BSc Ecology and Wildlife Conservation
Learning & Teaching

Gathering data in the field

Gathering data in the field

All academics at Reading who teach the Ecology and Wildlife Conservation degree are experts in their respective fields. The learning platform provided is, of course, research led. Learning opportunities in all subjects take the form of a broad platform supported with examples from our own research and relevant examples from across the field. In other words we are outward looking to provide all students with the breadth and interest required to excel in their chosen areas of expertise. Importantly there is also an active and on-going process of professionalization of learning and teaching at University of Reading. The short term goal is to have all academics at the University with Fellow or Senior Fellow status within the Higher Education Academy, the organization that oversees the delivery of excellent learning and teaching within the higher education sector.

To be successful as an ecologist or wildlife conservationist it is essential the students are provided with the opportunity to develop the relevant knowledge within a stimulating and exciting environment. Learning and teaching is delivered at Reading through lectures, seminars, tutorials, laboratory sessions, fieldwork and independent study. During the first year you will be introduced to the more fundamental aspects of a range of topics including ecology, evolutionary processes, animal diversity, and surveying under field conditions. In the second year a greater range of specialisms are introduced. During the third year you are able to focus your choices to really gain the breadth and depth of knowledge that you are likely to require as you work towards employment in your chosen sector. Across all three years you will have the opportunity in specially designed modules to develop the skills required in ecology and wildlife conservation.

Fieldwork is a hugely important component of the programme. In addition you will be offered regular extra-curricular sessions with the course advisor to consider your CV Development and to discuss issues relevant to your subject. Further extra-curricular opportunities will be discussed and reviewed to ensure that your CV is developing as appropriately as possible.

A special element of the degree programmes at Reading is the opportunity to carry out placements, either as a single 10 credit summer placement or as an entire year long placement. Reading has many links with external organizations, including government bodies, charitable NGOs (e.g. RSPB, BTO, WWT, Local Wildlife Trust, Hawk Conservancy Trust and many more) and private companies such as ecological consultants (e.g. RSK, Jacobs, URS, EPR, Ecosa, etc). Students making the most of chances like this this coupled with the extensive fieldwork put themselves into a strong position when it comes to competing for future employment.

During your final year you will be expected to carry out a research driven project and to be part of an active research team. You could be working with academics through the Centre for Wildlife Assessment and Conservation. Of over-riding importance to us is that you produce work that is worthy of publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Such a publication would make a quite fabulous addition to your CV.

At Reading we are continually developing new and innovative teaching and learning methods, including methods involving the use of technology. For example students have just developed a new species recording app for the campus. Since fieldwork is such a large component of the degree programme we are particularly interested in the use of technology under field conditions and these can be deployed to enhance the learning environment.

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