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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science

Aquatic Environments & Resources Pathway

"When the well is dry, we learn the worth of water" Benjamin Franklin

780 million people globally lack access to clean water, while our seas are threatened by pollution and overexploitation.

This pathway explores the interaction between humans, water and aquatic environments, so our graduates understand about the management of these precious resources.

Students focus on the biological, chemical, physical and management aspects of water in the environment. Aspects of aquatic environments and water-related resources, and our relationship with them, are covered through a diverse range of modules encompassing hydrology, geomorphology, oceanography, aquatic ecology and river management.

Students can develop their knowledge of both freshwater and marine environments (focussing on one if they wish), combined with the study of water as an essential resource.

Year 1

Core Programme Modules (on all pathways)

Environmental Science: Concepts and Communication

Environmental Science: Research and Applications  (field/practical module)

Quantitative Methods

Environmental Field Techniques and Applications (residential field course)

Compulsory pathway modules

Earth and ocean systems

Introduction to marine ecology

Dynamic Landscapes

Ecology and evolution

Year 2

Core Programme Modules (on all pathways)

Environmental Pollution

Environmental Impact Assessment

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for Environmental Scientists

Environment and Sustainability

Compulsory pathway modules

Freshwater ecosystems

Optional modules

Animal Behaviour

Environmental Chemistry 1: Aquatic Chemistry

Social Enterprise

Business Skills for Employability

Ethics in a Complex World

The Management of Risk and Uncertainty

Global climate change: science, impacts and policy

Coastal and estuarine oceanography 1

Coastal and estuarine oceanography 2

Ecological processes in the marine benthos

Pure and applied population ecology

Remote sensing for earth observation

Phytoplankton and primary production


Introduction to energy in the environment

Coastal Landscapes and Human Interactions

Environmental Instrumentation

Global Water Resources

Concepts and Methods for Environmental Management

Year 3

Core Programme Modules (on all pathways)

Individual Project (BSc only)

Environmental Law and Management

Advanced Quantitative Methods (MEnvSci only)

Environmental Field Studies (MEnvSci Only)

Optional modules

Environmental Field Studies

Sustainable Resource Management

Costal Sediment Dynamics

Marine Fisheries Ecology

Water & Wastewater Engineering 1

Complex socio-ecological systems: past, present and future

Environmental geology

Palaeoclimate change

Biodiversity and Conservation

River basin management

Applied ecology

Zooplankton ecology and processes

Biogeochemical cycles in the earth system

Global change biology: from molecules to ecosystem services

Advanced Quantitative Methods

The Sustainability Professional

Glaciers and Glaciation


UG Ambassador Scheme

Year 4 (MEnvSci only)

Core Programme Modules (on all pathways)

Advanced Research Project

Work Based Learning (work placement)

Optional modules

Air Quality and Environmental Pollution

Environmental Management Systems

River and fisheries restoration

Energy resources and engineering

Modelling Coastal Processes

Global climate cycles

Biogeochemical cycles in the earth system

Environmental radioactivity and radiochemistry

Coastal and maritime engineering and energy

Water and waste water engineering 2

Waste Resource Management

Groundwater Hydrology and Contamination

Water Resources Planning and Management

Photo of Ian Rolls
I believe it was the firm foundations and expert help and support provided by the University of Southampton that helped me get started in my career.
Ian RollsBSc Environmental Sciences
Photo of Alice Hall
I am River Programmes Co-ordinator for Thames21, an environmental charity which works with volunteers across London to improve London’s waterways.

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