As part of several modules, we offer field courses to enhance your learning and provide opportunities to study away from our campus. 

Each course includes field work, where you will gather and analyse data to form the basis of a research paper. We've previously offered opportunities to study marine and coastal biology environments in Scotland, the colourful flora and fauna of Mediterranean countries such as Portugal, or equally stunning locations in Yorkshire.

Examples of research projects

  • Monitoring changes in the grassland flora from year to year
  • Investigating the habitat requirements of rare plants
  • The effect of forest tracks on biodiversity
  • Understanding how bird/mammal/invertebrate diversity are associated and how each varies across habitats
  • The influence of tree litter on soil characteristics and composition
  • The relationship between floral diversity and distance from a beehive
  • Morphology of intertidal snails depending on environmental conditions 
  • Zonation on the shore
  • Adaptation to environmental conditions 
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This visit to Askham Bog, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve, is part of the Year 3 Ecology Field Course module.

Benefits of field courses

These extended courses provide the opportunity for you to gain practical field experience in a range of ecological settings and habitats. You will learn how to design an experiment and apply the theoretical knowledge that you have developed in lectures and workshops to real-world settings. Analysing this data will give you an insight into the exciting questions that ecologists can answer and the complexities that this can involve. 

These courses offer you the opportunity to work as part of a team when collecting your data, so you can build friendships and enjoy visiting new places. You'll lay the groundwork for later research, so you can feel confident in approaching a final-year research project if you choose to focus on an ecological question. 

Throughout our field courses you’ll learn from our academics and local experts about the species you’ll commonly encounter. You'll develop your identification skills and gain hands-on experience in ecological sampling techniques, whether your focus is plants, animals or more of an entire ecosystems approach. You’ll come away from these courses understanding how to recognise commonly found species, and with an in-depth knowledge of the study system related to your research question.

Career skills

The skills you develop are beneficial for careers in fields such as ecological consultancy, management, conservation and research. Following on from our field courses, some of our students also decide to develop their fieldwork skills even further by completing a year in industry in an ecological field. 

The skills you develop are beneficial for careers in fields such as ecological consultancy, management, conservation and research.