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Ecology Field Course - BIO00084H

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  • Department: Biology
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Colin Beale
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25

Module summary

The module will provide an opportunity to learn and implement ecological fieldwork at an advanced level, and in the process, gain relevant research and employability skills for the sector. The module is focussed on designing and implementing individual field projects that test ecological theory.

Taught sessions will cover a modern understanding of the ecological processes that shape the landscape habitats in which the field work will be based and their application to ecology, land management and conservation. Workshop activities will support students in evaluating the relevant literature, developing project ideas, designing methodology, data analysis and communication. The module will be assessed by a written submission that includes communication and evaluation of the research question and its findings.

The core activity of the module is an overseas residential field course, with an alternative UK option available for those who are unable to travel.

NOTE: The field course will take place in the Semester 2 Common Assessment Period (CAP) and therefore students travelling overseas will be limited to option modules that have a coursework assessment. The list of permitted option modules will be communicated to students when they make their option module choices.

Related modules

Pre-requisite modules

Co-requisite modules

  • None

Prohibited combinations

  • None

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2024-25

Module aims

The module builds on knowledge and skills from Stage 1 and Stage 2 modules covering ecological topics, and Becoming a Bioscientist skills modules. Students will gain experience and confidence in field ecology. The acquisition of field, practical and analytical skills, alongside the assessment for this module will also support relevant research projects in Stage 3 and 4.

Module learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this module will be able to:

Design effective and robust ecological investigations and undertake individual field work to test and address ecological questions.

Access and critically evaluate literature pertaining to ecology and conservation in a field setting.

Demonstrate appropriate selection and use of statistical and analysis frameworks for ecological datasets.

Solve problems and challenges of experimental design, data collection and analysis.

Appraise the ethical and safety implications of their investigation and create solutions to mitigate them.

Effectively communicate the process of their investigation and its scientific outcomes.


Task Length % of module mark
Project Report
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Project Report
N/A 100

Module feedback

Marks for all summative assessments will be made available to you and your supervisor via e:vision. Feedback will be either individual or cohort-level, depending on the assessment format. You should take the opportunity to discuss your marks and feedback with your supervisor.

For exam-style summative assessment, model answers will be provided for all questions along with cohort-level feedback indicating how students answered questions in general. Marks achieved per question will be added to your script.

For coursework assessments (eg. reports or essays) you will receive individual feedback on your work. This will usually be in the form of a feedback sheet that will include suggestions for further improvement.

During the teaching of the module you will receive formative feedback that may be at a whole class or individual level. Such feedback may include: model answers and discussion of workshop questions, summaries of performance in practicals, VLE-based quizzes, individual spoken comments during workshops, individual written comments on formative work.

Indicative reading

These are available through the VLE module site.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.