowledge of key concepts in ocean and atmosphere dynamics.

    (LO2) Students will learn to appreciate the approximate nature of theoretical ideas, and the strengths and weaknesses of such ideas as explanations of observed phenomena.

    (LO3) Students will develop mathematical skills in scale analysis of differential equations to isolate the essential phenomena.

    (LO4) Students will acquire experience in combining quantitative and qualitative understanding of dynamics to give clear explanations of observed phenomena in the ocean and atmosphere.

    (LO5) Students will develop an understanding of the factors controllng fluid flows on a range of rotating planets.

    (S1) Problem solving skills

    (S2) Numeracy

  • Ocean Sciences Research Project (ENVS377)
    Level3
    Credit level30
    SemesterWhole Session
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    To develop skills in all aspects of research in ocean sciences, including:

    literature searching, review and appraisal,

    design of experiments or models,

    practical and computing skills,

    collection and/or manipulation of data,

    construction of scientific hypotheses,

    oral communication and report writing.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Plan, organise and undertake a programme of research.

    (LO2) Make observations of data, reflect on outcomes and adjust the research design if necessary.

    (LO3) Interpret, critically evaluate and present the data.

    (LO4) Complete a scientific report of the research planned and undertaken

    (S1) Acquiring, analysing and assessing data

    (S2) Scientific writing

    (S3) Communicating results

  • Sea Practical (ENVS349)
    Level2
    Credit level30
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    The aim of this module is to teach basic field skills in laboratory work and ship work including: a) safety at sea, b) ship's operation, c) physical oceanographic and meteorological measurement, d) chemical sampling and e) analysis of water and sediment samples and f) interpretation of physical, chemical and biological oceanographic data from a coastal sea.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) 1. Knowledge and Understanding:   On completion of the module students should be able to demonstrate a knowledge of a) safety at sea, b) ship's operation, c) how physical oceanographic and meteorological measurements are made, d) how to take water and sediment samples, e) how to analyse water and sediment samples, f) oceanographic conditions in the study area,

    (LO2) 2. Intellectual Abilities: At the end of the module the student should be able to apply skills ina) devising marine sampling strategies b) evaluating the quality and significance of marine data c) evaluating publicly available meteorological data d) quality control field data,e) writing a focused, question-driven scientific report/paper

    (LO3) 3. Subject Based Practical Skills: At the end of the module students should be able to apply skills in work at sea and ashore including: a) planning a boar-based survey targeted at environmental quesions,b) physical oceanographic and meteorological measurement, c) chemical sampling and d) analysis of water and sediment samples.

    (S1) time management (setting and achieving objectives through a day at sea and producing a report by a deadline),

    (S2) teamwork (organising themselves to achieve the objectives and sharing data),

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

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

    (S5) report writing (through the final report)

    (S6) ethics

Year Three Optional Modules

  • Climate Change - A Critical Review (ENVS389)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims

    The module aims to provide students with the knowledge to evaluate likely outcomes climate change and climate variability over the next 100 years, to understand policy decisions at different levels, to obtain a critical understanding of climate predictions, and to understand the importance of reference to past and present climates.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Evaluate a range of future climate change projections .

    (LO2) Recognise the likely impacts of climate change to a range of sectors.

    (LO3) Learn how to engage with stakeholder communities with regard to climate change. 

    (LO4) Produce effectively targeted report writing and visual communication.

    (LO5) Consider the multiple sector impact of climate change on societies

    (S1) Learning and studying, Developing autonomous learning and metacognition  decision making and prioritising tasks

    (S2) Communication in formats appropriate to the audience

    (S3) Awareness of responsibility as a local, national and international citizen with a global perspective

    (S4) Taking responsibility for learning and reflection upon that learning

  • Evolution, Oceans and Climate (ENVS461)
    LevelM
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
    Aims

    The module aims to develop

    Skills - the manipulation and interpretation of numerical, stratigraphic and geochemical data, the synthesis of data and literature information and coherent scientific argument.

