BI1EF3-Practical Field Ecology

Module Provider: School of Biological Sciences
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Summer term module
Non-modular pre-requisites: Students should not select this module and BI1BG3 due to timetabling constraints
Modules excluded: BI1BG3 Practical Biochemistry
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Paul Hatcher


Summary module description:

Students will gain experience of practical field ecology by planning, carrying out and analysing a field experiment.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module, the student will be expected to be able to:
Be able to identify insects found on campus to Order or Family level using simple keys
Be able to develop a hypothesis that is able to be tested
Be able to plan a field experiment and sampling regime to answer an ecological question
Be able to collect ecological data from the field, organise and reproduce this information
Be able to carry out simple statistical tests to determine whether the data supports or disproves the hypothesis
Be able to make deductions and arrive at conclusions from the data

Additional outcomes:
An outcome from this module is the introduction of students to field ecology techniques and practice group working.

Outline content:
Students will work in groups of about 5 and will be given an ecological question to answer. They will then plan a series of sampling experiments based on campus and carry them out. The sampling will concentrate on insects, and the students will identify the insects to Order, and where possible to Family level. The data will be collated within each group and simple statistics used to arrive at an answer.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Field and laboratory based workshops, field work, identification classes.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 5
Tutorials 5
Practicals classes and workshops 20
Fieldwork 15
Guided independent study 55
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Other information on summative assessment:
Students will complete a structured workbook on their experimental sampling, identification and hand it in after the field course.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    No examination

    Requirements for a pass:
    a mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    by coursework to be set in August

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 31 March 2017

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