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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Ecological Science

Undergraduate Course: Conservation Science (ECSC10035)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course will introduce the field of conservation science focussing on changes in biodiversity, threats to biodiversity, protected area management, and people-focused conservation. The course will involve introductions to concepts, critical assessment of the literature, and discussion of current issues in conservation.
Course description Week 1: Introduction to conservation science
Week 2: Patterns of biodiversity
Weekend fieldtrip to the Cairngorms: Conservation management in practice
Week 3: Background population ecology for conservation
Week 4: Threats to biodiversity
Week 5: Why do we conserve biodiversity?
Week 6: Conservation Science Mid-term Conference
Week 7: Protected areas
Week 8: People-focused conservation
Week 9: Applied techniques in conservation: GIS
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed:
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Successful completion of Ecology and Environmental Science first and second year.
Additional Costs Cost of field trip to Cairngorms (approx 25)
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2015/16, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  35
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 15, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 15, Fieldwork Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 48 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework (100%):

Presentation (10%)
Opinion piece (60%)
Blog post (5%)
POST Note (25%)
Feedback Formative feedback will be given throughout the course during tutorial sessions. Combination formative/summative/peer feedback during the session in Week 5. Feedback will be given on summative assessment at the end of the course and all students will be invited to an examination feedback session following release of course results. Examples of feedback can be found here:
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Give an oral presentation, write an opinion piece and construct a blog on a selected topic in the field of conservation science.
  2. Understand the concept of biodiversity change and identify threats to global biodiversity.
  3. Understand how and why we conserve ecosystems and populations.
  4. Understand people-focused conservation.
  5. Use ecological and social science methods in relation to collected conservation data and write a POST Note.
Reading List
Scientific papers for compulsory and additional reading will be provided to the students in advance of each lecture.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Communication skills, oral presentations, social media, opinion writing, critical thinking, discussion
KeywordsConservation,biodiversity,land-use change,protected areas,ecosystem services,people
Course organiserDr Isla Myers-Smith
Tel: (0131 6)50 7251
Course secretaryMiss Christine Lee
Tel: (0131 6)50 5430
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