    Knowledge and understanding - of the major controls on the behaviour of the Earth's oceans and climates and the interaction of climate and the evolution of life on Earth. An appreciation of the role of physical, geochemical, palaeontological and sedimentological techniques in the study of ancient oceans and climates, and the relationships between changes in the physical environment and the development of life on Earth.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Students will develop an understanding of the key changes that have affected life on earth and the evolution of climate, atmosphere and oceans.

    (LO2) Students will develop an understanding of the use of geochemical, palaeontological and sedimentological data to determine and monitor past changes.

    (LO3) Through data analysis and dicussion students will develop skills to analyse and criticise the methodology and conclusions in published work.

    (LO4) Students will develop their core skills in data analysis, verbal and written comunication

    (S1) Communication skills through active participation in debates and the presentation of material in oral, written and graphical forms using traditional and electronic media. Problem solving skills through assignments.

    (S2) Students will gain practical skills in the interpretation of physical, chemical and biological data and in the graphical presentation of such data;

    (S3) Students are expected to develop an ability to synthesize and evaluate information from a variety of sources to be able to construct a coherent argument based on the available evidence.

  • Fluvial Environments (ENVS372)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims

    To develop understanding of functioning and stability/instability characteristics of fluvial geomorphic systems - in both humid and arid regions over timescales from the Pleistocene to the present day

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) By the end of the module, a student should be able to:-1. Describe and analyse the functioning of fluvial systems and apply major concepts (Assessed by exam)

    (LO2) 2. Explain the different temporal and spatial scales on which variations occur (Assessed by exam and essay)

    (LO3) 3. Analyse and evaluate the likely factors influencing fluvial responses (Assessed by essay and exam)

    (LO4) 4. Analyse and use field evidence of fluvial processes and landforms (Assessed by use of field experience in exam and essay)

    (LO5) 5. Critically evaluate and synthesise published literature (Assessed by essay)

    (S1) Lifelong learning skills

    (S2) Problem solving skills

    (S3) Communication skills

    (S4) Literacy application of literacy, ability to produce clear, structured written work and oral literacy - including listening and questioning

  • Science Communication (ENVS393)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterWhole Session
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    Provide key transferable skills to undergraduates, including: communication, presentation, practical classroom skills and team working. Provide classoom based experience for undergraduates who are considering teaching as a potential career Encourage a new generation of STEM teachers. Provide role models for pupils within schools located in areas of high deprivation. Increase University of Liverpool widening participation activites within merseyside.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Have an understanding of the UK educational system and relevant teaching and learning styles.

    (LO2) Have an understanding of the Widening Participation Agenda

    (LO3) Have an understanding of relevant STEM subjects and activities that would link into the National Curriculum

    (LO4) Develop appropriate STEM activities for KS2 and KS3 school groups that link with the National Curriculum

    (LO5) Reflect on and evaluate the effectiveness of the outreach acivities and their delivery

    (LO6) Be able to apply the relevant protocols and safeguarding practice when delivering within a school setting

    (LO7) Be able to apply practical knowledge of effective delivery styles when engaging with primary or secondary aged pupils

    (LO8) Have experience of planning the delivery of a project

    (LO9) Have experience of team working

    (LO10) Have experience of science communication in a variety of situations

    (S1) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills – oral

    (S2) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Influencing skills – envisioning

    (S3) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Academic writing (inc. referencing skills)

    (S4) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Communicating for audience

    (S5) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Report writing

    (S6) Time and project management - Project planning

    (S7) Critical thinking and problem solving - Evaluation

    (S8) Skills in using technology - Using common applications (work processing, databases, spreadsheets etc.)

