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Biodiversity & Society - ENV00036H

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  • Department: Environment and Geography
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Laura Chapman
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23

Related modules

Co-requisite modules

  • None

Prohibited combinations

  • None

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2022-23 to Spring Term 2022-23

Module aims

Biodiversity is threatened by global environmental change due to human society, however, it provides many ecosystem services required by humans. Within urban areas, for example, opportunities to interact with biodiversity may be rare but can have cultural and health benefits to humans. This module will also provide an overview of the principles and techniques involved in the management of wild vertebrate populations, both the problems caused by wildlife and the conservation of wildlife populations. This is an interdisciplinary module concentrating on the importance of biodiversity to human society, resolving conflicts between human society, conservation goals and institutions for biodiversity management.
This module is designed to:
Equip students with the frameworks and approaches demanded for effective ecosystem-based management that includes both people and environment.
Develop an understanding of experimental approaches for collecting and analysing biodiversity data
Introduce a range of topical case studies may include urban ecology, pollinator ecology and conservation, birds in agricultural landscapes, Issues related to in situ conservation and managing wildlife for harvesting.
Prepare students for a range of future careers in research and ecosystem or wildlife management.

Module learning outcomes

At the end of this module successful students should:
- understand the importance of biodiversity
- understand the range of approaches available for studying and linking ecological
and social systems in the real world;
- understand the basic ecological principles and tools of the trade involved in wildlife conservation and management.
- be aware of the methods available for identifying, managing and resolving conflicts between different stakeholder groups in ecosystem management;
- appreciate the potential and challenges of inter-disciplinary approaches to solving real-world problems.
- be able to use a range of approaches to analyse and disseminate environmental data.

Generic / Employability Skills:

  • Through group discussions and problem based learning approaches, the students will develop skills in critical thinking, real world problem solving and presentation skills
  • Coursework assessment will develop skills in scientific and non-technical writing.
  • Field practicals will develop an appreciation of the issues involved in designing research projects .

More, generic skills that will arise from this are:

  • Ability to devise methodologies for collecting relevant data.
  • Ability to give oral presentations.
  • Ability to work in a group.
  • Ability to think critically about research methods.
  • Development of independent research skills.
  • Problem analysis and task prioritisation.
  • Time management.

The module provides understanding and hands-on experience of some key methodologies of environmental management used in a wide range of sectors:

  • Environmental impact assessment
  • Ecological assessment
  • Nature conservation
  • Countryside management
  • Agriculture and environment
  • Wildlife management


Task Length % of module mark
Field Work Report
N/A 30
Online Exam - 24 hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Biodiversity and Society Open Exam
8 hours 70

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Reassessment - coursework
N/A 100

Module feedback

Verbal feedback during a timetabled feedback session. Written feedback on formative assessment via the VLE. Written feedback on summative assessment.

Indicative reading

Hooper, al. (2005) Effect of Biodiversity on Ecosystem Functioning: A Consensus of Current Knowledge. Ecological Monographs, 75 (1), 2005, pp 3 P 35.
Post, ERO et al (1999). Ecosystem consequences of wolf behavioural response to climate. Nature 401(6756): 905P907.
Raffaelli, D and Frid, CJ (2010). Ecosystem Ecology: a New Synthesis. Cambridge University Press.
Sutherland W.J. (2006) Ecological Census Techniques: A Handbook. Cambridge University Press
Caughley, G. & Gunn, A. (1996) Conservation biology in theory and practice. Blackwell Science, Oxford.
Caughley, G. & Sinclair, A.R.E. (1994) Wildlife ecology and management. Blackwell Science, Oxford.
Hudson, P.J., Rizzoli, A., Grenfell, B., Heesterbeek, H. & Dobson, A.P. (2002) The ecology of wildlife diseases. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0 19 850619 8.
Milner-Gulland, E.J. & Mace, R. (1998) Conservation of biological resources. Blackwell Science, Oxford.
Sinclair, A.R.E., Fryxell, J. & Caughley, A.R.E (2006) Wildlife ecology, conservation and management, 2md edition. Blackwell Science, Oxford. (this book is a new, updated edition of Caughley & Sinclair, 1994)
Sutherland, W.J. (ed.) (1998) Conservation science and action. Blackwell Science, Oxford.

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.