Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Terrestrial Ecology Field Course
Academic Year
Semester 1
Mutually Exclusive
BG32110 or BR30120 These field courses run concurrently with this module
Ecological Surveying is recommended but not essesntial
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Field Trip 4 x 9 Hour Field Trips
Practical 6 x 4 Hour Practicals
Seminar 1 x 3 Hour Seminar
Field Trip 2 x 8 Hour Field Trips


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment A series of assessments  30%
Semester Assessment Short report(s)  20%
Semester Assessment Practical report  40%
Semester Assessment Oral presentations  10%
Supplementary Assessment Students must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to failure of the module.  100%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Identify topical and relevant problems in ecology, conservation and environmental science

2. Demonstrate proficiency in identification of the main species and biotic components in the habitats in which the fieldcourse is taught

3. Demonstrate proficiency in a range of field-based data collection /analysis techniques

4. Design research strategies for data collection and analysis that are relevant to the designated research questions

5. Communicate research findings through both written reports and oral presentations

Brief description

Through analysis of relevant and topical themes in ecology, conservation and environmental science, the module will address the following objectives:-

  • To provide an opportunity to apply theoretical, technical and/or scientific laboratory methods to the more complex and uncontrolled field environment and to appreciate how core processes in ecology and land use are mediated by the climatic and of a specific field location.
  • To enhance students' capacity' to identify relevant problems or research questions, and to develop their ability to solve/answer these through hypothesis testing, robust experimental design, data collection, data analysis and data interpretation.
  • To encourage, where appropriate, consideration of logicstical (including safety) and ethical aspects of these research processes.
  • To promote transferable skills which are core for field research in ecology/environmental science, including teamwork, observation, record-keeping, reporting/communication of experimental data and plant identification skills.


The module objectives will be delivered through fieldwork, supported by a limited number of lectures and seminar session (e.g. data interpretation /analysis) during a residential fieldcourse. Depending on student numbers, several overseas destinations may be offered. The topics covered in any particular year may vary depending on fieldcourse destination, weather conditions, the cohort of students being taken on a particular fieldcourse and staffing arrangements but will include themes such as:-
Techniques for vegetation analysis
Human impact on biological communities
Aspects of environmental/climate change and successional processes
Design and execution of field-based research projects

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Where appropriate, students will be trained in statistical techniques required to analyse their field data.
Communication Both written and oral communication of data acquired during fieldwork will be developed via group discussions, reports and oral presentation.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will be responsible for taking their own field notes, for developing efficient teamwork strategies and for developing realistic and efficient methods of data collection under field conditions within the broader constraints of the fieldcourse timetable.
Information Technology Written reports, data analysis and literature/information searches to be undertaken electronically.
Personal Development and Career planning
Problem solving Analysis of samples and data, synthesis assessed by reports
Research skills Students will be required to complete a number of research projects and design/execute at least one which will involve: problem identification, research design, data acquisition, analysis, presentation and interpretation.
Subject Specific Skills Several skills to be developed during this fieldcourse module are directly relevant to employability in the environment sector, for instance biological identification skills, record-keeping in the field.
Team work Developed via the assignment of students to small groups during fieldwork and during preparation of post-fieldcourse oral presentations.


This module is at CQFW Level 6