AP1AE15-Ecology and Environmental Management

Module Provider: School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites: PLEASE NOTE PLACES ON THIS MODULE ARE RESTRICTED TO BSc ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT AND BSc ECOLOGY AND WILDLIFE CONSERVATION STUDENTS ONLY. We may consider other students, on request, only if places are available
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Ms Rebecca Jerrome

Email: r.m.jerrome@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module is designed to introduce students to interactions between human activity and components of the natural environment, methods for monitoring and assessing this and how such scientific information is used in devising management strategies. Students will develop practical and academic research skills through relevant field and laboratory work.



Students will be introduced, via a series of lectures, practicals and visits, to the complexity of managing a range of local environments and will receive an introduction to the key scientific skills underlying the investigation of such environments. In addition, students will be introduced to social survey methods and the design and administration of a questionnaire survey. The module also delivers a range of essential study skills, including essay and scientific report writing and the use of information technology (IT) to 'handle' data.


Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module it is expected that students will be able to:

  • Research, describe and critically evaluate environmental and management issues. 

  • Clearly communicate information (orally & visually).

  • Select appropriate literature and demonstrate evidence of wide and critical reading.

  • Reference correctly using the Harvard Referencing System Conduct basic experiments in the local environment using app ropriate ecological sampling methods. 

  • Demonstrate awareness of social survey research techniques, including survey design, sampling strategies, data collection methods, ethical considerations and questionnaire design, and become familiar with analysis of quantitative data using excel and minitab.

  • Keep field notes and critically reflect on their own learning experience.

  • Present, analyse and interpret data to reach coherent and reliable conclus ions.

Additional outcomes:

Students will:

  • be introduced to a range of conservation organisations, understand how they operate and gain knowledge of the career opportunities available in the sector;

  • discuss important local habitats and demonstrate an understanding of the demands of competing interest groups ;

  • be able to undertake a simple habitat assessment

Key employability skills include reflection, communication (written and verbal), sector career experience and networking, specialist technical skills and interpreting data, teamwork.

Outline content:

  • Field visits to a range of local habitats e.g. chalk grassland, woodland and heathland.

  • Experimental design and the completion of research projects.

  • Ecological sampling (e.g. invertebrate sampling)

  • Practical sessions in the laboratory.

  • Collection of data via a questionnaire administered in a local nature reserve

    • Presentations from outside speakers (e.g. Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust).
    • Lectures covering landscape designations, environmental policy and research skills and methodologies.

    • Student presentations on topical environmental issues.

Global context:

Students will gain an understanding of how environmental policy operates on a global and supranational level and be introduced to international case studies.


Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module covers a range of teaching and learning methods, including lectures, field visits, ecological sampling and study skills sessions. Transferable & Specialist skills covered:

  • Written communication

  • Oral communication

  • Habitat management

  • Environmental management

  • Experimental design

  • Ecological sampling

  • Data collection

  • Social Survey Methods
  • Information handling (literature search & referencing)

  • Information technology skills

  • Team work

The contact hours are indicative as fieldtrips are subject to host availability.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 6 8
Seminars 6 4
Practicals classes and workshops 6 6
Fieldwork 2
External visits 6 10
Guided independent study: 74 72
Total hours by term 100 100 0
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 80
Oral assessment and presentation 20

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

A number of assessments are based on field visits, and experiments undertaken as part of the module. All fieldwork/fieldtrips are, therefore, compulsory.

Formative assessment methods:

Student will undertake a formative exercise conducting a literature search.

Penalties for late submission:

The Support Centres will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that 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: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
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.

Assessment requirements for a pass:
A mark of 40% overall.

Reassessment arrangements:
By the submission of a written essay on a new topic.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

  1. Required text books: None required.

  2. Specialist equipment or materials:

  3. Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear: Students will need sturdy footwear, warm clothing and waterproofs for work and visits in the field.  

  4. Printing and binding:

  5. Computers and devices with a particular specification: 

  6. Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 2 November 2020


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