AP2AE30-Landscape and Ecosystem Management Fieldcourse 1

Module Provider: School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Summer term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Prof Simon Mortimer

Email: s.r.mortimer@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

A one-week residential field course focussing on the principles and practice of environmental science and management in disturbed or stressed landscapes and habitats. The focus of the course is on habitats and landscapes not easily accessed from Reading, such as coastal and upland areas. Through site visits, guided tours, reflective exercises, discussions, and practice in data collection and analysis, you will develop skills in environmental assessment and the formulation of management strategies to overcome environmental problems.

To expose students to a range of environmental issues relating to the multiple demands on land in coastal and upland areas (including nature conservation, tourism, agriculture, forestry, coastal protection, catchment management, industry and military uses)
To develop skills in environmental assessment through experimentation, ecological sampling and survey approaches.
To provide opportunities to use data to inform discussions on environmental management and policy.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Students will be able to:
•Undertake evaluation, assessment and monitoring in a variety of landscapes and ecosystems.
•Conduct a variety of sampling methods and analyze the collected data to test hypotheses and prepare scientifically written reports of their findings.
•Understand the management, policies and organisations involved in the conservation of upland and coastal habitats.
•Describe and discuss management issues that arise from conflict between competing use s of upland and coastal areas.

Additional outcomes:
Students develop numeracy and teamwork skills through the sampling and analysis of data in small group situations. The module encourages teamwork and communication skills through the use of oral presentations and discussions in front of the module class. Students develop their scientific training by evaluating the contribution of research outputs to policy formation, and user-conflict in the countryside. Students will develop their IT skills by use of relevant web resources.

Outline content:

The field course is likely to be based in Wales, SW England.  Students will study aspects of the geology, landscape, habitats and land use in that region. Fieldwork is likely to include the ecology and management of uplands, wetlands, coastal habitats and reclaimed industrial land. Students will be based in a residential field centre which will form the base for a range of activities.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Students will visit sites that illustrate particular environmental management issues within the area. Talks and guided tours or sites will be conducted by staff of organisations working in environmental management and will serve to illustrate the conflicting activities within the area. These ideas will be developed through the use of discussion and exercises. Visits to selected sites will be used to collect data, conduct analyses and draw conclusions.

Transferable skills c overed: • Written communication • Oral communication • Problem-solving • Team work • Information handling • Information technology skills

Specialist skills covered: • Site evaluation • Plant identification • Ecological sampling • Environmental monitoring • Design of experiments and surveys • Data analysis • Field work

Contact hours may vary from those listed below.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 2
Practicals classes and workshops 12
Fieldwork 24
External visits 12
Guided independent study: 50
Total hours by term 0 0 100
Total hours for module 100

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 40
Report 40
Set exercise 20

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

  1. An essay on an environmental management topic related to the fieldcourse activities

  2. A reflective account of the fieldcourse in the form of a photo diary

  3. A group exercise carried out on the fieldcourse

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

The Module Convenor 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[1] (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 resubmission of coursework

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):


  1.  Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:  Students will need sturdy footwear, warm clothing and waterproofs for fieldwork.

  2. Travel, accommodation and subsistence: All costs for travel accommodation and subsistence are met by the University for students on BSc Environmental Management, for whom this module is compulsory.  Students on other Programmes will need to talk to their Programme Director about subsidisation of the cost (full cost is normally approximately £350).

Last updated: 27 July 2020


Things to do now