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

Postgraduate Course: Managing Ecosystems for Human Health and Wellbeing (BIME11023)

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 will focus on the recent impact mankind has had on his environment that has lead to declining capacity of ecosystems to meet the needs of an ever expanding human population. We will explore the link between conservation and human well being, with the view to highlighting ways in which ecosystems can be managed to support the needs of those communities that rely on them.
Course description The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) brought about a fundamental change in the way that biodiversity is perceived. While biodiversity conservation has traditionally focused on preserving the intrinsic value of species and ecosystems, the MA demonstrated the importance of biodiversity for the ecosystem services it provides and the associated links with human health and well-being. At present, ecosystem services directly support more than one billion people living in extreme poverty.

Weekly lectures will focus on the following topics:

Human impact on the environment
The lecture will explore environmental pressures and how they impact ecosystem goods and services, and begin to explore the consequences for human health and well-being.
Consequences for human health & wellbeing
The consequences for human health and well-being associated with humankind┐s impact on the environment will be explored. The role of climate change will also be considered.
Linking conservation and human health & wellbeing
Some of the work going on to manage conservation of ecosystems to maintain the ecosystem services they provide and the implications for human health and well-being will be considered, as well as some of the difficulties in predicting the longer-term effects of climate change.
Managing ecosystems to support human health & wellbeing
The theme of linking conservation to human health and well-being will be continued, exploring strategies for management of resources and climate change adaptation and ecosystem restoration.
Post disaster rehabilitation and risk reduction
This final lecture will consider the process of post-disaster rehabilitation and role of risk reduction strategies in supporting resilience.
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
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. Understand the environmental pressures humankinds activities have placed on the natural environment and explore the consequences of these pressures for human health and wellbeing
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the role of ecosystems in the provision of services of demonstrable value to people
  3. Explore the linkages between conservation of biodiversity and the wellbeing of humankind and have an appreciation of the rights of local people to access resources in the wider context of ecosystem management
  4. Have an understanding of some of the key global instruments and initiatives in place to improve policy and practice
  5. Explore the role of post-disaster rehabilitation and risk reduction
Reading List
There are a number of organisations/initiatives which we will refer to often during this course, including:

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment

United Nations Environment Programme

International Union for Conservation of Nature

UN Sustainable Development Goals

The course will also draw from current literature and other publications relevant to the topic. A reading list is specified for each lecture.
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills The study materials provided in this course will enhance the student┐s abilities to search for, read and understand the relevant scientific literature, to use this to support specific arguments and to present the findings in a coherent and appropriate way. They will also develop skills in ICT through the use of an online learning platform, online search engines and word-processing and presentation packages. Online discussion with tutors and peers will develop confidence in communicating with others and the skills to engage in high level academic discourse. The independent study aspect of the course will enhance the student┐s abilities in time-management and self-motivation.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Sharron Ogle
Course secretaryMr Lyndon Zahra
Tel: (0131) 651 5232
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