    (S9) Global citizenship - Understanding of equality and diversity

    (S10) Personal attributes and qualities - Willingness to take responsibility

Year Four Compulsory Modules

  • From Sampling to Models in Ocean Biogeochemistry (ENVS413)
    LevelM
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    Develop an appreciation of how models are constrained by observation and the uncertainties in observations.;

    Provide an integrated view from laboratory analyses, field experiments and models for the cycling of carbon, nutrients and trace metals in the ocean;

    Develop analogue models based on laboratory experiments ;

    Acquire skills in error analysis, calibration and experimental design;

    Receive training in research and industry standard analytical instruments including nutrient analysers, spectrofluorometric, voltammetric and chromatographic systems.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Students should be able to design and carry out an experiment to measure key biogeochemical processes and write a concise and informative report

    (LO2) Students should be able to critically analyse and interpret a biogeochemical data set and calculate key parameters to be used in models (.e.g growth rates, nutrient assimilation rates)

    (LO3) Students should develop an appreciated of how models are constrained by observations and the uncertainties in observations

    (LO4) Students should develop skills in error analysis, calibration and experimental design

    (S1) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Academic writing (inc. referencing skills)

    (S2) Working in groups and teams - Time management

    (S3) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis

    (S4) Numeracy/computational skills - Reason with numbers/mathematical concepts

  • Integrated Masters Research Project (ENVS402)
    LevelM
    Credit level60
    SemesterWhole Session
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    Carry out a critical and focused survey of relevant scientific literature. Be able to articulate clearly, both written and orally, the state of knowledge in a wider field of science around the planned research, showing the relevance and timeliness of the planned research. Write coherent scientific prose in the format of a scientific paper targetted at a specific journal. Produce a concise, well-designed poster suitable for a scientific conference. Carry out independent research, with a clear focus on the research questions and using appropriate methods.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Be able to provide a critical and focused assessment of an area of scientific literature, including keeping records of key points made in the literature.

    (LO2) Be able to articulate the importance of a research question within the broader scientific context.

    (LO3) Be able to write scientific prose in typical formats used in science.

    (LO4) Be able to formulate testable hypotheses, and along with the methods and approach required to test them.

    (LO5) Be able to produce a poster for a scientific conference, and to recognise what makes a good (and a bad) poster.

    (S1) Improving own learning/performance - Record-keeping

    (S2) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills – oral

    (S3) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills - written

    (S4) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills - visual

    (S5) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Academic writing (inc. referencing skills)

    (S6) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis

    (S7) Critical thinking and problem solving - Synthesis

    (S8) Information skills - Information accessing:[Locating relevant information] [Identifying and evaluating information sources]

    (S9) Numeracy/computational skills - Problem solving

  • Modelling Processes in Oceans and Climate (ENVS414)
    LevelM
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    To allow the students to undertake independant work using the tools developed during each of the  phases of the course towards testing hypotheses quantitatively. To develop written communication skills To develop the ability to dissect numerical experiments towards providing process insight

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) By the end of this module a student will be able to write simple models to conduct quantitative assessments of the importance of different processes

    (LO2) By the end of this module a student will be able to communicate the results of numerical modelling in a short illustrated report that draws general conclusions

    (S1) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills - written

    (S2) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Academic writing (inc. referencing skills)

    (S3) Numeracy/computational skills - Numerical methods

    (S4) Numeracy/computational skills - Problem solving

Year Four Optional Modules

  • Analysing Climate Processes and Variablity (ENVS475)
    LevelM
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    To outline the modes of operation, timescales of variation and drivers of the global climate system;
    To introduce major research themes in the global climate system;     To introduce the techniques and approaches for the analysis of ocean, atmopshere and paleoclimate data sets; 
    To learn to discuss and present key findings from data analysis of large data sets.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Knowledge of how the Earth’s atmospheric and oceanic system operates, including the various spatial and temporal scales of the processes

    (LO2) The external and internals drivers of climate change

    (LO3) Basic techniques and research themes in ocean, atmospheric and paleoclimate research

    (LO4) Knowledge of the methods of data collection and production in ocean and atmospheric science.

