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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Deanery of Biomedical Sciences : Biomedical Sciences

Postgraduate Course: Wildlife Crime and Forensic Investigation (BIME11017)

Course Outline
SchoolDeanery of Biomedical Sciences CollegeCollege of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course looks at the three main categories of wildlife crime: the illegal trade in endangered species, crimes relating to native species which are endangered or subject to conservation regulations, and cruelty and persecution of wildlife. Environmental crimes (e.g. pollution) will also be discussed insofar as these affect biodiversity and ecosystems. The scientific techniques used in the forensic investigation of these crimes to collate evidence with a view to prosecution will be covered in detail.
Relevant legislation will be introduced, with an emphasis on international regulations such as CITES. UK legislation and case law will also be covered.
Course description The course covers a vast subject briefly with an emphasis on the topics most relevant to the wider MSc programme. It aims to illustrate the sources of international law pertaining to wildlife, and the differences in law as it applies to the international arena as opposed to the national context.

Weekly lectures will be presented on the following topics:

Lecture 1 An Introduction to Wildlife Crime
Lectures 2 and 3 Trade in Endangered Species
Lecture 4 Crimes against Endangered Species
Lecture 5 Forensic Analysis of DNA
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2016/17, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Full Year
Course Start Date 19/09/2016
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Online Activities 25, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 53 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Formal summative written assessment will constitute 60% of the student's grade. Online assessment will incorporate a variety of activities will constitute 40% of their overall course grade and is taken to represent a formative assessment of learning throughout the programme.
Feedback Summative assessment consists of a written element, worth 60% of the total mark, and an online element worth 40%. In both cases, comprehensive written feedback is provided individually with 15 working days of the assessment deadline. Students are expected to reflect on their feedback, to seek additional clarification if appropriate, and to use this to improve on future assignments of a similar nature.
Formative assessment consists of discussion around what is expected of each piece of assessed work for the course. This is conducted in an open discussion forum for all students to contribute to and provides an opportunity to clearly understand the key requirements for each assignment before submission. Any student can post questions about the assignment and a response will be posted on the discussion board by the course tutor within 3 working days.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Have an understanding of the historical context of the development of wildlife conservation, and an understanding of what constitutes wildlife crime.
  2. Have an understanding of the significance of international trade in wildlife and a knowledge of the main provisions of CITES.
  3. Have a knowledge of what types of activities are incorporated under the term "poaching", and of the legislation which exists to combat it.
  4. Be aware of the law relating to the cruelty and persecution of animals and to habitat protection.
  5. Have an understanding of environmental crimes and the impact these may have on wildlife.
Reading List
The majority of reading material will be derived from online journals with some reference to websites and e-books.
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills The course will involve the student in an understanding of how international law pertaining to wildlife operates in practice, and the issues pertaining to its application and enforcement with a specific focus on international trade in endangered species. It will enable them to assimilate other aspects of their learning from the other courses on the programme as well as enable them to use their skills of comprehension of legal drafting and terminology.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Sharron Ogle
Course secretaryMr Lyndon Zahra
Tel: (0131) 651 5232
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