Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Field and Laboratory Techniques
Academic Year
Semester 1 (Taught over 2 semesters)
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Other Fieldwork (3 days - 20 hours)
Practical Research Laboratory (20 hours)
Lecture 12 x 1 hour


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Scoping Report  to determine the nature and extent of issues to be addressed  10%
Semester Assessment Report  evaluating the field investigative approach set against agreed outcomes.  30%
Semester Assessment Report  evaluating the potential of novel techniques  30%
Semester Assessment Report  on the issue addressed and interpretation of information derived from the investigation  30%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit failed elements of assessment  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Identify key issues of design and quality control/assurance in environmental and biological investigations.

2. Establish "best practice" for investigating a selected problem in environmental, ecological or biological management.

3. Demonstrate understanding of "appropriate technology" by developing practical solutions to the problem under investigation.

4. Evaluate the potential application of recent technical advances for environmental and biological investigations.

5. Interpret complex datasets and make recommendations based on these findings.

Brief description

This module aims to provide practical experience in the application of a range of traditional and novel field/laboratory techniques for the investigation of realistic problems in environmental management and in biological/ecological investigations. Students will be involved in the design (including QA/QC measures) and implementation of investigations and will work within fixed practical and time constraints. Subsequently the approaches adopted will be evaluated against stated objectives and data interpreted with due regard to levels of confidence identified in the evaluation process.


This module aims to explain underlying principles and provide practical experience in the application of a range of innovative field/laboratory techniques appropriate to environmental management and biological/ecological investigations.


This new module addresses key issues and developments in environmental and biological investigations. The module will explore the concepts of "best practice" and how they are implemented under realistic investigation scenarios. The scope of novel and emerging technologies in informing practice will be explored.
A series of lectures given by Aberystwyth University or external specialists will cover aspects of the design and implementation of investigations with particular emphasis on whether they are "fit for purpose". Further lectures will then introduce novel technologies, explaining their theoretical basis and potential applications.
Students will gain practical experience of the field and laboratory techniques described in lectures by undertaking an investigation of a problem related to the subject area that they are studying.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Data handling arising from investigations – assessed in reports
Communication Students will be expected to express themselves appropriately in their reports.
Improving own Learning and Performance Detailed feedback will be given on assignments
Information Technology Students will be required to source information from a variety of scientific publication databases - assessed in reports
Personal Development and Career planning Students will have some choice in the area which is covered by their seminar, as such this will allow them to begin to specialize in areas of specific interest linked to their future career plans
Problem solving Problem solving skills will be developed in the designing and implementing investigations
Research skills Students will be required to undergo directed self-study and so will develop their literature research skills. These skills will be assessed in each of the module reports.
Subject Specific Skills Advanced field investigation and analytical techniques – assessed in reports
Team work Yes – particularly in fieldwork elements of the module


This module is at CQFW Level 7