    (LO5) Knowledge of the techniques of reconstruction of past climatic conditions

    (S1) Assessing the merits of contrasting theories and explanations

    (S2) Numeracy and statistical literacy

    (S3) Ability to work responsibly, autonomously and with others

    (S4) The handling of large datasets

  • Politics of the Environment (ENVS525)
    LevelM
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
    Aims

    This unit is designed to critically evaluate the political responses to the growing impact that environmental issues and the concept of sustainability are having on decision making at all levels of governance (international, national and local). More specifically the unit aims to:

    Develop a critical understanding of the growing importance of environmental and sustainable development thinking in political decision-making processes;

    Explore different environmental attitudes, values and perspectives and examine the impact on various political perspectives;

    Develop a critical understanding of the opportunities and limitations of environmental decision making international dimension of environmental politics and its impact on nation states;

    Understand the role that environmental pressure groups have in shaping political decisions at the international, national and local levels of governance;

    Critically evaluate the policy responses at national and local levels to the new emerging environmental agenda.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) a critical appreciation of how environmental issues are being addressed at all levels of governance;

    (LO2)  a critical understanding of different environmental values and attitudes and the way that these impact upon political philosophy and decision-making;

    (LO3) a critical understanding of the way that various environmental interest groups impact on political and other decision making processes.

    (S1) Communication skills

    (S2) International awareness

    (S3) Ethical awareness

  • Introduction to Quaternary Micropalaeontology (ENVS542)
    LevelM
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    This module seeks to provide a deep and comprehensive understanding on methods and techniques used in micropalaeontology that will enable students to have an insight in a research field that is relevant for environmental sciences as well as geosciences, including biostratigraphy, palaeoclimatology, palaeoecology and palaeoceanography.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Have an understanding at research level of biological proxies that are used to qualitatively and quantitatively reconstruct Quaternary environments

    (LO2) Be able to identify at a species level marine and terrestrial key microfossils

    (LO3) Understand principles of uniformitarianism and palaeoecology

    (LO4) Understand and apply principles of qualitative reconstructions of past conditions

    (LO5) Understand and apply principles of quantitativereconstructions of past conditions

    (LO6) Appreciate limitations of the biological proxies and the statistical analysis of their relationships with environmental conditions

    (S1) Numeracy

    (S2) research skills

    (S3) laboratory procedures

    (S4) Communication skills

    (S5) Teamwork

    (S6) Problem solving skills

    (S7) IT skills

    (S8) Organisational skills

  • Research in Anthropocene Environments (ENVS485)
    LevelM
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    The aim of this module is to provide students with:

    The opportunity to conduct in depth piece of research on a chosen topic within the broad theme of human impacts on the environment;

    Provide students with training in research methods and critical analysis techniques;

    Teach them to write a short concise abstract (in a conference format);

    To present the results in the form of a high impact, high quality A0 poster.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) 1. Demonstrate an understanding of anthropocene environments;

    (LO2) 2. Knowledge of a series of key case studies illustrating interactions between human activities and terrestrial and marine ecosystems;

    (LO3) 3. Critically analyse and assess previously published materials and synthesize into an appropriate case study;

    (LO4) 4. Write a concise abstract;

    (LO5) 5. Demonstrate knowledge of poster development and construction;

    (LO6) 6. Present a poster in a professional manner.

    (S1) Problem solving skills

    (S2) Communication skills

    (S3) IT skills

    (S4) Organisational skills

The programme detail and modules listed are illustrative only and subject to change.


Teaching and Learning

Teaching takes place through lectures, practicals, workshops, seminars, tutorials and computer based learning, with an emphasis on learning through doing. The award-winning £23 million Central Teaching Laboratories provides a state-of-the-art facility for undergraduate practical work.

Students value the learning opportunities provided by field classes, including the rapid feedback on performance. You will typically receive at least 15 hours of formal teaching each week. Between 30 and 100 hours of fieldwork and hands-on activities are provided each year depending on the discipline.

A typical module might involve two or three one-hour lectures each week, and often a three- hour laboratory or computer-based practical as well. Tutorials typically involve groups of 4-7 students meeting with a member of staff at least every two weeks in Year One and Two. In Year Three, you will undertake an Honours project, which is a piece of independent research (field, laboratory or data analysis) on a topic of your choice, supervised by a member of staff. In Years Three and Four students meet with their project supervisor on a weekly or more frequent basis. As you progress through your degree, you will be increasingly challenged to engage with current debates, to think critically and to study independently.

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 students with disabilities on the same basis as all other students, and reasonable adjustments will be considered to address barriers to access.