BIMPJ12-Global Biodiversity and Conservation

Module Provider: School of Biological Sciences
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2014/5

Module Convenor: Dr Alastair Culham


Summary module description:
A series of lectures, seminars and practical sessions teaching a global overview of current biodiversity issues in the light of biodiversity legislation.

To gain a working knowledge of how biodiversity is measured and conserved, how it is distributed, the evolution of biodiversity and the major factors impacting on biodiversity, biodiversity legislation and protection of species.

Assessable learning outcomes:
At the end of this module students will be able to
Distinguish between the genetic, species, ecosystem and cultural levels of biodiversity
Identify various ways of measuring biodiversity, and the concepts of endemism, complementarity and hotspots
Recognise the major threats to flora and fauna, both globally, and locally
Distinguish in situ from ex situ conservation, and outline the relevant techniques
Be familiar with a number of international legal instruments, including the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and the EU Habitats Directive
Understand the importance of ecological processes at the landscape scale for conservation of biodiversity
Be aware of the Biodiversity Action Planning process in the UK
Appreciate the theoretical concepts and practical management techniques for the management of vegetation for biodiversity in the UK
Have a working knowledge of case studies on biodiversity issues
Have a working knowledge of biodiversity measurement techniques

Additional outcomes:
This module will improve communication, information-handling skills and business awareness (through training in legislation)

Outline content:
Topics covered include:
What is biodiversity and how can it be measured?
Ecosystem diversity.
Threats to biodiversity: land use change; overexploitation, climate change and invasive species.
The UN Convention on Biological Diversity, other international conventions
IUCN Red Listing
Conservation strategies at the local scale: local biodiversity planning and action.
Strategies for in-situ and ex-situ conservation.
Case studies in biodiversity

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Teaching will combine lectures, discussions of current topics, case studies, practical sessions and a symposium.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20 20
Seminars 4 4
Practicals classes and workshops 8 8
Guided independent study 68 68
Total hours by term 100.00 100.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 50
Project output other than dissertation 15
Oral assessment and presentation 15
Practical skills assessment 20

Other information on summative assessment:
There are two themed assignments revolving around the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation: a symposium presentation and an essay in the style of a scientific paper, both of these assignments have dedicated formative preparation sessions in which you will receive feedback and advice to help enhance your summative assignments. You have a separate assignment which is a practical Red Listing workshop report.
The GSPC Assignment
The Preparation session provides the opportunity for you to present your draft presentation to staff who will give formative verbal feedback helping guide you in your chosen subject area. Feedback on your draft presentation will help you judge whether you have found the right approach, the appropriate literature and whether you are at the right scientific level.
In the Autumn term you will present a 15 minute seminar in a conference style session. This is a summative assignment (30% of module marks).
In the Spring term you should bring your paper-style essay for peer review. This is a formative assessment to help you finalise the content and style of your GSPC paper.
In the Spring Term you will need to submit your paper-style essay. This is a summative assessment (50% of module marks).
IUCN Red listing Assignment
You will have a practical assignment following an IUCN Red listing workshop. You will be provided with data to prepare a species case study and go through the red listing process for that species. This is a summative assignment (20% of module marks).
Relative percentage of coursework: 100%

Formative assessment methods:
Draft symposium paper

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:
A mark of at least 50%

Reassessment arrangements:
Re-examination by essay in September.

Last updated: 30 May 2014

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