BIMWM2-Current Issues in Conservation

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

Module Convenor: Dr Graham Holloway


Summary module description:

To provide students with the opportunity to learn:
a) how to gain an in-depth understanding of conservation problems of current importance;
b) how to seek sources of relevant information (scientific and non-scientific), to assess their quality and to review and integrate this information;
c) how to present integrated information in a critical way both in a format as expected by professional scientists and in a style seen in popular scientific writing.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:
• retrieve, describe, discuss critically and integrate the information relating to an issue of importance in conservation
• research and present structured accounts of this information in a variety of formats suitable for both scientists and non-scientists

Additional outcomes:
The module will allow students to extend their presentational and IT skills. The format will facilitate a wide range of current issues to be considered.

Outline content:
Students will identify current issues relating to conservation, explore the background and implications of a selected issue, and then provide one or more rational ways toward a satisfactory resolution of the issue. As well as using the normal methods of retrieving scientific information about a topic, individuals will need to develop their own initiatives, for instance by using the web and by contacting industry, conservation groups, local and national government, etc for advice and information. The results of these findings will be presented in posters, talks and written articles.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Material is delivered in a ‘café style’ forum. Students can present as many issues as they like alongside the lecturers. Prior to the assessment symposium in week 10 current issues are presented in an informal setting to facilitate discussion and debate. In week 10, students present the posters and give a short oral presentation (supported by PowerPoint) defending their work, both of which are assessed by members of staff. Students are required to write an article presenting the topic as if for publication in a popular journal (scientific or otherwise) e.g. New Scientist or Biologist.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 21
Practicals classes and workshops 4
Guided independent study 75
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:
Each student presents a poster and a talk in a symposium setting to the class and to staff. This carries 50% of the final mark. Each student writes an account of the topic researched, the style being appropriate for a popular journal (50%).

Relative percentage of coursework: 100%

Formative assessment methods:

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 50% overall for pass at MSc level.

Reassessment arrangements:
An extended essay on the topic originally chosen by that person.

Last updated: 30 May 2014

Things to do now